How Long Does It Take To Fall Asleep?

How Long Does It Take To Fall Asleep?

The time it takes from the moment your head hits the pillow till you’re in dreamland can feel like an eternity. It’s like a haze — so many thoughts and moments swirling around in your head fighting for those last bits of brain space. If you feel like this moment takes a little longer than it should, you’re not alone. 

While it can vary slightly, there is a certain amount of time it should take to fall asleep. Why? For adults and children, there is a healthy range of time from awake to asleep. Anything faster or shorter could indicate an issue. 

Straight To the Point

These ranges and potential problems are what we want to get to the bottom of today. We want to dive deep into the healthy time frame for falling asleep and then what it could mean if you’re off the mark. Once we get to the bottom of that, we want to give you some healthy tricks and tips to get to sleep on time, every time. 

By the end of this read, you’ll be set and ready for bedtime. 

How Long Does It Take For Adults to Fall Asleep?

For a healthy adult, it should take between ten and 20 minutes to fall asleep. This rate is from the time we turn off the lights and lay our heads down till the time we actually enter our REM cycles. It can vary slightly off this number, but sleep experts have calculated this time. 

The reason numbers can vary is that most people don’t measure their sleep patterns without issues arising beforehand. So while this can be used as a good estimate, if your numbers are off by a minute or two, don’t worry. However, if your numbers are way off, like five-plus minutes, there could be a problem. 

How Long Does it Take For Children to Fall Asleep?

The time it takes for a child to fall asleep will vary by age. Their age determines how much sleep they need nightly, which plays into the length of time it takes to fall asleep. On average, across all age ranges, it shouldn’t take our children more than 30 minutes to fall asleep. 20 minutes to fall asleep is more than the average, but the longer range could indicate a problem with bedtime. 

When Problems Arise

There are times when your range for falling asleep is off. When this happens, it usually indicates an issue. It’s necessary to know these issues and their signs in case you run into them.

Let’s go over these now. 

Going To Bed Too Early

This one is mostly for kids, but it can happen to adults too. Sometimes we have trouble falling asleep in an appropriate amount of time because we are going to bed too early. For kids, this has a lot to do with their actual nightly bedtime. As children get older, their bedtime needs to be adjusted for their age range. 

It’s critical that kids get enough sleep each night, but the proper bedtime plays into this heavily. If our kids start to stay up later than 30 minutes after being put to bed each night, it could be time for an adjustment.

Change their bedtime by thirty minutes and stick to it for a few weeks. After a few weeks, if your little one is still having trouble, push it back again. 

Falling Asleep Too Quickly

From what sleep experts have gathered, falling asleep too quickly can mean a few things. First and foremost, it means that you’re not getting enough sleep. They’ve termed this a “sleep debt,” meaning that you’re behind on sleep habitually. This long-term deprivation will cause you to fall asleep faster than what is considered normal. 

Deprivation is just one instance of sleep deficiency. Sleep deficiencies are the things that keep us from getting the sleep we need. You could also be suffering from insomnia, sleep disorder, or waking up frequently, resulting in sub-par quality sleep. 

Signs of Sleep Deficiency

Our goal obviously is to get a good night’s sleep every night. Life, however, can have other plans.

These are common signs you’re suffering from sleep deficiency:

  • Falling asleep when you’re sitting quietly for a minute too long. This includes traffic or waiting somewhere for an appointment. 

  • You or the kids can’t focus, no matter how menial or exciting the task. We usually find it easier to focus when we are interested in something, but even those fun hobbies can’t keep your attention. 

  • That coffee mug never leaves your hand. We may not realize we’re even doing it, but a sleep deficiency will make us more dependent on coffee. 

Taking Too Long To Fall Asleep

If it’s taking you too long to fall asleep each night, more than thirty minutes, then you’re dealing with some underlying emotions. Generally, stress and anxiety can keep our minds from being able to calm down.

We remember something that happened and obsess about it to the point that we can’t think of anything else. When this happens, our minds kick into overdrive about the issue and sort of bypass the triggers in our brains telling us it’s bedtime. 

Too much coffee during the afternoon hours can also lead to this issue. We need to limit our caffeine intake after lunch to ensure that we have at least six hours prior to bedtime free. For kids, limiting sugar for highs and crashes will keep them on track for bedtime.

Being on the lookout for depression in ourselves and our children is another top priority. Just like anxiety, it can make it hard for us to fall asleep at night. 

