Surprising hacks to help you get to sleep faster – from wearing socks to drinking cherry juice
THERE'S nothing worse than getting into bed, only to toss and turn the whole night.
But before you reach for the sleeping pills, try some of these surprising hacks to help you fall asleep faster.
Whether it’s the recent scorching weather keeping you up at night or there’s a lot on your mind stopping you from nodding off, some of these unusual sleep hacks should help.
ICE CUBE TRICK
According to Sealy sleep expert Neil Robinson, the trick to falling asleep with ease at night is to cool down your pressure points.
He suggests people should apply either ice cubes or a cold flannel to these areas, in order to lower their body temperature faster – thus making nodding off more comfortable.
He said: “The pulse points on your body can cool the rest of you effectively.
“Place a cold flannel or ice cubes in a plastic bag on your wrists and neck and you’ll be surprised by the effectiveness. Just don’t let them melt in your bed.”
Meanwhile reflexologist Michele Stevens told Healthista that practising a little foot reflexology can help you get a better night's sleep.
Michele recommended five self-massage techniques for tackling sleep problems: Pineal gland, head/brain, lung, diaphragm and solar plexus.
The pulse points on your body can cool the rest of you effectively. Place a cold flannel or ice cubes in a plastic bag on your wrists and neck and you’ll be surprised by the effectiveness.
Taking deep breaths helps with relaxation and helps with settling the mind and body. So give yourself a foot massage if you’re struggling to get to sleep.
Elsewhere Dr Verena Senn, an in-house sleep expert at Emma – The Sleep Company, revealed a surprising sleep hack. She said wearing socks to bed can help us fall asleep.
Dr Venera revealed: “Wearing comfortable, wide socks that keep our feet nice and warm can increase blood circulation and dilate blood vessels.
“As a result, the body temperature can drop more easily – which is beneficial for sleep, as our core body temperature needs to lower by about 1°C for us to fall asleep and stay asleep.
“Plus, donning cosy socks can put us in the right mental frame of mind for the evening, making it easier for us to switch off, relax and enter sleep.”
A doctor recently shared a TikTok video supporting the claim. Dr Jess Andrade uploaded the clip writing: “I wear socks to bed so don’t come at me I'm not weird.”
In the video, Jess said that wearing socks helps keep your feet warm and this opens up the blood vessels that cool your body down.
She explained: “The body being cool tells your brain that it is time for bed/ So actually people who wear socks tend to fall asleep faster.”
HOT WATER BOTTLE TRICK
Another hack to help you sleep faster – comes down to being able to cool down your room.
Antonio Dengra, CEO at Rointe, said that using your hot water bottle to cool down your room – is a great hack for a more comfortable night’s sleep.
When you’re ready for bed, place the hot water bottle in between the sheets and allow the sheets to cool down.
If you fill your hot water bottle up and pop it in the freezer for a few hours before bed, it actually makes a pretty good ice pack.
The experts said: “When you’re ready for bed, place the hot water bottle in between the sheets and allow the sheets to cool down.
“For those who struggle to fall asleep during the heat, this little hack may prove to be especially useful in helping you drift off sweat-free.”
Sleep guru James Wilson told Pretty 52, that putting lukewarm water into a hot water bottle and placing it at the bottom of the bed, at the soles of your feet, will help you sleep faster.
He recommended leaving under your feet for 10 minutes, or having a lukewarm bath or shower before bed to "encourage your temperature to drop".
One of the most surprising hacks to help you sleep faster – is this eating trick. Dietitian Sharon Natoli told the Mail Online that eating eggs can help people nod off quicker.
She said: “Something as simple as eating eggs at dinner time can be a natural sedative as egg whites help the body prepare for bedtime by producing melatonin – which brings on that sleepy feeling.”
HUM LIKE A BEE
Meanwhile ‘The Sleep Guru’ Anandi claimed that humming like a bee can help you sleep easier at night.
Humming – or “Brahmaree Pranayama” as it's called in yoga – creates a “deep, healing vibration” which relaxes the mind and nervous system.
That can help the body to produce more melatonin and get rid of negative emotions. All you have to do is close your eyes, inhale through your nose and exhale by humming.
Another surprising food hack to help you sleep faster comes from nutritionist Lily Soutter.
She told The Sun that things like chicken, prawns, chickpeas, turkey and eggs are all high in tryptophan – a sleep-enhancing amino acid.
So eat some chicken for dinner if you want to help yourself fall asleep easier.
Lily also said: “Walnuts are one of the few foods that have their own source of melatonin and are a good source of tryptophan. That means eating them may help you fall asleep faster.”
DRINK CHERRY JUICE
If you want an extra 84 minutes of slumber every night, drink some cherry juice.
According to a scientific review, drinking Montmorency tart cherry juice an hour before bedtime will help you sleep for longer.
