The Proven Way To Fall Asleep Faster
Can't score shuteye without tossing and turning for an hour? The best sleep aid might be a barbell: In a recent Swiss study, people who worked out at a high intensity 90 minutes before going to bed fell asleep faster.
And generally speaking, the harder the study participants worked out, the more their sleep quality improved.
One possible reason is that vigorous exercise reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol, a sleep saboteur, says study author Serge Brand, Ph.D., an adjunct professor with the Center for Affective, Stress, and Sleep Disorders at the University of Basel.
Another important strategy: Keep your bedtime and wake-up times consistent, even on weekends, says psychologist Julio Fernandez-Mendoza, Ph.D., an assistant professor at the Penn State Hershey Sleep Research and Treatment Center. And don't consume any caffeine within 6 hours of bedtime; then, at least 70 minutes before bed, dim the lights and turn off your TV, computer, and tablet.
If these options aren't working for you, cognitive behavioral therapy may be the best way to keep your mind from racing at night, Fernandez-Mendoza says. This helps you reprogram your thoughts to put a positive spin on sleep. That's important because insomnia is typically a result of associating anxiety with sleep, he explains.
To find a professional at an accredited sleep disorders center, go to sleepeducation.com/find-a-center.