7 Mind Tricks To Help You Sleep Faster

Sleep is a vital activity that we must partake in everyday. Getting enough sleep is essential for a healthy mind and body, and is just as important as food, water, and physical activity. Despite this fact, not everyone feels that they are getting enough hours of sleep a night. Whether it’s a minor cause or a serious underlying reason, there are a number of ways that individuals can get better sleep.  

How Much Sleep Do We Need?


First, think about how much sleep you get a night on average. Are you happy with it? Are you full of energy? Or are you quite tired halfway through your day? Obviously, these answers will vary between different people. We have different lifestyles, habits, and needs. What may be satisfactory for one individual may leave another acting like a zombie by the evening.

According to general medical advice, the amount of sleep you need varies by your age:

  • Teenagers aged 14-17→ 8-10 hours
  • Young Adults and Adults aged 18-64→ 7-9 hours
  • Older Adults aged 65+ → 7-8 hours

The younger the children are, the more hours of sleep they need. Sleep is especially important for infants and children’s development. Sources such as NightNod can provide you with more information to help people get a quality’s night sleep.

What Happens During Our Sleep And Why It’s Important

Many biological processes occur during our sleep such as cell restoration, brain forming or processing, maintaining insulin function, and strengthening the immune system. Lack of sleep can affect people mentally and physically when it’s done long-term. Here are specific ways why sleep is critical to your well being:


  • Proper Brain Functioning

Sleep is required for the brain to function properly. During sleep, our neurons and nerve cells reorganize. Moreover, the brain’s glymphatic system (waste-clearance) gets rid of toxic by-products in the central nervous system. This means this affects memory, cognition, concentration, learning, decision making, and creativity.  


  • Emotional Intelligence

Sleep is linked to your emotional and social intelligence or well-being. During sleep, brain activity increases in the areas that are related to regulating emotions (amygdala, hippocampus, insula). Without sufficient sleep, you may not be able to recognize others’ emotions or expressions, or be able to react properly (these parts of the brain may not adapt effectively). In short, you’re less emotionally stable and can even lead to depression.


  • Regulates Weight And Calorie Intake

Several studies have shown that proper sleep can maintain a healthy weight and is helpful in weight loss. Sleep controls hunger hormones, most especially ghrelin (which increases appetite) and leptin (which increases satiety). Lack of sleep leads to an increase in ghrelin and a decrease in leptin. Hence, more feelings of hunger and cravings.  


  • Cellular Restoration And Greater Energy Or Performance

The body simply needs more sleep to restore itself, allowing cells to repair and regrow. Examples include protein synthesis, tissue growth, muscle repair, and hormone release. If you are someone who’s extremely active, this means more energy, better coordination, faster speed, better mental functioning, and performance intensity.  


  • Heart Health

A good amount of sleep regulates the body’s blood pressure, decreases inflammation, lowers cortisol levels, and encourages good insulin function. This means you have a lower risk of getting a heart disease (which high blood pressure is a symptom of). This also reduces the chance of experiencing apnea.  


Reasons Why We Can’t Sleep

In a perfect world, we would all be getting out 7-9 hours of sleep. In reality, our lives are filled with many events, people, and responsibilities that may hinder us from getting a sufficient amount of it. Here are some reasons why we may not be sleeping faster:

  • Too much workload from job or studies
  • Stress, anxiety or depression
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Diet (too much alcohol or caffeine)
  • Existing bad sleeping habits
  • Excessive napping
  • Distracted by technology

The last on the list may sound a little familiar, doesn’t it? Especially this generation, who are so dependent on their phones and social media 24/7.


