Getting outside for a camping trip or a night under the stars is not only fun, but it has many positive health benefits. Our bodies are fueled by something called a “circadian rhythm“, which we’ll talk more about later. This circadian rhythm is what determines our body clock. The brain produces sleep-inducing chemicals after the sun sets. At sunrise, the opposite occurs. Today’s late nights and early mornings can throw this out of whack. By going camping or sleeping in the great outdoors, you can set your sleep cycle to follow the natural rhythm of day and night, including the rising and setting of the sun.
You may think it’s silly to get up and do a headstand if you have been lying awake for hours with no luck falling asleep. Even so, one of the most effective things you can do to get a good night’s sleep may be to flip your perspective… literally. According to a 2004 study published in the journal Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, certain poses have shown to be highly effective for people who are having trouble sleeping. A headstand circulates fresh blood to your brain, specifically the pituitary and hypothalamus, which are connected to the master glands. Detoxifying the adrenal glands helps expel negative thoughts and promotes more positive thinking, according to experts.
Doesn’t matter if it’s from Apple or Android, if you wear a fitness tracker to bed, it might be giving you trouble falling asleep. About ten percent of Americans use a fitness or sleep tracker every night. The use of a sleep tracker generally allows its users to gain insight into their sleeping patterns. This includes their total time asleep, how many times they’ve woken, and even if they sleep talk. Shouldn’t that help with sleeping better? Well, not really. Researchers found that those who tracked their sleep were likely to feel pressured to get adequate sleep – and reported elevated levels of anxiety. Because of this, they may have exacerbated their inability to fall asleep. This condition is known as orthosomnia, or the preoccupation with perfecting or improving sleep data. Put the tracker on the charger if you can’t sleep.
As much as going to bed may make you stressed, it is not a good idea to use a vape pen or smoke when it is bedtime. Nicotine is not only a stimulant that keeps you awake, it could even impair your sleep quality once you finally doze off. According to a new study, those who smoke cigarettes or use vape pens are four times more likely than nonsmokers to feel unrested after a night’s sleep. Researchers report that smokers spend less time in deep sleep and more time in light sleep than nonsmokers, with the greatest differences being found in the early stages of sleep,.
We live in a 24/7 culture where our to-do lists appear to grow constantly and cause us to worry about unfinished tasks at night. This could be a huge reason you’re having trouble unwinding! A good sleep hack is to make a to-do list for the next day as part of your routine. The Journal of Experimental Social Psychology published a study finding that writing a to-do list before sleep helped a group of volunteers sleep significantly faster than those instructed to create a list of tasks they had completed during their day.
Does Fido sleep on the bed with you? As pet parents, we understand how tempting it is to let your furry friend sleep with you in bed. Humans love having their pets with them, especially at night when you like to cuddle them. However, due to our different sleep schedules, you might want to keep your pets off the bed if you are having trouble sleeping. Although pets sleeping in your bed is not necessarily unhealthy, they may disturb your sleep by moving, scratching, and barking. Pets, including dogs and cats, do not sleep continuously and will get up and step on people as they walk on the bed. The result is fragmented sleep.
Counting sheep not working? If you’re having trouble falling asleep, you need to ask yourself if you’re actually comfortable while in bed. In the event that you are unable to fall asleep, then you might want to consider trying a different position when you rest. Changing from one sleeping position to another can be a challenge, regardless of whether you sleep on your back, your side, or your stomach. Over 55% of people sleep on their sides, 38% sleep on their backs, while only 7% sleep on their stomachs. Although there is no one-size-fits-all way to lay, you can set yourself up for success by understanding your preferred sleeping position.
Some cultural practices are still around for a reason! Acupressure is an ancient Chinese non-medicinal treatment that involves applying pressure to certain points on the body in order to promote sleep. The process is similar to acupuncture, but without ever getting deeper than the skin. The goal of acupressure is not to reset your pressure points with needles, but to massage them without harm. The pressure points you focus on determine how your body reacts to acupressure. You can have acupressure performed by a professional, but you can also stimulate pressure points on your own without leaving your bed.
It sounds silly, but it’s a tried and true method. We all know that if you want something bad enough, it might not happen…including sleep. When you try to force yourself to fall asleep, your chances of succeeding drop dramatically. To increase your chances of sleeping successfully, practice paradoxical intentions. Rather than forcing yourself to sleep, you try to stay awake. Based on the theory that putting pressure on yourself to fall asleep results in stress and anxiety, which prevent you from relaxing and falling asleep. Despite mixed results, some studies demonstrate that people who use this method tend to fall asleep more quickly.
