8 Sleeping Hacks That'll Quiet Your Mind & Help You Doze Off In An Instant

by Caroline Burke

Trying to get a good night's sleep can be more elusive than finding vegan food that actually tastes good. Falling asleep at night becomes an even harder task when you try to replicate one good night of sleep into several. As much as you might want to, you can't always solve your sleep frustrations by simply crawling into bed and closing your eyes. That's why it's particularly handy to know some hacks for sleeping that'll quiet your mind on those nights when you feel like you might spend hours restlessly counting sheep.

Your sleep health is something that should be a constant priority, which is why it sucks so much that it can be so hard to maintain. But there is a silver lining here: There are plenty of easy hacks to lull your body into a relaxed and sleep-ready state, and most of them are simpler than you think. Once you know how to best prepare your body for sleep, you'll be able to replicate this into a good habit that will replace your old one of watching full seasons of How I Met Your Mother during the time that you should be snoring.

Here are eight hacks for sleeping that will help you doze off in an instant.

Quit Any And All Screen Time

As millennials, our first instinct can be to pull out our phones and scan through news feeds if we're bored in bed, or to pull out our laptops and watch Netflix. We insist it helps us fall asleep, but oh, we are so very, very wrong. When you stare at a screen, the blue light tricks your brain into thinking you should be awake, and thus suppresses the release of melatonin that should help you fall asleep.

You're basically making yourself more awake every time you flip open a screen.

Keep Your Eyes Open

This might sound super counterintuitive, but keeping your eyes open when you're exhausted will help you fall asleep faster than if you were to close your eyes.

The reason for this is kind of strange: It relieves you of your sleep anxiety. In other words, keeping your eyes open tricks your body into thinking there's no pressure to fall asleep, and then makes it easier to actually get the job done. Weird, right?

Take A Hot Bath

Warming your body at night with a hot shower or bath, then stepping out into the cool air of your bedroom, will help your body temperature lower before falling asleep.

This quick temperature drop will help slow your metabolism and make you feel sleepy. Besides, there's nothing better than an excuse to take a hot bubble bath.

Buy Blackout Curtains

Windsor Light Blocking Curtain Panel - Eclipse, $18.99 to $23.99, Target

A great pair of blackout curtains will help you achieve the type of chamber vibes you need.

The darker your room is, the better suited it is for you to sleep in. Darkness tells your brain to make melatonin, so for the same reason you shouldn't stare at a screen, you also shouldn't sleep in a bright room.

Try The 4-7-8 Method

The 4-7-8 method is a breathing exercise intended to relax you and help you fall asleep faster. Here's how you use breathing as a way to fall asleep, as described by Dr. Andrew Weil, MD:

Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound. Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four. Hold your breath for a count of seven. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight. This is one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.
Keep Some Lavender Aromatic Oil Handy

The scent of lavender has been empirically proven to trigger drowsiness and help people fall asleep faster, so why not keep a little bottle handy?

Rubbing some lavender oil around your temples or using an aromatic spray might be just the type of relaxation you need to descend into dream land.

Put Some Socks On

According to research from a Swiss study published in Nature, warm feet and hands are the fastest predictor of sleep onset. Keeping your hands and feet warm will shift the blood flow from your core to your extremities, which in turn will lower your core temperature and also encourage melatonin release.

It's an excellent excuse to buy a few pairs of warm, fuzzy socks, which are just one of the many essential components to a happy life in general, if you ask me.

Switch Your Late Night Workout Class To A Morning One

Heavy exercise will raise your body's temperature and increase your metabolism, both of which make it harder to fall asleep.

Swap your evening workout for an early morning one, and soon, all the things that used to make it hard for you to fall asleep at night will give you the energy boost you were looking for the following morning.