Do you want to go to the realm of dreams just tucked under the blankets? Try these scientifically proven methods, which include relaxation techniques, distraction exercises, and other ways to prepare your body to suffocate.
Strive to stay awake
Is reverse psychology ever wrong in something? In this case, it can relieve excessive sleep anxiety. A small study conducted by the University of Glasgow showed that the sleepy people who had been told to lie down and struggled to stay awake, and with their eyes open, fell asleep faster than those who had been told to fall asleep without this “paradoxical intention” (IP). The participants in the first group fell asleep more easily and showed less sleep-related anxiety.
“As I always say, the more you feel and the more you sleep, the more chance you fail to grow,” says Meltzer. “Reverse psychology is not a long-term solution, but it can help.”
Get up and do something for ten minutes
If you wake up at night and you cannot sleep within 15 minutes, get out of bed and dedicate yourself to an activity that requires hands and head, like a puzzle or a coloring book, suggests Richard Wiseman, a professor at the University of ‘Hertfordshire and author of Night School: Wake up to the power of sleep. Stay away from TVs and digital screens: it has been shown that their blue light reduces melatonin, a hormone that induces sleep. “The secret is to avoid the association between bed and wake,” says Wisemen in his video for 59Seconds.
“It’s a theory related to controlling stimuli,” says Meltzer. “In life everything can become a stimulus, even your bed,” meaning the body should recognize that getting in bed means it’s time to sleep. To give this value to bed, you should only use it to sleep and have sex, he explains. “Getting out of bed when you cannot sleep is very difficult, but important. If you spend ten hours in bed, but you sleep only six hours, it’s not good at all. The bed becomes a place to think, shake, watch TV and not sleep.”
Hide the clock
You turn and go back, trying to fall asleep, watching the hands tick in the morning. Does this scene seem familiar to you? Make a favor: hide your watch. Controlling the time continuously increases your stress alone, making it difficult to turn off your nervous system and sleep. “Fixing your watch will increase your stress and your concern that you cannot get asleep,” says Meltzer
Refresh the room
Did you know that the internal temperature of your body is crucial to adjusting your biological clock? When you fall asleep, the temperature drops slightly, and some experts believe this helps the process, according to Harvard Medical School. The National Sleep Foundation recommends a temperature of between 15 and 20 degrees to provide the most suitable sleep conditions.
“The secret is a cool, dark, and comfortable room,” says Meltzer. “Darkness tells the brain to produce melatonin, which in turn tells the inner clock that it is time to sleep. Melatonin cools the internal temperature to reach the lowest point between 2 and 4 am.”
Make a hot shower before going to bed
Heat your body with a shower an hour before going to bed and then encounter fresher air will lower your body temperature more quickly. Studies show that this abrupt drop in temperature slows down metabolism faster and predisposes the body to sleep. “Shower can also be very relaxing, and this also helps,” explains Meltzer. If you shower every night, more or less at the same time, make it a part of your goodnight routine, you’ll soon understand the importance, he adds.
Wear socks in bed
Researchers of a Swiss study published in the journal Nature have noted that cold hands and feet are the best indicators of a rapid onset of sleep. For the study, participants placed a bottle of hot water at their feet, expanding the blood vessels on the skin surface, thus increasing the heat loss. The “movement” of blood circulation from the center of the body to the extremities cools the body, working together with melatonin.
Immerse your face in very cold water for 30 seconds
If it is time to bed you feel anxious and stressed, dipping your face in icy water could turn out to be the best remedy. When you are in a state of agitation, your nervous system needs to resume to help you calm down. Immersing your face in cold water triggers an involuntary phenomenon called immersion reflex that slows down the heartbeat and drops the pressure. You will be in bed more relaxed.
Apply the method “4-7-8”
Stoned by Dr. Andrew Weil, a successful author, and by several wellness bloggers, breathing technique “4-7-8” promises to let you fall asleep in less than a minute. It is said that this method favors relaxation by increasing the amount of oxygen in the blood, slowing down the beat, and allowing the release of a greater amount of carbon dioxide from the lungs. Here’s how to do, according to …
- Place the tip of the tongue against the fabric portion behind the upper incisors, and keep it there throughout the exercise
- Exhale with your mouth, producing a sound like a rustle
- Close your mouth and breathe slowly with your nose counting up to four
- Keep your breath counting up to seven
- Exhale completely with your mouth, producing a sound and counting up to eight
- Repeat the cycle for three more times for a total of four breaths