How Long Does It Take to Fall Asleep?

If you take more than 20 minutes to fall asleep, you may have a huge problem, and here's why. Let's show you what you can do to get rid of those eyebags.

Different people take different periods to sleep while young children and younger adults often take a shorter time than older people. The amount of time you'll take to sleep depends on various factors such as your energy levels, stress levels, and, most importantly, your sleeping habits.

William C. Dement, a researcher at Stanford, is one of the pioneers on sleep latency, which is the study of the transition from wakefulness to sleep. The test involved having his subjects rate how tired they felt before being led to a quiet, dark room where they were told to lie down and try to sleep.

Willian C. Dement then measured how long it took for his subjects to fall asleep. The longer it took them to sleep, the lower their sleep latency. The tests were Stopped if the subject took more than twenty minutes to fall asleep.

how long to fall asleep

Sleep latency was soon found to be an excellent way to determine people's general sleep health. Results indicate that the longer it took you to sleep, the lower your sleep efficiency. However, if it takes you less than five minutes to fall asleep, then it means that you are in sleep debt. Sleep debt refers to how much sleep you owe your body. If you don't have regular quality sleep, then this will impact your life, energy, and mood- Sleep council in the UK.

So, How Long Does It Take to Sleep?

How long does it take to fall asleep

These studies uncovered that people take either 0-5 minutes, 5-20 minutes, 20-45 minutes, or more than 45 minutes to fall asleep. The time you take to fall asleep can be used to predict the quality of sleep you have and how asleep therapists can use this information to correct your disruptive sleeping patterns if any.

0-5 minutes

If you hit the sack and go to sleep less than five minutes after laying your head on the pillow, you might have some sleep deficit problem. People with this condition often find themselves sleepy almost all the time, and this can affect your physical and mental faculties.

0-5 min sleep time

You'll find yourself often feeling fatigued, which is also another good sign that you should take measures to ensure that you get some enough quality sleep each night. Since you can't possibly do it all at once, you could start by sleeping about fifteen minutes earlier each night for about a week and adding more time till you get at least 8 hours of quality sleep.

5-20 minutes

If you take between five to twenty minutes to fall asleep, then you are in the safe zone. People who spend this amount of time to sleep often have regular sleep patterns and are, usually, not sleep deficient.

Although this is the best and most efficient time range for most people, the usual sweet spot is usually 15-20 minutes. So, the closer you are to this period, the better your sleep latency. It's a sign that you have no problems falling asleep or any sleep disorders.

20-45 minutes

Taking between twenty to forty-five minutes to fall asleep is considered moderately normal. While it isn't the best time, it can be explained away by work-related stress and several other factors that can be regarded as standard.

However, if you take this long to go to sleep, then chances are that the condition has a possibility of spiraling down and getting even worse than it is if you don't do something about it. It would be best if you did something about it. Start by reducing your workload, actively working to improve your sleeping pattern, and involving a therapist if all else doesn't work.

Over 45 minutes

If you take over forty-five minutes to sleep, then you have a significant problem. It may merely mean that you get to sleep for too long, and both your body and brain don't need to rest. It could also mean that you have some other condition that may be directly or indirectly affecting your ability to fall asleep quickly.

Over 45 minutes to sleep

The best step for you to take is to seek the services of either a sleep therapist who will assess your condition and recommend any changes you might need to make to have a goodnight's sleep. Or they may suggest that you seek the services of a therapist who'll diagnose you for any outlying conditions such as anxiety, that may be causing you to lack sleep.

Which factors affect the amount of time it'll take you to sleep?

Some of these factors are


Sleep Anxiety


People experiencing anxiety tend to have heightened senses, higher blood pressure and are more active than those who don't, making it significantly more challenging for them to fall asleep.

Related, How to Fall Asleep with Anxiety:12 Tricks To Get Some Sleep


sleep Depression

Depression makes it harder for those affected to turn off their thoughts and sleep. They always replay either one or several negative past experiences, which keeps their bodies always on edge, making it hard for them to sleep.

Drug abuse

sleep Drug

Using drugs such as cigarettes and alcohol may make you lose your regular sleeping pattern. The effect of the drug on your system, although it sometimes helps you sleep, makes you more dependent, making it even harder for you to fall asleep the next time you want to.


Consume Caffein

Caffein also has the same properties as drugs; however, it acts as a stimulant by making you more active and on edge, making it harder for you to fall asleep.


fall asleep to all ages

Children find it easier to fall asleep than adults, and the reasons for this are numerous and varied. Some of the reasons are increased levels of stress and responsibility in adults.

Final word

A study published in 2018: 10th Edition on the Nature of Science and sleep journal states that the amount of time you think you'll take to rest is more often than not the amount of time you take to sleep. If you feel like you're taking too long to sleep, you should do your best to work on it.

If you want to know how bad sleep deprivation can be, remember that it is used as one of the interrogation techniques by interrogators worldwide. Making sure that you get a good night's sleep, therefore, is something that you should take significantly into consideration. Sleep well, live healthily.

Read more, How Much Deep Sleep Do you Need?

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