50 Sleep Tips That Will Make You Fall Asleep In 7 Minutes Or Less

I’ve always been envious of people who look at their pillows before bedtime and automatically start yawning and feeling sleepy.

For me, sleep has never worked that way. There’s nothing “easy” about it. In fact, I sometimes still feel a sense of dread around bedtime, because I have a history of insomnia.

Even on good nights, I have delayed sleep onset. That is a permanent part of my life. I simply do not get to the point where my body is ready for sleep until around 1 or 2 in the morning. This seems to be a constant regardless of when I wake up.

Add to that performance anxiety related to sleep, night terrors, and regular migraines, and I have a recipe for insomnia that is hard to beat.

Thankfully, I can say that over the years, I have become a whole lot better at falling asleep in a timely fashion and actually getting the 6-9 hours I need to function at my best.

How do I do it? Well, I have a highly specific routine which works for me. You are going to need to find one which works for you.

In this article, I am going to share 50 sleep tips with you which can help you fall asleep ridiculously fast. Some of these are tips I use, while others are recommendations which work for other people.

Remember, there is no one “right” way to fall asleep fast. Each of us has unique obstacles in our way, and each of us has an ideal sleep cycle which is specific to us.

What You Shouldn’t Do to Fall Asleep Fast

Before I jump into the list, I want to tell you one thing you should not do to fall asleep quickly, and that is rely on sleep medications.

Many OTC sleep medications fall under a category of drugs which are referred to as “anticholinergic” medications.

sleeping medications

While these medications are non-addicting, they do have a couple of risks.

First of all, even though you will not become physiologically addicted to them, you may become psychologically dependent on them.

Secondly, even more seriously, there has been research which links them to a significantly increased risk of cognitive impairment and even dementia. 

Not only that, but sleep medications do not appear to actually be all that effective.

Even prescription medications generally only help you fall asleep between 3-34 minutes faster than a placebo.

So I recommend steering clear of these medications. Their side effects (which may include daytime drowsiness and dizziness) and their risks (i.e. dementia) just are not worth it for their minimal benefits.

I actually did over-use sleep medications for an extended time period after I started having panic attacks a number of years ago.

But after I saw the research, I quit cold turkey. Since then, I’ve found better, healthier ways to fall asleep.

Was it easy? No. Was I scared to try? Yes. But it’s worked out for me, and it can for you too.

50 Tips to Fall Asleep Fast

So now that you know what you shouldn’t be doing to fall asleep fast, what can you do to maximize the zzzz’s you are getting? Here are 50 tips to help you fall asleep fast when your head hits the pillow!

Timing is Everything

1. Get your circadian rhythms working.

expose to sunlight

Your “circadian rhythm” is your internal clock. When you get proper sunlight exposure during the day and darkness at night, your clock works correctly, regulating your hormones and getting your body sleepy after the sun sets. 

A lot of people miss out on this however because they work indoors all day and don’t get enough sun.

Expose yourself to bright, blue-toned light during the day and you can get your body clock back in gear and have an easier time sleeping at night.

2. Avoid blue light at nighttime.

Conversely, you need to avoid blue light at night, because it sends your body clock a “daytime” message, keeping you awake

Our laptops, phones, and television screens produce blue-toned light. So make sure they are all turned off when you are trying to sleep, and consider limiting their use in the hours leading up to bed. Alternately, use apps which block blue light.


3. Try not to exercise at night if you find it keeps you up.


Working out at night seems to rev some people up, keeping them awake. For others, it makes no difference at all. Pay attention to the effect it has on you. If you need to reschedule your workouts, do so.

4. Caffeine should be avoided at night.

Believe it or not, a cup of coffee as much as six hours before bed can disrupt sleep. Caffeine seems to affect some people more than others. If you find it gives you the jitters and keeps you awake, think about drinking it only in the morning or early afternoon.

5. Stay away from alcohol late at night.


Alcohol gets in the way of melatonin production. Melatonin is a key sleep hormone, so disrupting its production can keep you awake. Try not to drink too late at night.

