Follow these tips and you will sleep faster and for longer.
If you spend hours hanging around at night, you know how frustrating it is to have trouble falling asleep. You have probably also heard the warnings that keeping you awake late is not good for your health. Research has shown that when your circadian rhythm slows, you may have an increased risk of weight gain, diabetes and depression.
“An inadequate sleep and a poor quality sleep will affect all organs,” says William Winter, sleep advisor at Men’s Health, author of The Sleep Solution: Why Your Sleep Is Broken and How To Fix It.
“A poor sleep makes us want to eat more and eat bad things, it affects digestion, cardiac functioning, the risk of hypertension, the risk of diabetes, [and] the functioning of the immune system,” he adds.
That is why we gather the advice of experts in sleep, scientific research and users always reliable to help you fall asleep faster and avoid another night of insomnia.
Try some of these tips, and maybe you’ll be surprised tonight.
Take more milk
Your grandmother knew what she was doing when she warmed you a glass of milk before going to bed.
“Milk contains the α-lactalbumin protein, which contains high amounts of the amino acid tryptophan, which produces melatonin, the hormone that induces sleep,” says Dr. Winter.
Studies show that diets rich in tryptophan (which include egg whites and pumpkin seeds) help improve sleep. And an additional advantage: “The calcium in milk also benefits the absorption of tryptophan in the brain,” says Dr. Winter.
Use a sleep tracker
About 10 percent of the American population uses a physical activity or sleep tracker on a regular basis, which lets them know exactly what is happening when they sleep.
That should be good for your dream, right? Well not exactly. Those who followed their dream went to bed feeling the pressure of achieving an adequate amount of sleep, and reported high levels of self-induced anxiety. As a result, you may have worsened your inability to fall asleep.
The researchers dubbed this “orthosomnia,” or concern about perfecting or improving sleep data.
Stressed by your inability to sleep? It has been shown that meditation reduces cortisol levels, helping you to feel less anxious and more relaxed, and therefore more prone to falling asleep. A 2015 study in JAMA found that mindfulness meditation helped improve the quality of sleep in older adults by reducing “worry, rumination, and mood disturbances.”
Try an application or other mediation product
“I listen to guided mediation sessions on YouTube every night,” says one user. “It has reached the point where sometimes I do not even hear the end of his presentation, I fall asleep so fast.”
Make your bed a place to sleep
If you are ever lying in bed without being able to sleep, you experience what researchers call “conditioned excitement,” which is caused by doing things in bed that have trained your brain to keep you awake instead of falling asleep, as you can see I work in your email on the phone.
“It’s amazing how many people tell me they go to bed at 9pm every night and it takes them two hours to fall asleep,” says Dr. Winter.
So keep your bed as an area just to sleep.
“I never lie on my bed unless I’m sleeping”. “Train the brain so you sleep faster instead of causing you to take your phone or a book to kill time.”
“Set up the sleeping space: turn off all the screens at least one hour before going to bed, turn off all the lights, and after you go to bed, relax your body completely.”
Learn to really relax
If you can not sleep, do not be scared: while you are relatively relaxed, you will get the same benefits. “The benefits of rest rival those of sleep and, in some cases, are cognitively indistinguishable,” says Dr. Winter.
A 2008 study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health on the effects of lying in bed with closed eyes found that when you rest, some of the neurons in your brain go out, mimicking what happens during sleep. And according to the National Sleep Foundation, rest can “also reduce stress, improve mood and increase alertness, mental clarity, creativity and motivation.”