For many peo­ple who live in the fast-paced city, sleep is some­times the only way to relax. But how often unbid­den thoughts keep me awake! What to do if the mind goes over the pic­tures of the past day or makes grandiose plans?

When I fall asleep…

Our beloved felines are lucky: they spend two-thirds of their lives sleep­ing and still feel great. A per­son, accord­ing to research, sleeps only a third of his life, which, by and large, is not so lit­tle. But at the same time, oth­er sci­en­tif­ic works show that humans are the only mam­mals that will­ing­ly post­pone sleep. Maybe that’s why every day it becomes more and more dif­fi­cult for us to fall asleep?

In 1964, a dan­ger­ous exper­i­ment was car­ried out. Cal­i­for­nia stu­dent named Randy Gard­ner man­aged to go 11 days with­out sleep. At the same time, he suf­fered from severe lack of sleep, and oth­er par­tic­i­pants in the exper­i­ment even died if they were awake for too long.

Today it is no longer a secret that sleep depri­va­tion kills a per­son much faster than food depri­va­tion. And those who reg­u­lar­ly forego sleep in favor of oth­er activ­i­ties, over time, acquire a whole range of health prob­lems, from depres­sion to car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease.

By the way!

12% of peo­ple dream in black and white. And before the advent of col­or TV, only 15% of peo­ple could boast of col­or­ful, col­ored dreams. Such data were pre­sent­ed by a 2008 study pub­lished in the jour­nal Con­scious­ness and Cog­ni­tion.

11 tips for those who can’t sleep

Just don’t go to bed

Just don't go to bed

Going to bed at the same time is a great idea for a per­son of any age. But if the time for sleep has come, and the last one, in fact, is not in any eye, it is bet­ter not to go to bed. Instead, do some­thing to help you relax.

You can take a warm bub­ble bath, sit in a com­fort­able arm­chair and day­dream, or enjoy a cup of mint tea while watch­ing the city from your win­dow. We felt more relaxed — you can fall into the arms of Mor­pheus.

Make a to-do list for tomorrow

“Often peo­ple are kept awake by anx­i­ety. It is not nec­es­sar­i­ly asso­ci­at­ed with bad things, it can even be pos­i­tive. For exam­ple, if a big event is planned and it is impor­tant not to for­get any­thing, and not to miss any­thing, ”says a psy­chol­o­gist, a spe­cial­ist in sleep prob­lems James Findy.

To relieve anx­i­ety, grab a notepad and pen and make a to-do list. Recent stud­ies have shown that mak­ing a to-do list for the future helps you fall asleep 9 min­utes faster. At the same time, the more detailed the per­son set the tasks, the faster he fell asleep.

Let the muscles relax

You can get rid of the flow of obses­sive thoughts and ideas by reliev­ing the ten­sion of the body. And the eas­i­est way to do this is lying in bed. Lie straight, inhale and exhale deeply. Now tight­en the soles of your feet, then quick­ly relax them, then do the same with your knees, hips, stom­ach, chest, and so on, until you com­plete­ly relax the whole body.

On a note!

Nation­al Sleep Foun­da­tion reports that up to 15% of the world’s pop­u­la­tion are lunatics.

Breathe in essential oils

Breathe in essential oils

Dif­fus­ing and inhal­ing essen­tial oils before bed is an easy and effec­tive way to regain your peace of mind and fall asleep. In this case, “spe­cial” oils are used — evok­ing dreams.

sarah pan­ton, essen­tial oil expert advis­es to pre­pare a mix­ture of 7 drops of laven­der oil, 4 drops of frank­in­cense, 4 drops of cedar and 2 drops of berg­amot. It should be dif­fused into the room or inhaled by apply­ing a lit­tle of the mix­ture to a hand­ker­chief or pil­low­case.

Take the pose of a child

Many peo­ple point out that it is yoga helps them sleep bet­ter at night. To quick­ly go to the world of dreams, take Bal­asana — the pose of a child. To do this, kneel down and bring your big toes togeth­er. Now spread your knees hip-width apart and press your chest to your hips. Touch the ground with your fore­head. Hold this pose for 3–5 min­utes.

Read a sleepy book

Sounds trite, but it works! “When you can’t stop the flow of thoughts, try to dis­tract your­self by focus­ing on some­thing neu­tral,” the psy­chol­o­gist advis­es. James Find­ley. — Since the screen of elec­tron­ic devices can cause sleep dis­tur­bances (sci­en­tists have come to this con­clu­sion after con­duct­ing rel­e­vant stud­ies), it is bet­ter to pick up an ordi­nary paper book. But not very excit­ing.” A 20–30 minute read will suf­fice.


