- If you wish to begin sleeping quickly at night, the first step is to avoid taking a nap in the day. As your body gets its sleep time in the day, it refreshes itself for the day, thus, disturbing the sleep schedule.
- No more caffeinated drinks in the night. Caffeine is used by people to decrease exhaustion and escape sleep. This, in turn makes us more alert, and less willing to go to sleep. If you want to sleep quickly and well, avoid drinking drinks with caffeine in the night. So, no more coffees (etc.) at night!
- Listen to soothing music. Music is known to increase the quality of sleep we get. This is also why we usually sing bedtime nursery rhymes or lullabies to children to put them to sleep. For adults however, instrumental or generally relaxing music can set the mood for a good sleep.
- Do not place a clock in front of your bed, or on your bedside. If we are unable to sleep, we continue watching the clock; counting down the hours remaining before we are scheduled to wake up for office/school. This can result in greater awareness of how we are not getting sleep, and the rising pressure of the ‘need for sleep’. This pressure further takes sleep away from us.
If you have a clock in eye’s view from your bed – remove it.
- Switch off your phone, laptop, iPad, or other technological devices and keep them away from you. To sleep, there is the need for production of a certain special hormone ‘Melatonin’ in the human body, which controls our sleep cycle. As we continue to stare at screens of cell phones or television (etc.), the UV light emitted from such screens hinders the production of Melatonin, thereby making it difficult to fall asleep.
- Take out your journal, and spend 15 minutes writing about your day’s doings. One of the most common reasons why we don’t fall asleep quickly, is because thoughts of the day continue to run in our minds. This creates stress and anxiety, which restricts sleep. Writing down such thoughts in a journal however, gets them out of our way – making way for improved, quick sleep.
- Lastly, know what sleep position works for you. People sleep three ways; on their stomachs, back, and sideways. Observe your sleeping pattern and the position in which you usually sleep. When you go off to sleep, immediately bring yourselves to your observed sleeping condition – and let the sleep time begin.
How to Make a Baby Fall Asleep
Getting a baby, especially a new-born, to sleep is no easy feat. However, it can be achieved after some smart planning from the parents.
- Know the signs of a sleepy baby, and put them down to sleep exactly then. Each child will behave differently when they become tired, thus it is up to the parents to discover the signs. While some may appear more fussy than usual, others may begin to rub their eyes, or even begin pulling their ears. When you see them doing anything like that – it is show time: take the child to bed.
- Begin dimming the light an hour or two prior to bedtime. Since children don’t exactly know the time, controlling the lights helps set their internal clock. People associate ‘light’ with the day, and ‘darkness’ with the night. In the same way, as you begin to dim the lights as sleep time for the baby approaches, the child knows it is time to sleep, and thus will sleep much easily and better.
- Switch on a dim night light at maximum in the room the baby has to sleep in, and make sure it is far away from the bed and drapes. If the room has too much light, the light comes in the way of Melatonin production; the hormone which controls the sleep/wake cycle of the human body. If the light is near the bed, it will continue to keep the child awake, while light near the drapes may result in shadows on the curtains; another reason which does not allow the child to sleep.
- Swaddle the baby. This works wonders for a newborn baby. Babies have a startle reflex system, in which during sleep they feel as if they are falling, and thus startle themselves awake immediately. However, after they are carefully wrapped in a cloth, they feel snug and comfortable – just as they did in their mother’s womb – and do not startle awake. This is probably why even infants and toddlers liked to be tucked into bed at nighttime; their idea of being swaddled.
- Do not interact with the child. If you look your child in the eye, or try to play with them just before putting them to sleep; in most cases, the child will not fall asleep. This is because eye contact gives the idea to children that the parents want to play. Play time means sleep time goes bye-bye!
- Make your bed time routine with the child. This can be singing a lullaby, a bed time story, or giving them a good night kiss. Do your routine, and the child is bound to go to sleep immediately after.