Why should you use sleep tricks that work?
Because family life, work-life, or even your social life can make it difficult to get a good night’s rest. Not having the right amount of sleep keeps our body from fully optimizing what we need during the day. Many people suffer from memory loss as well have horrible mood swings and the other immune system falls right off the track. All because we lack sleep.
These sleep tricks that I am bringing to you are tried and tested among many people. I’ve actually tried most of them myself as I’ve always had a hard time falling asleep.
What will these sleep tricks do for you?
- Wake up more rested
- Having anxiety-free sleep
- Make better decisions the next day
- Be generally happier
- Stay depression free
- Better health
- Fall asleep faster
I mean if these are not reasons for you to try these sleep tricks, then I wouldn’t know what is. By getting our appropriate amount of sleep, we set ourselves up for that much more success the next day.
So what are the sleep tricks that work?
Wear Warm Socks
This one I have used over and over. It does not fail to work.
Sometimes the lack of sleep comes from having cold feet. When you wear socks, it dilates your blood vessels which tell your brain that it is time to go to sleep.
Research has shown the more vasodilation in hands and feet, the quicker you will fall asleep. It is very similar to that of placing a hot water bottle at the foot of the bed. In the old days, when there was no heating system, this is exactly what people used to do to get to sleep and stay warm at the same time.
I would say that wearing socks is probably one of the safer methods. There are other methods such as rice socks, hot water bottles, or even heating blankets. The only thing with these other methods is you may have to go out of your way to buy them.
The great thing about sleeping with socks on is not only warming your feet but:
- Stop hot flashes – some women find that when they are wearing socks, it may help to cool down their body temperature
- Improve dry feet – after you apply moisture or vaseline to your feet, it may help to get rid of dry skin
Before putting on the socks, make sure to enhance circulation by massaging your feet. You may even want to warm your socks with a hairdryer or an iron.
I find that the best socks to wear are the ones that are not too tight, yet are cozy and fluffy.
Force Yourself to Stay Awake
Here you’re going to use reverse psychology on yourself. As you know, the harder you try something, the less likely it is to happen.
So why not let your brain know that you’re going to stay up. When you let your brain know that you’re going to stay up, the harder it is going to start working against you.
Why does this work?
This method of forcing yourself to stay awake works because rather than you take control, your brain wants to take the control back. So the mental power struggle eventually taxes out your brain, which will help you fall asleep.
By telling yourself to stay awake, you create something called the paradoxical intention. The more you resist to a state, the quicker the state rises up to go against what you told yourself.
Read Something Boring
This one is a given. Many times I have found myself trying to go to sleep. As some of you already know, I’m on chemo, which makes it harder for me to fall asleep at night.
There have been times where I have grabbed the most technical book I can find to make myself read it. Most times, my brain tires of this type of reading, which leads to sleep.
You might not find this type of reading boring. Maybe you’re a person who finds nonfiction or fictional writing boring.
Whatever it is that bores your mind, will be exactly what will tire your eyes to help you fall asleep.
The act of reading requires that your eyes follow the words across the page. Not only that, but it also requires your brainpower to help you interpret the letters through your eyes to convert them into meaningful words.
This helps your brain to understand what you’re reading. In doing so, your brain has to work hard, which tires out your eye muscles.
Boring words will tire out your mind.
Write Your Worries Away
There are those who can’t sleep because of all the worries running wild in their mind. What I find best when I’m worrying about something is I write it down.
By writing it down, it has been acknowledged. As you know thoughts in our mind want to be acknowledged before they will disappear.
Sometimes just acknowledging them by thinking about them will make them go away.
But other times it’s important for you to take out your notebook or journal to write them down.
One thing that I noticed that stands out when I write my worries away is I usually find myself reframing my thoughts quite often. By reframing them, I give my worries a new angle of observation.
I always make sure at night that I have my journal right by my night table.
This ensures that I don’t have to get out of bed. But also helps me to create a ritual of having to write down what I don’t want floating around in my mind.
Here is what happens when you write your worries away:
- Rather than focus on the problem, you engage yourself in finding solutions.
- You allow your body to calm down. Anxious feelings can lead to some unexpected physical symptoms which rather than put you to sleep, will wake you up.
- When your writing you’re also practicing a form of mindfulness. You force yourself to stay present because your thoughts now have a place to go, which is in your notepad or journal.
- The best thing is you’re setting a time when you can worry. By scheduling this time as part of your nighttime routine, you know that it’s going to happen and you’re going to deal with it.
- When your mind struggles from worries, by writing it down your doing something different. This forces your mind to think differently. By engaging in this type of physical activity, you’re letting your mind-muscle work the knots out.
- Practice this method every night. You’ll be amazed that the solutions you come up with by morning light.
Count Backwards From 100, But Only Every Odd Number
Counting backward has always been a method many people have used. Most time when people count backward, they start from 100, counting down chronologically.