Yes, a nightcap, a last glass of wine or a beer before bed may help you drift off to sleep. In reality, however, people may not realize how it causes them to lay awake at night – or worse, cause them to have serious sleep problems. There is no question that alcohol is a sedative; however, its presence as well as its subsequent wear off may result in a variety of unpleasant side effects. If you drink a lot before you go to bed, it’s possible that you will experience fragmented sleep and insomnia as a result. As an alternative, make sure you haven’t consumed any alcohol at least a couple of hours before it’s time to wind down for the evening.
Concerned about the state of the world today? If you’ve been having trouble falling asleep, a bit of gratitude might be the thing you need to finally rest up! Many studies have shown that the feeling of gratitude is directly connected to feelings of well-being, which can lead to feeling calmer and the ability to fall asleep. A leading expert on the science of gratitude explains that practicing gratitude has many positive effects on our lives. Several of the benefits include the reduction of blood pressure, the reduction of depression and anxiety risks, as well as the improvement of sleep. Keeping a gratitude journal can be a worthwhile idea. There’s no right or wrong way to do this, but you can start by jotting down a few things you’re thankful for each week. Eventually, you will incorporate this habit into your bedtime routine and you will feel much better!
Have so many deadlines you can’t see straight? Is your boss sending you work after-hours? You may be having difficulty sleeping due to the fact that you have been checking and sending emails later at night. Being faced with another decision every time you read a new message, checking your emails after-hours is keeping your mind active and taking time away from family time, social time, and probably bed time. As a result, it’s recommended that you don’t read or send work emails after a certain time in the evening. The solution is to make sure that all business tasks are completed before the evening and setting healthy boundaries with your workplace. By doing so, you will be able to de-stress from your busy day and get to bed on time.
Do you have a “happy place?” That place may be the key to getting a better night’s sleep. Before you retire to bed at night, do some mental exercises such as imagery and visualization to relax your senses. When practicing imagery, visualize a peaceful or happy memory from your past. Take in every detail. When you can’t think of anything, imagine yourself strolling along the beach or floating in the sea, lying by a babbling brook, or admiring a sunset. It is highly recommended for people who have difficulty sleeping that they practice imagery and visualization exercises before going to sleep.
If you’re having trouble sleeping, try checking in with your body and performing a body scan. Despite sounding a bit medical, a body scan is a relaxing technique you can try before bedtime to help promote better sleep. When you do a body scan, you become aware of your body parts and bring your intention to each one. Start by getting comfortable and relaxed by lying down. Focus on one area of your body until it becomes completely at ease, beginning with your head. Be mindful of any uncomfortable sensations you feel. Focus on them and breathe through them. Imagine your body’s tension evaporating into the air through your breath. Continue to the right side of your body, allowing your shoulders to relax before moving on. Check in with your body after 10 to 20 minutes to see if you feel completely relaxed. Soon, you’ll feel your body start to drift off into slumber.
People have used lavender for centuries as a “cure-all” for whatever ailments they had. Nevertheless, science proves that there is one thing that lavender is beneficial for, and that’s helping you to fall asleep. Lavender oil, specifically, has been shown to help people fall asleep, and it can improve both the length and quality of a person’s sleep so that you feel more refreshed the next day. Lavender works on calming the central nervous system and promotes the slow-wave sleep produced by the brain. The great thing about lavender is that you can incorporate it in different ways into your life. You can use the oil in diffusers in your bedroom, apply it directly to the skin, or use a few drops in a hot bath right before bed.
It’s always important to stay hydrated throughout the day, so much so that people keep a glass of water by the bed at night to take a sip in the middle of the night. However, drinking too much can actually be detrimental to the quality of your sleep. Waking up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom has a name, “nocturia.” It disrupts the sleep cycle and decreases the amount of sleep you get and the quality of your sleep if you find it challenging to get back to sleep. You can drink a small glass of water to get you through the night, but you can combat this by staying hydrated throughout the day, reducing your need to drink water right before bed.
