The most unpromising occupation is lying in bed thinking about how to fall asleep as soon as possible. Anxiety and anxiety increase levels of the stress hormone cortisol. And the more we worry and toss and turn, the more difficult it becomes to sleep. But there is a solution! And not even one. MedAboutMe shares proven methods.
1. Create your sleep ritual
When a child is small, caring parents hang a mobile over the crib — a children’s carousel with toys and a beautiful soothing melody. It is worth turning the lever and lambs, ponies and horses slowly swim before your eyes, casting slumber and sweet dreams. This is a sleep ritual.
If an adult has trouble falling asleep, he also needs his own ritual. For example, ventilate the room, take a shower and brush your teeth, turn off the sound on your smartphone and dive under the covers. Everything — you can sleep!
2. Jump into bed just for sleep (or sex)
If a thing is used correctly, it will create the necessary associations. Use the family bed only for sleep or love affairs. Monitoring social networks in bed or lying down to watch TV is not recommended.
“Go to another room and take a boring book with you. Read it carefully until you feel sleepy, ”advises MD, board certified sleep specialist, neurologist Pradeep Bollu.
3. Set aside all gadgets
The dramatic plot of a new thriller or shocking facts about everything and everyone is not the best information for the brain before going to bed.
“In addition, the bright light from the smartphone screen stimulates the wakefulness centers and disrupts the biological rhythms of the body,” warns MD, certified sleep specialist. Ilene Rosen.
On a note!
Specialists American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) It is advised to put gadgets aside at least 30 minutes before going to bed.
4. Don’t look at your watch
If you toss and turn in bed for a long time, do not look at the clock. And do not count how much time is left until morning. Worrying about it will only make things worse. And where there is stress, there are no pleasant dreams.
“If you need an alarm clock to wake up, set it so that you can’t see the dial,” advises Dr Rosen.
5. Reduce the temperature in the room
When a person falls asleep, their body temperature drops slightly. Thus, wakefulness processes are turned off, and the time for relaxation comes.
“By lowering the temperature in your room, you signal to your brain that it’s time for bed. If you do not have air conditioning, just install a fan next to the bed, ”advises Dr Rosen.
6. Turn on white noise
Sounds of nature, music in the background or a mega-boring series… If sleep is delayed, it’s time to connect additional measures.
“The idea is to do something, and not just toil in the hope that dreams will come by themselves. It is best to use white noise. Leave it on all night, ”calls Dr Rosen.
7. Lying in bed, think about pleasant things.
The main ally of dreams is a positive attitude. As soon as you are in bed, imagine joyful pictures.
Here you are basking under the rays of the sun on the beach, a cool breeze caresses your feet, and birds sing with thin voices above your head … Imagine a picture in all its colors and completely immerse yourself in the situation.
On a note!
Researchers from Oxford University found that people who built “sand castles” fell asleep faster than those who weren’t distracted.
8. Practice Subtraction
One popular exercise for falling asleep faster is to do math. Calculate in your mind how much it will be if 7 is subtracted from 1000, and then another 7, and another, and another. “It will distract you and help you cope with anxiety,” says Dr. Ballu.
9. Throw away the blanket
If you can’t manage your insomnia, you may have a hot blanket. Open up or put it aside and grab a blanket. Overheating is bad for falling asleep and the quality of sleep in general.
Many people do not even realize that they wake up in the middle of the night because they feel hot and need to cool down.
10. Get in your favorite position
Are you used to sleeping on your side, back or stomach? So, it’s time to take your favorite position. If you don’t know what position you spend the most time in at night, ask your partner about it. Surprisingly, the right posture can help!
11. Give yourself 10 extra minutes.
If you usually go to bed right after you get home from work, allow yourself to sit in a dimly lit room for 10 minutes. This will calm the mind, bring the emotional state back to normal, and prepare you for immersion in the “Kingdom of Morpheus”.
10 minutes doesn’t solve anything! If you go to bed 10 minutes early, you just won’t get as much sleep as you could,” warns MD, spokesman for the American Academy of Sleep. Nitun Verma.
Did you know?
All people dream, it’s just that many do not remember the plots.
12. Try the military method
For the first time this method was declared by the writer Sharon Ackerman. In her book, Relax and Win: Championship Performance, she revealed the secret to falling asleep among the US elite troops. To help pilots fall asleep within two minutes or less, an entire manual has been developed. It took six weeks of practice to bring it to life, but after that, the military fell asleep even after drinking coffee or hearing gunshots in the background. What do we have to do?
- Relax your face completely, including the muscles in your mouth.
- Drop your shoulders to relieve tension and let your arms rest at your side.
