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)

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

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

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

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

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.

Expert com­ment

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.

Expert com­ment

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:

Light mode

  • 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.

Tem­per­a­ture regime

  • Ven­ti­late and cool the room for 20 min­utes.
  • Take a warm show­er your­self at this time.

Ther­mal regime

  • Keep your hands and feet warm. Warm socks are a life­saver. Hands under the pil­low.

Music sup­port

  • 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.

Expert com­ment

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.

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