How Long Does A Person Take To Fall Asleep And Why?

logo by Editorial Staff | Updated on August 2nd, 2022

Exact Response: It should take between 10 and 20 minutes to fall asleep at bedtime.

External influences such as stress or concern may cause you to take longer to fall asleep on some days. Alternatively, you may be fatigued from a lack of sleep or from not getting enough sleep and fall asleep much more easily.

woman in blue shirt lying on bed

It takes around seven minutes for the average individual to enter a sleep-like state, where alpha brain waves take control, and they enter a period midway between waking and sleeping. This condition is frequently described as dreamy, fuzzy, and pleasant, with occasional minor hallucinations.

Theta brain waves then take over, and you enter the first full stage of light sleep. Delta waves are brain waves that slow down much further in very deep sleep.

According to the findings, those who believe they fall asleep within 10 to 15 minutes of their head contacting the pillow are more likely to have good sleep health.

If you sleep for more than 15 minutes, your sleep health may be jeopardized.

If it takes more than 30 minutes to fall asleep, your sleep efficiency suffers; if you fall asleep as soon as your head meets the pillow, you’re sleep deprived. The typical amount of time it should take you to fall asleep is ten to twenty minutes.

What Causes Sleepiness?

First, it’s critical to comprehend how we fall asleep.

Adenosine is a substance produced by the brain while you are awake. Adenosine accumulates while your body expends energy and performs its typical waking duties. The longer we stay up, the more adenosine we produce.

High amounts of adenosine cause the homeostatic sleep drive. This is also known as sleep burden or sleep debt. Said it is the physical need for sleep to heal your body.

What Exactly Is Sleep Latency?

Sleep latency, also known as sleep onset latency or latency to sleep onset, is a medical term that refers to the amount of time it takes for a person to fall asleep.

Doctors and researchers generally begin monitoring sleep delay when the lights are turned out and end when electroencephalography (EEG), or equipment that measures brain waves, first detects sleep.

Sleep latency is a measurement taken during polysomnography, a nighttime sleep study, and the multiple sleep latency test (MSLT). This daytime sleep test takes place during a series of brief naps.

Sleep latency is one of several indicators used by doctors and researchers to assess if a person has a sleep condition, such as insomnia, narcolepsy, or idiopathic hypersomnia, a disorder in which a person sleeps excessively during the day.

How Long Does It Take For A Person To Fall Asleep?

Types Of PeopleTime Taken
Normal10-20 Minutes
Suffering from Insomnia> 30 Minutes

Sleeping is something that everyone does naturally. It does not necessitate any stringent technique. Following a regimen will result in restful sleep.

However, some people have difficulty sleeping even after lying down for an extended period. These sorts of conduct have scientific explanations. When there are distractions near a person’s bed, they take a long time to sleep.

People are distracted by various factors, such as the lights being on, sounds coming from the next room, the room temperature being too hot, and so on. Normally, it does not take long for a person to fall asleep, but there are exceptions, such as insomnia or coffee use before going to bed.

People who have insomnia are sleep deprived, which causes weariness and impaired focus. Stress or drug adverse effects cause insomnia. In the event of a sleep-deprived person, the time for sleep varies.

They take longer to fall asleep or do not sleep at all. In this sort of situation, seeing a doctor is the best option. Early sleep disrupts the rhythm and can sometimes contribute to staying awake.

This is because the body will not allow the individual to sleep until it reaches its original time in the routine. Caffeine, as previously established, aids in staying alert. Some individuals deliberately eat it to stay awake and complete unfinished business. Staying up late and viewing phones or television also affects the eyes and makes it more difficult to fall asleep.

Why Is It So Difficult to Fall Asleep?

The amount of time it takes to fall asleep depends entirely on the individual’s daily activity. A healthy individual will fall asleep in 10-20 minutes on average. However, a person with a sleep issue will take longer to sleep. Sleeping medications can also help you fall asleep.

However, this is only achievable if a doctor prescribes it. To avoid these sorts of situations, a few principles should be followed. The regimen changes according to a person’s age. A youngster sleeps about 18 hours daily and takes little time to fall asleep. An adolescent needs at least 6 hours of sleep every day. An adult needs more than 6 hours of sleep every night.

Going to bed at the same time every day, limiting caffeine consumption, sleeping without distractions, avoiding activity before night, and so on are some of the health recommendations that should be followed to maintain a good sleep. It is not required for a person to fall asleep within the provided average time; they might fall asleep much earlier.

