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5 strange tips to help you sleep

Published: 21 June 2017 | Category : A Good Night's Sleep | Author: Michael Shaw

If you've tried everything for a better night's sleep, maybe it's time you tried something a little different...

Sometimes – whether it’s to do with work, the weather or some unknowable reason – getting to sleep is not as easy as it should be.

After a while, it becomes a vicious cycle, with the worry about sleeping preventing you from sleeping. Help break the chain with some strange tips that could help you get a good night’s sleep.

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1. Try and stay awake

Ever been on a long drive when you’re tired or been watching a movie late at night. All you want to do is keep your eye open until the end – but this just makes you tired.

This physiological trick of trying to stay awake can help you switch your focus away from trying to get to sleep.

Take it a step further and try and do something, like finish reading a magazine article or some knitting without falling asleep – you might find it harder than it sounds.

2. Try the 4-7-8 technique

Yoga is a great way of relaxing both body and mind – and this breathing technique comes from this form of exercise and mediation.

It’s even claimed using this technique can have you asleep in 60 seconds by acting as a ‘natural tranquiliser’ for the nervous system to reduce stress and tension.

Start by putting your tongue on the roof of your mouth above your teeth and hold it there. Then breathe out forcefully making a ‘whoosh’ sound as you do. Then close your mouth and breathe in quietly and softly through your nose for four seconds. Next, hold your breath and count to seven.

Breathe out completely through your mouth, with another whoosh for eight seconds. Finally, inhale again and repeat the cycle three times for a total of four breaths.

3. Remain still for 15 minutes

It takes the body around 15 minutes to shut down completely at night. You can help kick start this process by lying still for the same period.

It might not have the effect of sending you to sleep right away, but it has the two-fold effect of tricking your body into thinking it’s time to sleep and giving your mind something vague to focus on, instead of worrying about being asleep.

This can be hard for some people as any movement – just a scratch of the leg – can reset the whole process.

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4. Take notes

Many people struggle to get to sleep, not through any physical reasons but for mental ones. It could be work stress, problems in their relationship or something else. But it means that as you try and relax your mind, the problems just come to the fore.

A good tip for avoiding this is to make notes. Before you go to sleep, write down everything from the day that’s been a problem, any solutions you can think of and any tasks that might need doing tomorrow. This will help take these issues from your mind a bit.

Keep the pad by your bed and note down anything else that comes up. Eventually, you should have noted everything down and feel a bit more relaxed.

5. Inhale through your left nostril

Much like the 4-7-8 technique, this one also hails from yoga.

The aim is to both calm your body and mind through reduced blood pressure and focus.

You need to start by lying on your left side. Then, rest your finger on the right nostril, closing it up. Start to slowly, evenly and deeply breathe in through the open left nostril.

After a while, this should help you get into a more sleepy state. 

 

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