With­in 5 min­utes of wak­ing up, 50% of your sleep is for­got­ten. And after anoth­er 5 min­utes, 90% of the mem­o­ries will dis­ap­pear.

Set an alarm

Set an alarm

If before going to bed the same thoughts haunt you, use the rule of the hero­ine of the nov­el Mar­garet Mitchell — Scar­lett O’Hara: “I won’t think about it today, I’ll think about it tomor­row.” Psy­chol­o­gists call this tech­nique “sched­uled wor­ry time.”

Sched­ule 10–15 min­utes dur­ing the day to think about what is both­er­ing you and sketch out a plan for solv­ing the prob­lem. Then at night the next stream of thoughts can be trans­ferred to the “time of anx­i­ety”.

Treat yourself to dessert

A large por­tion of food before bed­time bur­dens diges­tion and pre­vents falling asleep. But a small amount of carbs can be help­ful. Eat an apple, one whole-grain crack­er, an orange, or a car­rot if sleep is in one eye.

“Car­bo­hy­drates can stim­u­late the pro­duc­tion of sero­tonin, a neu­ro­trans­mit­ter that the brain needs to nor­mal­ize sleep. And if sev­er­al hours have passed after din­ner, a small snack will dis­tract you from an emp­ty stom­ach, ”says the psy­chol­o­gist. James Findy.

Turn on white noise

“There aren’t many stud­ies that address the top­ic of sound ther­a­py, but this approach may be help­ful for peo­ple with dif­fi­cul­ty falling asleep,” said MD, Asso­ciate Pro­fes­sor of Neu­rol­o­gy. Cor­mac O’Dono­van. “One of my patients told me that he used to live on the coast, and now that he has moved to a big city, he does not have enough sound of the ocean to fall asleep.”

Down­load spe­cial sleep apps that make white noise or play the sounds you love. They will cre­ate a favor­able envi­ron­ment for easy falling asleep and strong dreams.

On a note!

A 2009 study shared by the pub­li­ca­tion sleep, showed that when a per­son has a lack of sleep, the pain thresh­old sharply decreas­es. Are you plan­ning a vis­it to the den­tist? Try to sleep!

Think about your breath

Anoth­er great way to stop the flow of unnec­es­sary thoughts is to try mind­ful breath­ing. “Your mind will no doubt take you back to oth­er things, but you can stop it by focus­ing on inhal­ing and exhal­ing,” Dr. O’Dono­van. “Deep, slow breath­ing can slow your heart rate, which also helps you fall asleep.”

Try the Tech­nique from a Sleep Spe­cial­ist Dr. Michael Breus! Place one hand on your chest and the oth­er on your stom­ach. Breathe in through your nose for two sec­onds, feel­ing your stom­ach expand. After that, gen­tly press on it, slow­ly exhal­ing. Repeat sev­er­al times.

Try not to sleep

Try not to sleep

“Think­ing about sleep and how impor­tant it is now to fall asleep quick­ly is a recipe for stay­ing awake,” says pro­fes­sor of sleep med­i­cine Col­in Espy. Such thoughts increase lev­els of the stress hor­mone cor­ti­sol, which in turn increas­es anx­i­ety and dri­ves away dreams.

In this sit­u­a­tion, the prin­ci­ple “Do not sleep!” will help. Con­cen­trate on not falling asleep in the next few min­utes, and you your­self will not notice how you fall into the arms of Mor­pheus.

Expert com­ment

Pavel Bukov, psy­chother­a­pist, neu­rol­o­gist

If you do not fall asleep well, you should recon­sid­er some of your habits, pay atten­tion to what you do a cou­ple of hours before bed­time. It makes sense to refrain from watch­ing TV, pro­longed con­tact with a com­put­er and smart­phone. Any flash­ing screen affects the brain in an excit­ing way. It is bet­ter to read a book or lis­ten to an audio­book, take a walk at a calm pace, take a warm bath or show­er.

Don’t eat before bed and don’t go to bed feel­ing hun­gry.

It is impor­tant to arrange your sleep­ing place so that you sleep com­fort­ably, in dark­ness and silence. When hik­ing, use earplugs and a dark eye mask.

If you went to bed, but there is no sleep and no, you can use the breath­ing tech­nique “exha­la­tion twice as long as inhala­tion”. You breathe nat­u­ral­ly when you inhale, but slow down and stretch the exha­la­tion. Inhale, for exam­ple, 3 sec­onds, and exhale 6. Breathe like this for at least 6 min­utes.

If obses­sive thoughts are pre­vent­ing you from falling asleep, write them down on paper and promise your­self to think about them after you wake up in the morn­ing. Sweet Dreams!

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