How to fake sleep (+7 Tips)


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Page last updated: 7/12/2020

How to fake sleep (+7 Tips)

In this blog we will discuss the subject  of how to fake sleep. We will start by looking at pretending to sleep, then moving on to 8 strategies of faking a good night’s sleep. This article will then move on to discuss the difference between ideal sleep and real world sleep. 

How to fake sleep

To fake sleep, i.e., pretend to be asleep, one should:

  • Pick a comfortable sleeping position
  • Relax your breathing to make it rhythmatic and slow
  • Relax your face
  • Lay motionless
  • Close your eyes gently instead of scrunching them
  • Be reactive to your surroundings in an unconscious manner

Pretending to be asleep

Sometimes you might need or want to pretend like you are asleep, due to various reasons. Here are some strategies that might help you:

  • Pick a comfortable sleeping position

It is advisable to lay in a position that is comfortable to stay in for a longer period. It is advisable that you do not hold anything, put your legs on bed comfortably, and don’t pick your head up. Try to hold a position that you normally sleep in. 

  • Relax your breathing to make it rhythmatic and slow

Take deep, slow and even long breaths. Consciously focus on your breathing to slow it down, and make the breaths deeper. Count in your head the number of breaths if you need to, and then breath out for the same amount of time. Repeat this for each breath. Counts of 3 can be helpful. 

  • Relax your face

Try not to have any expressions on your face as you sleep. Keep a relaxed face, especially focussing on your eyebrows, jaw and ears. Opening your mouth slightly to exhale through it might also be helpful. 

  • Lay motionless

Relax your body, and make it weightless. Focus on progressively relaxing your muscles, starting from the toes to neck, or vice  versa. Drop your shoulders in a relaxed fashion, and loosen the muscles in your lower body. It will make the impression of your being asleep more believable. 

  • Close your eyes gently instead of scrunching them

Consciously closing your eyes, may end up creating a furrow around your forehead, and make you scrunch your eyes. It makes the impression of formed lines around your eyes as well as your forehead, which makes it apparent that you are faking sleep. Try to relax the muscles around your eyebrows and in your forehead to ensure that appearance does not occur. 

  • Be reactive to your surroundings in an unconscious manner

Even when you are asleep, you are unconsciously reactive to your surroundings like loud noises, change in the light, or being touched. So if such stimuli occur in your surroundings, make sure to react to it in some way, like changing sides, making a low noise in your throat, furrowing your eyebrows and then instantly relaxing them again etc. 

Many of these tips also work to pretend you pass out.

How to fake sleep (+7 Tips)

8 ways to fake a good night’s sleep

Sometimes, getting a good night’s sleep becomes a distant dream. Although, this could happen for a multitude of reasons, like having some work, being mentally preoccupied, being in a noisy uncomfortable environment, having a newborn near you etc. 

However, most of us need to stay active through the day even after not being able to get a good night’s sleep. Here are a few strategies to look like you have slept well, even despite not getting a good shut eye. These are:

  • Follow your routine

One important thing to keep in mind is to stick to your routine, dress like you normally do, eat and drink what you normally do, go about your normal routine. This might help giving yourself as well as others the illusion of being well-rested. 

  • Have caffeine

This one is a no-thinker! Caffeine is known to be a short term solution for physical or mental fatigue. Caffeine can be a good pick me up, and give you a jolt of energy and activity. Take a little more caffeine than usual when you have had a bad night’s sleep or lack of it. 

This means if you do not start your day with coffee, try to do so on such days. And if you already start it with coffee, try 1.5 or 2 cups instead of one on such days. 

Another helpful strategy might be to space out your caffeine intake, sip it throughout the day instead of having a cup or two at certain times. This might be helpful in keeping a steady surge of energy throughout the day instead of a spike and derail suddenly. 

  • Cold shower

Another important strategy that may help staying activity is having a short and quick cold shower. Cold showers are very refreshing and rejuvenating in nature. They also help in increasing your metabolism. The cold water makes you feel cold, and our body’s energy goes in keeping you warm, thus increasing the body’s metabolism and keeping you active. 

  • Staying active

This strategy may also seem to be a little paradoxical in nature, but a way to avoid feeling unrested, is by not resting, and staying active instead. Going for a walk, or a short run, or riding a bicycle might be helpful. 

It boosts your body and promotes the production of feel good hormones, making you feel less fatigued, and better rested. Further, this promotes a good night’s sleep the following night due to having tired yourself out completely. 

  • Complete breakfast

A good, complete and healthy breakfast sets the tone for the rest of the day. It provides you with the necessary energy and nutrients to keep going for the day. On days that you feel tired in the morning itself due to lack of or restless sleep, it is advisable to have a full and healthy breakfast full of carbohydrates, and proteins. 

