If you took our advice to heart last year, you beat researchers to the punch by about a year. We suggested that whenever you can’t sleep because of stress, you should “write it down” to help yourself finally get some shuteye.
As we explained then, putting a plan on paper is a great way to ease anxiety and help yourself fall asleep faster. And it turns out Baylor University researchers agree.
In their recent study, they found writing down your goals for tomorrow could help you sleep better tonight.
Study volunteers who made these kinds of notes fell asleep an average of nine minutes faster than those who tried to sleep without writing a list.
And the folks who really committed to the task by getting the most specific with their plan fell asleep the fastest.
6 can’t sleep cures to help you sleep like a baby
But making a list isn’t the only sleep trick we have up our sleeve. Following are six more proven tips to help silence your brain when you can’t sleep.
1. Ignore your clock:
A study out of New Mexico found that “time monitoring behavior”—or watching the clock, as you and I would call it—interferes with sleep. Rather than giving you peace of mind it ends up increasing your anxiety about how little sleep you’re getting.
The result? It makes it even HARDER to get to sleep.
Break the “can’t sleep” cycle by turning your clock to the wall. Or better yet move it out of your bedroom altogether.
2. Get moving:
What you do during the day affects how well you sleep at night. And one of those things you should be doing is getting a little exercise.
Experts says getting some moderate exercise in the mornings will help you sleep better at night. The key is to make sure you’re done with any heavy activity by the afternoon. Otherwise, the energy boost you get from exercise could backfire on you and keep you awake.
3. Try to stay awake:
It’s got a fancy name, paradoxical intention, but the concept couldn’t be simpler. When you try hard to stay awake… really put your mind to it… chances are you’ll end up falling asleep.
And as bizarre as it sounds, the concept is backed up by studies out of Scotland and India. Try to keep your eyes open and your mind alert next time you can’t sleep, and see how fast you doze off.
4. Listen to a bedtime story:
That old trick which worked like a charm when you were a child can still work its magic today.
Download an audio version of one of your favorite books, crawl into bed and let your smartphone or tablet tell you a story. Make sure you already know it so it won’t keep you awake. But it should also be something you like enough for it to distract you, so you can fall asleep.
5. Try the 4-7-8 method:
Deep breathing is naturally relaxing. But experts say there’s a special pattern that’s very effective at producing the calm needed for sleep. It’s called the 4-7-8 method.
Start by exhaling completely. Breathe in through your nose to the count of four. Hold your breath for the count of seven. Then exhale completely with a whooshing noise for a count of eight.
Repeat the pattern at least three times. While it might feel funny at first, if you make it a nightly ritual you’ll find yourself falling asleep easily in no time.
6. Try melatonin:
Melatonin is the hormone that tells your brain it’s time to sleep. But your melatonin production slows down as you age. A melatonin supplement could help make up for what’s missing.
If you’ve tried melatonin before without much success, it may be time to try it again. New research has revealed that melatonin sprays can work far better than traditional capsules for many folks. They get absorbed directly rather than having to pass through your digestive tract. Which means quicker results, and better absorption.
We’ve all been there. When it’s the middle of the night and you can’t sleep, you can start to feel desperate. Relax and try one of these seven strategies for getting some shuteye instead. Before you know if you’ll find yourself drifting off into a peaceful slumber.
P.S. – Imagine how it would feel to get perfect sleep “on demand” ANYTIME and EVERY time you want it. Check your email tomorrow to find out how to turn that DREAM into a REALITY.