Research

How to Fall Asleep, fast

Written by Lisa Rennie

Lack of proper sleep can wreak havoc on your energy levels and overall well-being. Unfortunately, approximately 10% of adults in the US experience insomnia, which is characterized by lack of sleep at least three times a week.

Luckily, there are some things you can do to get that restful sleep you need to optimal health without having to resort to pharmaceuticals.

Meditate

Before you jump in bed, take a few minutes to meditate to help you mentally unwind. There are some handy apps that you can use to help you get a head start, such as Headspace, which comes with a variety of meditations to choose from. Studies have shown that meditation can help tackle sleep disturbances, primarily if performed on a regularly [1]

Practice Deep Breathing Techniques

Several relaxation techniques involve deep breathing that you can try to help you relax and prime yourself for a good night’s sleep. Adding meditation and visualization to the mix can make these techniques even more powerful.

Taking short and shallow breaths can keep you tense, which is the opposite of what you want. Instead, the goal is to breathe deeply.

The 4-7-8 breathing method is one example of deep breathing and visualization that may help you relax and involves inhaling for a count of four to bring in more oxygen, holding your breath for seven seconds, then breathing out for eight seconds.

This controlled breathing method will slow down your heart rate and increase oxygen uptake in your bloodstream, helping relax your mind and overall central nervous system to help you sleep better.

Take a CBD Supplement

Cannabidiol (CBD) has several applications and  is most commonly associated with  managing of pain and anxiety. While these ailments have been shown to be improved through the use of CBD, the cannabinoid may also be used as a part of your bedtime regimen.

Studies have shown that CBD may promote restful sleep by alleviating the very issue that may be preventing people from falling asleep in the first place. [2] More specifically, anxiety and pain can make it more difficult to fall and stay asleep. CBD’s ability to interact with the endocannabinoid system’s receptors may help to calm pain and anxiety and indirectly help promote better sleep.

 

 

Image source: Claudio_Scott from Pixabay

References:

  1. Rusch, H.L., et al, “The effect of mindfulness meditation on sleep quality: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials,” Ann N Y Acad Sci., June 2019, 5-16.
  2. Shannon, S., et al, “Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series“, Perm J., January 2019; 23: 18-041.

 

About the author

Lisa Rennie

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