Insomnia is a big issue affecting a significant number of people. Doesn’t it seem that the number of individuals who can’t sleep at night are on the rise? You’re certainly not alone looking for ways on how to fall asleep fast when dealing with insomnia!
Not a very comforting thought, right?
Do you know that current estimates state that more than half of adults in the US have trouble falling asleep fast? The numbers are even higher if we’re to include people who are 60 years old and older, as supported by sleep data statistics from the CDC.
Why You Can’t Sleep at Night
There are so many reasons why people have trouble falling asleep quickly even when the moon is out.
For some, it can be related to anxiety.
Others’ difficulty in falling asleep fast may be linked to having an irregular work schedule, not having enough exposure to sunlight, poor sleep hygiene, taking certain medications, ingesting stimulating foods and drinks, or could even be a hormonal issue.
And for the rest, the culprit behind why they can’t sleep at night is because they’re dealing with insomnia.
Real Facts About Insomnia
The National Institutes of Health shares that about 3 out of 10 of the general population suffers from sleep disruption and that about 1 out of 10 of individuals manifest known symptoms of daytime functional impairment that are associated with an insomnia diagnosis.
What does this mean?
One of the most important facts about insomnia is that it is a common sleep problem for adults though not many are willing to talk about their difficulty falling asleep at night.
The above is part of the reason why data on how many are truly dealing with insomnia and not just looking for ways to fall asleep fast for non-insomnia related reasons may be off by a long shot.
Insomnia is a silent epidemic and it deserves more awareness and attention no matter whether you’re someone with an insomnia diagnosis or not.
- Have you woken up multiple times during the night for no reason?
- Have you had any issue or difficulty falling asleep after waking up at night?
- Have you woken up too early and weren’t able to go back to sleep after?
- Have you had a morning when you’ve woken up feeling tired as though you never slept a wink at all?
If you’ve answered YES to any of the questions above and experienced what you’ve said YES to a couple of times a week in the past year; then yes, you might have insomnia.
You see, the first step in dealing with insomnia is to recognize whether or not you qualify for an insomnia diagnosis. Next is to find out what are the causes of insomnia that could be preventing you from having a good night’s rest so you can address them and finally be able to fall asleep fast naturally.
How to Deal with the Causes of Insomnia?
Exactly how can you effectively deal with the causes of insomnia?
This isn’t an easy question for sure! If this was an easy question then there would’ve have been an easy answer to this! Can you imagine how great it would be if we’re all able to sleep soundly and there’d be no need for this article?
The most effective solution for insomnia (or how can we fall asleep fast when dealing with insomnia) remains elusive for now. Still, it won’t hurt to try what might work for most, right?
So let’s talk why some have insomnia, to begin with.
What Are the Causes of Insomnia?
The National Sleep Foundation states numerous causes of insomnia. They are:
- Medical and psychiatric conditions
- The brain’s difficulty in turning itself ‘off’ either because of too much or too little specific neurotransmitters
- Improper use of certain substances such as consuming too much energy drinks or ingesting large amounts of caffeine
- Lifestyle factors such as having a shifting work schedule
- Engaging in too much physical activity at night
- Eating heavy meals at night or even fasting for days
As you can see from the list above, a lot of the causes of insomnia are factors that you can change on your own. Although this list may change in the future as sleep experts find more details about possibly still unknown causes of insomnia, the fact remains that we already have a great deal of information we need to make falling asleep quickly a reality.
Fall Asleep Fast When You’re Having Trouble Falling Asleep – Is This Possible?
Numerous studies and articles on the science of sleep mention tips that can help with insomnia, but which ones are truly effective?
Dealing with insomnia can be a very tiring process that you can’t get a rest from.
It isn’t easy.
We’re pretty sure that you’ve read countless articles that promised to help you fall asleep fast but few of them really helped you.
Chances are they didn’t do a thing in adding to your understanding of the causes of insomnia and why you’re having trouble falling asleep.
Or they didn’t empower you with information that you need to identify a possible insomnia diagnosis and instead, shifted blame to you.
But enough of old practices that didn’t work.
We want you to know now that YES, it is possible to fall asleep fast when dealing with insomnia.
Don’t believe it?
Well… as mentioned earlier, none of this will be easy because you’ll have to be able to tackle your issue with having trouble falling asleep right at the cause.
You’ll also have to get rid of the mindset that an insomnia diagnosis is an excuse to live a life merely surviving despite lack of sleep and thinking that it is normal.
You don’t have to live with accepting that you just can’t sleep at night just because you have insomnia.
What we’re saying is that barring what experts still don’t know about the science of sleep and sleep disorders, you can help yourself to go to sleep faster by being open about trying some natural ways to fall asleep easily below.
Why Proper Sleep Hygiene is Important to Fall Asleep Fast
What is sleep hygiene, you ask?
Sleep hygiene is the term for the suggested environmental and behavioral practices that are meant to help someone get a better quality sleep.
Methods that are included in the list of proper sleep hygiene practices are all natural ways to fall asleep that someone with a sleeping disorder can modify or change depending on what works best.
Those who’ve studied the science of sleep list the following proper sleep hygiene practices for helping people deal with insomnia:
- Avoiding naps if possible, otherwise keep them short
- Establishing regular hours of sleep
- Staying away from worrisome thoughts
- Not engaging in strenuous mental and/or physical activities near bedtime
- Getting out of bed and doing something with your time instead of just waiting for sleep to take over if one can’t sleep when its bedtime
- Trying not to use the bed for anything other than sleep
- Not consuming sources of alcohol, nicotine, and other stimulants a few hours before bedtime
- Making sure that one has a peaceful and comfortable sleeping environment
- Trying to sleep in a darkened room
But why are the above proper sleep hygiene practices important? How do they help someone to fall asleep fast?
