Every year, about 60 million Americans report having gone through insomnia. About 40 million Americans experience long term sleep disturbances. Many negative effects are associated with long term insomnia including increased risk of heart diseases, dementia, attention and concentration disorders as well as decline in cognitive function.
With the large number of people experiencing sleep disturbances, many prescriptions are written every year for sleeping medications. This has led to a lot of money being spent on pills for regulating sleep. Even without going for the pills, there are some scientifically-backed techniques that can help you fall asleep easily as elaborated here.
Try Forcing Yourself to Stay Awake
This technique works through reverse psychology. When you challenge yourself to stay awake when in bed, the mind and body will naturally rebel. This is known as the paradoxical intention. While in bed, try keeping your eyes open and keep telling yourself that you will not sleep. The brain doesn’t process negative thoughts well. This is interpreted as an instruction to sleep. Eye muscles tire easily and sleep comes easily. This is not a long term solution to sleep disturbance but helps in the short term.
Taking a Warm Shower before Bed
A warm shower or bath raises the body temperature. When you leave the shower, the body temperatures drop significantly. A drop in body temperature results into a decrease in the heart rate, digestion as well as other body metabolic processes. This enables the body and the brain to power down more easily which triggers a sleepy feeling making the process of falling asleep easier.
Scenting your Room with Lavender
Lavender has a lovely smell that soothes your mind. The aroma of lavender also relaxes your nerves, lowers the blood pressure and puts your body in a relaxed state. People who inhale lavender oil at 10 minute intervals before going to bed increase the amount of deep sleep they get and wake up more regenerated in the morning.
Listening to Music
Classical music and other types of music with slow rhythm, (between 60 and 80 beats per minute) help individuals to fall asleep easily. This is usually beneficial when the music is listened to for about 45 minutes before going to bed. Furthermore, music also decreases symptoms of depression which is associated with sleep problems.
Going to Bed when actually Sleepy
People often make the mistake of going to bed earlier to get some extra sleep. This is not advisable as it may worsen your sleep problems. Going to bed when you are not sleepy makes it difficult for your body to shut down. In such a case, the sleep is worse the longer you remain in bed.
The tips discussed here will not only make you fall asleep easier, but will also improve the quality of sleep you get.