Why Is It Easier For Some People To Fall Asleep While Others Take Forever?

It's not always a good thing.

Cover image via Unsplash vis Gregory Pappas

Do you usually lie awake in bed for what feels like forever before you fall asleep?

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Or are you the type who dozes off the minute your head hits your pillow?

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The average time it should take a person to fall asleep is around 10-20 minutes

However, it is pretty common to fall out of that range.

Scientists have long been trying to understand why and how our body sleeps. And a lot about the topic is still a mystery to us.

But it can be observed that people who take a shorter amount of time to fall asleep generally have a few traits they share in common.

So if you think you fall asleep faster than the average person, here are six reasons that could explain why:

1. You're sleep deprived

This is pretty self-explanatory. If you don't get enough sleep on a daily basis, your body is going to take advantage of all the shut-eye it can get.

The reason you get sleepy is because of a chemical, called adenosine, that your brain releases gradually throughout the day. Sleep then clears up this chemical, resulting in that refreshed feeling you get when you wake up. So if you're not getting enough sleep, your adenosine levels will be higher than usual and you will naturally fall asleep much faster than your well-rested friends.

2. You have lower quality sleep

Another reason you might fall asleep quickly is that, the sleep you do have is of very low quality.

If waking up in the middle of the night for no reason at all sounds like a normal occurrence to you, it might be a sign that you're not getting quality sleep. This could be due to your diet, lifestyle and even medical conditions.

Other signs of poor quality sleep include snoring, disturbed breathing at night and even waking up to go to the bathroom. It is advisable to see a doctor if you think you experience this.

3. You were just wired this way

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Some people's brains are wired to be able to "shut down" quicker than others. To put it in simple terms, it means that while some people lay in bed trying to ponder the meaning of life, others are able to quickly "turn off" their thoughts and be at peace with themselves pretty quickly.

People who meditate regularly are also likely to fall asleep faster since their minds have gotten used to reaching that "peaceful state".

4. You have an active lifestyle

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Research has shown that as little as 10 minutes of aerobic exercise daily can dramatically improve your sleep quality. Since the stress it exerts on your body tires you out, you might fall asleep faster and stay asleep for longer compared to your less active friends.

5. You're eating more of certain types of foods

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Certain foods do have some qualities that make it easier for you to drift into snoozeland.

Foods containing melatonin, for example, can help you feel more sedated at the end of the day. This is because melatonin is the hormone your body releases to promote sleep. Foods high in melatonin include pineapples, cherries, bananas and oats.

Foods high in magnesium also help with sleep since a lack of magnesium is associated with many sleep disorders. Almonds, spinach and salmon are among the best sources of magnesium.

6. You have an actual medical condition

Falling asleep too quickly could also be a sign of something more serious. Sleep disorders are relatively common and should be a cause for concern if you suspect you have one.

Falling asleep faster than most people can be a sign of disorders like sleep apnea, narcolepsy and restless leg syndrome.

But if it's not a sign of something too serious, being able to fall asleep fast is a good thing!

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Never will you have to endure the pain of laying on your back for hours hoping you'll finally have a long night of rest.

It's almost like a superpower!

How long does it take you to fall asleep?

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