Do you literally feel like you’ve tried everything to fight your insomnia? Have you been drinking litres of chamomile tea this month, done yoga inversions in your pyjamas, all the breathing exercises on the internet, taken Chinese herbal remedies that make your eyes water, or other strange techniques? Here are four “weird” tips that really work, and will have you waking up happy in no time.
We may be bordering on the unconventional here, but we swear we’re not taking the Mickey.
Lowering the body temperature before bed has been proven to help you sleep.
We’re not suggesting a very cold shower if you’re not used to it. That could also stimulate your system too much.
Your shower (or bath) should be cool. If you shower at night, perfect – just turn the temperature down right at the end, letting the cool water flow over you for a just long enough to cool you off.
This trick works really well if it’s been a hot day, you got a little too much sun, or you’re a warm person. If you’re too cold and can’t sleep, warm yourself up!
Nice ideas for warming yourself up are heating a gel pack or wheat bag up in the oven or microwave and wrapping it around your neck and shoulders.
The rocking lullaby
If you have a rocking chair at home, now is the time to make it one of the most useful pieces of furniture you have! Literally rocking yourself to sleep can work if your parents used to rock you when you were a baby.
Why not combine the rocking with some humming or singing? Don’t laugh, we’re being serious! In the yoga tradition, they use a technique to calm the mind and sooth the nervous system. It’s called the humming bee breath, or bhramari.
Bhramari allegedly releases the mind of agitation, frustration and anxiety. It’s also great if you’re feeling angry about something. What better way to prepare yourself for sleep?
How to do bhramari
- Sit down comfortably on a chair.
- Place your index fingers into your ears, or cover your ears with the piece of cartilage that lies towards the front of your ears.
- Close your eyes.
- Breathe in, then hum to yourself as you breath out (while your ears are covered), 6 times.
- Experiment with high pitched sounds. They are thought to work better to calm you.
As you perform bhramari, observe your body and the quietness inside you.
Other benefits of bhramari include:
headache and migraine relief
- cooling you down when you’re hot
- improving your confidence
- blood pressure reduction
- better concentration and memory.
You might feel a bit strange doing this at first, but if it helps you sleep, it’s well worth the initial feeling of uncertainty.
Light acupressure on your face can relax you and get you in that sleepy mind-set. Just press on the area where your nose meets your forehead.
Then move down to your feet. Push on the area on the outside, bottom edge of your ankle bone. Try to find a spot that feels tender, where there is a little dip. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat on the opposite side.
Then go to the inside of your ankle, and look for a sore spot on the top, front area just next to your ankle bone. Push and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat on the opposite side.
A light snack
Eating a spoonful of raw, organic honey before you go to bed seems to work for some people with insomnia. If you don’t have much of a sweet tooth, you could alternatively try eating a couple of tablespoons full of raw almond butter on their own, or spread onto a stick of celery.
Both of these foods contain substances that calm the system and prepare it for sleep. They are also tasty!
…that not sleeping is not your fault, but if you think you might be under too much stress right now, or there may be some lifestyle changes you could make, make them. You’ll be sleeping better in no time at all.