Sleeping Disorders

If all of the above sound too familiar and you feel that your case may be a little more serious and persistent, here are some sleeping disorders to get you familiar with the symptoms:

  • Insomnia – This is a disorder where it is hard for an individual to fall asleep and keep staying asleep. You may wake up too early and cannot go back to sleep.  
  • Sleep Apnea – This disorder is when an individual experiences abnormal patterns of breathing during sleep. Individuals may still feel tired even after a full night’s sleep. There are many types of apnea and new ways to fix it.  
  • Narcolepsy – This condition is extreme sleepiness throughout the day and falling asleep suddenly.  
  • Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) – This is a sleep movement disorder where an individual feels an uncomfortable sensation and an urge in their legs while trying to fall asleep.  


Tricks to Help You Fall Asleep Faster

If you are ready to take initiative on your sleeping problems, then you came to the right place. Here are some tips and mind tricks to help you tackle your lack of sleep:


1.   Wind Down Time

Give yourself about 30 minutes before you go to bed to relax. Make sure you’re not doing any stressful activities in these 30 minutes. Try reading, journaling or listening to calming music. Journaling is especially recommended; writing down all your thoughts is meant to free your mind from any ideas or stress. This doesn’t need to be organized at all and can be short sentences or doodles.  

Also ensure that you are not looking at any bright screens–so no TV and no phones. It’s also critical to not look at your clock either. This will just continue to stress you out by reminding you that you’re not sleeping. Try to have dimmed lights during this time.  


2.   Redesign Your Room

Some environmental factors that you can change is the design of your bedroom. These may be subtle, but they will actually play tricks on your mind that may help you sleep faster. First, remove any clutter out of your view (wires or your work papers). If your desk is in your view from your bed, definitely try to rearrange a little.  

Second, pick a great comfortable mattress and then choose your sheets wisely. This means choosing ones that have a solid color. This is because, sometimes, crazy colours and patterns may distract your mind and are not exactly the most calming imagery. Finally, pick your colours wisely. Blue is the most calming, but grays, silver, light green, and neutral colors are also known to lower your heart rate and your blood pressure.  


 3.   Try the 4-7-8 Breathing Method

This breathing method is a form of meditation. First step is to place your tongue behind your front teeth, on the roof of your mouth. Breathe in through your nose while counting to four in your head. For seven seconds, hold your breath, then breath out for eight seconds, making a quiet whooshing sound. Try this for four times and try to do so mindlessly. It may take a couple of tries to get it right.  


4.   Count Backwards

Another method is to try counting backwards. This may be boring and you might give up in the beginning. Truly try this and start with a high number. Clear your mind, and try enunciating the numbers in your head to solely focus on this task.  


5.   Muscle Tightening And Relaxing

This takes mental and physical effort that will help you unwind. Starting from the head and then down to your toes, what you do is tighten or tense your muscles and count 3-5 seconds in your head. When you release, breathe out and imagine the tension leaving your body. After each muscle, pause for 10 seconds. This exercise promotes relaxation throughout the body.  


6.   The Military Method

This method is famously used with pilots and only takes 120 seconds to work. It took six weeks for pilots to master this, but it completely worked even with the influence of caffeine and noises in the background.

Relax your entire face, drop your shoulders, and have your hands relaxed on the side of your body. Exhale and relax your legs, calves, and thighs. Clear your mind by imagining a calm, serene scene or happy place. If this doesn’t work, say the words “don’t think” repeatedly for 10 seconds. Over time, this should start to work!


7.   Try To Actually Stay Awake

Sounds simple and silly. However, we often do the opposite of what we want to do. This is sort of reverse psychology. Trying to fall asleep can cause performance anxiety. So, instead try to stay awake (but without any tangible distractions) and your mind will probably do the opposite.  



As you have read, sleep can be a complex thing. There are many benefits to sleep that affect your mental and physical health. It’s critical to consider your sleeping habits now before they turn into a serious sleeping disorder in the future, or even affect your happiness and well being. You now have many mind tricks available to choose from–all it needs now is your focus and eagerness for a good night’s rest. Sweet dreams.  



HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our health risk assessment, body fat and calories burned calculators. The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.

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Written by HealthStatus
Medical Writer & Editor

HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our health risk assessment, body fat and calories burned calculators. The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.

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