Just like an imbalanced diet and a wary lifestyle, sleep deprivation has also become one of the main reasons for ill mental and physical health. Depriving yourself from sleep for long hours can do serious damage and this fact has been circling in the health magazines and also on media for quite some time.
Instead of circling around the problem, we think it is always better to find out a quick solution for the problem. So far many solutions for better sleep have been written and also have been propagated through YouTube and various other channels.
Here I give about 40 simple and easy tricks you can adopt to sleep faster and to wake up healthier.
1. Read a book
One of the best ways to get good sleep is to read a good book, which obviously should be less boring or dull. You do not have to indulge in any kind of sophisticated reading though, however it can be something that will interest your senses and will relax your mind. Keep in mind, the next time you care not able to sleep, pick a book and read so that you drift into the sleep mode.
2. Use the ‘Squeeze and Relaxe’ technique
Follow the ‘Squeeze and Relax method or the Progressive Muscle Relaxation method to fall asleep quickly. Now the question obviously would be what is the ‘Squeeze and Relax ‘method?
The ‘Squeeze and Relax’ method or the Progressive Muscle Relaxation technique is applicable to mainly 7 parts of your body which are the:
- Neck and Shoulders
- Arms and Hands
Now let’s see how we can apply this technique to the above mentioned body parts of ours:
The first task is to find a calm and disturbance free area. Lie down on the floor or use a mat for the same. You can also recline on a chair, wear loose clothes, and remove your glasses or contacts. Take deep, slow and steady breaths and start off with the exercise:
- Forehead- Tighten or squeeze the muscles in your forehead and hold it for about 10 to 15 seconds. You have to really focus on tightening your forehead muscles and it should create maximum tension. After that, release the tension in your forehead while counting to about 30 seconds. After this process you will definitely recognize the difference in how your muscles feel before and after the exercise. Release the tension completely from your forehead so that you feel completely relaxed.
- Jaw-Tense your jaw muscles for about 15 seconds and release slowly by counting for 30 seconds. Feel the difference and enjoy your relaxed muscles.
- Neck and Shoulders- Raise your shoulders towards your ears and hold it for 15 seconds. This will also tighten the muscles around your neck region. Hold the tension and slowly release by counting for 30 seconds. Feel the tension release
- Arms and Hands- Tighten your hand muscles into a fist and pull your fists into your chest for 15 seconds. Ensure to squeeze as tight as possible and then release the tension slowly by counting for 30 seconds.
- Buttocks-Increase the tension in your Buttocks area for about 15 seconds and then slowly release it by counting for 30 seconds. Experience the tension release. Continue with your slow breathing.
- Legs- Squeeze the muscles in your calves’ area for about 15 seconds and gently release it by counting for 30 seconds. Feel the tension release after the exercise.
- Feet- Tighten the muscles in your feet by squeezing them as much as you can. Hold the tension for about 15 seconds and gradually release the tension by counting for 30 seconds. Continue breathing evenly while you experience the tension release.
3. Avoid liquids during bedtime hours
Avoid beverages such as tea, coffee etc that will trigger your senses instead of relaxing it. However ensure not to dehydrate yourself before bed. Staying away from liquids or beverages during bedtime will give you a continued sleeping patter and will save your middle of the night loo trips.
4. Set your alarm to go to bed
Yes, you heard right! Instead of setting an alarm to wake up, set an alarm to go to bed and make this a habit. Eventually you will feel sleepy when your alarm activates.
5. Do not snooze
Do not activate your snooze button in between your sleep. This will make you feel groggier and irritated when you wake up. Instead of jump starting from your bed, set your alarm for slightly later hour and miss the snooze cycle. This will ensure a relaxed and calm morning for you.
6. Practice Yoga before bed
Everyone knows that Yoga is one of the latest techniques to good health. At the same time it is also a well proven technique for good sleep. Try your hands at practicing some yoga poses before you retire for the day.
7. Keep yourself warm
Sometimes you tend to fall asleep faster if you are dressed warm or have warm hands and feet. Cover your feet and legs with socks and put on some warm gloves for your hands before climbing into bed.
8. Dim the lights
Reduce the light in your room or even better use an eye mask if you feel if the light is the disturbing factor.
9. Cool temperature
Maintain a room temperature between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit so that you do not feel too cold or too hot. This moderate temperature setting will definitely help you relax into a strong sleep mode.
10. Practice the 4-7-8 breathing method
Follow the 4-7-8 breathing technique which is actually a simple process for you to fall asleep:
- Part your lips and exhale through your mouth making a whooshing sound
- Close your lips and inhale through your nose softly. Count to four while doing this part.
- Hold your breath for 7 seconds
- Further exhale for 8 seconds
- Continue performing this breathing technique for about four breaths.
11. Keep away your gadgets
Turn down all your gadgets at least 60 minutes before you retire. Studies say that the bright light emerging from your gadgets or devices triggers your brain cells and thereby keeps you alert and awake. So work against this by switching off your devices.
12. Avoid late and heavy meals
A heavy meal late at night will keep you awake and energetic as it might take more time to digest. Hence opt for a lighter meal especially one which does not involve proteins.
13. Indulge in a fruitier and healthier diet
Research says that indulging in more fruits, veggies and pulses can accelerate the levels of magnesium, potassium and other essential minerals in your body. And this can help induce proper sleep.
