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Falling Asleep in Minutes: How Is It Done?

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Warm milk and counting sheep seem to do wonders for sleepless stars in the movies, but how effective are these methods in real life? There are many ways you can alter your bedroom and lifestyle to make those zzz's come a bit easier, from the activities you do during the day to the type of comforter you wrap yourself in at night. 

If you have a hard time falling asleep at night, or you're just looking for a few tips to help you doze off in minutes, keep the following things in mind next time your head hits the pillow.

You Are What You Eat
Some experts warn that eating before sleeping may be a poor decision, while others believe that certain nutrients can actually contribute to a full night's rest. According to the National Sleep Foundation, both schools of thought are correct - drinking caffeine before bed may inhibit certain hormones that contribute to sleep, but foods replete with melatonin may help you doze off at the end of a long day.

The NSF explained that large meals before bed are a big no-no, as they may cause indigestion that can keep you tossing and turning for hours. Instead, if you can't ignore the siren call of your stomach, opt for a small helping of fruits or veggies, as both can help contribute to better sleep.

Exercise During the Day
Adopting a regular physical fitness routine is a great way to condition your body, a process that not only allows you to work on your overall health, but also regulate your body's physiological reactions. According to The New York Times, several scientific studies have been conducted to test the effects of exercise on sleep. The source noted that in one particular trial published in The Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, people who exercised three or four times a week slept, on average, 45 minutes to an hour longer than those who did not.  

Get Cozy
Arranging yourself in a comfy position before bedtime is crucial, as cozy environments can make sleep come much easier. The NSF reported that your mattress and pillows are among some of the most important items in your room, as old or uninviting bedding may not only lack the support you need to sleep, but also be filled with allergens that may keep you up at night. If you're shopping for new bedding, opt for a plush heated mattress pad that can keep you wrapped and warm during your slumber.