A few years ago, the CDC set out to answer this very question. The answer is that the average person takes about 22 minutes to fall asleep. You can take quite a bit longer than that and still have normal sleep patterns, or fall asleep much faster.
Still, the rate at which you fall asleep can be very revealing. If you take too long to get to sleep, not only do you risk not getting enough sleep, it could be a sign that something else is going on. Do you fall asleep the moment your head hits the pillow? You could be overworking yourself, or not getting enough restful sleep.
Of course, when most people touch on this subject, they’re usually concerned with one thing. They aren’t falling asleep fast enough, and it’s having a negative impact on them. We’ll focus on that.
Trouble Falling Asleep? Here Are Some Common Causes
If you can’t fall asleep easily, you could be troubled by some relatively minor, temporary issues. These include:
- Feeling Upset Nervous or Excited
- Having a Cold or Other Minor Ailment
- Sleeping in Unfamiliar or Uncomfortable Surroundings
- Uncomfortable Room Temperature
- Exercising Too Close to Bedtime
- Drinking Coffee Near Bedtime
Each of these problems can often be remedied with a small adjustment to your lifestyle, or they can go away on their own.
Now Some More Serious Causes
- A Snoring Partner
- Depression or Anxiety
- Chronotype Conflicts
- Chronic Insomnia
If depresion, anxiety, or other health problems are preventing you from falling asleep, your best course of action is to speak with your doctor.
If your partner snores, it can be very difficult to fall asleep. Of course, that can lead to irritability, and trouble functioning. Snoring can also cause your partner to have sleep disturbances. It’s imperative that you find the root cause of the snoring, and explore your treatment options.
What Type of Snorer Are You?
There are 3 types of snorers and each need their own treatment. Take our 40 second test to see what type you are.
How Can Chronotype Impact Your Sleep?
You may have heard the term ‘circadian rhythm’. This is what impacts your tendency to be inactive or active depending on the time of the day. Your chronotype is a manifestation of this. It specifically determines when you tend to want sleep, and when you tend to be awake.
Surely you’ve heard of night owls and early birds? These are very basic chronotypes. However, experts believe there are actually four. These are, lion, bear, wolf, and dolphin.
If you have trouble falling asleep, you could have a sleep schedule that works against your chronotype.
- Lions wake up full of energy very early in the morning. They get tired early in the evening and fall asleep quickly.
- Bears are long sleepers. They tend to adjust to sleeping when it’s dark, and waking during daylight hours. Most people are bears.
- Wolves are true night owls. They function well working in the evenings or overnight.
- Dolphins are insomniacs and light sleepers. They tend to be groggy early in the morning with more energy late at night, and in bursts throughout the day.
Now, imagine being a wolf, and trying to go to sleep at nine in the evening to get to a job that starts at seven in the morning? Your body’s natural rhythms would fight against that. Of course you would struggle to fall asleep!
If you know your chronotype, you may be able to adjust your sleep and work schedule to accommodate it. Even a slight adjustment in the right direction can make a big difference.
Tips For Falling Asleep Quickly
If your chronotype isn’t the issue, or you still struggle to fall asleep, here are some quick and easy tips to try:
- Turn off electronics and wind down an hour before you go to bed.
- Use your bedroom for sleep only.
- Don’t drink alcohol or caffeine near bedtime.
- Get a white noise machine and blackout curtains.
- Find a Cure For Your Snoring
With a little effort and experimentation, you too can be one of the lucky folks who falls asleep quickly and naturally.