6. Avoid drinking a lot of liquids of any sort right before bedtime.

At that rate, having to use the bathroom a lot at night can disturb your sleep for obvious reasons. So try not to drink a lot of liquids directly before bedtime.

7. Don’t eat big meals late at night.

Generally speaking, late night meals reduce melatonin production, keeping you awake. Really need a snack? Choose something which contains tryptophan, like turkey. Tryptophan can help induce sleepiness.

big meals at night

8. Figure out when your “sleep windows” are, and build your sleep routine around them.

One of the single best things I ever did for myself was accept my delayed sleep onset, and stop trying to stick to a “normal” schedule of going to bed at 11 pm or midnight. I am usually not sleepy until 1:30-2:30 in the morning. So if I went to bed earlier, I’d lie awake, tossing and turning and thinking about my life problems.

Now I go to bed right before the start of that window, which is when I am most likely to fall asleep fast. This prevents me from getting caught up in thinking about my life, which in turn means I usually do fall asleep quickly.

I’ve noticed I actually have several “sleep windows” throughout the night. You probably do too. Figure out when they are, and pick the one which is the best fit for your body, mind and schedule.

9. Keep your sleep schedule consistent every day.


Once you do figure out the best time to go to bed and wake up, try and go to bed and wake up at the exact same time every day. This goes back to maintaining your circadian rhythms. You need to teach your body to form habits with hormone production.

Optimize Your Sleep Environment

10. Sleep in total darkness or a dimly lit room.

Because of our circadian rhythms, most people sleep best in very dark environments. Some like nightlights, some do not. Make sure your room is lit to your satisfaction. If it is too bright, it may keep you up.

dark bedroom

11. Consider investing in lights which dim gradually in the evening.

Lights which simulate sunset can help a lot of people fall asleep, especially in locations where day or night are excessively long (i.e. living close to one of the poles).

12. Find a way to block out disruptive noises.

loud noise

Random noises like conversation or traffic can interrupt our sleep. Do what you can to dampen as many of these sounds as possible.

13. Don’t like silence? Try white noise

Some people love silent sleep environments. But for others, they can as problematic as noisy ones (especially for those who suffer tinnitus).

To deal with that problem, get a white noise machine, or play white noise from your computer. Unlike random noise, white noise does not disrupt sleep—it can even help induce it. 

This is because it actually blocks our perception of disruptive random sounds. It also screens out tinnitus.

14. Avoid earworm-inducing music before bed.

Prone to earworms? I am, and they can actually keep me awake. If I have any expectation of sleep being challenging on a given day (because I am fatigued or anxious that day), I avoid music with strong hooks. I stick with classical and instrumental music that isn’t going to stick in my head. It helps.

15. Ensure that your bed is comfortable and provides the support you need.

If your bed isn’t giving you the support you need for comfortable, restful, pain-free sleep, naturally that is going to stand in your way. Invest in a quality pillow and mattress.

16. Use aromatherapy.

Even what we smell can have an influence on our physiological state. Did you know that certain essential oils such as lavender can actually help us relax? Consider surrounding yourself in these beautiful, soothing scents as you fall asleep.


17. Check that the temperature of your sleeping environment is neither too hot nor too cold.

Believe it or not, how hot or cold you are may actually have even more of an influence on your sleep than how noisy your sleep environment is. 

Do what you need to do in order to make sure that you are neither shivering nor overheating in bed.

This can be extra challenging for some people. For example, for some reason (likely hormonal) I get very cold while trying to fall asleep, but after I do, my body warms up and I am comfortable.

I’ve gotten used to just putting on extra layers at bedtime and then stripping them off later in the night. This is annoying, but it has done a lot to help me fall asleep fast. There is no point lying awake shivering.

Believe it or not, how hot or cold you are may actually have even more of an influence on your sleep than how noisy your sleep environment is. 

Do what you need to do in order to make sure that you are neither shivering nor overheating in bed.

This can be extra challenging for some people. For example, for some reason (likely hormonal) I get very cold while trying to fall asleep, but after I do, my body warms up and I am comfortable.

I’ve gotten used to just putting on extra layers at bedtime and then stripping them off later in the night. This is annoying, but it has done a lot to help me fall asleep fast. There is no point lying awake shivering.

