By now we all know that good sleep is essential for proper brain function and overall health. And we have all become much more aware of some of the things we can do to establish a good sleep routine: go to bed at the same time every night, don't watch screens before bed, don't drink caffeine late in the day, and so on. But today we're going to explore 8 unusual methods that can help when all else has failed!
Inhale through your left nostril. Lie on your left side, rest your finger on your right nostril and breathe deeply. For some reason inhaling deeply through your left nostril has a calming effect that can help you drift off in no time.
Try to stay awake. This strange reverse psychology seems to actually work. When we remove the pressure to fall asleep and instead focus on trying to stay awake, our body is free to truly relax. This is known as Paradoxical Intention (PI)
Listen to bacon frying. This kind of repetitive, comforting sound triggers the Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) – a combination of positive feelings, relaxation and tingling sensations, all of which encourage peaceful sleep.
Hum like a bee. Lie comfortably on your back and make a humming sound as you exhale. It calms the mind and stimulates the release of seratonin (the feel-good brain chemical).
Eat cheese before bed. Cheese contains high levels of the amino acid tryptophan, which helps you to relax and fall asleep. But avoid high-fat cheeses (as the fat can disturb your sleep) and try something like cottage cheese, which is naturally low in fat.
- Submerge your face in cold water. This action stimulates your vagus nerve, which controls your parasympathetic nervous system (your rest and reset system). When you submerge your face in cold water it triggers a biological response called the mammalian diving reflex, which means your body thinks it's underwater and so slows your heart rate, which makes you feel calmer. (Also useful if you're feeling over anxious or angry and want a quick reset fix).
- Make yourself banana tea. Michael Breus, PhD, of SleepScoreLabs, created a recipe for banana tea that can help you fall asleep. “Take an organic banana, wash it, cut off the tip and the stem, and then cut it in half, leaving the fruit in and the skin on. Put it in boiling water for three to four minutes, and drink the water with a little honey.” The honey apparently helps regulate blood sugar throughout the night, helping us to stay asleep.
- Try hypnotherapy. Hypnotherapy is an easy and effective method to help you relax naturally and reprogram your sleep patterns so that you can fall asleep quickly and experience deep, restorative sleep for the entire night. Clear Minds has several different hypnotherapy sessions available to help you easily fall asleep and stay asleep, as well as a Melt to Sleep Package that consists of 8 different sessions to address all your sleep needs.