Falling asleep shouldn’t be that hard. And yet, it’s been a struggle for me my entire adult life. Seems I’m not alone:
The American Sleep Association (ASA) says that 50 million to 70 million U.S. adults have a sleep disorder. Among that group, insomnia is the most common.
Combine that with the fact that getting enough sleep is critical to your health and well-being, and we’ve got a problem, Houston.
We often justify shorting ourselves on sleep because we’ve got work to do. Sleep research reveals, however, that your brain is also working on important stuff while you sleep.
While we sleep, our brains are intensely active, taking care of things like memory consolidation, cognitive maintenance and neurochemical cleansing. As Dr. Maiken Nedergaard from the University of Rochester explains, it’s like bringing in the overnight cleaning crew to sweep the garbage that’s accumulated during the day — except in this case, the garbage is made up of toxic proteins that, when they build up, are associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re an early riser or a night owl. What matters is that you get 7-9 hours of sleep a night, which means being able to fall asleep in the first place.
Sleep all that you can sleep
Here comes the U.S. Army to the rescue. If you think it’s hard to fall asleep in your comfy bed, imagine trying to nod off in a foxhole.
The military wants to avoid mistakes due to a soldier’s lack of shut eye. To help, they devised a method that’s supposed to put you to sleep within two minutes.
The technique involves muscle relaxation, breathing, and visualization. At the end of the simple steps outlined in the article below, you lie down and drift off to sleep within a few minutes. Let me know if it works for you.