Whether it is worry, anxiety or just plain restlessness, almost everyone spent hours staring at the ceiling waiting to fall asleep. The art of falling and staying asleep has scientists and laymen baffled.
Part of answering the question of how to improve sleep is finding out how to fall asleep. Over the years, people have tried almost everything. Some methods work while others just look, sound or feel strange. On your next sleepless night, you can try out one of these methods.
Cherry juice contains melatonin, a popular natural sleep aid. Melatonin helps you fall asleep and can help regulate the sleep/wake cycle. Not just any cherry juice will do. It has to be tart cherry juice that does not contain artificial sweeteners or chemicals.
The Bumblebee Method
The bumblebee method is simple, but if you sleep with someone else, you might look strange. All you have to do is hum like a bumblebee. Making a single monotone sound can help you clear your mind and relax.
Do Some Math
Doing math distracts the part of the mind that is keeping you up. Sleep psychologists present this by suggesting that you count backward from three, but any math will work. You can recite times tables, do long division or simply add numbers.
Dr. Andrew Weil’s Breathing Method
The name doesn’t sound so odd, but the method looks a bit strange when you see it. You put your tongue on the roof of your mouth and keep it there as you follow this breathing method. Open your mouth and make a whooshing sound as you exhale.
Close your mouth and inhale through your nose for four seconds. Then hold your breath for seven seconds. After that, you open your mouth and make the whooshing noise again for eight seconds. If you repeat this four times, it makes you sleepy. Some people who’ve tried this have to do it more than once.
Try to Stay Awake
Yes, it sounds counter-productive, but trying to stay awake can help you fall asleep. Ever notice when you are trying to stay awake, all you can do is think of going to bed. Get out of bed and concentrate on staying awake.
Do Something Boring
Doing something that you usually find boring can make you sleepy. You can combine this with trying to stay awake. Write a sentence over and over, write a letter, pay bills, read a book on a boring subject or listen to a boring lecture.
Eat Some Cottage Cheese
When people hear tryptophan, they think turkey, but cottage cheese contains just as much as that Thanksgiving Day delight. Its a low fat snack that can help you fall asleep.
Use Your Imagination
Simply start a daydream on almost any subject except the ones that make you anxious. Close your eyes and visualize yourself doing something distracting. What your mind comes up with doesn’t really matter as long as you concentrate on it. Make up a story and go with it.
No matter how strange the technique you use, falling asleep fast and staying asleep is key to getting a good night’s rest. A good night’s rest is key to a productive day.