If you have ever had a sleepless night, then you know the horrible feeling of lying awake the entire night although you are dead tired. Sleepless nights are always so hard. The harder you try to fall asleep, the more awake and alert you become. And you just lie like that until morning and get up exhausted, cranky and bleary-eyed. Instead of spending the night tossing and turning or staring angrily at the clock all night, try out some of our odd tips for falling asleep. They may be just the right thing you need to catch some Zzzs.
Try Your Best to Stay Awake
In order to be able to fall asleep at night, you should do your best to stay awake during the day. Also, if you have troubles meeting the sandman when you should, do the opposite of what your body and brain expects – try to stay awake. Some psychotherapists such as Julie Hirst, claim that by doing this, you may actually trick your brain into falling asleep. Lie in bed with your eyes wide open and tell yourself you will not fall asleep over and over again. Soon, your eye muscles will get tired and your brain will kinda get bored. Everyone knows boredom is something that can definitely get you to sleep.
Squeeze all of Your Muscles
Squeezing all your muscles may seem counterproductive, but it is also a way to relax your muscles. While lying in bed, start focusing on squeezing the toes on your feet. Then squeeze your calves, thighs, butt, hands and so on. When you start going from head to toes, your breathing should stabilize and get your ready for a night of blissful slumber.
Try the 4-7-8 Breathing Technique
Many people reported that this yoga breathing trick has helped people meet the sandman in a few minutes. It is believed that the 4-7-8 breathing technique acts as a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system. It involves a lot of heavy breathing which will actually help you bring more oxygen to your brain while at the same time relaxing the tense parasympathetic nervous system.
Make Your Room Colder
You may think that a warm and cozy room is perfect for sleeping. However, our body fells the best when we are sleeping in a reasonably cool room. The perfect temperature for meeting the sandman is around 60 to 68 degrees.
Hide Your Clock
The worst thing you can do when you are fighting the insomnia beast is to stare angrily at your clock. Checking the time will only increase stress and make it harder to relax and fall asleep.
Slip on Some Socks
Although sleeping in a cool room helps you slip off to dreamland faster, sleep with cold feet actually makes things worse. So, if you can’t fall asleep, try putting on some socks to warm your feet. Shifting blood flow from your core to your extremities will help you cool down and warm up the right body parts.
Change Your Sleep Position
If you typically sleep on your back or stomach, try mixing things up and sleeping on your side or like a starfish. Switch positions until you find the most comfortable ones. Who knows, you might get tired and fall asleep in search of that perfect position.
Ban Your Phone
If you think scrolling through Facebook will help you drift off to sleep, you are wrong. The blue light emitted by electronic devices we use every day such as our smartphones, computers, tablets and laptops have a stimulating effect on our brain and actually makes it harder to fall asleep at night. Apart from stimulating our mind, blue light also prevents the release of melatonin that is crucial for regulating our snooze and wake up cycle. So, make sure you ban your phone and all other electronics out of the bedroom.
Put a Pillow Under Your Knees
If you are tossing and turning because you can’t find a comfortable position to sleep, try putting a pillow under your knees for better support. It may feel strange at first, but it will actually help you place your spine in its natural neutral position and relax into the mattress.
Review Your Day in Reverse
If worries are keeping you awake, it may be wise to get up and write everything down. Empty yourself any way you can. You can also try replaying your day in reverse in order to focus on something else. Think about the most boring things you done this day, such as what did you ate, what happened on your way home from work and similar. Remembering these insignificant details will help you clear your mind of worries.
Wash Your Face with Cold Water
Scientists say that washing your face with cold water will not shock you awake, but trigger an involuntary phenomenon called the Mammalian Dive Reflex. This reflex will actually lower your heart rate and blood pressure and relax you just enough to help you visit the dreamland faster.
Co-founder of Counting Sheep and Sleepaholic