Walnuts are one of the few foods that have their own source of melatonin and are a good source of tryptophan. That means eating them may help you fall asleep faster.
The trial on a group of insomniacs, carried out by Louisiana State University, found that swigging the tasty drink can extend sleep by one hour and 24 minutes.
The juice, which contains procyanidin and anthocyanins, was found to stop build-up of brain chemicals linked to poor sleep and decrease inflammation.
The health benefits of a good night’s sleep are well known, with insomnia linked to cancer, diabetes, dementia, heart disease, stroke and depression.
Volunteers drank the juice twice a day, once in the morning and once in the hours running up to their bedtime.
The study, published by American Journal of Therapeutics, revealed that sleep efficiency increased in those who drank the cherry juice twice a day.
Another hack to help you sleep faster at night is to use lavender products. A cream from Lush recently went viral after it was touted as a miracle cure for insomnia.
- Sleepy body lotion, £9 (95g) or £16 (215g) from Lush – buy now
Lush's Sleepy Body Lotion – which costs just £9 – contains "balancing and calming" Lavender Oil, "sweet, heady and floral" Ylang Ylang Oil, "sweetly scented" Tonka Absolute and Oatmeal Infusion.
Fans of the hand and body lotion dubbed the cream "pure magic" and "happiness in a jar".
Research has shown that lavender can “decrease heart rate and blood pressure, potentially putting you in a more relaxed state”, according to the National Sleep Foundation.
Boiling lettuce in a mug can reportedly send people to sleep in seconds. According to experts, there’s some truth to this mind-boggling sleep hack.
TikTok user Shapla Hoque first made the claim and her video has racked up more than 4.8 million views.
In the clip, Shapla boiled a kettle and poured the boiling water on some washed lettuce leaves which were shoved in a mug, before removing them as she sipped on the water.
Studies from 2013 and 2017 back up the claims with experts suggesting that lettuce, particularly, romaine, contains a phytonutrient, called lactucarium which is said to induce sleep and relieve pain.
According to LadBible, the 2017 report stated: “Lactuca sativa (lettuce), an annual herb which belongs to the Compositae family, is known for its medicinal value. Traditionally, lettuce has been suggested to have a sedative-hypnotic property.”
And concluded: “The results of this study show that lettuce, especially romaine lettuce, is an interesting and cheap source of sleep-potentiating material and antioxidant polyphenols.”
GRAB A PEN
Elsewhere, a woman shared her therapist's tip for when she can't sleep and it’s to write.
Emily Bronchu revealed the hack on TikTok, saying: “So a therapist gave me this trick for when you can't sleep, I'm gonna share it with you for free cause I paid for the information.
“So I was laying in bed and I can't sleep. I put on my sleep stories, I went to bed at a normal time, I just couldn't sleep.
“I was tossing and turning, tossing and turning, tossing and turning. If you're not sleeping within 20 minutes, get up and write down everything that you're thinking about and do it until you're tired and then go back to sleep. And it works.
“The reason it's important to get out of bed is that if you stay in bed your brain will eventually connect with 'I'm supposed to be awake when I am here'.
“You don't want that connection to make you stay up super late, and when you go to bed you're gonna be tired.” This might be a great alternative to counting sheep!
DRINK A GLASS OF MILK
Meanwhile sleep therapist Dr Lindsay Browning warned spicy foods are a no-go as they can cause indigestion and disrupt your sleep. She advised drinking milk to help you nod off.
She suggested: “A warm glass of milk before bed is great because it has a thing called tryptophan which helps your body naturally produce melatonin.
“It isn’t going to fix chronic insomnia but if you’re having a period of poor sleep, have a nice bath before bed and a warm glass of milk and put some nice music on – those things will help much better than ploughing on. It's about creating the right environment for sleep.”
4-7-8 BREATHING TECHNIQUE
There are a whole host of sleep tricks that promise to send you off to the land of nod. But GP Dr Hilary said a simple breathing exercise might do the trick, in just TWO minutes.
On Lorraine, he recently revealed the 4-7-8 breathing technique, inspired by yoga, is a great sleep hack to help you sleep faster.
He told the show: "There's a lovely technique called the 4-7-8 technique.
“So you breathe in through your nose for four seconds, hold your breath for seven seconds and breathe out making a whooshing sound for eight seconds.
“Most people fall asleep in two minutes if they do that, it's a really good and simple technique.”
The man who pioneered the technique, Dr Andrew Weill, said it's "utterly simple, takes no time, requires no equipment and can be done anywhere.”
He says the 4-7-8 technique acts as a “natural tranquilliser for the nervous system”, reducing both stress and tension in the body.
For more health stories, these are the 4 signs sleep procrastination is ruining your kip – and how to snap out of it.
And your teeth can tell you if something’s wrong – the 5 signs you could be ill.
Plus these are the 9 reasons having an orgasm is good for your health.
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