18. Use your bed only for sleeping.

If you use your bed to watch TV, read, and so on, you may associate it with being awake. Stimulus control therapy involves breaking these associations. If the only thing you do in bed is sleep, then your brain starts to think “sleep” whenever you climb into bed. Give this a try if you haven’t. It helps a lot of people.

If you use your bed to watch TV, read, and so on, you may associate it with being awake. Stimulus control therapy involves breaking these associations. If the only thing you do in bed is sleep, then your brain starts to think “sleep” whenever you climb into bed. Give this a try if you haven’t. It helps a lot of people.

Adopt a Healthy Lifestyle

19. Exercise more.

Don’t work out often? You should. Getting your exercise can help you experience better sleep.

20. Don’t smoke.

do not smoke

Hopefully you already know that smoking is bad for you and don’t do it, but if you are a smoker, here is one more reason to quit. Nicotine can get in the way of healthy REM sleep.

21. Don’t take naps.

Napping is a complicated topic when it comes to sleep. It seems to have an adverse effect on some people and not on others. Its effects can vary by age group and may even depend on the length of the naps in question. 

A good rule of thumb is to keep your naps under 30 minutes. This is less likely than longer naps to screw up your circadian rhythms. Go with your own experiences though, since what is true for one person may not be true for another.

22. Don’t do anything which gives you a late-night adrenaline rush.

Anything which kicks you into fight-or-flight mode before bed is going to massively disrupt your sleep.

If you have panic disorder, this is a major problem, since you can be thrown into an adrenaline rush by a simple thought (including the fear of not falling asleep).

So whatever you do, don’t actually invite adrenaline—even in small, seemingly trivial ways. For me, that sometimes means putting off that big boss fight in my video game until tomorrow.

23. If you did build up adrenaline in your system, purge it before bed.

If you somehow do wind up with excess adrenaline pumping through your body around bedtime, find a way to burn it off fast. Otherwise you have to wait for it to wind down on its own—which isn’t easy if you’re stuck in a panicky loop.

For me, simply taking a walk outside usually is the best way to deal with this.

This works really well if I’ve been tossing and turning for a few hours, and have built up panic around my insomnia. At that point, my heart is pounding, my arms and legs are tingling, and I’m wide awake.

If I go out and walk for ten minutes and come back, I often fall asleep surprisingly fast upon returning.

24. Think about taking a warm bath or shower right before bed.

Multiple studies have demonstrated that a bath or shower can boost sleep quality. A footbath can work too.

25. Get a massage, if you have someone willing.

Massage has proven effective in inducing relaxation and sleep. If you have someone around who is good at this and willing to help you out now and again, this is another great sleep aid.

26. Practice relaxation techniques before bed.

There are a lot of different relaxation techniques you can use to put your body and mind into a more relaxed state at bedtime. Research has backed the effectiveness of many of these techniques. Some examples of techniques you can try include: 

  • Mindfulness meditation​
  • Deep breathing (more on that shortly)
  • Visualization
  • Progressive muscle relaxation
  • Etc. 

Try popular techniques out, but don’t be afraid to adapt them to your personality and needs.

27. Try out biofeedback therapy.

If you have the budget for it, you can train your body and mind through biofeedback therapy. A lot of people swear by this for improving relaxation and sleep.

28. Try out deep breathing.

Deep breathing is a simple, effective way to induce relaxation, curbing your adrenaline response and inducing relaxation.

A lot of people like the 4-8-7 technique. Breathe in for 4 counts, hold for 8, and release for 7.

I like the 4-4-4-4 used by the SEALs. Breathe in for 4 counts, hold for 4, release for 4, hold empty for 4, repeat.

What is really important is that you are spending less time breathing in than you are holding and/or breathing out.

This tells your body you are not desperately drawing in oxygen. If you keep sucking in air for all you are worth, you send a “panic” message to your body.

29. Avoid dealing with life problems late at night (finances, etc.).


One thing not to do around bedtime is spend time working on serious life issues. If you do your budget late at night, or you read that dreaded email from your mother-in-law, you will go to bed with your brain in problem-solving mode. On top of that, you may feel anxious.