Avoid anything too sugary, as it may lead to derailment of energy soon after eating it. Instead go for breakfasts like salted french toast, sandwich, oatmeal, eggs etc. 

  • Frequent snacks 

Another helpful strategy is to keep snacking frequently. Good snacks could be eggs, nuts, fruits, or caffeinated beverages. It could provide you with a surge of energy throughout the day. This can be also helpful to avoid yourself from falling asleep throughout the day, as doing that might destroy your sleep wake cycle. 

  • Get morning light

Early morning sunlight is very crucial for your body. It contains essential nutrients like Vitamin D, which is very important for your body and health. Further, it may reboot your system to feel active and awake. 

Thus, try to expose yourself to that morning light and let yourself bask in it for a while, setting a healthy tone for the day. 

  • Stay hydrated

Another helpful as well as underrated strategy to help yourself feel fresh, is staying hydrated. Have lots of water, as lack of sleep can make you feel dehydrated. Staying hydrated makes you beat that side effect. 

Further, consuming lots of water means more frequent urination, which further keeps you on your feet and promotes staying awake. 

Ideal v/s real world sleep

Sometimes, we underestimate our quantity as well as quality of sleep, based on our idealistic expectations of good sleep. This is especially common for those suffering from insomnia. Ideal sleep is our sometimes unrealistic expectation of getting a certain number of hours, or a certain uninterrupted quality of sleep. 

People with insomnia sometimes end up underestimating the hours they sleep. Further, waking up in the middle of the night is considered a hindrance of sleep, while research has shown that it is in fact an evolutionary adaptation that has occurred through the years. 

Furthermore, our routine sometimes only allows us 6.5 hours of sleep, which might in itself be quite restorative. But, due to the expectation of a healthy and good sleep being for 7-8 hours, we end up feeling like it is not enough for us. 

Another hindrance comes in through microsleeps. Microsleeps are unconscious small bouts of sleep that occur and we do not realise that they have. They are restorative in nature, and make us feel fresh. However, since they are not conscious, we are not aware of them. 

Thus, after a prolonged period of sleeplessness, microsleeps may occur, which again makes it hard or unlikely to get a good night’s sleep. But since we are not aware of them, we end up overestimating the time we have been awake, causing more harm. 

Sometimes, not staying active enough may be the problem. Our body might not be tired, due to an inactive or sedentary lifestyle due to a multitude of reasons, like a desk job. It has more trouble falling asleep, which frustrates us as although not physically fatigued, we are mentaly burned out. 

Sleep disturbances thus sometimes end up becoming a by product of difference between sleep expectations and sleep reality, instead of being actual disturbances in itself. 


In this blog, we discussed how to fake sleep. We began by looking at pretending to sleep, then 8 strategies to fake sleep, and the distinction between ideal and real world sleep. 

Frequently asked questions (FAQs): How to fake sleep

How do you trick yourself into sleeping?

One way to trick yourself into falling asleep is called the military method. It involves relaxing your entire face, dropping shoulders, exhaling through the chest, relaxing lower body, and imagining something relaxing. 

Can someone fall asleep instantly?

Yes, people can fall asleep instantly or even suddenly. Narcolepsy is a neurological condition that affects your sleep-wake cycle. People who suffer from narcolepsy have uncontrollable and excessive daytime sleepiness. It becomes uncontrollable and they may fall asleep at any moment doing any sort of activity. 

How can I make myself sleep in 5 minutes?

Some techniques that may help you fall asleep are: military method, breathing with your mind, breathing rhythmically to mimic the breaths you take when asleep, imagining your happy place, consciously avoiding thinking, progressively relaxing muscles etc.

How do you sleep if you can’t sleep?

One strategy that might help, is paradoxically, getting out of bed. You should stop trying to fall asleep, get out of bed, and indulge in another activity that may be considered relaxing. This could be reading, or playing a repetitive game. Avoiding technological devices with blue light may also help. Then if you start feeling drowsy, get back to bed, in a dimly lit room with a comfortable temperature. 

Why can’t I remember falling asleep?

This phenomena is actually very common and is considered a form of ‘amnesia’, that occurs as a result of our brain switching from wakefulness to sleep state. 

How quickly do we fall asleep?

For adults, typical time taken to fall asleep usually ranges from 10 to 20 minutes, and their normal sleep may range from 6-8 hours. For children and adolescents, as well as toddlers, this time may vastly vary. This time that it takes for the person to fall asleep is known as sleep latency. 


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This is how you fake sleep (5 tips to pretend you are asleep). (n.d.) my how to online.

Stillman J., (n.d.) How to trick yourself into feeling alert after a bad night’s sleep. Inc.

Jurick N.Y., (2012) How to fake a good night’s sleep. CNN Health.

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