Unable to sleep? Eleven ways you can trick yourself into dozing off

in on December 29, 2016 . 0 Comments.

We all know that a hot, milky drink and a warm bath are supposed to relax you before bed, but many of us still can’t slip into slumber.

Ten million prescriptions for sleeping pills are written every year in England alone and a survey by Crampex has found that 86% of us suffer from sleep disturbance.

But you can trick yourself to sleep by trying these expert natural tips... Or you can look at buying one of these gadgets or apps.

1. Inhale through your left nostril

This yoga method is thought to reduce blood pressure and calm you. Holistic sleep therapist Peter Smith says: “Lie on your left side, resting a finger on your right nostril to close it. Start slow, deep breathing in the left nostril.” Peter, author of Sleep Better With Natural Therapies (£13.99, Singing Dragon, out October 28), says this technique is particularly good when overheating or menopausal hot flushes are preventing sleep.

2. Squeeze and relax

Relaxing all your muscles can prepare your body for sleep. Anxiety expert Charles Linden says: “Lying on your back, take a deep, slow breath in through your nose and, at the same time, squeeze your toes tightly as if you are trying to curl them under your foot, then release the squeeze.”

The author of Stress Free in 30 Days (£7.12, Hay House) adds: “On another slow breath, curl your foot up toward your knee, then release. Breathe again, contract your calf muscles, then your thighs, buttocks, belly, chest, arms, and so on until you have moved all the way up your body, squeezing and releasing the muscles one by one.”

When you have gone from head to toe, your breathing should be steady and you should feel ready for sleep.

3. Try to stay awake

Challenge yourself to stay awake – your mind will rebel! It’s called the sleep paradox, says psychotherapist Julie Hirst (worklifebalancecentre.org). She explains: “Keep your eyes wide open, repeat to yourself ‘I will not sleep’. The brain doesn’t process negatives well, so interprets this as an instruction to sleep and eye muscles tire quickly as sleep creeps up.”

4. Rewind your day

Remembering the mundane detail in reverse order clears your mind of worries. Sammy Margo, author of The Good Sleep Guide (£10.99, Vermilion) says: “Recall conversations, sights and sounds as you go. It helps you to reach a mental state that’s ready for sleep.”

5. Roll your eyes

Sammy says that closing your eyes and rolling the balls up three times can do the job. She says: “It simulates what you do naturally when you fall asleep and may help trigger the release of your sleepy hormone, melatonin.”

6. Just imagine

Visualisation meditation works best when you use at least three senses. Sammy explains: “Imagine yourself in a situation where you feel content – a tropical paradise, sailing on calm waters, walking in flower fields.

“As you explore your ‘happy place’ imagine smelling flowers, feeling grass or sand under your feet and hearing water lap against the boat. You should soon feel relaxed and drift off.”

Last update: December 29, 2016


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