One of the secrets to a good night’s sleep is having the right pillow. After all, you’ll be spending about eight hours with it, so you should consider and try to find the most comfortable for your sleep style. Look at the fill of a pillow; the options are usually down, polyfill, wool, latex, cotton, or memory foam. Then look at the fill weight; light-weight pillows are easier to move around, while heavier pillows will stay in place. Then look at pillow sizes; a standard pillow is usually what most people go for, but you can always go for larger, as long as it keeps your body in its natural alignment. The thickness of a pillow will also play a part, especially for your neck support. It’s best to try out several ones to see which ones are most suitable for your comfort.
27. Do Relaxing Games Before Bedtime for Better Sleep
Although it’s always best to keep all electronic devices away from you in bed, if you find that you can’t quit your habit, then there are some things you can do to help you fall asleep. There are some calming games that you can play on your phone or tablet that will help you fall asleep at night. Therapeutic in nature, they don’t gauge your attention too much and can help you relieve stress and ease anxiety so that your brain reaches a calmer state. Games like these don’t require a lot of thinking, so you can complete them effortlessly. Engaging your brain in something that takes a lot of effort will actually cause it to wake up more. Instead, consider these ten games before bed to help you sleep at night.
Many people have heard the adage about giving children warm milk before bed to help them fall asleep, but it’s not just an adage; it works. Science has shown that a small glass of warm milk before bed can actually help you fall asleep. Experts conducted a test in a hospital’s heart unit, and those patients who drank warm milk and honey for three days demonstrated improved quality of sleep. Milk contains tryptophan, which helps improve sleep as well as mood. It enables the brain to produce serotonin and melatonin, which control mood, memory, and falling asleep at night, respectively.
Everyone has a clock by their bedside, which helps people get up in the morning. However, if you deal with insomnia, it can worsen your sleep quality. When people have a hard time falling asleep, they check the clock to see how much time has passed, which can increase your anxiety when it comes to falling asleep. Moreover, by doing this every night, they’ll get their body into the habit of decreasing the quality of sleep exponentially. It would be best to remove the clock from beside your bed altogether or turn it around so you can’t see what time it is.
Massages are known to help the body relax, and they can remove or reduce any tension you’re carrying around so that you can feel more at ease, and it’s no different if you’re trying to fall asleep. But instead of having a personal masseuse in your home to help you take your trouble away, there’s one simple trick you can exercise to help you get to sleep, and all it takes is two fingers. An acupressure spot behind your ear is the trick to helping you fall asleep. By rubbing the ridge of your ear for a few minutes, you can feel relaxed and even sleepy in a few minutes.
When you’re living a busy life, it can be difficult to take care of yourself properly. You either grab the easiest or quickest thing you can get your hands on or neglect it altogether. One of the most important things that people forget at the start of their day is breakfast, and that’s a problem. That’s because breakfast provides the boost of energy you need to start your day after being asleep for eight hours. Studies show that food is closely related to your circadian rhythm, so your rhythm is off if you skip the day’s first meal.
Many people have heard of ASMR but are not entirely sure what it is. It’s a sensory phenomenon where certain sounds played through headphones can give you a tingling sensation across your scalp. This can be a little alarming the first time you experience it, but people have stated that it’s actually quite calming. It can be any sound, from the crinkling of plastic to mere whispering. Because it has a calming effect, many people are also using it to help them fall asleep at night. Many people turn to ASMR videos online or listen to audio recordings for ASMR purposes.
People commonly use television to help them fall asleep at night, but studies show that this can do more harm than good. For some, it does provide some white noise that can help people fall asleep, but on the other hand, it’s not exactly a healthy habit to get into. In fact, watching television late at night disrupts your internal clock because it forces your brain to pay attention to something. You should be spending that time trying to sleep rather than watching the news or something riveting. Watching TV shows with intense material can actually disrupt your sleep because of their intense imagery.
It may sound strange to hear that morning light is essential to help you fall asleep, but it’s true. Many people rue having to wake up in the morning when the first signs of dawn peek through their windows. However, your body must sync up with the presence of natural sunlight in order to keep your circadian rhythm in check. By exposing yourself to sunlight in the morning, you’ll jumpstart your body and help it to feel more tired when the sun goes down.