Our bodies are programmed to have an awake and asleep mode. That’s how we evolved.
Do you know that humans have the shortest sleep duration compared to other primates? The same paper on human sleep also talked about how humans evolved with the ability to get better quality sleep despite having shorter total sleeping time because we get a higher percentage of REM sleep relative to time spent sleeping.
By the way, our ability to get more REM sleep compared to other primates is a huge evolutionary advantage for us because REM sleep functions include benefits to memory, learning, and mood. This is why in order to get better quality sleep, it would be best if you can also practice ways to get more REM sleep – which, by the way, are almost the same as proper sleep hygiene practices that can help you fall asleep fast, to begin with!
Anyway, back to what we’re talking about earlier, when the human brain was being programmed by evolution to sleep at night, part of our adaptation to the environment is having a ‘slowing’ down period before it is time to go to sleep.
Think about nature and how the daily activities of our ancestors used to slow down as the day wears into the night.
Let that sink in a bit.
Things are way different now because the difference between night and day was nearly made non-existent in a span of fewer than 2 centuries.
What we are (as humans who are meant to sleep at night) has been suddenly thrust into a new environment where we’ve not yet adapted to in an evolutionary way.
Our brains are programmed to be awake when there’s a lot of stimuli and light, and guess what? People who are more sensitive to light and stimuli are now having trouble falling asleep!
This is why proper sleep hygiene is important to fall asleep fast.
For some of us, we REALLY do need to recreate the environment that induced sleep in our ancestors to facilitate falling asleep faster.
How Proper Sleep Hygiene Can Combat the Causes of Insomnia
We’re well aware that insomnia may be more than someone having a stubborn internal wiring system but surely you can see how making use of proper sleep hygiene practices can help someone dealing with insomnia.
If you can recall the causes of insomnia that we’ve mentioned a few paragraphs back, you’ll see that the majority of them are about doing the opposite of what should be done in our list of proper sleep hygiene practices.
See the correlation?
It is clear that some of the reasons why you could be having trouble falling asleep are linked to sleep hygiene practices that can be changed with a little extra care.
What do you say?
Are you ready to create some positive changes for better sleep?
Are you ready to change your mindset and go for more natural ways to fall asleep easily?
Will Positive Thinking Help With Insomnia?
Making any sort of change to what you’re used to is a lot of work. It certainly isn’t as easy as just flipping a switch and BAM! You’re suddenly a changed person who can fall asleep easily anytime, anywhere!
No matter how much of a walk in the park creating a sleep-inducing environment is on paper; that would be far from the reality in person.
We have to take into consideration that we all have different lives and simply telling one’s self to establish regular hours of sleep can be very stressful for someone who’s a new mom (who has to be awake when the baby is awake), someone who’s got a shifting work schedule (like a doctor or a power plant engineer), or just someone who’s already dealing with a lot in life aside from also dealing with insomnia.
The above is why we’ve subtly emphasized that awareness and mindset are both very important factors when dealing with trouble falling asleep throughout this write-up.
Positive thinking will help you handle stress as well as help keep you focused as you address the hard realities making a change in your life can bring. It will help keep your mood up and see you through the most challenging parts.
Think of how much being happy or excited about something can make some problems seem to disappear. Like when you’re in-love and creating opportunities to see your special someone doesn’t feel like any effort at all…contrast that as to when you were asked to do something you didn’t want to.
Positive thinking will help propel you to the outcome you want because it will help you overcome negative thoughts.
Combined with natural sleep aids and intentional changes to your sleep hygiene, positive thinking will help you in dealing with insomnia so you can fall asleep fast, even with years of having trouble falling asleep.
Conclusion: Are Natural Ways to Fall Asleep the Best Solution for Insomnia?
Yes and no.
Largely yes because most of those with an insomnia diagnosis are dealing with insomnia that was caused by modifiable factors; the answer no is for the small percentage that may have difficulty falling asleep at night due to conditions that may need medical or psychiatric treatment.
So to conclude, yes there are ways to fall asleep fast when dealing with insomnia but you will have to put an effort in giving them a try for them to really work.
Although it is true that natural ways to fall asleep fast (such as the ones listed below this paragraph) are truly effective, they won’t work overnight. You can try the following proper sleep hygiene practices and see which is/are the most effective ways for you to induce sleep:
- Avoiding naps as much as you can, otherwise keep them short
- Establishing regular hours of sleep that fits best with your schedule
- Not thinking about worrisome thoughts
- Not participating in active mental and/or physical activities around bedtime
- Getting out of bed and doing something with your time instead of just waiting for sleep to take over if you can’t sleep
- Avoiding using the bed for anything besides sleeping
- Not drinking or using alcohol, nicotine, and stimulants near bedtime
- Creating an environment that is comfortable and peaceful to induce sleep
- Using a darkened room for sleeping
Again, these may not work for everyone but if you don’t have underlying medical or psychiatric conditions, there’s a very good chance that these proper sleep hygiene practices will help to induce sleep.
With time (habits take a while to establish themselves), you’ll hopefully be able to fall asleep fast and kiss your insomnia goodbye. Wouldn’t that be amazing?
This write-up may sound like nothing revolutionary or shocking as far as dealing with trouble falling asleep is concerned.
That’s part of where the problem lies actually.
So many are trying to find out-of-this-world ways to fall asleep fast that they forget to check first whether simple changes may be the best solution for insomnia that they need. After all, even sleep experts are still debating this.