What to Read Next

8 Simple Little Ways to Fall Asleep Fast

Good Housekeeping
Healthy Living
January 9, 2013



You have no idea why, but night after night you have trouble nodding off. These bedtime rituals may help you get some more shut-eye.

1. Take a bubble bath:
The hot water relaxes your muscles and raises your core temperature. When you get out of the tub, you temperature will start to go down, mimicking what your body normally does to trigger melatonin production, says sleep expert Michael Breus, Ph.D. Why bubbles? "They form a layer of insulation on top, which keeps the water hot longer."

2. Pour yourself a bowl:
The classic sleep Rx of cornflakes and milk has scientific-backing. The fast-acting carb in the cereal increases tryptophan levels, upping the zzz-inducing brain chemical serotonin. Milk contains melatonin, a.k.a. the sleep hormone.

3. Turn down the thermostat: It's more comfortable to sleep in a cool room. But you don't want it to be too cold, either. Experiment to find your just-right temp.

Related: 9 Reasons You Can't Sleep (and What to Do About Them)


4. Change up your nightcap: Too much alcohol can disrupt your sleep patterns but tart cherry juice is practically a melatonin cocktail. To score the benefits, drink a mixture of 2 Tbsp. of tart cherry juice concentrate and 8 oz. of water twice a day. Make sure it's Montmorency cherry-that has six times the melatonin of Balaton tart cherry.

5. Try relaxation techniques: The simplest: Climb into bed, turn off the lights, and take a deep breath to a count of four until you feel relaxed.

6. Gobble pumpkin seeds: In addition to tryptophan, pumpkin seeds contain zinc which helps convert tryptophan to slumber-inducing serotonin. For an even bigger boost of these chemicals, mix in carb-rich dried fruit-apples, apricots, or blueberries.

Related: How to Look Like You Slept 8 Hours

7. Get out of bed: In one study of 79 insomniacs, this one directive was enough to help two-thirds of the participants start to sleep well again within a month. It seems counterintuitive, but spending less time in bed may jump-start your sleep drive.

8. Carb up: You don't have to wait until bedtime for your sleepy snack. Having carbs like white rice, pasta or white potatoes at dinner as a side is another way to increase levels of tryptophan, and thus serotonin and melatonin.

What's your secret to falling asleep fast? Let me know in the comments!

-- by Denise Foley

More from Good Housekeeping:


Military Mortgage Rates In 2016

Rates as Low as 2.75% (3.028% APR) 15 Year Fixed. Exclusive For Veteran & Military Takes 1 Min!

Over 100 Million Items to Choose From at Sears

Save On Top Brands and Shop Everything From Appliances, Apparel, Lawn and Garden, Tools and more. 1 store Over 100 million items. It s all at Sears!

Find Out Anything About Anyone. Enter Any Name.

A new site has made it easy to find out the truth about the people you already know and people you meet! Simply type in a name and select a state!

$200 Military Flashlight Surplus Dumped

Highly anticipated LumiTact G700 Tactical Flashlight Overrun - Now available to civilian population

Ever Googled Someone? Do A "Deep Search" Instead

Entering a Name and State on this site could reveal info you thought wasn't available. Have you searched yourself or someone you know yet?

Powerful Tactical Flashlight Flying Off Shelves!

This new tactical flashlight was just released to the public and is flying off shelves in the United States. Limited supplies left, act quick!

Heartburn During Pregnancy

Dealing With Pregnancy is Hard Enough. Getting Heartburn While Pregnant is a Pain. Learn What Causes Heartburn During Pregnancy.

Banks Are Worried Homeowners Will Do This.

Homeowners are surprised and furious. If you owe less than $625,000 on your home, you better read this.

How Much Could Drivers Actually Save By Comparing?

EverQuote's simple online tool allows drivers to identify the best rates for them. Find out how much you could be saving on auto insurance.

How Older Men Tighten Their Skin

Men, reduce the look of wrinkles, sagging skin and fine lines with this affordable and effective skin tightening treatment without leaving your home.

Insane Navy Seal Flashlight, should it be banned?

The Military has recently released technology that is now available to the public. Get yours before they run out - Limited Supply!

Already Have Your Bachelor's Degree?

Learn more about earning your master's or doctoral degree from Walden University. Study online and further your career. Request free information!

Did You Know Every New Car Has a Secret Price?

In the market for a new car? Don't pay MSRP. Save yourself both time and money. Find a great low price for your new car before you buy.

How To Make Sagging Skin Look Tight and Lifted

[Watch] The easy and effective way consumers across the country are improving the look of their wrinkled and sagging skin without cosmetic procedures.