How To Fall Asleep In 5 Minutes
We found five hacks that will bring you in no time on your way to Slumbertown.
1. Do the four-seven-eight
This breathing exercise will help lull you to sleep for free:
Breathe in through your nose for four seconds.Hold your breath for seven seconds.Slowly breathe out through your mouth for eight seconds.Repeat this process until you fall asleep.
This technique acts like a natural tranquilizer by slowing down your heart rate. According to Dr. Andrew Weil, director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona, “Unlike sleep medications, which often lose effectiveness over time, four-seven-eight breathing is subtle at first but gains power with practice.” In other words, the more you do it, the better it works. So, what are you waiting for?
2. Pretend you’re really tired
Try to remember how you feel when you're tired physically: Do your arms go limp? Do you roll your eyes back into your head?
Now, mimic those physical signs: While lying in bed, think of a weight pressing evenly across your entire body. Okay, that sounds a little scary, but concentrating on the weight will stop other thoughts (e.g. the school lunches you still have to pack for tomorrow) from distracting you. Next thing you know, you’ll find yourself waking up the next day, wondering how the heck you fell asleep so fast.
3. Fake a little sunset
Science says we should be tired when the sun sets, but as we spend most of our nights indoors basking in the light of our mobile phones and tablets, our minds still believe it's daytime and refuse to shut down. So, this is what you're doing: remove the gadgets and watch the sunset. It's winter and all that can be hard. Wake-up light from Philips (available at Amazon) offers the ability to fake it. Simply, set it to sunset simulation mode; it will gradually decrease light and sound (on your timeline) to help prepare your body for rest.
4. Hypnotize the way to a deep sleep
If it sounds like too much work for you to pretend you're tired, you might want to look into hypnosis. Get the picture of a creepy man swinging his pocket watching back and forth until you bark out of your head like a dog. We're talking about watching a video of five minutes of hypnosis tucked in your bed. (YouTube is full of them; search “hypnosis for sleep.”). It might sound like a bit of hogwash, but researchers from the universities of Zurich and Fribourg beg to differ. Their 2014 study on the subject concluded that hypnosis can actually increase the quality of sleep.
5. Make like an astronaut
We know we asked you to put your phone away from home, but we're going to make an exception for that. Attempt with an app like Sleep Genius ($6 on iTunes) to block the sound of your fighting neighbors and their barking dog. NASA developed and used its fundamental technology to help astronauts fall asleep. We're saying: if the space program is good enough, it's good enough for us.