My method is to count backward from every odd number. So instead of starting at 100, you’ll start at 99. This will force your brain to think of the next number that’s coming up, which will obviously tire out your brain.
Most times, I use this technique; I usually end up falling asleep by the time I get down to 47. My brain is just maxed out by then, which means it just doesn’t want to count anymore.
If you find this is too easy then count down by threes, once again only the odd numbers.
One thing I want to hone in on is that when you count, make sure that you count with every breath you exhale.
The reason this works is that you are focused on the present moment without others’ thoughts distracting you or preoccupying your mind.
Practice 4-7-8 Breathing Method
This breathing technique was developed by Dr. Andrew Weil. This breathing method is based on ancient yoga techniques, which help the practitioner gain control of their breathing.
Each type of breathing technique has its own unique way of helping you relax. There are some which have specific patterns that involve breathing for a certain number of minutes to allow your body to replenish itself of oxygen.
The 4-7-8 method gives your tissues the much-needed oxygen they so desire. This is another way of dealing with anxious thoughts or worries about what happened during the day – or what may come tomorrow.
This technique will force your mind to regulate your breathing, rather than worrying about the what-ifs of the past/present/future. This method works as a natural tranquilizer for your entire nervous system.
The concept of 4 –7 –8 breathing can be comparable to?
- Present nostrils breathing – this involves breathing in and out of the nostril in a pattern.
- Guided meditation – this happens because you are guiding your breathing without any external forces.
How to practice this breathing:
You will need to keep the tip of your tongue against the roof of your mouth, behind your top front teeth. You will need to learn to keep your tongue in place throughout the breathing session.
Remember it might take a bit of practice to get used to this; don’t let anxiety build up because you can’t get it right. Also when you’re going to be exhaling it will be better if you have your lips slightly open.
The steps that I’m going to lay out for you should be carried out in one single breathing session.
- By making a whooshing sound exhale completely through your mouth.
- Now close your lips, inhale without any sound through your nose, mentally count to four in your head.
- Hold your breath for seven counts.
- Release your breath through your mouth in a whooshing exhale, counting to eight.
When you take in the next inhale of breathing, you’re actually starting a new cycle. You will need to practice this in for four full cycles of breathing.
The most important aspect of this breathing exercise is when you hold the breath for seven seconds. Although you can start off with a session of four, gradually you can build yourself to full eight breathing cycles.
Remember to practice this only when you are ready to start relaxing. Never attempt this method when you’re operating any type of machinery.
Light a Lavender Scented Candle
Lavender is an essential oil that is known for its relaxation properties. This oil helps to relieve stress as well as anxiety. As a bonus, it also has aphrodisiac qualities.
But we’re not here to talk about that; today we’re going to talk about how Lavender scented candles can help you fall asleep. You don’t necessarily need to get candles you can also use the essential oil self in an oil diffuser.
The reason I use candles is that they are long-lasting. I don’t have to leave them on too long before they start impacting the room I’m sleeping in.
I also find myself using them while I’m having a nice hot bath. So that’s a double whammy to get a nice comfortable, relaxed sleep.
Essentially my brain is soaking in from two different methods of relaxation which may be overwhelming for it. This forces me to do nothing but relax.
Lavender has a positive impact on our blood pressure, heart rate, as well as our respiratory rate.
Although like I said I use candles, you can use in other ways as well:
- Give your pillow a gentle spray of lavender oil
- Dab some oil on your wrist or neck before bedtime
- Pour a few drops of lavender oil into your bath
- Use lavender oil scented body lotion
These are just some of the ways people use lavender oil to help them sleep. You can get even more creative and put some lavender oil in the collar of your PJs.
My Final Word On Sleep Tricks That Work
The nice thing about these tricks is they can be implemented at any time you need some sleep. It doesn’t have to be that it’s necessarily bedtime, it can be even when you’re trying to take a nap.
Not all of us have a schedule where nighttime sleeping is mandatory, some of us work during the nighttime. We may need to implement these tips to fall asleep while it is daylight outside. So even more reason to get on these tips right away.
Now if you feel that you are already aware of these tricks, but need some more techniques which will have the snooze coming on. Read our post on home remedies to help you sleep.
Please share below what tips/ tricks you use to fall asleep.
Reading is my favorite thing to do. But other than reading, I enjoy discovering new techniques on how to do something in simpler methods. My daughter likes to call me the Renaissance woman. So I do have to live up to the name.
One of my main issues is sleeping, so I’m always searching for new ways to get a good night sleep, I’m more than happy to share them with you.
My posts are either geared towards pain or self-help. Pain posts because I suffer from ongoing cancer pain. In the past 6 years of my fight with cancer, I have learned many ways to deal with pain, especially when going to bed.
The self-help posts come from my work as a mental health counselor for over 15+ years. My background in counseling training is from UFV and RRU. I also have personal trainer certification from IFA, so I might throw in some exercise posts as well.