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Get to sleep faster with these tips and tricks

Posted on March 8th, 2022

Did you know there are ways to get yourself and your kids to sleep faster? It can be hard to settle down for sleep after a busy or stressful day. The tips and tricks shared below will help you get to sleep faster so your brain and body can do the work of sleep.

Turn off the screens or at least change the mode

The blue light from screens confuses your brain and keeps you awake when you should be winding down for sleep. Researchers have found that the light from screens keeps your body from releasing melatonin, the hormone that helps you get to sleep and stay asleep. It also keeps your body temperature high, telling your brain it’s time to be awake.

If you want good, healthy sleep, stop the screens (yes, even your phone) at least two hours before bed. Read those bedtime books on an e-ink e-reader, not a phone. Or, if you can’t afford to stop work that early, at least switch your screen to a different lighting mode.

Change the tone of the LED lights

Blue LED lights, the most common kind, have the same effect as screens do. However, it’s now possible to buy yellow or orange LEDs or even ‘smart’ LEDs that go from bright blue in the morning to a red light in the evening. Smart bulbs are now pretty affordable, costing around $7 each, so they’re a great way to improve sleep. Start with the bedrooms and gradually add them to the rooms where your family spends their evening hours.

Take a hot shower at bedtime

A hot shower relaxes your body, opens and humidifies your airways, and prepares your body to sleep. A cold shower does the opposite. If you have trouble unwinding before bed, try moving your shower time or adding an extra one.

Declare war on dust

As many as 80% of Americans may be at least mildly allergic to dust mites, and these tiny creatures cause big issues for sleep by stuffing up our noses and making it harder to breathe. Dust mites thrive in warm, humid environments. Make your sleep space dust-mite-free by…

  • replacing carpets with wood or laminate flooring
  • keeping the temperature low
  • getting mite-proof covers for mattresses and pillows using a HEPA filter
  • washing all bedding on hot once a week
  • avoiding stuffies on the bed
  • keeping dirty clothes out of the bedrooms

You’ll be amazed at how much easier it is to fall asleep and get healthy sleep once you mite-proof your bedroom.

Know yourself

The ancient Greeks said that knowing yourself is the beginning of wisdom, and that’s especially true for sleep.

Everyone has their own circadian rhythm. Some of us are morning people and some of us are night people. These behaviors are encoded in your ‘clock genes’ and are nearly impossible to change. Respect your natural bedtime, and you’ll fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.

Do you naturally wake up at 5 AM? Time your bedtime for 9 PM to get your full eight hours. Do you lie awake tossing and turning if you go to bed before 11 PM? Try to arrange your work life and family obligations to sleep in until 7 PM. You’ll sleep and feel better if you respect your body’s needs.

If you’ve tried all of these interventions and still wake up tired, it might be time to talk to your dentist or primary care physician about your sleep problems. Sleep is the foundation of good health. If you don’t fix sleep first, other treatments won’t be effective.

If you’re in the Houston area, your journey to better sleep can start with a visit to Dassani Dentistry. We’re passionate about helping our patients solve their sleep problems.

Dr. Meghna Dassani has practiced dentistry for over two decades and is passionate about the role dentists play in whole-body health. You can learn more at her website:

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