One out of three people has trouble falling asleep or staying asleep during some time in their life. Such problems have many faces – all of them are ugly. Fortunately, there are some non-pharmacological ways of coping with it. The following are easy to apply and don’t require extreme routine changes.
- Prepare a “worry list”
Just before going to bed, prepare a to-do list for the next day. The more detailed, the better. As described in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, people who made such detailed plans of future events, slept better than people who wrote down their accomplishments of the day. “Bedtime worries, including worrying about incomplete future tasks, is a significant contributor to difficulty falling asleep” – states the Journal.
The reason this method is effective is quite simple – by writing down the things to do, you take the pressure off your mind, so it no longer needs to be preoccupied with them.
- Wear socks in bed
As described in Nature, warm feet don’t only feel good, they can also help you quickly fall asleep. Researchers found that the temperature of your hands and feet should be a bit higher than the temperature of the air in your bedroom, thus the socks! Warming cold feet causes dilation of the blood vessels which as the Swiss scientists put it – “…is the best physiological predictor for the rapid onset of sleep.”
- Wear glasses before going to bed
But not any glasses – ones that block blue light. As you probably know, one enemy of sleep is blue light. In our modern world, it’s almost impossible to avoid. This particular kind of light has a tremendous impact on our circadian rhythm. During the day, exposure to blue wavelengths of light emitted by the sun increases our attention. When the sun goes down, the absence of natural blue light increases melatonin secretion which makes us sleepy. But nowadays, blue light is emitted not only by the sun but also by the ever-present lights (especially LED and energy saving) and screens around us. When we’re exposed to it after sunset, blue light tricks our brain into thinking, that it is still daytime. The wise thing to do would be to give up our electronic devices at least an hour before bedtime. But let’s face it – only a handful of people have such willpower.
Luckily for us, the same technology that brought us the ubiquitous blue light, came up with glasses that block it.
- Use Nightly
Technology also comes to the rescue in another form – the Nightly app, which thanks to its Sleep Stimulation technology, will help you easily fall asleep and sleep soundly through the night. Here’s how it works. Before you close your eyes, you choose a calming theme and watch a brief video. Then, the same soundtrack you heard in the video continues helping you unwind until you fall asleep. While you’re sleeping, Nightly actively monitors for moments of vulnerability to waking up and plays the same soothing sounds again to help you maintain undisturbed sleep.