Some Tips For Getting To Sleep On Time

Did you think we would just leave you high and dry without any tips?? No way. We want to break down some of the best ways to get your mind and body ready for an easier time getting to sleep. And staying that way.

Proper Exercise

If you or your kiddos are just too jazzed up when it’s bedtime, you need an activity before bed that tires you out physically. To recharge each night, we need to empty out our energy each day. Getting adequate exercise each day is the best way to ensure our families go to bed each night and get to sleep on time. 

This could mean a walk or a quick jog after dinner or even a fun game around the house before bed. We are usually mentally tired after dinnertime with all the day's events, but can we say the same for the kids? Instead of letting them sit and veg out after dinner, get their bodies to get out all those last bits of saved energy and clear our minds for bed.

Keep in mind that just like with candy, there is sometimes too much of a good thing. High-intensity exercise just before bedtime might actually wake you up instead of helping you simmer down.

Calming Your Mind

We all need a little zen in our lives. Having a clear head free from worry and stress before bed is the best bet for getting to sleep. If you find that you lay your head down and can’t fall asleep, you’re thinking too much when it’s time to turn off.

Your kids may also be having the same problem if they get up a million times and ask a million questions. Of course, some of it may be them trying to stall. However, if you notice pointed questions about their friends or classes, they could be dealing with a little nighttime anxiety. 

About 30 minutes before bed, you could all partake in a relaxing activity as a family. It will give you a chance to bond as a family and work on better mental clarity together.

Our ZenPatch is the perfect helper to getting the calm back in your brain. The calming blend of sweet orange, mandarin, atlas cedarwood, lavender, and vetiver essential oils is perfect for invigorating your nose and relaxing your mind.  

Speaking With Someone

Our family’s mental health is one of the most important aspects of having a healthy lifestyle. There is absolutely no shame in seeking professional advice if you or your kids are struggling with things life is throwing at you.

There are plenty of resources to find someone that fits your unique situation and circumstances. Whether it be a family counselor or someone just for you, having an outlet for your thoughts and feelings is crucial to a healthy brain and body. 

Eat Dinner At the Right Time (Every Time)

Eating dinner at the proper time will make it easier to fall asleep in the right range. Dinner just before snoozing will lead to indigestion and acid reflux. Not to mention it will allow for restless sleep, and you’ll wake up feeling like you just laid down. 

The proper dinner time should be about two to three hours before going to bed. For kids, this is especially critical. Going to bed right after eating will leave them restless and uncomfortable when they lay down. They’ll end up lying awake for hours, waiting for sleep to come. We all know what that means for our morning; cue the tears!

Consistent Bedtime

Keeping that bedtime routine consistent for yourself and your kids will really mean proper sleeping habits for everyone. Our bodies need to have the proper routine in place to know when it’s time to wake up, when it’s time to go to sleep, etc.

Our brains use the daily routine to send the proper triggers to our bodies. When it’s time for sleep, we create melatonin that helps us fall asleep. If we start to push up or push back these times, our brains are confused as to when we need these things. 

Staying consistent lets us all get to sleep faster and stay asleep longer. 

A Natural Sleep Aid

Does everything seem to be in place, but sleep still takes forever to come to you? You need our SleepyPatch. The blend of all-natural essential oils will help your brain trigger that snooze boost you need to get to sleep in the right amount of time.

It’s the perfect combination of lavender, mandarin, sweet marjoram, and vetiver oils. In case you needed any more convincing, it works for kids too.

You and your children will be able to benefit from the essential oils blends. What’s even better? The stickers go on clothes, not on skin. So we don’t have to worry that our kids take them off as soon as we turn our backs. These patches release the essential oil blends in small increments to ensure that sleep will come and stay all night. 

Time For Bed!

We are confident that everything here today is all the information you need to find that sweet spot of falling asleep for yourself and your kids. We know that it was a lot to digest, but so is bedtime. Making sure we have the right tools in our arsenal and the right routines in place keeps everyone happy and healthy. 

Here at The Natural Patch Co., we are all about naturally keeping you and your kids happy, healthy, and armed with the right information. We know how important it is for your family to get the most out of bedtime, and we love being a part of that. 


How Long It Should Take to Fall Asleep | Sleep

If You Fall Asleep Instantly — Is That a Good Thing? | Cleveland Clinic

11 Unconventional Sleep Tips: How to Get to Sleep and Stay Asleep | SpineHealth

Wellness & Cognitive

Shop Our Wellness & Cognitive

Shop Now
Back to The Natural Patch Co. Blog