14. Take a hot shower
A hot and relaxing shower before bed is a great option. Apparently this hot shower will prepare your mind and senses to relax and will push you sleep faster and better.
15. Use the bed only for sleeping
If you are indulging in some kind of light activity like reading a mystery novel, browsing on your phone, then confine yourself to a chair instead of the bed. Such activities may disturb you rather than relaxing your brain or senses.
16. Keep your pets at bay
A slight tail wag or a mild animal sound can easily disrupt your sleep. Hence ensure to keep your furry friends away during your bed time hours.
17. Use a comfortable mattress
A lumpy and an uncomfortable mattress can not only disrupt your sleep, it can also give you severe back aches and hip pains. Hence ensure to use a comfortable mattress that clearly suits your body and also make it a point to change your mattress between every 5 to 10 years.
18. Set your mental clock
Set apart sometime in the evening to plan your next day, make a list of activities that you need to clear before your retire so that your mind do not feel clogged up and over filled with incomplete tasks and too much thoughts.
Try your hand at Aromatherapy before your retire for the day. Make use of scented candles or potpourri as a light sniff of these fragrant articles will put you to sleep faster.
Try the visualizing technique. Imagine yourself spending your time at calm and relaxing environment. This cool relaxation method will acts as a massager for your brain cells and will definitely put you to relaxed sleep mode.
21. Maintain silence
Simply avoid ticking clocks or noisy gadgets in your room, If you are unable to get away from snoring partners or from external noise, use earplugs.
22. Bedroom Color
Choose a calm and serene color for your bedroom instead of strong glossy colors. This will automatically relax your brain cells and will cool your senses the moment you enter the room.
23. Short nap
Take a short nap for about half an hour somewhere during the day. This in turn will boost your memory, concentration power and also your productivity both at home and at your workplace.
24. Rub your foot
You can use the ‘Rub your foot’ technique or ‘Rub your ears’ technique to quickly fall asleep. This is ideally referred to as ‘Reflexology’. According to this technique, you can massage your toes for couple of minutes, also the center of your feet. If you are not comfortable with your feet area, you can also massage certain points near your ear As per the study Reflexology is one of the best options to sooth your head, brain, pituitary and pineal gland reflexes.
25. Massage your supraorbital nerve
Gently massage the supraorbital nerve that is located above your eyelid. This technique will not only give you good sleep, it will also relax your nerves and keep your headache and tension at bay.
26. Enjoy the morning sun
Enjoying and experiencing the morning sunlight for 15 minutes can set your biological clock straight and this definitely will help you sleep earlier and better.
27. Say No to smoking
The Nicotine content in cigarettes actively triggers your brain cells and keeps you awake. According to a study conducted in 2008, smokers are likely to feel more tired and lethargic every morning than the non-smokers. So the best option is to gradually quit smoking to get good sleep and also for other obvious health benefits.
28. De-stress yourself
Do not feel anxious about getting sleep in the night instead stay calm and relaxed. Choose any of the options to slip into the sleep mode faster.
Meditation is one of the best options that can help you slow down your fast thoughts. Steady thoughts with slow and regular breathing will promote good sleep. There are several kinds of breathing techniques you can opt for to sooth your senses so that you slip into a calm sleep mode.
30. Count till 100
Kill your boredom and adjust your mind to focus by counting till 100 before retiring to bed. This will help calm your mind as it will divert your attention away from disturbing and anxious thoughts.
You can use Melatonin supplements to induce sleep and to eliminate drowsiness. However, ensure to consult your physician before going forward with this step.
32. No excess alcohol
Avoid drinking huge amounts of alcohol before bed as it can critically impact your sleeping pattern. The one reason is because it can induce feelings of restlessness and nausea in between your sleep.
33. Steady sleeping pattern
You can follow the circadian rhythm which will help set your sleeping pattern straight. The circadian rhythm is primarily used to find out if your body is sleep ready or not.
34. Strict Exercise Regime
You should always let your body work out and it is one of the biggest attributes for good and healthy sleeping pattern. If your body has been in the active mode for throughout the day, this will definitely ensure a good night’s sleep end of the day.
35. Music Therapy
Listening to cool and relaxing music can do a lot of good to your body, mind and your senses. Soothing and melodious music will act as good lullaby.
36. Eat a banana before bed
Have a banana half an hour before bed as the potassium and the magnesium contents in banana acts as natural muscle relaxants and it also aids in the secretion of melatonin hormone that induces good sleep.
37. Adjust your pillow position
Use a good pillow to suit your sleeping position. There are different types of pillows for different sleepers. If you are a person who sleeps on your stomach, you should opt for a flat pillow or no pillow at all. If you prefer sleeping on your side, use a cushion between your knees to ease the strain. You should also use a fluffier and softer pillow to support your spine curve. Opt for a flat pillow if you area back sleeper.
38. Take care of Sleep Apnea
Consult your doctor if you are someone who suffers from Sleep Apnea or snoring problem.
39. Your Medications
Keep a close watch on your medications and find out from your doctor if the medicines you are having is causing you sleep deprivation.
40. Blue-blocking app
Now you cannot switch off your phone during the night for obvious reasons, however you can make use of apps that will block the blue light emitting from the android and iphones. Some of the blue-blocking apps are Twilight (for Android) and Unblue (for Apple).
A good sleeper always reflects a pleasant personality, healthy body and mind and crystal clear senses.