There is nothing more frustrating than when you’re lying in bed, desperately trying to sleep but no matter what you try, the flighty mistress of slumber evades you. You could try counting sheep, but really, that’s pretty boring, and your mind is likely to wander very quickly! Here are some science-based tricks that can help you fall asleep much easier!
Force yourself to stay awake
Bare with us here, it’s an odd one, but we all know that reverse psychology can be very effective. You’ll also be able to think of times when you really needed to stay awake, perhaps to see the end of a movie for example but ended up falling asleep. When you try to stay awake, you are relieving your brain and body of the anxiety caused by trying to fall asleep and therefore you feel more relaxed and should be able to fall asleep easier.
Hide the clock
The more you check the time, the more stressed you will feel and as we know stress = staying awake, no matter how tired you may be. Stop checking the clock and check out the inside of those eyelids instead!
Keep your room cool
The best temperature for your bedroom to be, for optimal sleep is between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep it dark (that includes annoying blinking lights from standby TVs!) and between these two temperatures, using AC or heating and you should be more able to drift off comfortably.
Keep your socks on
Research shows that if your feet and hands are toasty warm, you will find it much easier to fall asleep. Your body heat will be drawn away from your core, into your extremities which will help regulate your body temperature, which as we have just discovered, needs to be fairly cool to bring on sleep.
4-7-8 is a tried and tested breathing technique which claims to be able to get you to sleep in less than 60 seconds! The idea is that you increase the level of oxygen in your blood which slows your heart rate and in turn releases more CO2 from the lungs. So how is it done? Start by placing the tip of your tongue behind your top, front teeth, against the piece of tissue that is there. Keep it there the whole time you are doing this cycle. Exhale through the mouth, making a ‘whoosh’ sound as you do it. Close your mouth (keeping your tongue in place!) and inhale through your nose while you count to four in your head. Hold your breath for a mental count of seven. Then, exhale again through your mouth, this time making the ‘whoosh’ sound for eight counts. Repeat this cycle three more times, and you should be asleep in seconds!
Lavender is a universally calming scent, which has been proven to relax you, lower your blood pressure and even calm your nerves. You can get lavender essential oils, room sprays and even body lotions that could be used before bed as part of a routine to help you feel sleepy.
It can be frustrating if you struggle to fall asleep but the most important thing to do is to try and relax. Hopefully, by putting some of these tips and tricks into practice, you will be able to sleep like a baby!