Unfortunately, getting a good night’s sleep isn’t always as straightforward as we’d like it to be. Creating the right conditions for sleep is usually key, but what if you’ve tried this and are still struggling?
We all know the common sleeping tips such as drinking chamomile tea, having a relaxing bath, and minimising light and sound in the bedroom, but often, we can still struggle to get those all-important 8 hours.
In this blog, we will discuss 7 lesser-known ways to achieve a good night of REM sleep.
The military sleep hack, also known as the military method, was originally developed in World War II. At that time, generals and other commanders were concerned about the exhaustion and stress that lack of sleep was causing in their men. Turning to the experts of the time, a new approach that combines physical and mental relaxation was created.
This technique is believed to assure sleep in around 90 seconds. Give it a go by following these simple steps:
- Relax your face
- Release tension from your shoulders
- Drop your hands to your sides
- Relax your chest while exhaling
- Ensure your legs, thighs and calves are relaxed
- Clear your mind for 10 seconds
- Repeat the words ‘don’t think’ for 10 seconds
A Harvard-trained medical doctor once developed the deep relaxation technique known as 4-7-8 breathing.
To practice the 4-7-8 breathing method, find a quiet place to lie down and relax. It’s important to keep a good posture whilst practicing this method.
Start by putting your tongue tip on the roof of your mouth, directly behind your top front teeth. Throughout the exercise, you must hold your tongue in place. It takes practice to control your tongue during exhalation. For some people, pursed lips during 4-7-8 breathing can make it simpler to exhale.
Once all this is done, carry out the following steps:
- Let your lips separate first. With a whooshing motion, thoroughly exhale from your mouth.
- Next, seal your lips and take a silent breath via your nose while mentally counting to four.
- Hold your breath for 7 seconds.
- Create a swooshing exhale from your mouth for 8 seconds.
Begin a new cycle of breath as you inhale once more. Repeat this for 4 cycles.
The most important aspect of this technique is the held breath (held for seven seconds). Additionally, it is advised that when you initially begin, you only practise 4-7-8 breathing for four breaths. You can eventually increase your breathing to eight complete breaths.
Bedtime stories and songs aren’t just for children. According to research, music with a rhythm of roughly 60 beats per minute can aid in falling asleep because it causes your heart rate to gradually increase to the 60 beats per minute range required to enter the sleep zone. As for bedtime stories, our busy brains can relax and focus on something more serene.
If you’re looking for things to listen to at bedtime, have a look at our article where we analysed Spotify playlists to uncover the world’s favourite sleep songs, artists and albums.
The olfactory nerve, which delivers information to our brain, activates our sense of smell. These messages can either cause a reaction from our parasympathetic nervous system (calming and relaxation) or from our autonomic nervous system (fight or flight).
Essential oils have a number of advantages, and when used in aromatherapy, they can be effective sleep aids that keep you peaceful all through the night. Lavender is the most widely used essential oil for promoting sleep. Blood pressure, pulse rate, and skin temperature are all reduced by lavender aromatherapy oil, which soothes the nervous system. Additionally, it alters brain waves to a more relaxed state.
It may seem a bit bizarre, but it’s been suggested that a doing a headstand before bed can help you drift off easier. This is because they assist your brain in receiving fresh blood.
Additionally, it helps with adrenal gland detoxification, which encourages the release of negative thoughts and the growth of more optimistic ones. Until you have enough balance and core strength to do a freestanding headstand, practise by holding yourself up against a wall.
Another way to ensure a good night’s sleep is to invest in a quality mattress. Browse our medium firm mattresses today, their strong edge support allows you to sit, lie, or bend without causing you to tumble off your bed, resulting in a more secure sleep.