What can you do to fall asleep when the sheep are nowhere to be found and that warm glass of milk ain’t cuttin’ it?. Well, I’ve got some quick unconventional tips for ya, and sleep experts swear by them.
First, stop trying to fall asleep!. Just lie in bed with your eyes wide open and challenge yourself by repeating “I will not fall asleep” repeatedly. Our brain isn’t very good at processing negatives, so it’ll take this as a command to fall asleep instead!- In order to drift off, you need to relax, right?. But to relax, you’d need to be feeling tense first. Put two and two together, and you’ve got the muscle-tensing method.
So, get comfy in your bed and start squeezing your toes, then your calves, knees, and steadily go just like that all the way up to your head. And squeeze your head. When you’ve tensed every muscle in your body, it’ll then get more relaxed and ready for sleep. – What if it’s your thoughts keeping you up at night?. Easy: get them out of your head and onto a piece of paper.
If you’re doing mental aerobics about all the stuff you have to do tomorrow, reassure your brain that you won’t forget by writing it all down. – Ok, but what if you’re lying there remembering that one conversation you had where you said something really embarrassing and now everybody must think you’re weird?. Sounds like you need a distraction: try replaying your day in reverse.
Remember every single mundane detail from the moment you went to bed to the second you opened your eyes this morning. It may just be boring enough to knock you out!- Of course, you can always try to blow some bubbles too!. First of all, it’s a super repetitive process, and it’s kind of hypnotic!But more importantly, blowing bubbles helps put you to sleep because it’s like a breathing exercise.
It sort of works like the 4-7-8 breathing technique from yoga. You inhale through your nose while mentally counting to 4, then hold your breath and count to 7, and finally exhale and count to 8. Deep controlled breathing for fast sleeping will have your eyelids feeling like bricks in just 60 seconds!- Speaking of your eyes, keep them off the clock!. When you keep checking the time, it stresses you out, your cortisol levels rise, blood starts pumping faster, and your body does the exact opposite that it needs to get ready for sleep.
Just cover the clock at night or even move it out of your room entirely. – Before you say you always check the time on your phone because who has a separate physical clock these days anyway – the phone needs to go too. And, no, it’s not because you feel tempted to check social media and look up any weird question that pops up in your brain – that’s the obvious stuff. It’s the blue light coming from the screen that’s keeping you up at night.
It tricks your brain into thinking it’s daytime and almost totally prevents the release of melatonin, your body’s natural sleep-inducing hormone. So, the TV, laptop, tablet, smartphone – they should all be turned off and out of arm’s reach when you’re hitting the sack. And don’t use them within 2 hours of going to bed. If you must, then get some of those fancy anti-blue-light glasses or download a special “blue light filter” app on your phone.
If you’re now not sure what to do with your eyes, just roll them! Sleep specialists say that it simulates the movement your eyes naturally make as you’re sleeping. This tricks your brain into producing more melatonin, and soon enough, your eyes will really be rolling around in there as you’re off in dreamland!- Wait, hold up!. Before you even crawl into bed, there’s plenty of stuff you can do to start getting your body ready for sleep.
For example, you can wash your face with cold water. Instead of shocking you awake like you’d assume, it works to reset your nervous system by lowering your heart rate and blood pressure. (A. k. a. the perfect body conditions for “sleep mode”!)- A warm bath before bedtime kind of works the same way but on a much larger scale. And believe it or not, it’s not so much about the water relaxing your muscles, although that does help.
What’s even more effective is that your body then has to lower its temperature onceyou get out of the tub or shower. Just make sure you give your body plenty of time to cool down. Taking a dip an hour and a half before bed should be enough. – Is your room ready for bed too?Lights out, curtains closed, electronics off and nowhere near the bed – check, check,and……check!.
And is your furniture arranged according to the ancient Chinese art of Feng Shui in order to aid with sleep and inner peace?. Oh yeah, you’ll need to do that too. Make sure your bed is open on both sides and that it’s in the northwestern part of the room. Hey, Feng Shui has been around for thousands of years, so it must work!. Hey try it, you’ll like it.
While you’re working on your room, be sure to turn the thermostat down a little too. You might think that a nice warm cozy room will help you relax and drift right off, but it’s the opposite. I mean, how many times are you going to flip that pillow to lay on the cool side?. Instead, try to keep your entire room quite cool, at about 70°F .
Just don’t forget to put some socks on before you get under the covers. Studies show that if your hands and feet are warm, it helps regulate your internal body temperature. So, not only do you nod off easily, you also sleep more soundly!- Oh yeah, and what about your mattress?. Do you even remember when you bought that thing?. You might think an old mattress has somehow been broken in over the years to fit your body like a glove, but, yeah, not quite.
You need to change your mattress every 8 years. Body posture is key when it comes to good-quality sleep. Plus, how can you fall asleep if you’re not comfortable?- On that note, try putting a pillow between your legs to avoid tossing and turning all night. It’ll also help keep your back and hips aligned, which means less joint pain in the morning.
As for me, I’m always surrounded by pillows all night long!And a dog and cat…- And, speaking of which, what better way to fall asleep than to cuddle up with your pooch?. Hey, it’s been proven by science!A recent study showed that women who share their beds with dogs had more restful sleep than those who cuddle up with a kitty (sorry, cat lovers!).
Participants of the experiment also said that their dogs were less disruptive than their human partners!I wonder if they’ll do the same study on men, though?. Well, in any case, did ya hear that, Riley?. Yeah, the smart people said you’ve got dibs on the bed!- Make sure you’re getting enough sun during the day. The idea of daytime sun and nighttime sleep might seem totally unrelated, but they couldn’t be more connected.
Sun exposure helps your body produce vitamin D. People who don’t get enough sun can end up with a vitamin D deficiency, and this has been linked to all kinds of health problems,including depression and insomnia. So, better take the pooch for a nice long walk then!- Feel free to take a nap during the day!. No, really, don’t be scared that it’ll make it harder for you to fall asleep later at night.
Napping for 30 minutes or less can improve your overall brain function, which aids in sleep!. The crucial part is that you must keep it under 30 minutes, and don’t do it everyday. Otherwise, you might throw off your internal clock and really have troubles falling a sleep at night. – (Here’s one foodies like me won’t love so much…) Avoid late-night eating, even if you swear you’re about to fall into a food coma!If your stomach is hard at work digesting all that stuff you just ate, then your metabolism will be kicked on too.
Can’t expect your body to want to sleep if you’re working it overtime now, can you?. And finally, try to always go to sleep and wake up at the same time. Our bodies love routine, and that includes your internal ticker. Challenge yourself to wake up and go to bed at the same time every single day, including the weekends!. Remember, 21 days will be enough to make any pattern a habit!. So, what do you do when you can’t fall asleep?. Let me know down in the comments.