Lying in bed, waiting for sleep can be frustrating. You toss and turn in bed for several minutes before finally dozing off. If this sounds familiar, we are here to answer the question you all have. How long does it take to fall asleep?
On average, it takes 10 to 20 minutes to fall asleep.
On some nights, however, you might take longer to fall asleep. And, some days you might fall asleep faster than usual. That is perfectly normal. However, if it happens regularly, you might have some underlying disorder.
How Long Should It Take to Fall Asleep?
William C Dement, a researcher at Stanford University, developed the Multiple Sleep Latency Test to measure how long does it take for someone to fall asleep.
Dement’s study and future research showed that it takes 10 to 20 minutes for an average person to fall asleep.
Your sleep latency or the time taken to fall asleep depends on your perceived level of sleepiness. Dement’s study showed that the mind and body are aware of how much sleep you require. That impacts your sleep behavior directly. The more tired and sleepy you feel the lesser time it will take to fall asleep.
Reasons You Can’t Fall Asleep
You might have wondered, “Why does it take so long to fall asleep?” There might be several reasons you can’t fall asleep. Let’s take a look at each of them.
Going to Sleep Too Early
If you are going to bed too early or before your usual time, you might have a hard time falling asleep.
Your body has a circadian rhythm that tells it when it’s time to sleep or wake up. Everyone’s biological clock and circadian rhythm are different. Some people might be more active in the evening. While others might prefer to wake up early in the morning. If you don’t follow your biological clock, you might not be able to fall asleep.
Read our blog to get tips on how to fix your sleep schedule.
Poor Sleep Hygiene
Sleep hygiene involves your nighttime activities and the environment of your bedroom. You will experience difficulty falling asleep if you do any of the following.
- Late-night exercise– It can overstimulate you, making it hard to relax and sleep.
- Drinking caffeine – If you drink tea, coffee, or other caffeinated drinks after the evening, the caffeine will keep you active. Thus, you won’t be able to fall asleep fast.
- Having a heavy dinner- Research shows that oily and spicy food can disrupt sleep. Your stomach will have a hard time digesting them, preventing you from getting a peaceful night of sleep.
- Using devices before sleeping- Blue light from your devices can mess up with your sleep schedule. It hinders the production of melatonin ( the sleep hormone) and prevents you from falling asleep. Moreover, the endless notifications on social media do not allow your brain to shut down.
Pro tip- – Get into a bedtime ritual. You can choose a calm and relaxing activity like meditation and reading to unwind for the day.
Know more about proper sleep hygiene by reading our blog.
Are you sleeping more than required? Then you might find it difficult to fall asleep quickly at night.
An average adult requires about 7- 8 hours of sleep. If you are oversleeping, you will end up tossing and turning in bed at night.
What Does It Mean If You Fall Asleep Fast?
The average time to fall asleep ranges from 10 to 20 minutes. If you fall asleep faster than that, you might be too tired. However, if it happens frequently, there might be some underlying condition that needs immediate attention.
Falling asleep too fast might be a sign of sleep deprivation. If you are not getting adequate sleep every night, you will be too tired by the end of the day. Thus, you might fall asleep within minutes of hitting the bed.
Not getting enough sleep can lead to severe health disorders. So, fix your sleep schedule before it’s too late. However, if you get adequate sleep and are still falling asleep too quickly, consult your doctor to see if you have any disorder.
Have you ever asked yourself, “How long should I sleep?” Read our blog to find out how much sleep you require.
How to Fall Asleep Fast?
There are several ways to fall asleep quickly. Here are some tips that can help you bid goodbye to sleepless nights.
Meditation relaxes your mind and calms you down. As you focus on your breathing, all your day’s stress vanishes. Thus, you will be able to fall asleep faster and get better sleep too.
Have Your Dinner Early
Make sure you eat your dinner at least a couple of hours before going to bed. That will give your stomach enough time to digest the food. But if you eat just before sleeping, your body will have a hard time digesting the food. Thus, you might experience acid reflux and heartburns, preventing you from falling asleep.
Avoid Caffeine at Night
You might crave a cup of your favorite coffee in the evening. But it might overstimulate you, keeping you awake at night. Try cutting off caffeine intake in the latter half of the day. That will help you fall asleep faster.
You can have a soothing cup of green tea or chamomile tea to help you sleep faster and better.
Keep Your Bedroom Cool
When your body cools down, you tend to sleep. So, keeping your bedroom cool will help you doze off quickly.
You must have noticed how you go off to sleep fast on winter nights. But on a hot and humid summer day, you can end up feeling uncomfortable.
Exercise, But Not Before Sleeping
Make sure you do some form of exercise every day. Most of us sit for long hours due to work. Physical activity will tire your body out and help you fall asleep faster.
You should, however, take care not to indulge in intense physical activities before going to bed. That will overstimulate you, preventing a good night’s sleep.
Keep Your Phone Away
You might get tempted to check those notifications or watch a few episodes of your favorite show. But the blue light from your phone will interrupt the melatonin production of your body, keeping you awake. So, keep your phone away at least 30 minutes before hopping to bed.
You already know that staring at your screen before going to bed is harmful. So, when are you implementing it?
Get Up and Do Something Relaxing
Stop worrying about how long does it take to go to sleep. If you are unable to get to sleep within 20 minutes, get up. Yes, go out of your bed and do something soothing and relaxing. You can read a book or listen to some soft music. Then go back to bed when you feel sleepy again.
Now that you know how long does it take the average person to fall asleep, you will understand whether you take more or less than that to doze off. If you are taking excessively longer to fall asleep, consult your doctor immediately.
After all, sound sleep is the key to a healthier life. Read our blog to know more about why sleep is important.
Babies can take more than 20 minutes to fall asleep. That’s because they are still learning and hence can’t go to sleep quickly like adults.
If you have taken melatonin, you will feel sleepy within 30 minutes. Sometimes, melatonin might take 1 to 2 hours to work.
An insomniac might take more than an hour to fall asleep. You can consult your doctor to know how to quickly fall asleep if you have insomnia.
It takes about 90 minutes to enter REM or Rapid Eye Movement Sleep. The first REM sleep phase lasts for 10 minutes.
When you try to fall asleep, think about nothing. If you find it hard to clear your mind, you can imagine a calm and serene place in your mind. That will relax your mind, helping you go to sleep faster.
If you are wondering how to quickly fall asleep, you can trickle a banana or strawberries. They are rich in melatonin and can help you doze off quickly.