The last thing your body is going to want to do is go to sleep when you have sent it the message that you have a dire predicament which needs to be dealt with right now.

So resolve to deal with these hassles during the earlier part of the day, and avoid them at night altogether.

30. Write down your problems to externalize them if you have to.

If you still can’t stop mulling over your problems before bed, try writing them down in a journal. This externalizes them. It’s a way to tell your brain, “It’s okay, we are not going to forget about this. We can work on this in the morning.”

31. Do an activity which creates the “Tetris Effect.

Ever ride roller coasters at an amusement park all day, and then experience that same sensation in bed at night? Ever play a video game for hours and fall asleep to mental images of it later? This is called the Tetris Effect

Read up on it—it’s very cool. Some people love it, others hate it. I find it forms a kind of “bridge” to falling asleep, so doing activities which induce it can actually help me sleep.

32. Find a way to get out of your own head.

When we fall asleep, we lose our sense of ourselves. It is an ego-fracturing process. So the last thing that is going to help is focusing on your own life.

Do something which helps you stop thinking about yourself before bed. Read a book or watch a movie. Play a video game. Look at the world through someone else’s eyes. I play video games every night before bed in part for this reason. By the time I get to bed, I have been actively not thinking about my problems for an hour or more. It has made a massive difference.

33. Sexual activity before bed helps some people.

Like exercise, this can be hit-or-miss depending on how it plays out with your body and mind. I remember it worked great for me when I was younger, but does the opposite now. If it works for you, go for it!

While In Bed …

34. Do not “try” to fall asleep or worry incessantly about sleeping. Focus on “resting,” not “sleeping.”

The more you worry about sleeping, the more performance anxiety you will build. So while you are in bed, do not focus on falling asleep. It usually works best if it happens unconsciously and organically on its own. If you need to, just focus on “resting.” You can do that even while awake. Let sleep happen on its own.

35. Resist the urge to converse about heavy subjects.

If you share a bed or a room, try not to engage in deep, serious conversations late at night. They can too easily lead to anxious moments or problem-solving sessions. These may keep you awake. 

36. If you have to actively think about something, try and make it something that doesn’t directly involve you.

In other words, daydream—but best case scenario, not about yourself. Think about a TV show you like, a book you are reading, a game you are playing, a story in your head, whatever. This is again about letting go of the day’s worries and allowing your ego to slide into the backdrop.

37. Don’t fight against falling asleep.

Falling asleep can be can be an awkwardly conscious process for someone with insomnia, often involving stages. Amazingly enough, I sometimes struggle against them, probably because I don’t always enjoy dissociating—or there is a thought I feel compelled to finish. Try not to do this. Just let go.

39. If you need to take a bathroom break, time it with care.

This might sound weird if you don’t have an overactive bladder—but if you do, it can be critical to time your last bathroom break before falling asleep perfectly.

Basically, wait too long and you might miss your sleep window. Go too early though, and you might find yourself having to go again anyway, disrupting the window and forcing you to wait until the next one.

I notice when I get the very first hypnagogic hallucinations, it is time to get up and use the bathroom. I usually then fall asleep quite quickly when I get back in bed. The next time I have to use the bathroom, I usually am coming out of a dead sleep which is easy to return to.

40. Don’t try to make sense out of your hallucinations.

If you do fall asleep in stages, including some weird hallucinations along the way, just watch them passively. If you take special note of one even for an instant, it usually snaps you back into a state of alertness. Ideally, you want to kind of submerge your ego under the weird trip, not keep analyzing it, however interesting it is.

41. Remind yourself of the things you like about sleep.

If you really struggle to sleep, it can get stressful. If you are tossing and turning, it always helps to remind yourself of things you enjoy about sleep, like lucid dreaming. Eventually, you’ll get there. Try and find some contentment in knowing you will eventually be enjoying pleasant dreams.

42. Think nice, reassuring thoughts of all the lovely times in your life you’ve struggled to stay awake.

Sometimes when I can’t sleep, I just flash back on all the times in high school I couldn’t get enough sleep. I remember how I couldn’t stay awake in class no matter how hard I tried.

