Poor sleep can be debilitating and lead to poor job performance and impact overall health. For women it's been associated with feelings of hostility, depression, and anger. Follow our simple tips to help you fall asleep more quickly.
1. Block out irritating sounds
A snoring husband, that beeping delivery truck‚Äîwhatever keeps you awake‚Äîtune it all out with a relaxing soundtrack. ITunes and YouTube have lots of relaxing and meditating sounds to block it all out with.
2. Try reverse psychology
A Scottish study showed that insomniacs who were instructed to lie in bed and stay awake with their eyes open fell asleep more quickly than those that tried to fall asleep in the usual way. Reverse psychology is not a long term solution but may help.
3. Get up and do something for 10 minutes.
If you wake up during the night and then struggle to get back to sleep you can try getting up and doing something. You need to do something that requires your hands and your head such as colouring in or doing a jigsaw this will take your mind away from stresses and worry. However, don't try watching TV or using your smart phone as the blue light will have the opposite effect and will most likely make it harder to fall asleep when you return to bed and melatonin will be suppressed.
4. Hide your clock.
If you toss and turn for hours trying to fall asleep and constantly clock watch during the process you need to do yourself a favour and hide your clock. Constantly checking the time increases stress levels making it harder to fall asleep, and it's even worse if you are checking a smart phone as the blue light affects melatonin levels.
5. Try the 4-7-8 method
This method was devised by Dr Andrew Weil and it's a pretty simple breathing technique that will help you fall asleep in under a minute. The process will relax you by increasing the amount of oxygen in your blood stream , slowing your heart rate and releasing more carbon dioxide from your lungs. The simple method is as follows. (For more info drweil.com)
- place the tip of your tongue against the ridge just behind your upper front teeth and keep it there whilst you carry out the technique.
- Exhale completely through your mouth making a whoosh sound.
- Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose whilst mentally counting to 4. Hold your breath whilst you then count to seven.
- Exhale completely through your mouth, again make the whoosh sound whilst mentally counting to eight.
- Repeat this cycle three more times (unless you are asleep already!)