People suffering from jet lag, spending a full day at the office while staring at a computer screen, or not getting enough sleep the night before can all contribute to this condition. An adult should also avoid any afternoon naps to sleep for 6-8 hours straight at night.

Sleep deficiency vs. sleep deprivation

The terms “sleep deprivation” and “sleep deficit” are close but not identical. Sleep deprivation occurs when you do not receive enough sleep. It’s a specific sort of sleep deprivation. However, you may also be sleep deprived if you:

  • Sleeping at an inconvenient hour.
  • You either wake up frequently or don’t get enough deep sleep.
  • Have a sleep condition that prevents you from getting enough rest.

You’re undoubtedly sleep-deprived if you receive less than six hours of sleep every night. Sleep deprivation is more difficult to detect.

Could you be suffering from a sleep disorder?

Most individuals struggle to sleep at some time in their life. However, prolonged sleep disorders and persistent daytime weariness may indicate a more serious issue. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than a quarter of Americans sometimes do not get enough sleep (CDC). Continue reading to see whether your sleeping habits may indicate a medical concern.

Symptoms of a Sleep Disorder

The following symptoms may indicate a sleep disorder:

  • Taking more than 30 minutes to fall asleep regularly
  • Perpetual fatigue and irritability during the day, even after getting seven or eight hours of sleep a night, waking up several times during the night and remaining awake, sometimes for hours frequent and long naps during the day, difficulty concentrating at work or school falling asleep at inappropriate times, mostly when sitting still while watching television or reading waking up too early in the morning loud snoring, breathing, or gasping noises while you sleep.

Is it possible to fall asleep too quickly?

Many specialists believe that falling asleep in less than 10 minutes is unusual.

People may fall asleep quicker than normal if they suffer from sleep deprivation or sleep debt, which is the accumulation of sleep deprivation over time.

Sedatives, especially alcohol, can also lead a person to fall asleep more quickly than normal. When a person gets enough sleep every night and does not use sedatives, falling asleep too rapidly may suggest an underlying sleep issue.

In general, medical practitioners use eight minutes as a diagnostic criterion to determine whether or not a person is going asleep too quickly.

How to Begin Falling Asleep Earlier

To teach yourself to sleep earlier, create a consistent nightly routine and stick to it daily. Maybe your schedule has changed, and you need to start waking up earlier for school or work, or maybe you’re tired and want to try going to bed sooner.

To teach yourself to sleep earlier, create a consistent nightly routine and stick to it daily.

Whatever the cause, you may fall asleep earlier with some effort, and the following strategies may help you make the transition:

  • Make a nighttime schedule for yourself and stick to it. Turn off all electronic gadgets around 30 minutes before going to bed. Instead, curl up with a good book.
  • If you’re aiming to get to bed an hour or two sooner, it’s better to do it gradually. Increase your bedtime by 15 minutes for a week, then 30 minutes the next week, and so on.
  • Exercising earlier in the day, at least four hours before bed, is recommended. Because your body has been busy, exercising during the day can help you fall asleep at night. One exception: gentle yoga postures or short stretches before bedtime may help you fall asleep faster.
  • Caffeine should not be consumed in the evening. Caffeine prevents tiredness by inhibiting the activities of adenosine.
  • Set the alarm to avoid oversleeping on weekends, which can exacerbate existing sleep issues.


High blood pressure is one of the many disorders caused by stress. A good night’s sleep helps treat various ailments, including stress. A person who wakes up after a good night’s sleep is stress-free and full of vitality. Even when a person follows a healthy schedule, it is not always easy to fall asleep.

In that situation, they should wake up, read a book, listen to music, switch on the light, and perform breathing exercises. It is essentially a reset and a fresh start. If none of these remedies work, the next step should be to see a doctor.

If you’re having trouble falling asleep, it might be because you’re not receiving enough quality sleep at night. You might be sleep-deprived, which would explain your desire for naps and your inclination to nod asleep even when you don’t plan to.

Sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, narcolepsy, and other neurological problems might be to blame. A sleep expert may provide sleep-related questionnaires, an imaging test, or a formal sleep study to determine the specific nature of the problem.


Editorial Staff

Our writers, editors, content managers, and SEO specialist. We all take part in crafting amazing articles. We spend hours ensuring that each article is based on facts, researched, and thorough. You'll never want to click the back button to look for more answers other than here!