Do I Have Insomnia: How Long Does It Take To Fall Asleep?
By: Michael Puskar
Updated November 13, 2019
Medically Reviewed By: Erika Schad, LCP, CWLC
Sleeping is a necessity that refreshes our bodies and minds. Should our sleep routine be disrupted, it may affect our ability to function-but how would you fix a disrupted sleep schedule? The first step is to identify the sleep dilemma, and then you can develop a strategy on how to fix it.
How Long Does It Take to Fall Asleep?
It's considered normal to fall asleep in 10 to 20 minutes. Experts at Sleep.org say that if you are falling asleep faster or longer than this, your body may be trying to tell you something.
If your issue is falling asleep too quickly, it may mean that you are not sleeping enough. In this case, it would be best to try and fit sleeping into your schedule, preferably in an eight-hour span each night. On the other hand, if it takes you longer than an hour to fall asleep, it's a sign that your body is sleeping too much or that you are struggling with insomnia. The latter can occur if a situation in your life is preventing you from relaxing.
Insomnia can also occur if you've consumed too much caffeine or sugar too close to bedtime. A changing sleep schedule can affect how long it takes you to fall asleep as well. This can include jet lag or a shift change at work. Reducing your caffeine and sugar intake and maintaining a regular sleep routine can prevent insomnia. However, it takes long-time insomniacs about two hours to get to sleep at night. In this case, the best thing you can do is remove all alerting stimuli in your bedroom, such as lights, electronics, and books, and wait for sleep to come. Watching television or reading will give the body the impression you wish to stay awake and will lengthen the task of falling asleep.
Other Ways to Fight Off Insomnia
While the tips mentioned above can be considered a first-line approach to addressing insomnia and can be implemented right away, there are other possible solutions that can help you overcome your sleep difficulties.
Relaxation Techniques: If you have trouble falling asleep effortlessly, you might benefit from trying to induce relaxation. This can be done by taking a deep breath through your nose, holding it for a few seconds, then slowly exhaling through your mouth. Repeat this a few times, and you'll notice you'll feel calmer and less tense.
Exercise and Yoga: Incorporating physical activity into your routine can help promote sleep by reducing stress and anxiety. However, it can also make you feel more energized throughout the day, so try to keep your workouts in the morning or afternoon, and not too close to your bedtime.
Medication: Using sleep-aids can be a quick solution to treating sleep difficulties, but they should always be taken under the supervision of your doctor since some of them can be habit-forming. They also do not address the underlying reasons for your insomnia-but it can be a useful tool to use alongside changing your sleep habits.
BetterHelp Can Help
If none of these recommendations are working and you're still struggling to fall asleep within a reasonable time frame, it may be a good idea to speak with a licensed therapist at BetterHelp. The professional therapists at BetterHelp are available to talk at any time, even at night when you cannot sleep.
Insomnia can be caused by several different mental conditions, and in order to address the sleep disorder, these may need to be resolved as well.
A licensed therapist can help you treat your insomnia at the source, helping you maintain a healthy and refreshing sleep cycle for good. Check out some of the following reviews of BetterHelp counselors from people experiencing similar issues.
"I tried a few counselors and almost gave up until I found Colleen. I love her! She's easy to talk to, really gets me and best of all she makes me feel like I'm talking to a friend. She's given me some great tips and I'm sleeping better already most nights."
"Dr. Marote is great! She has helped me a lot. I have noticed a huge improvement in just two weeks. I feel comfortable during our weekly sessions and she is a great listener. She has also provided me with many helpful tips to overcome my anxiety and insomnia. I am truly happy I found her here on BetterHelp."
Hopefully, you've learned how to start incorporating better sleep habits into your routine. If you need additional assistance, do not hesitate to talk to your doctor or a therapist who can help you start getting a good night's rest once again. Take the first step to restful nights today.