- Exhale while relaxing your chest.
- Relax your legs, thighs and calves.
- Clear your mind for 10 seconds by imagining a relaxing scene.
- If that doesn’t work, repeat the words “Don’t think” to yourself over and over again for 10 seconds.
After that, you should sleep.
13. Do acupressure
This technique has not yet been researched, but experts consider it promising and advise using it in life. To fall asleep as soon as possible, you need to massage those areas that are most tense at the moment. For example, the line of the forehead, temples or shoulders.
14. Drink a glass of milk
It may seem surprising, but dietary calcium has a stimulating effect on the production of the sleep hormone melatonin. It is for this reason that children are offered milk before bed. And adults can satisfy their hunger (including good dreams) with the help of cottage cheese, yogurt or kefir.
15. Forbid yourself to sleep
This is a reverse technique. If you’re stressed about not being able to fall asleep, stop yourself from sleeping at all. This will reduce anxiety, which is very important in falling asleep. And as soon as you feel sleepy, you can go to bed.
On a note!
Research published in Society of Clinical psychology, showed that people who practiced “paradoxical intentions” fell asleep faster than those who simply tried to sleep.
16. Rely on aromatherapy
There are aromas that have a calming effect, relax the body and unload the head. These include essential oils of lavender and chamomile.
17. Practice Progressive Relaxation
Progressive muscle relaxation helps many people cope with insomnia. The idea is to alternately tighten and relax individual muscle groups. For example, forehead, mouth or eyes. After each cycle of “tension-relaxation” there should be a pause of 10 seconds.
Crystal Yuen, medical editor, journalist
If you’ve tried everything you can and still can’t get to sleep, you may find the following tips helpful:
- Have a 15 minute yoga session.
- Warm up your feet with socks.
- Ventilate the room well.
- Diffuse with lavender, chamomile or clary sage.
- Eat early so you don’t feel hungry.
- Buy blackout curtains and create a relaxing atmosphere.
- Use white noise or earplugs.
In addition, practice good sleep hygiene, go to bed at the same time, and spend enough hours in bed.
Mila Mykityuk, nutritionist, nutritionist
It’s no secret that sleep is very important for the normal functioning of the body, but few people know that it is important not only how much we sleep, but what quality of sleep we have. You can sleep for 7 hours, or you can get up broken and tired after 10.
Therefore, it is important to know and follow the 10 simple rules of healthy sleep:
- Set your phone to night mode with yellow light 3 hours before bedtime.
- Put away your phone and all gadgets an hour before bed. Bright illumination with a long wavelength of such a range that, as a result, 40% of melatonin production. Goodbye dream.
- Dim all the lights in your bedroom an hour before bed. From the bright light there is a signal that it is daytime and we are awake. Melatonin also cannot begin to be produced.
- Buy dark, light-blocking blackout curtains. They ensure the absence of light (lanterns, moon, city, headlights).
- Get an alarm clock that wakes you up with a light. No call stress. gradual awakening.
- Wear a comfortable eye mask. Ideally silk, it is useful for the delicate skin around the eyes and eyelashes.
- Ventilate and cool the room for 20 minutes.
- Take a warm shower yourself at this time.
- Keep your hands and feet warm. Warm socks are a lifesaver. Hands under the pillow.
- Turn on meditative or calm music. Lie down in shavasana.
If you follow everything, then by the end of the second week you will fall asleep faster.
Sofia Cherkasova, therapist, somnologist, candidate of medical sciences
Sofia Cherkasova, therapist, somnologist, candidate of medical sciences
If insomnia is acute, that is, it lasts up to 3 months, then a person can be helped by standard recommendations, such as taking light sleeping pills or conducting relaxation techniques. But the situation is not always so simple. In Russia, about 9 million people suffer from insomnia, of which about 900 thousand have had this problem for 5 years or more. A third of them have been to the doctor for insomnia more than 2 times, but still do not sleep well.
The duration of insomnia for more than 3 months is a situation when it is already useless to calm the nervous system. In such cases, the stereotype of poor sleep already has time to gain a foothold, and insomnia turns into a valuable disease in itself, which does not depend on its causes, exists and develops on its own. In such cases, according to international recommendations, it is necessary to apply the so-called cognitive-behavioral therapy.
Many components of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can be applied on their own: creating a strict regimen, not staying in bed without sleep, regular exercise, relaxation exercises, and more. In the West, CBT has been practiced for a long time, and there are even mobile apps for insomnia therapy. In Russia, this direction is only developing. However, the first book on CBT from domestic authors has recently been published, which is a self-taught book on self-control of insomnia.