07 Sep Get to Sleep Easier with these Simple Tricks
With technology being a major part of our busy lives today, there is no wonder that an increasing amount of people are having trouble letting go and falling asleep. Electronic devices, such as televisions, mobile phones, tablets, and computers emit a blue light that mimics the act of daylight thus reducing the natural release of melatonin in the body. This is a hormone which regulates our normal body clock sleep rhythm and is produced to make us feel sleepy and help get some Zzz’s. However, keeping technology near us while trying to ‘hit the hay’ and decreasing our melatonin levels makes it harder to unwind and fall asleep. Here are some tried and tested tricks for the next time your brain just wants to keep buzzing along.
- Change your Sleep Environment.
By dimming the lights as bedtime is approaching, melatonin is more likely to be released at appropriate levels. This, combined with turning down the temperature, is suggested to be the best environment to sleep in. Body temperature naturally decreases to initiate sleep, so proposing temperatures between 17-23OC are optimal in facilitating this.
- Ditch the Tech and Calm the Mind.
During the evening it is important to avoid caffeine and alcohol for the best night’s sleep as they generally stimulate the mind instead of relaxing it. Before heading to bed it is more beneficial to drink warm milk or herbal tea as a soothing night time ritual. Combine your drink while reading a simple book instead of using technological related devices to relax the mind even more.
Slowing breathing by inhaling through the nose and exhaling completely through the mouth is helpful in calming the mind. Alternatively, lying on your left side and gently pressing on the right nostril to breathe in and out of the left nostril (or visa versa) can have the same soothing effect.
- Sleepy Exercises (not the strenuous kind!)
Progressive relaxation exercises through self-induced tension can aim at relaxing the body from the day’s events. Lying comfortably in bed, curl the toes, holding for a few seconds before releasing. Next, squeeze the calf muscles, hold and relax. Continue working your way up through the body and by time you get to the upper portion, you should be feeling sleepy.
The body has three acupressure points that are also linked to sleep onset. There is one between the eyebrows, at the two of the nose. A second spot is at the indent between the big toe and second toes, and a third just below the toenail of the big toe. Pressing firmly on each spot and holding for 20 seconds helps release tension and relaxes the body.
So next time, if you’re having trouble falling asleep give these tricks a go and get a better night’s sleep, technology free.