It’s reassuring thinking about that. The point is that if you are tired enough long enough, you will sleep. Remembering that can help you quit worrying and have more faith in your body.

43. Remember, you’ve got millions of years of evolution on your side.

When you suffer from insomnia, you can start to feel like sleep simply won’t “work” for you.

But sleep cycles have worked fine on the whole for millions of years, both for humans and other animals. Your fear and anxiety may feel massive, but they are no match for the workings of millions of years of evolution. Sleep will triumph.

I actually tell myself this when I can’t sleep, and it helps soothe my performance anxiety. Remember, you don’t have to perform—your body does. Millions of years of development have gone into seeing that it will, even with obstacles in the way. Your cavemen ancestors had to contend with the same threats to their everyday survival you do, and they slept. You will too.

Additional Tips and Ideas

44. Rule out sleep disorders.

In some cases, there might be a chance you have a physiological sleep disorder, like sleep apnea. If you suspect this to be the case, you should talk to a sleep specialist. If you do not treat the disorder, there is no way you will get restful sleep on your own.

45. If necessary, get yourself screened for depression, anxiety, OCD, and other psychological conditions which may interfere with sleep.

There are a number of neurological and psychological conditions which can make it harder for you to sleep than it would be for someone without them.

If you think you may have one of these conditions, treating it can go a long way toward promoting fast sleep.

46. Confront the problems in your life you may be avoiding.

While anxiety and depression are sometimes clinical in nature, oftentimes they are related to real-life events.

If there are issues in your life which you are not addressing, tackling them directly may help you finally get the rest you need.

47. Re-evaluate your life priorities.

In some cases, the problem may be the exact opposite—you could be spending a lot of time worrying and trying to resolve issues which are better to let go of, at least at night.

By definition, if you are pouring energy and time into dealing with other issues when you should be sleeping, you are prioritizing these issues above your health.

But if you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything.

So make a decision to put your health and well-being first, and know that starts in part with getting adequate sleep.

Do that, and you will have a much better shot dealing with finding a job, fixing a broken relationship, or handling other issues in your life.

48. Try natural supplements.

natural supplements

While you should avoid OTC and prescription sleep meds if possible, there are some natural supplements you can try to fall asleep quickly: 

  • Melatonin
  • Valerian
  • Gingko Biloba
  • Magnesium
  • Lavender
  • Passionflower
  • L-Theanine
  • Glycine

You can find research backing up all of these.

49. Try marijuana.

A lot of people swear by cannabis for falling asleep quickly. Note that there are some pros and cons to using it for insomnia, so make sure you understand them thoroughly before you try it.

50. Always remember that what works for you will be specific to you.

Finally, no matter what techniques you use to fall asleep fast, always keep in mind that you are your own person. You have a unique set of physical and psychological needs.

If something doesn’t work for you, no matter how many people say it works wonders for them, that isn’t the right technique for you. So don’t waste time and energy on it.

If something does work for you that seems counterintuitive to other people, just go with it. All that matters is that you are getting a good night’s sleep.

Conclusion: It’s Hard Dealing with Insomnia, But You Can Learn to Fall Asleep Fast

Now you have a lot of great ideas to help you fall asleep fast at night. As you can see, some tricks and tips are things you can do in the moment, while others concern your sleep environment or your overall lifestyle.

It does take time and effort as well as some trial and error to figure out the best techniques, timing, and sleep hygiene to fit your personal needs and lifestyle. Once you do get a routine down that works though, you will find it improves not just your sleep, but your overall health and well-being. I did it, and so can you.

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About the Author

Peekaboo! Barbara speaking. I'm currently the Chief Editor at Sleep Titan and my job is to make sure that the i's are dotted and the t's are crossed on all of our amazing content! The lovely people here at Sleep Titan often tell me that my Friendly Superpowers come out after a glass of wine, but personally, I prefer a strong IPA. The sort of strength that screams alpha all the way! Maybe that's the reason why everyone wants me to have a drink around here. Right?!

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