How to fall asleep fast: 6 tricks to try before bed to nod off quickly

Knowing how to fall asleep fast is not innate for many of us. We thought we'd share some of the most effective remedies

can't sleep
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If you want to know how to fall asleep fast then you're probably tired (literally) of tossing and turning every night before you eventually switch off. Bad sleep has been an uncomfortable repercussion throughout the pandemic which unsurprisingly caused stress, agitation and the likes which can all have a knock-on effect, on falling asleep. So, if you've tried popular over-the-counter sleep remedies, invested in the best mattress for you and more with no success – it's time to go back to basics. 

The following remedies can make a significant difference to both how easily you'll fall asleep and how much sleep you'll get. It's trial and error, though, so try out different things to see what works for you. 

Get lots of more advice on how to sleep better in our feature. 

1. Take a bath

This sleep cure has everything to do with body temperature, which needs to drop in order for you to sleep well. Too hot, and you'll be tossing and turning. Too cold, and you'll lie awake trying to warm up. Taking a bath one to two hours before bedtime helps regulate your body temperature by first raising it and then gradually cooling down, so that by the time you're ready to drift off you're neither too hot nor cold.

2. Try essential oils

Essential oils have been used as sleep aids for millennia, and they are effective at helping your nervous system wind down. Lavender and camomile essential oils have the strongest link to promoting quicker sleep, but you can also try bergamot, clary sage, and sandalwood.

3. Have a bedtime snack

There are many foods and drinks to avoid before bed (high-carb foods, sugar, caffeine and alcohol) but it’s not all about what you can’t eat...There are lots of foods and drinks that can actually help promote sleep due to their dense nutritional value, and high percentage of various vitamins and minerals, all of which all play a role in a healthy sleep routine. Add these to your shopping list and consider turning them into your bedtime snack to help you fall asleep fast:

  • Nuts, almonds especially contain phosphorus, manganese, riboflavin and magnesium – the latter is good at improving sleep quality – and walnuts contain the hormone melatonin which is also said to help regulate sleep
  • Turkey, is high in protein so it’s a good appetite regulator and it’s also full of phosphorus, selenium and amino acid tryptophan that support the production of melatonin also
  • Oily fish, like salmon, mackerel and trout – all delicious – and all full of vitamin D which can increase serotonin production and therefore, the all-important Zzzs
  • Herbal teas, chamomile, contains apigenin which is said to help reduce insomnia and passionflower tea can help reduce anxiety
  • Kiwis contain serotonin, the happy brain chemical that can effectively regulate sleep so one or two before bed could help you fall asleep quicker and for longer.
  • Bananas, contain magnesium and tryptophan
  • Sweet cherries: are packed full of melatonin, which is the hormone that helps us sleep well. Eat a good handful half an hour to an hour before bedtime, or drink a glass of fresh cherry juice. 

4. Read a good book

If not sleeping is due to high stress levels, reading will help; in fact, it's more effective at reducing stress than walking or listening to music, according to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Sussex. It doesn't really matter what you read, so long as it's not news on a screen. 

5. Try using a red light bulb in the bedroom

This is still something of novelty in the world of sleep cures, but the idea behind it is not. Blue light keeps us awake, while low-level red light helps us go to bed. If you think about it, for a very long time, humans used candles in their bedrooms. A candle has a lower intensity light than even a sunset, so that's what you should be aiming for in your bedroom. Try coloured red bulbs – many people are reporting that it makes a difference to how quickly they fall asleep and to the quality of rest too. 

Anna is a professional writer with many years of experience. She has a passion for contemporary home decor and gardening. She covers a range of topics, from practical advice to interior and garden design.