If you suffer from insomnia, we have a few unfamiliar, handy tips that will help you “trick” your brain and fall asleep faster. For example, try to squeeze your toes for a second, then relax them. This exercise will release the tension in your body. Another method is to replay your whole day in your head. It will help you forget all your worries and a relaxed mind falls asleep faster, according to experts.
We at Bright Side collected 10 simple yet really effective activities that will send you directly to “Dreamland.”
1. Keep your feet warm, use socks.
Before going to bed, add some socks to your pajamas. If your feet are warm, you redirect your blood flow from your core to your extremities. So your mind tells you that it is bedtime due to the redistributed heat throughout your body. And this is the perfect signal for your brain that you are ready for a good night’s sleep.
2. Squeeze your toes.
With your feet warm, try to tense and relax your toes alternatively. Do this to a count of 10 each time and then try to go to sleep. All the tension in your body should go away and you will feel much more relaxed. This is part of a very well-known technique used to fight insomnia, called progressive muscle relaxation.
3. Try to stay awake.
You will be surprised that all you have to do to fall asleep faster is… try to stay awake. A study showed exactly this: if you tell your brain that you do not want to sleep, then it will interpret your request in exactly the opposite way. This may sound like a paradox, but it is called reverse psychology. So lay down in bed and repeat to yourself “I don’t want to sleep” and feel how your eyes start closing.
4. Review your day in reverse.
Another reverse psychology trick that you can use is to replay your day in your head. Try to think of the most mundane things you did: what you ate for dinner, what train you took back home, who you talked to. Apparently, this technique will help you relax and clear your mind of worries.
5. Don’t count sheep, count your breaths.
Counting sheep is old school, instead, try the 4-7-8 breathing technique and see how fast you fall asleep. All you have to do is inhale for 4 seconds, hold your breath for another 7 seconds, and then exhale for the next 8 seconds. Try to do this several times, but it shouldn’t take you more than 60 seconds to fall asleep.
6. Wash your face with cold water.
Put some cold water on your face and get ready to sleep. No, it will not shock you awake, but instead, it will trigger this phenomenon called Mammalian Dive Reflex. This lowers your heart rate and your blood pressure, making you ready to sleep like a baby.
7. Hum like a bee.
Lay in bed, close your eyes, inhale, and then start humming like a bee. Even though the bee is buzzing, not humming, this technique does wonders for insomniacs. It is also known as the “bumblebee breath” and it basically helps to clear your mind of all negative thoughts. A positive mind stimulates the production of serotonin, the hormone of happiness and the precursor to melatonin, which helps you fall asleep.
8. Put a pillow under your knees.
A pillow is not just for the head or neck, but it can be a great help to allow you to sleep in a better position. If you sleep on your back, put one small pillow under your knees. This will reduce the stress on your spine and it will also allow your lower back to assume its natural curve. If you sleep on your side, put a pillow between your knees. It will help your spine to be more aligned.
9. Eat brinner (breakfast for dinner).
The foods that you would normally eat at breakfast can be your magic trick at night. Eat a banana before going to bed, it has potassium and magnesium, 2 substances that will help you fall asleep in no time. You can also try banana tea: cut a banana into a cup of boiling water, leave it for a few minutes, then drink the tea together with honey. It helps regulate blood sugar.
Almonds are also a great help in cases of insomnia since they slow down the heart rate. As much as possible, try to avoid very spicy and fatty foods before going to bed, they will be hard to digest and your body will be in distress.
10. Eat low-fat cheese.
Although high-fat cheese is not recommended late at night, low-fat cheese might have the opposite effect. It is rich in tryptophan, which is an amino acid that is considered a sleep aid. Try mixing cottage cheese with some fruit or honey and you will have the perfect snack before bedtime.
If falling asleep does not happen even with these unusual tips, then we recommend you to go see your doctor, because your health is of the utmost importance.
What other atypical activities have you tried that helped you fall asleep straight away? Share them with us in the comment section below.