Some people have the ability to sleep through earthquakes; and then there’s the rest of us, who get so stressed trying to go to sleep that we end up not being able to sleep.
A study in 1988 showed that breathing through your right nostril significantly increases blood glucose levels, while breathing through the left has the opposite effect, which lulls you into a state of calm. Lightly rest a finger on your right nostril to close it so you only breathe through your left, and you’ll find yourself asleep (or, you won’t – you know, because you’re asleep) in no time.
NEXT: Put your muscles to sleep →
Relaxing your muscles prepares your body for sleep – even more so when you’re consciously relaxing them. Tightly clench individual muscles in your body and release to feel your muscles relax. Begin from the bottom and move upwards – curl your toes under your feet, clench your calf muscles, then your butt, stomach, arms and so on.
It prevents you from tensing up in your sleep, too, which greatly reduces the quality of your zzz’s.
NEXT: Try to stay awake →
It’s called the Sleep Paradox, something that tired office zombies trying not to fall asleep at work know all too well. Keep your eyes wide open, and basically do whatever you do at the times you’re not supposed to fall asleep, but do anyway.
The mind doesn’t process negatives well, and interprets this as a chance to mess with you by making you fall asleep.
NEXT: Roll your eyes →
Close your eyes and roll your eyes upwards. The change in waking eye patterns to a pattern of rest simulates what you do naturally when you fall asleep, and tricks your mind into actually going to sleep.
Or, with your eyes open, roll your eyes upwards and focus on a spot on the wall.
NEXT: Get to the point →
Certain pressure points along your body promote a state of restfulness when pressed gently but firmly: the point between your eyebrows where there’s a slight indent, your wrist crease below your pinky finger, the space between your big toe and second toe are some examples.
Press for 20 seconds, release briefly, and repeat until feel like you’re beginning to fall asleep.
NEXT: Use a pillow →
Not just to rest your head on, though.
If you’re lying on your back, try positioning a pillow under your knees to allow your lower back to assume its natural curve.
If you’re lying on your side, place a pillow in between your legs to prevent the higher leg from placing unnecessary stress on the spine and hip. It might not feel like it, but the stress builds up little by little.
NEXT: Recreate boredom →
The bad news: It’s absolutely dreadful. The good news: You won’t have to do it for long, as it’ll lull you to sleep in absolutely no time.
Do something that lulls your brain rather than engage it – do a monotonous puzzle like Solitaire, listen to an encyclopedia ebook… Or, you might just fall asleep thinking of the most boring things you could possibly do – sounds pretty boring to us.
NEXT: Make the room colder →
We love snuggling up under the blanket where it’s all warm and cosy, but a colder room is actually more conducive for falling asleep.
The ideal temperature? No warmer than 20 degrees Celsius. (Not to worry – here’s how to reduce your air-conditioning bill without switching it off!)
NEXT: But keep your feet warm →
Studies have concluded that warm feet and hands were the best predictor of quick sleep onset. Why? This shifts the blood flow from your core to your extremities, which cools down your body. And cooler temperatures let you catch more zzz’s, remember?
NEXT: Inhale through your left nostril →
By Pinky Chng, April 2017
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