Perfect sleeping temperature
Did you know that there is a theoretical perfect temperature to fall asleep? Studies have shown that setting your room temperature to 65 degrees farenheit or 18 degrees celsius helps you get to sleep the fastest. This is because your body’s core temperature actually drops as you go to sleep, so setting a cooler room temperature will help your body get to this temperature faster. If you dont have a thermostat, you can try sticking your feet out from underneath the sheets, buy a doona with a lower warmth rating or direct a fan towards you. Keep in mind that this is an average, and everyone’s perfect temperature is slightly different so find the right one for you!
2. Legs up in the Air
If you’re having trouble sleeping, put your legs straight up against your head board or wall. This actually comes from a yoga pose not surprisingly called “legs-up-the-wall” or Viparita Karani. A Harvard study actually showed that people who practiced yoga for 8 weeks slept far better than people who didn’t, but also found that if you didn’t have enough time to practice yoga, just this single pose would be enough to help. This pose relieves stress but also takes strain off your lower back muscles.
3. No More Blue Light
Put away all your electronics at least 30 minutes before sleeping. Numerous studies have shown that the blue light from electronic devices disrupts your ability to relax and sleep. But some people like myself actually do wind down on their phones or ipads, so what then? There’s actually an app called “ “ that removes all emitted blue light from your screens which for me is totally game changing!
4. Breathing for Sleep
There’s actually a specific breathing pattern that is meant to induce sleepiness which I thought sounded too good to be true! Basically you need to breathe in for 4 seconds, then hold it for 7 seconds, then breathe out over 8 seconds. You need to do this 4 times and you should feel much more relaxed. The exact reason why this works is a bit unclear, but it seems to be related to a meditation breathing technique that focuses on relaxation.
5. Do The Shuffle
Do the cognitive shuffle! Basically you need to imagine random objects one after another, like say, unicorn, cat, toaster etc etc. This works because often the reason we cant sleep is that our brains are still thinking about all the problems of the day and not letting itself wind down. This activity signals to the brain that there are no more important things to think about for the day because the objects are so random and unconnected, that the brain feels it can officially sign off for the night. There’s actually an app called mysleepbutton which will playback random objects for you to imagine. The other way to do this is to use a word like “unicorn” and imagine as many objects starting with each letter as possible.
6. Alarm to Sleep
Most people set an alarm to wake up, but you should also set an alarm to tell you when to sleep! Or at least to tell you when you should start getting ready for sleep. Science has shown that sleeping at the same time every day helps to regulate your circadian rhythm which helps your body know when its time to go to sleep.
7. The Third Eye
Press your third eye! There is a pressure point in between your eyes that is called the third eye, and is said to relieve anxiety, fear, and depression and also help with insomnia.
8. Essential Oils
This same spot between the eyes is also the same place to apply essential oils to help you sleep
One of the best ways to fall asleep is to get a massage with some aromatherapy! I have actually fallen asleep a few times whilst getting massages so this definitely works! Getting your bae to help you with this is ideal but if not, you can still apply a few drops of essential oils onto your pillow for a relaxing effect.
10. Hot Bath or Shower
Take a hot bath or shower before you sleep. I know some people shower at night, others in the morning. But if you’re undecided, this is a great reason to bathe at night! The reason this helps you get to sleep faster is that your body temperature rises during your bath, and then the rapid temperature drop after you get out is similar to the temperature drop that occurs before you sleep, which makes you feel sleepy and relaxed.
11. White Noise
Turn on some white noise. If you live in an area with lots of noise, whether its cars, noisy neighbours, or wildlife – your sleep can be disrupted because they surprise your senses and jolt you out of a relaxed state. The best way to counter this is to turn on white noise, whether that is a calming music track, or the TV at low volume, this will drown out the other ambient sounds and help you get to sleep faster. There are literally thousands of ambient noise tracks available to download for free online that you can try!
12. Blink Yourself To Sleep
Blink really quickly for 60 seconds! Tired eyes will help you sleep faster. Now I’m not sure if there is any evidence behind this one, but I tried it anyway cos i’m always open to new things and giving things a chance. BLinking during the daytime was pretty uncomfortable, but blinking in the dark was fine and my eyes did actually feel tired afterwards so definitely give this one a go let me know if it worked for you!
13. Loosen The Muscles
You can try using a meditation technique that relaxes your whole body. All you need to do is work your way down your body focusing and consciously relaxing each muscle in your body. If you’re having trouble doing this, you can actually tense the muscle first and then relax it. When you finish, your whole body should be relaxed and you should be able to sleep much more easily.
14. Have some Honey
A spoonful of honey before bed has been shown to drastically improve your nights sleep.
15. Warm Milk
Even better, is to combine is with some warm soy milk and vanilla which will help you fall asleep faster. This is definitely a case where the old wives tale actually has some truth to it. Milk and soy milk have an ingredient called tryptophan which is a natural calming agent that relaxes your body without medication.
Eat some tart cherries before bed. These fruits are one of the few natural sources of melatonin which can help you regulate your circadian rhythm, and get you on a regular, consistent sleep schedule. You can also get melatonin in a tablet but I’d much prefer eating cherries!
Have a bowl of oatmeal. Not only does it help you sleep, but also helps with weight loss and lowering cholesterol. Oats contain both magnesium and calcium, which are two minerals important for restful nights. Magnesium has a calming effect on the body and is also an important building block for melatonin and a deficiency of magnesium can be one of the causes of insomnia.
18. Only for Sleep
Make your bed only a place for sleep. Apart from a certain other activity, try not to do anything else in bed like watch movies or eat food. Limiting your bed for sleep means that next time you climb into it, your body will know that its time to get into sleep mode, and will automatically start to wind down.
19. Pet Your Cat
Pet your cat (or any other animal of choice). For those lucky enough to have a pet, it has been shown that petting your furry little friend before sleep is a great way to destress and calm your body for a peaceful sleep. It also takes you away from doing other potentially stimulating activities.
20. Sleep on Your Left Side
Sleep on your left side. Apparently sleeping on the right can lead to acid reflux and gastrointestinal problems because of the way your stomach is oriented – which can interfere with good nights sleep. Also if you happen to be pregnant, sleeping on the right can interfere with blood flow to your heart, which sounds pretty bad!
Be a statue. When you cant sleep and u want to toss and turn, dont. It wont help, I’ve done it enough times to know that tossing and turning only makes you even more restless. Just continue to be as still as you can and eventually the sensation of restlessness will pass…eventually