How to Put Someone to Sleep

According to the statistics of the National Sleep Foundation, almost 60% of people in the U.S. suffer from insomnia or other sleep-related problems, with symptoms ranging from difficulty falling asleep to staying awake the whole night. There may be many reasons why someone might be unable to fall asleep. It could be a result of stress from the previous or upcoming day, or from surroundings that are not conducive to a relaxed atmosphere. No matter what leads to a restless night, knowing how to put someone to sleep is helpful, as insufficient rest at night is likely to cause the sufferer to be cranky, sleepy, and hard to be around the following day. Fortunately, there are a number of helpful techniques you can try.

How to Put Someone to Sleep

Bedroom Environment

1. Temperature

Experts believe that a cool bedroom of about 65°F (18°C) is best for sleeping. Some strategies for controlling the room temperature include:

  • Close the blinds and close the windows if the temperature outside is higher than inside.
  • For cooler summer sleeping, prepare during the day to avoid heat build-up in your house.
  • As the air outside cools, open the windows and let a cross breeze through the bedroom.
  • Sleep in the bedroom on the lowest level.
  • Use a fan, or place a fan near an open window, and open other windows in the house to allow air flow.

2. Light

Have you ever wondered why people sometimes wake up without the help of an alarm clock? The thing is, we have an internal clock that mimics the natural cycles of night and day. Located deep in the brain, the hypothalamus regulates many of our body's functions including sleep. Daylight is detected by cells in the retina of our eyes and sends messages to our brain that keep us in a roughly 24-hour wake-and-sleep cycle. With the help of morning light and other chemical changes such as an increase in the hormone cortisol, we feel ready and alert for the day.

3. Noise

While you are sleeping, your brain will continue to process and register noises on a low level. Noise may interrupt your sleep, resulting in you waking up, causing a shifting between the stages of sleep, move, or cause a change in blood pressure and heart rate so brief that you do not remember when waking. Whether or not any noises disturb your sleep will depend on factors such as the time of night, the stages of sleep you're in, or your sensitivity to the noises. This explains why a woman may sleep soundly while her partner snores, but become fully awake when her baby gets fussy.

4. Bedding

The material of your mattress, pillows, and sheets affect the quality of sleep. So if you wish to know how to put someone to sleep, you should choose the beddings carefully. For a sound rest at night, the sleeping arraignment should be supportive and comfortable.

  • Mattress: Find a mattress that you are comfortable with and supports you. The average lifespan of a mattress is 8 years, so it’s better to change it before that.
  • Pillows: During sleep, your pillow should be in a position that supports your neck and head without causing any discomfort. You should replace the pillow when it became lumpy or shapeless, and the recommended frequency is every 2 years.
  • Sheets: For sheets, it may help to choose a breathable cotton fabric that keeps you from overheating. There are new fabrics on the market that have the ability to wick away moisture, and can be especially beneficial if you sweat excessively during sleep.

Bedtime Routine

If you want to know how to put someone to sleep, consider the following tips to form a better bedtime routine:

  1. Food and drinks

Eat lightly before bed and avoid any alcohol or stimulants, such as caffeine. You will want to eat foods containing the amino acid tryptophan, a building block of the sleep-related chemical serotonin which could make you drowsy. Foods such as turkey, chicken, eggs, fish, and nuts are good tryptophan sources. Carbohydrates can make tryptophan more available to the brain, so you might want to try something like cereal with milk, or a few whole wheat crackers as a snack before bedtime. However, you’ll want to avoid foods that can upset your stomach, such as fried, fatty, or spicy foods before going to bed.

  1.   Exercise

One exercise frequently recommended by sleep experts includes progressive muscular relaxation. It basically involves going through each muscle group in your body, flexing and relaxing them. Another choice is a deep breathing exercise, which will also help you prepare for sleep. You may also want to consider some mental exercises such as meditation 10-15 minutes before bedtime.

  1.   Regular schedule

Try to wake up at the same time daily. By sticking to the same waking time, your body will begin to adjust to a new routine and become tired at a certain time at night. For children, their bedtime should be set earlier than adults, best in the evening between 7-8 p.m. Parents should routinely create a quiet time at least 30 minutes before bedtime. Avoid letting them watch television at least an hour before bedtime, and establish a regular routine, such as bath time before winding down for the night. Some children fall asleep faster if they are listening to soft music, and it also helps drown out any noise from adults who are still awake.

Use Pressure Points

If you are wondering how to put someone to sleep, try acupressure for a good night’s sleep instead of taking medication.

  • Neiguan (the inner gate)

This is a relaxing pressure point that also calms the spirit. Neiguan is a very effective pressure point that helps relieve sleep problems. It’s a natural depression between the tendons. You can locate it by placing your fingers at the base of the wrist until you find the depression. Using steady pressure can help you to feel less stressed and more relaxed.

  • Shimien

It is the pressure point at the bottom of the feet, just in front of the heel. Apply steady pressure to this point to get some relief from insomnia. This pressure point is the most tender spot on the sole of the foot, so be careful when applying pressure there.

  • Shenmen (the spirit gate)

This pressure point regulates the pathways and energy to the heart. Shenmen can be found where the base of the smallest finger intersects with the crease of the wrist. For natural and effective sleep, apply steady pressure for 20 seconds with the thumb of your other hand.

  • Anmian

It is located just behind your ears where the neck muscles connect to your jaw line. To get the most benefit from this pressure point, firmly press into the depression using your index and middle finger for 15-20 minutes.

For a demonstration of how to put someone to sleep using pressure points, watch this video:

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