- Keep the same nightly routine
Remember the story of Pavlov’s dogs? This famous experiment saw dogs recognize when food was coming by the sound of an accompanying bell, to the point where they got ready for food as soon as they heard the bell, even if the food didn’t come. Use the same strategy to let your body know when it’s time to wind down and forget the day’s drama. Make sure to keep to the same relaxing routine of activities and timings, and your body will soon respond.
- Don’t nap
However tempting, don’t catnap during the day, it’ll mess up your sleep pattern further and make it even harder to sleep the whole night through. Try to stay busy as much as possible and put daytime tiredness out of your mind.
- Practice sleep restriction
Sleep restriction is a practice that many former insomniacs swear by. It’s the idea that, rather than sleeping in for longer or napping to make up for the sleep you lost last night, you still get up at the same regular time every day without fail. You also only go to sleep when tired – no matter how late at night – so if you only feel sleepy at 3 am but have decided to make your wake up time 6 am, do it, and don’t nap in between. Although initially, you might have to put up with some level of minor exhaustion and sleep deprivation, within a week or two, you’ll ‘reset’ your sleep pattern and will start to go to sleep at a normal time, and sleep all the way through.
- Place a notepad and pen by your bed
Ease nighttime worries by keeping a notepad and pen by the bed. If you start tossing and turning, or can’t get something out of your head, write it down so you can let it go more easily and get to sleep.
Uni-Ball Air Micro Pen
- Learn some breathing techniques
Try this exercise by Dr. Andrew Weil to relax you into sleep: close your mouth and count to four as you inhale through your nose. Then hold the breath and count to seven. Exhale through your mouth for a count of eight, making a quiet ‘whoosh’ sound as you exhale. Repeat this exercise four times and see how fast you nod off.
- Take regular time to de-stress throughout the day
If you’re less tightly wound during the day, then it should prove easier to relax and get to sleep at night. Take regular time to chill out as part of your daily routine by doing yoga, meditation, or exercise.
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- Make a warm drink
Try a warm and soothing, caffeine and a sugar-free drink, like chamomile herbal tea or some warm milk.
The world of digital technology has made solving everyday problems easier than ever, but where sleep is concerned, maybe the oldest solutions are the ones that work the best. If you want to catch more Zzzzzs – and who doesn’t – then try some of these low-tech sleep boosting tactics, many of which don’t cost a thing.
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