Here is a list of some simple techniques that can help you fall asleep.
Suffering from insomnia? The first step is not to see a doctor but address the problem at home.
First, you need to relax. Experts think that anxiety is one of the core causes of sleeplessness.
Insomnia appears to be more of a modern illness than an ancient one, as our ancestors seem to have slept well, according to some recent scientific studies.
In the modern age, despite having so many technological devices and comfortable beds, people tend to have a lot more stress than primitive humans, who slept in caves and had a far better sleep than us.
Distance yourself from technology
People need to distance themselves from their computers, smartphones and other technological devices if they want to have a sound sleep at night, say experts.
People who live in different continents and have no access to technological devices get a better sleep than people with access to those devices, a study on sleeping found in 2017.
“Disconnect from close-range electronic devices like laptops, phones, and tablets because they can stimulate the brain and make it harder to fall asleep,” wrote Eric Suni, a science writer.
Compared to other nations, Americans, who have easy access to the best and most diverse technological tools, suffer from insomnia the most. Nearly half of Americans suffer from insomnia occasionally while 22 percent of them report that they have sleeping problems every night or almost every night.
Have the right temperature
Room temperature is more important than many people think to get good sleep, according to experts. Ideal room temperature should be 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit, in other words, 15 to 19 Celcius, experts say.
Again experts think that modern-conditioned houses are not fitting to required sleeping patterns good enough by mostly keeping the temperature at a fixed degree.
“Yes, turn off the lights, that is important for sleep, but also, you can find a way to moderate the temperature in your bedroom,” said Jerome Siegel, a prominent expert on sleeping patterns, who was also the past president of the Sleep Research Society in the US.
“Under natural conditions, the temperature is not just lower at night, it is falling throughout this period,” Siegel said.
Due to relaxation being the most important part of going into a sleep, a good breathing technique could just enable that process.
Slow and deep breaths taken in brief periods could soothe anxieties, say experts, and prepare the brain for sleep. Breathing consciously might decrease heart rate and blood pressure, reducing the level of anxieties.
One of the best ways to fall asleep is going through the implementation of a breathing technique, which is called 4-7-8 exercise. If you could not go to sleep 20 minutes after your bedtime, try this one.
In this technique, you will inhale for four seconds and hold your breath for the next seven seconds. Then, exhale your breath for eight seconds. And repeat this exercise. You might find yourself falling asleep at some point.
This technique is part of mindfulness meditation in which a person with sleeping difficulties goes through an incremental process to recognise his/her body’s different parts by observing and assessing their current conditions one by one.
In this technique, breathing slowly also carries much importance.
First, you need to check your body position on your bed. Its position might give you some clues about what part of your body appears to be feeling not good.
Then, let all body parts from legs to head show their sensations or simply let them report to you about what they feel. After all body scanning, you process your reaction to it as a whole, allowing yourself to relax.
The above method is adapted from UC-Berkeley’s Greater Good in Action (GGIA) program.
But others use a simpler version of it by just allowing their body parts to speak like “My feet are getting sleepy,” “My right leg is getting very sleepy,” “My stomach is asleep,” wrote Alyse Kalish, an American writer.
Do something very boring
Another technique, which sounds like mind games to make factors preventing your sleep disempower, is applying a very boring task to make your mindset desire sleeping.
“My mother’s rule was that ‘If I don’t fall asleep [soon]…then I’m going to get up and clean the toilets.’ With 10 people living in the house and three toilets, she really didn’t want to get up—so she slept,” said Dr Diane Stein, an American neurologist.
“If it’s after bedtime, do something that you enjoy a lot less than sleep!” Stein advised.