Many of us will toss and turn in bed tonight, desperately trying to get to sleep. If you feel like you’ve tried everything, you might be in for a surprise as we’ve gathered the best tips and tricks to help you nod off.
Being tired can really hinder you, and have consequences on your health.
Here’s 11 ways to fall asleep that you may not have tried.
1. Think about your day in reverse
You know that old cliche of boring yourself to sleep? Well, experts suggest that going through your day from finish to start in mundane detail is one of the better ways to nod off.
2. Inhale through your left nostril
This is a yoga method, but one that is quite effective, especially if you’re feeling stressed. Lie on your left side and press your finger on your right nostril to close it. Slowly breathe in the left nostril and release slowly. Repeat.
3. Make a worry list
Going over a to-do list in bed is a major cause of insomnia and it’s because you don’t want to forget what needs doing. We also get tangled up worrying about money, relationships and work. So before bed, write a list of your worries down. Most of the time, these things will be out of your hands.
4. Eat well
What you eat greatly affects how you sleep. To sleep better, eat breakfast first thing every morning. After eating well throughout the day, avoid eating spicy or junk foods at night. And no booze or coffee before bed!
5. Get your TV out of the bedroom
Distractions in the bedroom can stop us from switching off. To avoid these issues, employ something called stimulus control therapy – associate bed with only sleep. Avoid using your phone or tablet while in bed.
6. Sleep restriction
If you can’t sleep, don’t lie in bed and try to fall asleep. Get out of bed if you’ve been trying to sleep for more than 20 minutes and do something else like reading a book.
7. Try not to fall asleep
It sounds counterintuitive but you can try to trick your mind by saying you don’t want to go to sleep. Insomniacs have been shown to actually fall asleep more quickly and sleep better. Experts say this is because trying to stay awake removes the anxiety people can feel while trying to fall asleep.
8. Try to 4-7-8 technique
This technique is shockingly simple, takes hardly any time, and can be done anywhere in five steps so you can fall asleep instantly. To start, place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth and keep it there through the entire exercise. Then:
- Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.
- Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
- Hold your breath for a count of seven.
- Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.
- This is one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.
9. Sleep apps
There are plenty of apps available that can assist sleep. From apps that sing you lullabies to an alarm clock that analyses and graphs your sleep quality, and wakes you up at your lightest sleep time using soothing tones, there are plenty to choose from.
10. Make your room colder
Your body needs to cool down in order to fall asleep and stay asleep, so do what you can to make your room cool.
11. Hide your clock
It’s tempting to look at the clock and see what time it is, but looking at the clock can make you more agitated and restless with worry. Put it away or at least not facing somewhere you can see it.
Do you have any others to add? How do you get to sleep?