19. Listen to Calming Music Before Bed to Sleep Better
Music can have a tremendous impact on a person’s mood. So it shouldn’t be surprising that music can also help you fall asleep. But we’re not talking about your favorite songs; musicians design specific melodies and rhythms to help you fall asleep, such as lullabies and gentle rhythms. It can help you fall asleep, but it can also decrease the amount of time it takes for you to fall asleep. Music can decrease cortisol, which is a stress hormone, and less stress means that your body is more prepared to be in a relaxed state. When listening to music, heart rate tends to go down, blood pressure also goes down, and breathing tends to be slower. Keep reading for more simple sleep hacks so you can get some rest.
People believe that using their phones before bed helps their brains become more tired to fall asleep more quickly, but it does the opposite. Electronic devices emit blue light, which keeps the brain attentive. So while you think you’re helping yourself fall asleep, you’re making your brain remain more alert for much longer. It’s best to stop using electronic devices at least 30 minutes before bed to give your brain time to adjust to being without light to prepare for sleep.
A little dab of honey will do you when it comes to sweetening your tea, but did you know that it can actually help you fall asleep at night? Science has shown that honey helps your brain release melatonin, a hormone released by the brain when you’re sleeping. It has to be raw, unfiltered honey so that you’re receiving the other benefits it provides. However, keep in mind that you shouldn’t overdo it with the honey. Just one or two teaspoons is enough to help you; you don’t need to start spiking your blood sugar right before bed.
It’s easy to feel groggy throughout the day, especially if you have a stressful day, so there’s nothing wrong with taking a nap. The problem lies in people not knowing how to nap properly. There’s actually a science that can help you get the most out of closing your eyes for a few minutes without waking up completely groggy and not wanting to get up. We call it the power nap. These are naps that last only 15 to 20 minutes. They allow your body and mind to recharge quickly so that you can wake up refreshed. Any longer than that, and you jumpstart an entire sleep cycle that can be extremely difficult to wake up from.
Doing stretches right as you wake up in the morning is a great idea so that your muscles are ready to work for the day, but it’s also not a bad idea to do stretches before bed. Think of it as a “cool down” for the end of the day. Stretching relieves any muscle tension you may still have lingering before bedtime and prevents any muscle cramps while you’re sleeping. You can focus on how your body feels and breathing instead of dwelling on matters outside of your control.
If you haven’t noticed that there has been an influx of weighted blankets in the market, then you haven’t been paying attention. Weighted blankets have been the new cure for those who suffer from insomnia, anxiety, or depression. It’s similar to being hugged, which can have a calming effect on the body. So having this pressure on your body while you’re sleeping can help you feel safe and secure. Studies have shown that people who sleep with weighted blankets also tend to move around less during their sleep, thereby increasing their deep sleep periods. In turn, this improves the overall quality of sleep throughout the night.
The kind of food you eat can affect the amount and quality of sleep you have. For example, spicy food right before bed isn’t a good idea because you’re likely to have heartburn throughout the night. However, eating late at night is not a good idea. It jumpstarts your body’s metabolism to be ready for “something” instead of preparing for bed. But there are some foods that you can eat that will actually help you fall asleep, such as a small glass of warm milk (as discussed earlier) or a light carb-filled snack such as crackers.
Cleaning up your bedroom is generally a good idea so that you can always find what you’re looking for, but it can also help out your mental state when it comes to going to bed at night. Having bedroom clutter can negatively affect your brain because you’re always going to see it, and it’s going to be at the back of your mind that you need to get it done. Moreover, the longer you wait to put it away, the more anxiety you’re going to have for long periods. That’s why it’s best to put away your clothes and other things as soon as possible and not wait until later. By taking care of it sooner, you have reduced the amount of anxiety you have in a room.
The next time you head to the thermostat to turn it up before bed, then you might want to hold off. Science has demonstrated that it’s easier for people to fall asleep if their bedrooms are cold, and a cold room helps people fall asleep faster at night. Why? Because your core body temperature naturally falls a degree or two when you’re sleeping, so dropping the temperature in your room will help your core do that much faster. This sleeping trick also helps people with insomnia because those who do tend to have higher body temperatures, too, so keeping it down will help them drift off more easily.
Did you know that wearing socks to bed can actually help you fall asleep much faster at night? This sleeping hack follows the same principle we mentioned above; by assisting the body in cooling itself faster, you’ll find it much easier to fall asleep. Putting on socks before bed can improve this process by opening up the blood vessels to release internal heat. So what kind of socks should you be wearing to bed? You should go for loose-fitting socks that don’t have any tight spots around your feet or ankles. Natural fibers such as fleece or Spandex work well because they don’t constrict against the skin.
