Millions of people struggle with falling asleep or staying asleep. If you’re one of them, you’ve probably already read a lot of advice and tried numerous products. Still sometimes it probably feels like something is missing or that nothing works. Sleep issues run in my family, so over the years I have experimented with tons of different approaches myself as well as learned from other people about what works or does not work for them. In this article I will share the uncommon, but very effective approaches to getting a great night sleep that you’ve likely never heard of.
Try These Tips for Better Sleep
8 sleep hacks worth a try
1. Go for a short walk right before going to bed.
Fresh cold air, darkness and gentle movement are relaxing and unwinding. 3-5 minutes is all it takes to help you relax and fall asleep faster.
2. Keep temperature in your bedroom below 67F.
Most studies agree that a temperature between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit is optimal for sleeping, with temperatures above 75 degrees and below 54 degrees disruptive to sleep. Decrease of the body’s core temperature is one of the sleep promoting elements and keeping the room cool helps you achieve that. In addition, most people sleep longer and feel more awake in the morning after sleeping in the colder environment. I like to keep the temperature in my bedroom between 60-64F.
3. Go to bed half an hour earlier than needed.
Stressful thoughts have a profound negative effect on your ability to relax and fall asleep. If you go to bed knowing that you have to fall asleep quickly in order to get enough sleep, that thought by itself can put your mind in the stress mode. Instead, it’s better to go to bed having at least 30 minutes of extra time at your disposal. You can always wake up before your alarm goes off in the morning feeling rested and ready to start the day!
4. Practice left nostril breathing in the evening and before going to bed.
This simple relaxing breathing exercise (pranayama) is surprisingly effective. Either sit up crossed-legged or lie down on your right side. Cover the right nostril with your thumb and extend the fingers out. Then breathe in and out through your left nostril. You should breathe for 27 full cycles according to yogic tradition. Many people, myself included, find even 5-10 breaths very relaxing. Left nostril breathing has a relaxing effect on the sympathetic nervous system and slows the heart rate. For maximum effect do 27 cycles three times during the day and right before going to bed.
5. Try homeopathic remedy kali phosphoricum.
There are many homeopathic sleep remedies on the market. As with all homeopathic products, what works for one person might not work for another. The most universal remedy I know is a cell salt Kali Phosphoricum. It’s often included as part of the sleep formulas.
However, I find it most effective whenused on its own. Kali phosphoricum is a constituent of all animal fluids and tissues, notably of the brain, nerves, muscles and blood cells. The most commonly used preparation for sleep is Kali phos. 6X. It is most effective if taken right when you want to fall asleep. Put the small pills of is Kali phos. under your tongue and let them melt you into sleep. Kali phos. is not habit forming and can be taken several times during the same night if needed.
6. Eliminate nutritional deficiencies, especially of Ca, Mg and B vitamins.
Sleep difficulties can be caused by a number of underlying issues. One of them is nutritional deficiencies. Even people who eat healthy diets can lack several of the key nutrients required for the body to produce all of the necessary sleep hormones. The most essential nutrients for sleep are minerals calcium and magnesium and some of the B vitamins.
Since it is very hard to diagnose exactly which nutrients a person is lacking, a good solution is to take a well-balanced daily multivitamin supplement. Ideally, this product should separate energizing and relaxing ingredients into different formulas. Balanced Trio is one of such products, with daily nutrients divided into three complementary formulas – Morning, Mid-day and Evening.
7. Try milk protein hydrolysate Lactium®.
You’ve probably heard that warm milk is a traditional folk remedy for sleep. French researchers took this idea and developed a completely natural product derived from milk that has been shown to be very effective against stress and sleep problems. Their patented product is called Lactium®. It has been on the market for over 20 years and was given a food grade ingredient status by FDA. There are a number of supplements on the market that use Lactium®.
My favorite is De-Stress from Biotics Research as it has no fillers or other unnecessary additives. If you feel like you are not relaxed enough to fall asleep, try taking Lactium® 10-15 minutes before going to bed. The relaxing effect is gentle and profound with no groggy feeling in the morning.
8. Hit your yoga mat or practice pranayama or meditation.
Try any classes from these playlists. You can even choose practices to do from bed, so you can fall right to sleep after (or during).
•YOGA FOR SLEEP:
•YOGA FOR STRESS RELIEF:
•RESTORATIVE AND YIN YOGA:
Feel free to lie down for meditation at night, in corpse pose on your back with your legs extended and arms to your sides with palms up for a more relaxing experience. You may even fall asleep before meditation ends this way, so this is also great to do in bed 💤 Depending on the form of pranayama, you may or may not be able to lie down.
I hope some of these simple solutions will help you to sleep better. If you have your own suggestions for sleeplessness, please share them in the comments section below. I am always excited about trying some new approaches. Let us all benefit by learning from each other!
1. National Sleep Foundation: The Sleep Environment http://www.sleepfoundation.org/article/how-sleep-works/the-sleep-environment
2. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-christopher-winter/best-temperature-for-sleep_b_3705049.html 3. Valham F, et al. Ambient temperature and obstructive sleep apnea: effects on sleep, sleep apnea, and
morning alertness. Sleep. 2012 Apr 1; 35(4): 513-7.
4. Telles S, et al. Breathing through a particular nostril can alter metabolism and autonomic activities. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 1994 Apr;38(2):133-7.
5. Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani, et al. Immediate effect of chandra nadi pranayama (left unilateral forced nostril breathing) on cardiovascular parameters in hypertensive patients. Int J Yoga. 2012 Jul-Dec; 5(2): 108–111.
6. Lactium® – Effectiveness proven by scientific studies http://www.lactiumusa.com/research-study-reports.html http://www.lactium.com/uk/right-menu/lactium-stress-symptoms/controlling-stress.html
7. Balanced Trio vitamins – http://www.vital-formulas.com/balanced-trio/