Doing This One Thing Can Help You Fall Asleep Faster, According to a Sleep Psychologist

You've tried meditation, chamomile tea, and ASMR videos, but if it still feels like every night you spend more time tossing and turning than actually sleeping, it might be time to call in the professionals.

No, not for anything drastic, don't worry. According to sleep psychologist Joshua Tal, PhD, it's actually a pretty simple bedtime routine addition that can make a big difference in the time it takes you to travel to snooze town: reading a book (yes, a real life book, with paper pages) before bed.

"Reading before bed is a great way to promote relaxation and wind down from your day, without blue light from electronics interrupting your sleep cycles," Dr. Tal says. "TV and phones are often prone to frenetic ads and notifications, bypassing and interrupting the relaxation mechanism conducive for falling asleep."

"Reading before bed is a great way to promote relaxation and wind down from your day, without a blue light from electronics interrupting your sleep cycles."

Aside from helping you fall asleep quickly, reading before bed (and the subsequent sleep it induces) can help reduce stress, boost your mood, support improved cognition, and more.

For help getting in on those benefits (because accountability is everything) try joining Penguin Random House's Read to Sleep challenge, which will help you stick to your goal of reading more and sleeping better by sending you bedtime routines and tips from experts over the next few weeks and and enter you to win a Parachute bedding set and a whole year’s worth of books.

But before you grab a book and slide right under the covers, remember these tips from Dr. Tal. First, he suggests putting your book down 15 minutes before you turn out your light, to give your mind time to fully finish winding down (just make sure you resist the urge to grab your phone!).

Second, he recommends reserving a light read for before bed. Anything goes, "as long as the material isn't too stimulating or frightening," he says. That means even if you love mysteries, pick out something a bit less exciting for pre-bed perusing. Trying to solve a whodunnit right before bed isn't doing you any favors, Nancy Drew.

Ready to get your eight hours? Join the challenge and you'll be entered to win a year's worth of books and a Parachute bedding set to help you fall asleep faster.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between January 15, 2020 and March 31, 2020. Open to US residents, 18 and older. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. See Official Rules for full details.

Sponsored by Penguin Random House

Top photo: Penguin Random House

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