The best things in life are free, and sleep definitely makes that list. Not only should sleep be a relaxing, enjoyable experience, but it’s also key to restoring the body and mind from the endless stress and pressures of the day.
If you’ve faced any sort of challenge with sleep in recent years, you know what a detriment it can be for your health and well-being. Keeping a sleep schedule is hard enough when juggling work, family, and social obligations.
Falling asleep fast—and staying asleep for the recommended seven to nine hours—is easier said than done in the modern world. But we’re here to help.
Let’s talk about realistic expectations for falling and staying asleep, then offer some recommendations to fall asleep more quickly with more sustainable results.
How long should it take to fall asleep?
According to experts, it should take a healthy person between 15 and 20 minutes to fall asleep once your head hits the pillow. This means when you hit the lights and close your eyes to fall asleep, you shouldn’t be lying there for long before you drift into snooze city—but factors like body temperature, bright light exposure, sleeping positions, and more can impact your ability to fall asleep.
While it’s perfectly okay to have some racing thoughts or take time to position yourself for sleep during this time, it shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes before you start drifting off. But considering that one-third of U.S. adults struggle with some form of sleep deprivation, it’s no surprise that sleep latency takes far longer for many.
If you're tossing and turning for an hour or more, that’s a sign that something needs to change in your routine. We’ll walk you through the factors that impact sleep latency and present some tips to help speed up and smooth out the process each night.
What factors can impact the time it takes to fall asleep?
Lifestyle factors certainly impact sleep latency and sleep quality. Let’s highlight six things that can influence how quickly it takes for you to fall asleep and consider the role they play in your lifestyle.
Adequate sunlight exposure is the catalyst for a healthy circadian rhythm and optimal sleep latency. Ideally, you’ll spend a few minutes each morning in the sun to match your internal clock with sunrise, then minimize excess light sources as bedtime nears. This ensures that your natural circadian rhythm stays on track—ensuring melatonin is released at proper times.
While this isn’t feasible for many people based on location and obligations, do your best to get close to the sun early in the morning. This might mean opening the blinds soon after waking or taking a short stroll before work.
Blue light from screens
Blue light exposure is a constant in everyday life, from our TVs and laptops to smartphone screens and tablets. Although using computers and phones during the day won’t compromise your sleep at night, it might become a problem if you are glued to the screen in the hours leading up to sleep.
Research shows that too much blue light before bed can disrupt our natural sleep cycles and even cause circadian rhythm disorders. If your goals are improved sleep latency and quality, aim to go screen-free for at least an hour before bed. Once you've made this a habit, get yourself a pair of strong blue light glasses, and put those on every night once the sun goes down.
A reasonable amount of morning caffeine isn’t going to compromise your sleep latency or cause other sleep-related issues. However, the more caffeine you consume throughout the day—especially in the afternoon or early evening—the more trouble you may have falling asleep efficiently.
Limit yourself to between 100 and 200mg of caffeine daily, and stop consuming it after noon or 1 p.m. This will let your body metabolize the compounds and flush them out by the time you’re winding down for bed.
Diet is often overlooked as a factor in healthy sleep, but it plays a key role nonetheless. Fueling your body with clean sources of protein, fat, and carbohydrate is important in maintaining a strong metabolism while balancing blood sugar and energy levels throughout the day.
If you’re constantly on a roller coaster of energy spikes and crashes from sugary, processed foods, don’t be surprised if it’s harder to fall asleep at bedtime. Skip the excess sugars and stick to a diet of natural, fresh food to stay fueled and fall asleep on schedule.
Exercise isn’t just about looking good—it's about feeling your best day-to-day. Moving your body an essential facet of overall health and is proven to help you fall asleep faster at night. It's common sense says that expending more energy during the day will make you more tired at night, so don’t overthink it!
For a more structured approach, spend at least twenty minutes each day elevating your heart rate through cardio or strength training. If you can’t squeeze in time for a workout, find ways to increase your rate of movement throughout the day by walking, stretching, or taking physical movement breaks in the house or workplace.
We all deal with a certain level of stress that comes with modern life, but handling stress the right way is vital to falling asleep on time. Find healthy ways to manage stress that don’t involve unhealthy habits or substances. Working out, meditating, or doing creative projects are all great ways to keep stress at bay.
Minimizing stress directly before bed is also key to lowering cortisol and preparing your mind and body for sleep. That might mean skipping the news and avoiding social media, and instead reading a relaxing book as part of your evening routine.
How can you fall asleep fast?
There’s no precise formula for falling asleep fast, but you can tilt the odds in your favor by using a few proven tips and tricks. Check out these recommendations and craft your perfect evening routine to get to sleep quickly each night.
1. Maintain a calming bedroom environment
A calm and relaxing sleep environment is a must for achieving deep sleep. Make sure your blinds are closed, your bed is made, and everything is in order for the next day. We suggest keeping the temperature low in your bedroom so that you feel comfortable in your bed and induce sleepiness more quickly.
