How to fall asleep faster?
Millions of people have trouble falling asleep at night. They do whatever it takes to get sleep. Some practice meditation and other relaxation techniques just to fall asleep.
The good news is that a new study found a simple technique on how to fall asleep faster. The result suggests that writing the things you want to accomplish in the next day helps you feel sleepy – fast.
Writing a “to-do” list helps the brain to disengage from many things that preoccupied itself.
The researchers from Baylor University recruited young participants aged 18 to 30 years old. The participants were divided into two groups.
One group was instructed to write the things they wanted to accomplish in the following days. The other group wrote their past experiences in the last few days.
Then the participants slept in the lab. The researchers measured the participants’ brain waves, blood oxygen level, breathing, eye movement, and heart rate.
The finding suggests that the participants who wrote the to-do list fell asleep nine minutes faster than those who wrote their previous experiences. In addition, the more specific the list, the faster the participants fell asleep.
But how does writing future plans affect the sleeping process?
The authors hypothesized that the effect might due to worry. Writing down what-to-do next is a process of foreseeing the uncertain future. You are not sure whether or not you will succeed. This creates worry at the back of your mind.
Secondly, the authors also believed that writing a to-do list allows the mind to unload and empty the consciousness. The freer the mind, the more relaxed you’ll become.
“We live in a 24/7 culture in which our to-do lists seem to be constantly growing and causing us to worry about unfinished tasks at bedtime,” said Michael Scullin, the lead author. “Most people just cycle through their to-do lists in their heads,” Scullin added.
Writing a future plan can be helpful to those who find it hard to fall asleep.
However, the study has several limitations. Because the experiment happened in the lab, the researchers were not sure whether the result was generally due to the activity performed by the participants.
Can the same result be observed in the real world? No one knows. Similar studies on the future might answer the question.
Nonetheless, the idea is worth trying. If you are seeking ways on how to fall asleep faster, try to write down the things you want to accomplish the next day. Make it more specific to maximize the effect.
I’m a licensed psychometrician, author, and blogger. I’m currently working as a University instructor teaching psychology. I love writing and doing psychological research.