By Lauren Pastrana

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — It’s normal to take 10 to 20 minutes to fall asleep once you climb into bed.

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That period of time between hitting the pillow and actually dozing off is called sleep latency.

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But for some people, that period can take an hour or more! In some cases, it may be your body telling you you’re just not tired yet, but in others, it might mean you need some help winding down.

Today’s “Lauren’s List” has a few of unique ways to speed up the process.

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  1. Make a To Do List: Clearly, I’m partial to lists, but this really does work for putting my mind at ease before bed. If I’m worried about all the things I have to get done the next day, I typically have trouble falling asleep. Writing it all down in a simple list gives me a plan of action for the next day that helps me relax.
  2. Drink Cherry Juice: According to research published in the European Journal of Nutrition, study participants who drank two daily glasses of tart cherry juice rested an average of 39 minutes longer than those who did not drink the juice, and also woke fewer times during the night. You can thank the high melatonin concentration in the cherries for that.
  3. DIY Acupressure: Doctors have found stimulating certain pressure points in your body can make you feel relaxed and sleepy. Reader’s Digest cites the book “Sound Asleep: The Expert Guide to Sleeping Well” with this tip – put your thumb on the point between your eyebrows at the top of your nose, where there’s a slight indent. Hold for 20 seconds, release briefly and repeat twice more. That’s supposed to calm you down. There are plenty other points on your body that may help, too.
  4. Left Nostril Breathing: This probably won’t work if you can only breathe out of your left nostril because you have a stuffy nose. If you’re otherwise healthy, one study found holding your right nostril shut and breathing through your left nostril only for five minutes can help lower your blood pressure to help you feel more calm.

What helps you fall asleep faster? Tell me on Facebook or Twitter. If you have an idea for a future “Lauren’s List”, send it to

Lauren Pastrana