How to Sleep Like a Baby Without Popping a Single Pill

What if I told you that you could actually “trick” your brain into falling asleep faster and staying asleep longer? No, this isn’t about popping prescription pills or guzzling down gallons of chamomile tea. This is about activating your body’s natural sleep mechanism in a way that helps you sleep soundly, like a baby.

Laszlo Bock, the SVP of People Operations at Google, is an avid proponent of this strategy. He states that Google encourages employees to try these natural methods, often overlooked but scientifically proven to boost productivity by promoting deep, restful sleep. Not only are these methods natural and safe, but they are also easy and accessible for everyone. They won’t make your wallet weep; rather, they may end up pumping up your productivity and performance at your workplace.

Sounds intriguing, yes?

Let’s hover around the fact that human beings spend roughly one-third of their entire lifecycle sleeping. Then why is it that so many of us struggle to get a night of quality sleep? The answer lies within us – specifically, in our brain and our habits that determine our sleep patterns. The good news is, with the right knowledge and a little bit of effort, you can manipulate these factors in your favor.


To understand how to sleep better, we first need to grasp the complex science behind sleep.

There are two main types of sleep: Rapid Eye Movement (REM) and Non-REM sleep (NREM). NREM sleep is further broken down into three stages: N1, N2, and N3. Stage N3, also known as ‘deep sleep,’ is the most restorative phase where the body and brain rejuvenate. This is our body’s ultimate “repair shop.”

During REM sleep, our brains are hyperactive and most dreams occur. The ‘Booming Factory’ of your brain undergoes a complete overhaul and ensures seamless day-to-day functioning.

Our sleep cycle is primarily controlled by two key factors: Circadian rhythm and sleep-wake homeostasis. Think of your circadian rhythm as an internal clock running in the background of your brain that cycles between alertness and sleepiness. It’s sensitive to light and can be influenced by habits.

Sleep-wake Homeostasis, on the other hand, is like a balancing act. The longer we stay awake, the stronger the drive to sleep (sleep pressure). When we finally yield to this pressure, the body enters a restful state and restores its energy.

Now that we’ve mapped out the basic science, let’s get to the exciting part – how you can hack your brain and body’s natural functioning to doze off within minutes, wake up refreshed and raring to go.

1. Develop a Sleep Schedule

Ever wondered why babies sleep and rise at almost the same time every day? It’s because of their bodies’ internal clock or circadian rhythm. As adults, we often shun the biological alarm clock for the digital one.

To sleep like babies, the first step is to sort out our sleep schedule. This sends a strong signal to your body that it’s time to rest. Try going to bed and waking up at the same time daily, even on weekends. You’ll soon fall into a natural rhythm.

2. Limit Daytime Naps

Lengthy siestas can disrupt your natural sleep pattern. If you desperately need a nap, limit it to 20-30 minutes during the early afternoon.

3. Exercise, but not at the expense of your sleep.

Regular exercising can help you sleep better. However, strenuous workouts too close to bedtime can disturb your sleep. If this is the case, consider switching to lighter exercises or move your workout schedules to mornings or afternoons.

4. Mind What You Eat and Drink

Ever experienced the sudden urge to visit the bathroom in the middle of a deep slumber? That’s totally avoidable. Refrain from drinking large amounts of fluids just before hitting the bed.

Also, certain foods like cheese, bacon, and sugar can disrupt your sleep by causing indigestion or acid reflux. Try to include more complex carbohydrates and lean proteins in your dinner, as they promote sleep.

5. Practice Mindful Relaxation

This can be anything from reading a book, taking a warm bath, listening to soothing music or practicing some relaxing yoga postures. Techniques like progressive muscle relaxation, visualization, and deep breathing could also help.

6. Get the Right Sleep Environment

No, a comfy bed and a plush pillow are not the only determinants. The room temperature, the amount of light and noise, and even the cleanliness of your room can affect your sleep. While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution, a cool, dark, and quiet surrounding might just be the secret to that deep sleep you’ve been yearning for.

7. Listen to a ‘Boring’ Story

This may seem odd, but it’s an incredibly potent sleep-inducing technique. The Sleep With Me podcast is an example where the host tells deliberately boring stories to lull you to sleep. Consider it like a grown-up version of bedtime stories.

8. Use Technology, Responsibly

Turning off screens an hour before bedtime, using blue light filters, and using apps that generate relaxing sounds (think soft rain, whistling wind, a crackling fire) to help you wind down – technology can be used beneficially for sleep.

By using these tricks that work on the inherent mechanisms of our body, we can fall asleep faster and reap the benefits of a good night’s sleep. It’s not about striving to sleep like a log, but rather, sleeping like a baby – waking up fresh, recharged and ready for the day!

So why wait? Step into your dreamland by reshaping your sleep habits today.