Fruits are not only good at keeping the doctor away but did you know that they can also help you fall asleep? Bananas, are known to reduce stress, relieve muscle cramps, and help your body regulate its sleep-wake cycle to improve your sleep quality. Just a medium-sized banana is enough for you to experience the difference. Not a fan of bananas? Other foods can help you achieve the same effect, such as tart cherries, beans, and chamomile tea. Of course, you should discuss any dietary changes with your doctor first to ensure that you’ll benefit from these foods instead of harming your overall health.
Most people shower in the morning before they go to work as a great start to their day, but did you know that a hot bath can have the opposite effect on your body? Scientific studies have shown that having a hot bath 90 minutes before your bedtime can significantly decrease the amount of time it takes for you to fall asleep. The hot water actually changes your body’s core temperature to lower it by the time you get to bed. Furthermore, this drop in temperature signals your body that it’s time for bed.
Caffeine is excellent at getting you up in the morning, but it’s not great for your overall sleep cycle, especially if you’re drinking coffee throughout the day. It takes about six to eight hours for caffeine to leave your system completely, so if you’re drinking coffee after 2 in the afternoon, you will have difficulty falling asleep. Drinking caffeine has also been shown to reduce the slow-wave sleep period, which means you’re not getting as much deep sleep as your body needs. It would be good to limit the amount of caffeine you have in a given day, especially cutting caffeine off around noon.
6. Exercise In the Morning Instead of at Night to Sleep Better
Many people argue over the best time to work out during the day. People who go for nighttime workouts say that it helps them fall asleep faster, while those who go for morning workouts say that it boosts metabolism. So who’s right? Actually, neither. The time of day doesn’t make a difference; the routine determines how well it works. Pick a time and stick with it. If you workout at random times of the day, your body isn’t getting into the habit of exercising, so it never knows what to prepare for. However, if you exercise at the same time every day, your body knows exactly when it’s going to happen and will prepare itself accordingly.
Just as your body is prepared to wake up in the morning at a particular time when you have an alarm set, you can train your body to do the same thing in order to get ready for bed. Start setting a sleep alarm, so you force yourself to put everything down and get into bed. Repeating this process regularly will train your brain to prepare for sleep, making it easier to fall asleep at night. It’s best not to use the same sound you use for your morning alarm, as this can confuse your brain and prepare for the day instead of the opposite.
If you really want to fall asleep, please put the homework and other projects you have aside. Your bed should only be for sleeping, not getting work done. There are three main reasons you shouldn’t do work in bed. One, being in bed limits your focus. You’re getting nice and warm under the covers, so you’re not going to have the attention you need to dedicate to your projects anyway. Secondly, your bed doesn’t afford you the amount of space you need to be productive anyway, so you’re still not going to get as much work done. Thirdly, you’ll harm your chances of falling asleep because you’re forcing your brain to be awake instead of preparing for bed.
Light is one of the most important factors when it comes to regulating your circadian rhythm. When it’s light out, you have more energy; when it gets dark, your body prepares for sleep. That’s why during winter, when the sunlight hours are shorter, you may feel more tired than usual. However, with the advent of modern electricity, the human body feels more alert than before long after the sun goes down. Furthermore, because people keep electronic devices in their rooms that add more light to the atmosphere, they can have more difficulty falling asleep. The way to combat this is to keep your bedroom as dark as possible.
Breathing is an essential part of controlling your stress and anxiety. It’s why you focus on your breathing during yoga; by slowing it down and taking deeper breaths, you’re increasing oxygen to your brain to feel calmer. You can implement those same methods when lying in bed to help you fall asleep much faster. One of these breathing methods is the 4-7-8 method. To start, inhale through your nose for a slow count of four. Hold your breath for about seven seconds, and then exhale slowly for eight seconds through your mouth. Try to practice these breathing methods regularly so that you don’t have to dedicate too much thought to it while lying in bed. Repeat for at least four cycles, and you should start to feel more relaxed.
We all read bedtime stories as children, so it’s a given that reading before bed can help your mind relax before bed. There are several reasons why it works; it reduces stress and anxiety, it can make you more creative the next day, and it decreases the amount of time you spend in front of blue light. Reading can help improve overall concentration when completing tasks throughout the day. Why? Because you are training your brain to process information more slowly.