Falling asleep quickly is all about clearing your thoughts enough to let your body drift into the subconscious. In a life that is always moving at 100 mph, it seems we — as a society — have lost this art. But I’m going to show you how — with a little practice — you can learn it and use it whenever you wish.
There are multiple ways to do this actually.
You can get up at 4 am every morning and do manual labor for 15 hours. I guarantee you will fall asleep right away. But if you’re doing that already, you probably don’t have an issue falling asleep quickly.
The way I’m going to show you doesn’t require that kind of commitment — although it does require dedication nonetheless. You will need to take the time to train your brain in order for this method to be fully effective.
Read before moving on
If you’re a coffee drinker, seriously consider cutting it out if you want to see this work. Coffee — and other types of caffeine — are stimulants which will keep you awake even if you only drink a little bit in the morning. I strongly propose getting off coffee for at least a week before you try this. After you have successfully learned this method, you can phase it back into your diet. Check out my other post on How Coffee Affects Sleep to learn more about that.
This method focuses on training your mind to sleep, even when it may not want to. There are many factors that contribute to how quickly one can fall asleep. For this method, we are going to assume that you have proper sleeping conditions every time you train. That means a dark, quiet room, still, with a temperature that you find comfortable. Please note this is not some quick melatonin pill that will knock you out whenever you want. You must learn this. The technique takes practice, so do not be discouraged if you can’t get it right away. It may take weeks, months, or even years to do it well. You may be able to do it in less, but it will still take much practice.
Typically, I can fall asleep in under 30 seconds — sometimes 1 minute. If I have a lot on my mind at the time, it may take longer. Normally, I won’t be able to force myself asleep if I’m 100% awake. I need to be at least somewhat sleepy in order for the practice to really count.
If you do this training for a while, you will start seeing improvements on how quickly you can drift off. Eventually, you won’t even think about it because it will be automatic. Don’t worry if it seems to be taking forever though — consistency is key.
Your brain knows what it is like to fall asleep quickly. You’ve done it before at some point in your life. Whether it was right after lunch on Sunday, or while watching a movie late at night. You have the ability to enter sleep mode quicker than you think. You’re just out of practice. Take this to heart as you train — convince your mind that it does, in fact, know how to do this. At all times, your brain is performing a dozen different processes. It is thinking about multiple things all at once. In order to fall asleep on command, you must train your brain to block out all activity and transition into sleep. This is — at the core — exactly what you are doing every night when you go to sleep. When you lie in bed trying to sleep, you’re waiting on your brain to switch modes of consciousness. The brain can take a long time to make this transition, which is why you sometimes just lie there with your thoughts running everywhere. People are different as well. Some might learn this method easily and be falling asleep in under a minute very soon.
And some will take months to learn it. That’s how it was with me.
It’s also important to note that diet always plays a significant role in the success of any sleep changes. A healthy, more balanced diet will assist you in adapting easier. If you eat a lot of processed, fatty foods, you may find yourself having a ton of difficulty. Avoid this beforehand by improving your diet for at least a week before starting to train.
Whatever the difficulty, don’t give up on yourself. You can do this.
The subconscious mind is in charge of switching to sleep mode. Without efficient control of it, sleep will not come easily — even if your conscious mind is demanding it. The method I’ll show you will train your subconscious to listen to the commands of your conscious mind without hesitation.
Ok so here is the part you’ve been waiting for. If you skipped down to this point, I’d encourage you to read the above sections.
The method includes frequent, timed naps in order to teach yourself to fall asleep quicker. If you have time during the day, start to take short naps each day. Get a timer — it can be on your phone or elsewhere — and set it for 10 – 20 minutes, depending on how much time you have. Most people don’t have 20 minutes in the middle of the day, but if you can find the time anywhere in your schedule, take it. Try to choose a time during the day when you are a bit sleepy. For me, this is usually around 1 or 2 in the afternoon. You want to make sure you are at least a little bit tired, or else you’ll be training your brain to sleep when it doesn’t need to.
Set the timer, lie down, and attempt to fall asleep like you normally would. Try to think about nothing. Have your mind be absent of focus so that it drifts out of consciousness. When your timer runs out, get up and resume your day like usual. Do not hesitate to get up and do not continue trying to sleep, no matter how much longer your schedule will allow you to lay there. This is critical. It’s not easy to do especially if you were just about to fall asleep. But it is important that you obey the timer and move on with your day. While the goal is to fall asleep during this short nap time, don’t worry if you end up just lying there for the whole time. You must train your brain to obey whether you tell it to sleep or get up. It’s okay to do this in the evening too. A good time would be after dinner(6 or 7) — just make sure you don’t accidentally sleep through the night.\
The next part involves training your body to get up at the same time each morning. Set your alarm clock for the same time — say 7 am — and get up right when it goes off. No pressing snooze; no laying there until you feel like getting up. You want to make your brain associate being awake with being active. Correspondingly, you want your brain to associate lying down and closing your eyes with sleeping. Go to sleep at the same time every night too, whether that is 8 pm, 11 pm, or 2 am. Make sure you get enough sleep to keep your body rested.
The point is to take out any transition time that often comes along with sleeping or waking up. Condition your brain to recognize sleep as a limited thing. Not something you can just make up whenever. By not wasting time with these transitions, you train the brain to do the same.
Don’t try to compensate a lack of sleep by going to bed earlier. Stay faithful to your schedule even if it’s difficult.
And DO NOT sleep in. At least until you have become good at falling asleep on command.
I know that sounds horrible. But trust me, if you stick to it you will appreciate your newfound skill much more than sleeping in. Personally, I used to rely on Saturday morning to catch up on sleep. Now I don’t even need to.
Needless to say, I have much more productive Saturdays now.
You’re probably thinking — wow this is really strict. And you’re right. It is that way because your brain needs to see this adaptation as a necessity. Allowing your brain to slack off will only result in more difficulty.
After a while — or however long it takes — you can drop the alarms and sleep whenever you want. If you’ve truly taught your brain to do this, it will stay with you after you stop. The most important thing to remember is to not revert your brain back by falling into old habits. Playing on your phone for an hour, or lying in bed and thinking will only cause your brain to adapt back. You don’t have to be as strict as you were during the training, but still be aware of these things.
Now go. Put this into practice and make the quality of your life better 🙂