There's always so much going on in our lives that it can get hard to get to sleep sometimes. Luckily, a new study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology has a great tip to help you quiet your mind and fall asleep faster.
Research has shown that starting a worry journal can help quell your anxiety before you hit the sheets. But psychologists at Baylor University have found that one specific kind of pre-bedtime writing is key to falling asleep faster.
In the study, 57 adults between the ages of 18 and 30 had their sleep monitored in a lab overnight. Half of them took five minutes to write down future tasks they wanted to accomplish. The other half wrote down tasks they’d completed that day and in the previous few days. And guess what? People in the first group fell asleep nine minutes faster than those in the second group.
Michael Scullin, the study’s lead author, said it was the “act of writing it out” that helped participants fall asleep faster. Simply thinking of a to-do list in their minds wouldn’t cut it.
“When people offload everything in their mind that might be hard to remember otherwise, it gives them some relief from that rumination," Scullin told Time magazine.
And nine minutes isn't nothing.
“It’s not insignificant,” Scullin said. “Getting nine extra minutes of sleep every night can actually make a real difference.”