There are 16 million adults in the UK who report they have sleepless nights, making it one of the most common problems we face.
Lack of sleep can affect your mood, your health and your ability to recover between training sessions.
Top athletes make sleep a priority, regularly making sure they get at least eight hours a night, with a lot of them napping in between too.
But if you’re one of the many people who lie awake at night, it could be influencing your ability to perform at your best.
To help, here are four simple tricks you can use to get to sleep in under five minutes.
Do A Body Scan To Relax
One way of winding down to calm your mind is to release any tension in your body. You can do this via a body scan, systematically relaxing every muscle.
Start with the top of your head, then work your way down. Relax the muscles in your face, release any tension in your neck and shoulders, make your way down your arms, torso and legs until everything is loose.
This should leave you feeling a deep sense of calm.
Imagine A Calm Scenario
Visualisation is a useful tool for athletes seeking peak performance, and one that takes regular practice to perfect.
Rather than practising by imagining yourself achieving your goals, you can also improve at it by using visualisation as a tool to get to sleep quicker.
Picturing yourself in a calm scenario can help quieten your mind and soothe you to sleep.
You could pick a real-life memory where you felt totally at ease, or choose something new and picture yourself in a hammock on a beach, for example.
Teach Your Body A Bedtime
One of the most common reasons we struggle to get to sleep is an inconsistent routine.
Your body needs to go to bed and get up at the same time in order to set its circadian rhythm.
Teaching your body it's bedtime by getting into a regular routine is one of the most powerful tools you can use to get to sleep fast.
If you’re able to, try committing to falling asleep and getting up at the same time every day for two weeks, and see the impact it has.
Try The 4-7-8 Breathing Method
Following your breath is another great way to quieten your thoughts and fall asleep.
Dr Andrew Weil created the 4-7-8 breathing method as a simple way to relax.
You simply inhale while counting to four, hold the breath for a count of seven and then exhale completely while counting to eight.
Repeat the cycle between three and 10 times.