There’s nothing quite like a good night’s sleep, however these days many people struggle to get a proper night’s rest. Most people know some of the more obvious sleeping-techniques like avoiding caffeine before going to bed or even setting a strict bedtime, but if that hasn’t worked for you there are some usual alternatives that may just help you sleep soundly.
We’ve uncovered these 7 unconventional ways to get a good night’s sleep.
1. Switch off your mind and your machines
It might sound ridiculous, but various studies show that the use of electronic devices right before your bedtime can disturb your sleep. Scientists advise against using cellphones, laptops, televisions and even reading from a backlit device before going to bed. Electronic devices allegedly lead to cognitive stimulation in the brain, which can prevent people from “switching off” in order to fall asleep. Additionally, some believe it’s better to switch off and remove electronic devices from your bedroom to improve the quality of sleep and allow the brain to be free of electronic stimulants that could make the brain anxious or increase its activity.
2. Increase melatonin production
Melatonin in the brain encourages the body to relax, which helps with sleeping and can help fight sleep apnea. Switching off electronics will automatically allow your brain to increase melatonin production but there are several other things you can do to help your body relax. Consider changing your bedroom’s light bulbs to lower wattage bulbs that also radiate a softer light. Also, when your bedtime approaches, avoid turning on lights around the house—many experts suggests using a flashlight the hour prior to your bedtime and even when you have to get up during the night (the dim light will help you fall asleep quickly again). In fact, it is advised to make your bedroom as dark as possible for the best sleep results so consider investing in block-out blinds or curtains.
3. Stretch before you snooze
There are many nighttime yoga stretches which supposedly helps to calm your mind and improve the quality of your sleep. A few stretches before going to bed will help you relax and minimise your mind’s activity. Additionally, stretches will help to regulate your breathing and aid with muscle relaxation. Getting into the habit of stretching will also give you a good bedtime ritual that involves calming the mind and body—which are all excellent for falling asleep.
4. Cool down your room
There are many sleeping habits that could help you to sleep better and lowering the temperature of your room might be the answer to get a decent night’s sleep. Scientists have proven that the human body actually needs to cool down a little in order to fall asleep—and stay asleep. Ideally, an air-conditioner should be used before you go to sleep to cool your room (once in bed it can be turned off). Otherwise a fan or even thick curtains or a lighter duvet can all help you to achieve the right body temperature to achieve optimal sleep.
Aromatherapy is a type of alternative medicine that stems from natural products like plants. The idea behind aromatherapy is to use natural sources to enhance aspects of the body, mind and cognitive function for improved health. Many people recommend aromatherapy to sleep better since the right products will relax the mind and body and reduce anxiety. Burning scented candles (like vanilla or lavender) before bed may enhance your sleep not only because it produces a low light but also since aromatherapy-candles have soothing aromas. Drinking chamomile tea might also help relax your body and improve the quality of sleep as well as jasmine flowers or therapeutic scents around your house.
6. Feng Shui
Changing the feng shui of your bedroom might help you fall asleep, especially if experience symptoms common in sleep disorders. Feng shui refers to stimulating harmony and sensual energy in your bedroom. There are several things you could do to alter the feng shui such as removing recreational activities from your bedroom, like exercise equipment or a television. Likewise, try to get fresh air in the room while you sleep and remove plants or flowers as these release carbon dioxide at night time which could hinder the quality of air in your bedroom. Decorating your room in harmonizing colours and making your bed more attractive will help you sleep soundly, perhaps try a luxurious headboard or very soft bed sheets. Avoiding clutter in your bedroom will also help the feng shui and ultimately contribute to better sleep.
7. Listen to something soothing
Many people struggle to sleep with background noise such as traffic or noisy neighbors and at the same time, many cannot fall asleep if there is absolute silence due to distracting thoughts. Listening to some soothing sounds or even white noise can help you fall asleep. Soothing sounds such as rain, the ocean or sounds from a rain forest will not only drown out any other noise, it will also relax the mind and the body and can lead to a solid night’s sleep.