Approximately 2 out of every 10 people in America suffer from a sleep disorder and 60 million people have insomnia. Year after year, we sleep less and progressively become even more stressed. And this is something we need to take care of.

We at Bright Side want everyone to have peaceful dreams and found some sleep hacks that may improve your quality of life. There is also a useful bonus for you at the end of the article!

1. Sleep on your left side for better health.

Our bodies look symmetrical, but our internal organ placement is not. If we lie on the left side, the stomach and its gastric juices remain lower than the esophagus. So it reduces heartburn.

2. A banana night cap will help you to relax.

Bananas, and especially the peel, are packed full of magnesium and may calm you down. You need one organic banana and filtered water to make your banana water.

  1. Slice off both ends of the banana and place it into boiling water. Boil 10 minutes.
  2. Use a colander to drain the banana water into a mug.
  3. You can add some cinnamon into your banana water. Sip slowly right before bedtime.

3. Try staying awake if you have insomnia.

This may sound like a paradox, but a small study showed that insomniacs who were instructed to lay in bed and try to stay awake with their eyes open, fell asleep quicker than others who were told to fall asleep.

4. Try blowing bubbles before sleeping.

We’re serious! Professor of neurology Rachel Marie E. Salas recommends blowing bubbles. It works like a deep breathing exercise. It can help you to calm your body and mind. Plus, during this activity, you’re able to refocus any thoughts that may be disturbing you.

5. Get rid of any clocks in your bedroom.

The clock is an enemy that can stress you. Stop watching the time when you are in bed. If you’re worried about waking up during the night, don’t check your phone. It’s better to put it under your bed or in a drawer. If you are so worried about oversleeping or missing something, just make a to-do list before bed.

6. Get up and do something when you can’t sleep.

If you’re awake for more than 20 minutes during the night, just get out of bed! Go do some simple relaxing activity like putting together a puzzle or painting. This is advice from professor Richard Wiseman. You need your brain stop associating sleeplessness with your bed.

7. Light an aromatherapy candle.

The power of scent is incredible and if bad smell can make you feel uncomfortable and keep you awake, some candles with the scent of lavender and chamomile can relax your mind. Moreover, the soft light from candles will make a much cozier atmosphere than a bedside lamp. But remember to blow the candle out before you fall asleep or buy it in a special safety container.

8. Avoid a stiff pillow if you sleep on your stomach.

It can harm your neck and cause pain because a stiff pillow won’t allow you to reach a comfortable angle. It’s better to try propping a softer pillow just under your forehead, rather than turning your head to one side.

9. Use a pillow and blankets to fill in the empty spaces between you and the mattress.

If you are a side sleeper and wake up often with pain in your shoulders and hips, you probably need a special mattress. Your pressure points may suffer every night when you fall asleep. The best mattress for side sleepers is gentle on the shoulders and hips. But if you can’t buy one right away, make sure to fill in the empty spaces between your body and the mattress.

10. Use a pillow for your knees.

If you sleep on your back, put a pillow under your knees. Fill in any other gaps between your body and the mattress with additional pillows.

If you sleep on your side, put a small pillow between your knees.

11. Try square breathing before sleeping.

Square or box breathing may help you fall asleep quicker! This technique is also recommended for those who want to reduce stress.

  1. Sitting upright, slowly exhale through your mouth. Focus on this intention.

  2. Slowly inhale with your nose while counting to 4 slowly in your head.

  3. Then hold your breath during counting to 4.

  4. Exhale through your mouth with the same counting to 4.

  5. Hold your breath again with the same slow count to 4 and repeat the whole process again.

You can use this method each time you are stressed and before going to bed. Concentrating on your breath may help you to relax your mind and stop thinking about your problems.

Bonus: Here are some possible reasons for back pain after sleeping.

If you often have back pain after sleeping, there are some common reason for this:

  1. Sleeping position. Try changing sides or try sleeping on your back with a comfortable pillow.
  2. Bad mattress. It is important to invest money in a good mattress to escape future problems with poor sleeping, pain, and tiredness.
  3. Pregnancy. It is extremely common during this period. It can become most problematic between the fifth and seventh month.
  4. A natural result of aging, and the wear and tear on your body. In this case, it is better to consult with your doctor.

Do you have any tricks for sleeping better? Please share them with us and leave your comment below!

Illustrated by Marat Nugumanov, Ekaterina Gapanovich for Bright Side