How to make yourself tired fast
Struggling to fall asleep is one of the most frustrating things you can experience, and if counting sheep is not doing the trick, it might be time to try a different approach to make yourself tired.
When you’re forcing sleep but not succeeding, your frustration can trigger anxiety, making it even harder to fall asleep. It quickly becomes a truly tiresome cycle.
How do you fall asleep in five minutes?
Ready, set, go! It is possible to fall asleep in five minutes, but it’s what you do before the timer starts that counts the most.
Improving your sleep hygiene is your first step to training your body and mind how to make yourself tired fast. This means doing things like reducing your sugar and caffeine consumption, avoiding heavy meals before bed, making your bed a no-phone zone, and setting up your environment to promote sleep.
6 Ways to make yourself tired fast
Here are six simple things you can do to make it easier to fall asleep:
1. Focus on your breathing
If you have spent time in a yoga or meditation class, you are probably aware of the power of breathing exercises and how they can help you relax. It only takes a few deep breaths to calm you down and help you drift off to sleep, fast.
Here are some breathing exercises we recommend:
Equal breathing: inhale for three or four counts through your nose and exhale for or three or four counts. The key is to breathe in and out for equal amounts of time. You can build your way up to six or seven counts if you want.
Box breathing: this type of breathing is quite simple. All you need to do is breathe in for a few counts, hold your breath for a few counts, breathe out, and then hold your breath again before repeating the cycle. How fast you do each step is up to you. You can choose if you want to make each cycle an equal length of time or use different lengths.
Alternate nostril breathing: this one might look weird, but it is very effective. To do this breathing exercise, bring your one hand to your nose, closing your right nostril with your finger. Then breathe in deeply through the left nostril, close your left nostril with another finger. Open your right nostril and breathe out. Now breathe in through the right nostril and complete on the other side.
You can make breathing exercises part of your pre-bed routine and start doing them within 30 minutes of wanting to go to sleep. You can also look for guided breathing exercises and guided meditations online, or use a meditation app before bed.
2. Relax your muscles
Relaxing your muscles can help you feel tired a lot faster and fall asleep.
To ease your muscles into relaxation, indulge in an epsom salt bath before bed, do some yoga and make sure you don’t overwork your muscles during the day. You could also consider taking a magnesium supplement.
3. Image Distraction
If you are struggling to fall asleep because your mind is racing and you are stressed out, image distraction can help. Try to picture a calm place to help you relax. For you, it might be the ocean, a beautiful mountain range, or a treehouse in the jungle. Is your happy place your favourite vacation spot?
Pairing visualisation with breathing exercises can be very effective in making you feel tired fast. If you are not feeling imaginative, you can try a guided visualisation meditation focusing on helping you relax. There are many guided meditations online that will teach you how to relax through image distraction so that you can do it on your own.
Acupressure is a type of massage therapy with similar principles to acupuncture.
There are some acupressure techniques you can use while lying in bed to help you feel tired fast. Some pressure points can be found on your inner leg, just above your ankle, on the crease on your outer wrist, and on your inner forearm between two tendons.
Simply press on these pressure points and massage them to promote relaxation. Use both circular and upwards motions.
Some scents can make it easier for you to fall asleep due to the relaxing effect they have on the mind and body. Essential oils like lavender, bergamot, chamomile, and valerian are all commonly used in aromatherapy to aid sleep.
Use an essential oil diffuser or humidifier, or you can combine essential oils with water in a spray bottle and spray it in the room and under your pillow before bed.
6. Try to stay awake
It may seem counterintuitive, but forcing yourself to stay awake just might help trick your brain into making you feel tired. This technique is called sleep restriction therapy. It is a type of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT therapy).
So, how does it work? If you know that you have only been getting five hours of sleep every night for the last few months, do not try to force yourself to go to bed eight hours before you need to wake up. Chances are, you will just lie there feeling frustrated and awake.
Rather force yourself to stay busy until you start to feel tired, even if you are not getting as much sleep as you need. Over time, you can begin to go to bed a bit earlier until you get enough sleep.
Train yourself to sleep better
You can improve your sleep quality and fix your bad sleeping patterns by exercising and following a healthy diet. Try to avoid alcohol. Reduce stress as much as possible. And limit your caffeine consumption, especially in the afternoon.
Try to stick to a healthy pre-bed routine that includes some of the tips we’ve shared. Focus on your breathing, visualise your happy place, take a few deep breaths, consider aromatherapy and acupressure, and try sleep restriction therapy if you need to.
Over time, it will become easier for you to fall asleep fast – and enjoy a better quality of sleep.