Unwinding and getting to sleep isn’t really one of my strong points. It doesn’t matter how I go about my day, it always takes me so long to fall asleep.
Naturally this led me to do what I do best: research (at 2am in bed of course).
Almost all the articles I came across were “how to fall asleep better” including things like meditation, eating healthier, turning off technology earlier etc. That’s all well and good but I was looking for a quick fix.
After some more research (it was 3am by this point – will I ever learn?) I found some little tricks that actually proved quite effective.
1. Don’t count sheep, circle them
I never really found that counting sheep made me sleepy, however I came across this post which tells you to stick to one or two sheep, and make them walk around in circles, and count the circles. I often get to about 20-30 and then get too tired to think about anything else, or keep counting, and dose off.
2. The 4-7-8 breathing trick
This post will basically explain how it works and go into the technical side of things, but in short, it slows down your heart rate forcing you to relax. You simply breathe in through your nose for four seconds, hold your breath for seven seconds, and exhale through your mouth for eight seconds. And repeat.
3. Pretend you’re falling
Pretending your falling through the bed, or your body has no weight, will help your body let go and free it from any tension.
5. Music and sounds
Studies have determined this is the most relaxing song ever, that actually slows down your heart beat. You can also download the ‘relaxing sounds’ app and play sounds that are comforting to you, whether that be the ocean, rain or a peaceful lake. There’s also this app which is made to literally bore you to sleep.
6. Roll your eyes
I did this with the circling sheep trick, and found it worked really well for me. Close your eyes and roll your eyes around or up a few times. It simulates what you do naturally when you fall asleep and may help trigger the release of your sleepy hormone, melatonin.
7. Imagine your ‘happy place’
Visualisation meditation works best when you use at least three senses. For example, you’re on a tropical beach, listening to the waves and feeling the heat of the sun. You should start to feel relaxed, as you explore senses in your imagination, and fall asleep.
One last thing, this all-natural CALM drink is a serious gamechanger if you have trouble unwinding & feeling relaxed at night. It takes me off any kind of coffee high and puts me right to sleep.
Do you have any sleeping tricks? Please do share!