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7 Night Routines to Fall Asleep Faster

An overnight eye mask is surrounded by star confetti.

Many people struggle with falling asleep, whether it’s due to constant exposure to blue light-emitting screens or an overactive mind that can’t stop working even when it’s supposed to rest. Luckily, there are some helpful night routines you can try out to (hopefully) help you fall asleep faster.

Screen Detox

A woman looks at her phone while in bed.

Blue light-emitting technology is definitely one of the biggest contributors to sleep issues. Studies show how disruptive this wavelength is, impairing our biological circadian rhythm, keeping us alert, and delaying the release of melatonin—the most important hormone when it comes to sleep.

That’s why experts recommend avoiding blue light at least two to three hours before bedtime. For many people, this is a hard night routine to implement as their favorite way of unwinding includes binging a Netflix show or scrolling through social media (sometimes even at the same time).

Still, if you’re struggling with falling asleep, this might be the most important night routine to try out as it might significantly impact your body’s release of melatonin. However, before going cold turkey, you might think about investing in a pair of blue light glasses and see if that slight change helps.

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Mindful Meditation

A person meditates in front of a large window overlooking a city.
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Meditation has been known to help relax the mind and transition from “fight-or-flight” and to “rest-and-digest” for quite a while. Still, not everyone is ready to sit with their eyes closed and dive deeper into themselves. That’s where a mindful approach comes in as a more familiar concept that can help you become more present and find the best ways to relax.

Whether you choose to sit or lie in a comfortable position and start observing where you are, or you go another route, the choice is up to you. The goal is to notice what’s going on at the exact moment you’re starting your mindful meditation. What can you see, smell, taste, hear, and touch? What can you notice about your surroundings and what kind of emotion does it invoke in you? The more connected you get to the present moment, the easier it will be to “instruct” your mind to relax and calm down.

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Stretch it Out

A woman leans forward over her legs in a stretch.

Stretching your body is another known relaxation technique you can easily implement before bedtime to help your body transition into sleep mode. The goal is to go slow. Focus on deepening your poses, let your breath guide you, and allow your mind to wander. By releasing all expectations and to-do lists, you’re slowly decluttering your brain and sending fresh oxygen and nutrients into your muscles, releasing all tension.

And once the tension is reduced, relaxation naturally follows. Go for 10-15 minutes of slow, mindful, passive stretching. Avoid any force or tension, and deepen your breath as much as possible.

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Calm Your Digestion

A woman wearing a robe looking into a fridge at night.

Issues with falling asleep can sometimes be due to late night meals and your body struggling to digest food. Some people might have no problem with eating until their head hits the pillow, but for most people, eating close to bedtime might cause a delay in falling asleep.

Try to eat dinner a couple of hours before bedtime, especially heavier foods like red meat and rice that will take a long time to digest. You can also stick to lighter meals and see how they affect your sleep.

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Writing Exercise


If going to sleep only makes you think about your schedule and stress about whether you’ll be able to get everything done, try grabbing a pen and paper before bedtime and allowing yourself to write down everything that’s on your mind. It doesn’t have to be pretty, concise, or even make sense. Treat it as a thought dump, freeing your mind from stressful thoughts that keep you awake.

It might be weird at first and could take some time to get used to, but once you get into the habit of writing down everything that is troubling you and telling yourself you’ll revisit it in the morning, sleep might come easier. And who knows, you might see things differently after you “sleep on it.”

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The Breathing Trick

A woman practice breathing while placing her hands on her chest and stomach.

You might have heard of a special kind of breathing technique that’s supposed to help you fall asleep within minutes. It’s called the 4-7-8 breath, and it involves a four-count inhale, a 7-count hold, and a long, 8-count exhale. The pace you use should be comfortable for you, but the goal is to go as slow as possible, stimulating your parasympathetic nervous system and calming yourself down.

For some people, it really does wonders. Others say it distracts them. Try it out for yourself and see if this is the trick you need to switch off with ease.

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At-Home Spa Treatment

Zoom Team/Shutterstock

And last, but not least, giving yourself a pampering at-home session might be the perfect way to teach your body to relax. Get into a warm bath or treat yourself to a long, hot shower, and let the heavy drops act as a self-massage tool.

Studies show that taking a warm bath 90-ish minutes before bed can help you fall asleep 10 minutes quicker than usual, but it’s all about timing. Take the hot bath/shower too close to bedtime, which might elevate your body temperature too much, potentially delaying sleep.

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Maybe you try one, maybe you try them all, but find what night routine works for you and keep on implementing it every night. And if you’re finding it hard to figure out the right sleeping temperature, here’s some insight that might help you out.

Karla Tafra Karla Tafra
Karla is a certified yoga teacher, nutritionist, content creator and an overall wellness coach with over 10 years of international experience in teaching, writing, coaching, and helping others transform their lives. From Croatia to Spain and now, the US, she calls Seattle her new home where she lives and works with her husband. Read Full Bio »
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