The easiest way to sleep is to wear a sleep mask. According to Cleveland Clinic, it creates a blackout that makes it easier to fall asleep and helps you sleep better. And as a bonus, we get tone and vigor in the morning.
What other hacks work? MedAboutMe has collected the best recommendations from scientists and doctors.
1. Add more light
You need to prepare for a night’s sleep immediately after you … woke up. According to Ph.D., sleep expert Michael J. Breusin the morning you need to devote 15 minutes to “saturate” the body with sunlight.
“Sunlight normalizes the production of the sleep hormone melatonin,” explains the expert.
2. Skip the glass of wine
While many people believe that alcohol before bed is the best sleep aid, it really isn’t. Experts National Sleep Foundation warn that although alcohol makes you feel tired and sleepy, it makes you sleep superficial, restless, and also contributes to snoring.
3. Eat fish before bed
In a 2017 study by experts University of Pennsylvania, Eating fish before bed has been found to help you fall asleep faster and sleep better at night. This is due to the fact that fish is rich in omega‑3 fatty acids, which increase the production of the sleep hormone melatonin.
For those who do not like fish, experts advise getting healthy fats from other foods, such as vegetable oils and nuts, or taking supplements from a pharmacy.
Did you know?
Poor sleep quality and chronic lack of sleep has a negative impact on a person’s hormonal background, his physical activity and brain function.
4. Rethink your relationship with caffeine
Who among us doesn’t love coffee? We drink it so often that we imperceptibly suffer from its excess. Specialists National Sleep Foundation they say that caffeine lingers in the body for a much longer time than a person assumes.
So, 6 hours after consuming caffeinated foods or drinks, only half of the total amount is absorbed. That is, if you drank a cup of coffee at 3–4 pm, at 9–10 pm you may feel more alert and active, which will prevent you from falling asleep.
5. Get a good book
Whether you like science fiction or romance novels, try to read a good book every night before bed. A study conducted in 2009 by experts University of Sussex found that reading reduced stress levels by a record 68%. And the less a person is tense, the easier he falls asleep.
6. Listen to binaural beats
Dr. Michael Breus explains that it is a combination of two different sound frequencies to create one melody that affects the human brain in a special way.
“It slows down brain activity, helps the body to relax, and therefore get a better night’s rest.” It is best to listen to binaural beats 15–20 minutes before bedtime.
On a note!
Those who do not get enough sleep are at higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease, becoming overweight and developing obesity.
7. Let clean air into the room
2017 study published in the journal indoor Air, analyzed the data of 17 participants in the experiment. They were asked to open the window before going to bed, which they did for 5 days.
It turned out that people who had a light breeze in their bedroom had less carbon dioxide, which in turn improved the quality of their sleep.
8. Call your pet
If you have a pet, that’s great! 2017 study published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedingsshowed that people who slept with their dog in the bedroom had better sleep than those who didn’t have a pet. Next to the dog, the participants in the experiment felt safe, so they quickly relaxed and fell asleep. But there is a small limitation: the pet must sleep in the same room as you, but not in the same bed. Therefore, arrange for him a separate place to sleep, and in the morning call for hugs.
9. Try not to fall asleep
An oft-cited 2003 study suggests that when people go to bed with the intention of staying awake, they fall asleep easier and faster. The publication writes about it Behavioral and Cognitive Psychotherapy.
So if you’re having trouble falling asleep, tell your body to “Stay awake!”.
Over the past 10 years, the quality of sleep in children and adults has deteriorated. Many people began to sleep less and worse.
10. Take Meditation Lessons
There are many techniques for falling asleep faster, and many of them work great. But a 2015 study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, showed that people who practiced meditation ended up falling asleep faster and sleeping better compared to those who studied sleep techniques. So maybe you shouldn’t waste your time!
11. Enrich your diet with magnesium
Surely, you have heard more than once that magnesium gives wonderful dreams and restores lost peace of mind. Therefore, products with it should be more often included in the diet of those who have difficulty falling asleep.
A study published in Journal of Research in Medical Scienceshas shown that taking magnesium before bed can help you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly. True, if you take it on a regular basis.
12. Eat nuts for a snack
The list of healthy foods to eat before bed also includes nuts. And all their varieties. Studies have shown that regular consumption of them provides the body with valuable nutrients — magnesium and selenium. Doctors say that these two substances contribute to the activation of brain waves associated with better sleep. In other words, nuts help you sleep like a baby!
On a note!
Daytime sleep can disrupt circadian rhythms and interrupt nighttime sleep. In one study, participants were even more sleepy after taking a mid-afternoon nap.
To prevent this from happening, the researchers suggest sleeping no more than 30 minutes during the day.
13. Sleep on your side.
There are three comfortable positions during sleep: on the back, stomach and side. Sleep Expert Terry Kralle says that the best option for those who have difficulty falling asleep is sleeping on their side.
“While there are many options for sleeping on your side, they are all good for combating insomnia. And with chronic lack of sleep, it is best to choose a position in which the legs, bent at the knees, are slightly raised to the chest. This position reduces the likelihood of interrupted sleep and allows you to sleep better.”
14. Blow bubbles
MD, Associate Professor Department of Neurology at Johns Hopkin Rachel Salas advises everyone who cannot sleep to blow bubbles. This simple child’s play helps to relax.
“When you see bubbles fly away and burst, you relax at the subconscious level and free yourself from problems.”
15. Put Your Gadgets Away Early
While the idea of watching movies until drowsiness sets in sounds very tempting, it’s best not to. Research by experts from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute showed that the use of gadgets two hours before bedtime reduces the production of the hormone melatonin by about 22%, thereby causing serious difficulty falling asleep.
In one study, researchers from Laboratoire de Physiologie et de Psychologie Environnementales found that the temperature in the bedroom affects the quality of sleep even more than the noise. At elevated temperatures, many people cannot sleep.
For most people, the most comfortable room temperature is 20°C.
16. Set an alarm
MD, Sleep Specialist Christopher Winter advises anyone who has difficulty falling asleep to set an alarm for bedtime. This is necessary so that after it is triggered, regardless of what you were doing at the current moment, you went to bed.
“It helps to establish a sleep-wake pattern and brings you back into the practice of mindfulness,” the expert concludes.
Melissa Conrad Stoppler, MD, Pathologist
People who suffer from insomnia often report that practicing progressive muscle relaxation helps them. What it is? How to conduct it?
After you get into bed, try to focus on each individual muscle group. To do this, strain it for ten seconds, then release the tension and move on to the next group.
Start with the leg muscles. Tighten the muscles of the ankle and hold the tension, counting to 10. Then rise up, straining the muscles of the calves, thighs, buttocks, abs, and so on until you reach the muscles of the face.
This practice will help your body relax and you will fall asleep sooner.