You might find that candlelight or aromatherapy can help create a calming environment so you can get to sleep fast. Identify items or noises in your room that may contribute to poor sleep and remove them to avoid trouble sleeping.
For more substantial bedroom enhancements, it's important to consider investing in a quality mattress, sheets, pillows, and a sleeping mask. While these essentials are often pricey, we spend over a third of our lives asleep. All of that time is well worth the investment, not to mention the quality of life improvements that will likely follow.
2. Take time to wind down before bed
The power of a good bedtime routine can’t be overstated, so carve out a good hour each night to unwind before flipping off the lights. This might include a warm shower or a warm bath with essential oils, followed by some relaxed stretching, meditation, or yoga.
Avoid the temptation to check email or introduce other stress factors during this evening ritual, and adjust your room temperature to the perfect level. By the time you hit the pillow, your heart rate will be low, and you’ll have everything in place for a good night’s sleep.
3. Avoid screens at night
We mentioned how blue light can cause issues with sleep hygiene, so commit to turning off your electronic devices at least an hour before bed. This will remove the physical strain of blue light from your environment and also ensure you avoid sources of stimulation like TV shows or the news.
If you need to use electronic devices late at night for work, consider investing in some blue light-blocking glasses to limit exposure. Some devices also have warm light features that stop the screen from emitting blue light in the evening.
4. Manage your stress
It can be hard to shift into sleep mode when stress hits, even if the hour is late. Have a stress management plan in place for the evening, and do your best to relax despite the pressures of work or life.
Unplugging from electronics is a great way to reduce the sources of stress, and a warm bath or shower can help your body relax more deeply. Instead of relying on alcohol or other substances that harm your sleep long-term, seek out supplements that support sleep latency and help you wake up feeling great.
5. Incorporate CBN in the evening
Not sure which cannabis products are best for falling asleep fast? CBN is one of the best cannabinoids for sleep support, which is the main ingredient featured in our Sleep collection of products.*
CBN is similar to CBD with its non-psychoactive properties, but it interacts with specific aspects of the endocannabinoid system that induce relaxation and sleepiness. This way, you can get the benefits of cannabis without worrying about feeling wired or disoriented from potent THC use.*
Our Full Spectrum Rest Gummies are loaded with CBN and other minor cannabinoids, plus useful calming terpenes. Take one an hour before bed to kick off the perfect bedtime routine.*
6. Reduce caffeine and alcohol intake
Caffeine can cause difficulties in sleep onset, even if you’ve done everything else right during the day. Limit caffeine after a certain time of day as part of your sleep hygiene plan, and you’ll find it easier to get the restful sleep you need.
Alcohol is another potential detractor to sleep health, even though you think it helps at first. While a drink or two can make you sleepy, you’re harming your sleep health long-term by relying on it.
CBN combined with herbal tea like chamomile is a safer, more sustainable way to combat sleeplessness and stay on schedule.*
7. Get enough movement in during the day
If you’re struggling with restlessness at night, try adding more physical movement to your daily routine. You don’t need to run a marathon to tire yourself out and send the right signals to your body for evening relaxation.
Just be sure to avoid exercise close to bedtime, as this might stimulate your central nervous system and prevent you from falling asleep efficiently. A morning or afternoon workout is best to fit in with your circadian rhythm, which will help you sleep better at night.
8. Try white noise
It’s not uncommon to experience sleep difficulties in a silent environment. Many people use humidifiers, fans, or white noise machines to create ambient noise in the bedroom and fall asleep more easily.
White noise pairs well with other aspects of your bedtime routine and may improve sleep latency. Test out different relaxing sounds, like rain, oceans, or a simple soft humming of a fan.
9. Practice progressive muscle relaxation
Falling asleep fast isn’t just a matter of chance. The best sleepers use proven techniques like deep breathing to support good sleep habits.
Progressive muscle relaxation is a universal tactic that you can incorporate tonight. It starts with tensing individual limbs one at a time, then releasing the tension for total relaxation. Work around your body from the limbs to the face, neck, and torso, visualizing the tension releasing from each area.
Combined with deep breathing and other relaxation techniques, this method can be hugely beneficial in falling asleep fast.
10. Try meditation before bed
Meditation before bed is a great way to melt away the day's stress by focusing on your breath and the present moment. Follow along with a guided meditation online, or simply count your breaths in a relaxed position until slowly drifting off.
Meditation works best when paired with other sleep hygiene practices and is a smart habit for overall health and mental well-being.
The bottom line
Falling asleep isn’t rocket science, but there’s more to the process than you might have thought. Sleep hygiene requires planning, intention, and discipline—especially if your current habits are deeply ingrained.
With the right bedtime routine and purposeful CBN supplements to set the stage for relaxation, you can get to sleep faster and enjoy the benefits of restorative sleep—every single night.