17 Ways To Fall Asleep Faster

3. The 4-7-8 Exercise

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If you can focus on your breathing, everything will fall into place. Especially the ZZZs. Dr. Andrew Weil, a Harvard-trained medical doctor with a focus on holistic health, knows that breathing can influence your mood and can calm you. He says The 4-7-8 Breathing Exercise (a.k.a. The Relaxing Breath) is “a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system.” Here’s how you do it. Exhale completely through your mouth. Blow slowly, so you hear the air escaping. Then, close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose while silently counting to four. Hold your breath for seven. (Holding your breath is the most important part.) Exhale completely and noisily again for eight seconds. Lather, rinse repeat four times. Lilah tov. (Good night in Hebrew.)

4. Dim The Lights

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Let’s talk about the “light cycle,” our biological need for alternating periods of light and dark. Give the “light cycle” a little help at home by dimming your lights an hour or two before you turn them off. Our brains react differently to different types of light, and this can cause mental alertness or drowsiness, depending on the position of the light switch. Artificial light at night tricks your brain into thinking it’s time to be up, and it inhibits the production of melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that helps regulate your sleep and wake cycles. At night, you want melatonin. Try turning down the overhead lights as well as the lights on your screens: your computer screen, your smartphone and any other device you might use before bedtime. (See #6.). The softer ambient light might make for a softer entry into sleep. Tesbah ala kheer. (Good night in Arabic.)