The Best Tricks to Sleep Better
Do you have trouble sleeping? You aren't the only one, studies have shown that this is a common problem, with 13-33% of Australians having difficulties falling asleep or staying asleep. It can create all sorts of problems like irritability, lack of energy, difficulties paying attention, poor memory, feelings of anger and hostility, and can lead to depression and high blood pressure.
There are numerous issues that lead to sleeplessness, and they vary from person to person. Solutions also differ and not all methods work for everyone. We have found some ways to help you get the sleep you need!
When you fall asleep, your body temperature drops slightly, and it is believed that helps trigger melatonin, the sleeping hormone. Some ways to ‘cool down’ include cooling your room down. You should also keep your room dark, as it also helps trigger melatonin. You could take a warm shower or bath before going to bed, as this not only relaxes you but also makes your body temperature drop a little faster as you’re stepping from warmth to cold. A team of researchers in Switzerland found that by heating the hands and feet (for example by using a hot water bottle), the veins dilated (vasodilation) which increased heat loss in the body and triggered the release of melatonin. They found that the greater the vasodilation in the hands and feet, the shorter the time was needed to fall asleep, making a hot water bottle at your feet a super easy way to help you get to sleep faster!
That’s one of the most common solutions you’ll find out there. One of the ways to help you relax is tensing and scrunching your toes, then relaxing them. You do the same thing to the muscle groups from your toes up to your face. You could also sleep with a weighted blanket, which for a start, feels like a warm hug, and secondly relaxes your nervous system.
No Blue Light
Blue light suppresses melatonin, so you should avoid blue light. Ways to do this are to avoid screens from about ½ hour – 1 hour before bed. You should also try to avoid LED lights, all the electronic lights in the house. You could try reading a book, or writing a journal or to-do list can help you unwind without screens.
Establish a Routine
Everyone should have a night and morning routine, as this also helps trigger melatonin. If you have a set routine, like brushing teeth at 9.30pm and going to bed at 10pm, your body, after a while, will automatically start shutting down at 9.30 – 10pm. You can also set an alarm to wake up in the morning, so eventually, your body will know to stir, at, say 6.30am.
This breathing exercise is mentioned quite a lot when you search for tricks to fall asleep. The steps are:
- Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue between your top front teeth. Keep it there throughout the entire exercise
- Exhale through your mouth, letting all the air out from your lungs and diaphragm
- Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose for a mental count of 4 seconds
- Hold your breath for a mental count of 7 seconds
- Exhale slowly and completely to a mental count of 8
- Repeat the exercise 3 more times, so you have taken 4 breaths
I hope these tips and tricks will help you fall asleep faster from now on and make sure you wake up rested every morning!