Fall asleep in 5 MIN­UTES

Toss­ing and turn­ing come lights out? Try th­ese sim­ple and ef­fec­tive tricks at bed­time

New Idea - - New Stress- free -

Feel­ing tired right now? You’re in fine com­pany. Re­cent re­search by the Sleep Health Foun­da­tion found be­tween 33 and 45 per cent of Aussies have poor sleep pat­terns. Night af­ter night of sleep de­pri­va­tion can wreak havoc on our bod­ies.

‘In ad­di­tion to the sleep you need ev­ery night, lost sleep will ac­cu­mu­late, caus­ing you to need to sleep even more to make up for any hours pre­vi­ously missed,’ says Dr Su­jay Kansagra, pro­fes­sor at Duke Uni­ver­sity’s sleep medicine pro­gram.

Try th­ese easy tips to help you fall asleep quickly and soundly for a good night’s rest...

VI­SU­ALISE YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE For­get count­ing back­wards from 100, try to pic­ture a place where you feel calm and re­laxed – it could be on the beach or out in the coun­try­side. The idea is to dis­tract your­self from any stresses of the day. In an Ox­ford Uni­ver­sity study, in­som­ni­acs who imag­ined a re­lax­ing scene fell asleep 20 min­utes faster.

IN­HALE THROUGH YOUR LEFT NOS­TRIL The yoga method of breath­ing through one nos­tril is well known to be med­i­ta­tive dur­ing class – time to bring it into the bed­room.

‘Lie on your left side, rest­ing a fin­ger on your right nos­tril to close it. Start slow, deep breath­ing in the left nos­tril,’ says holis­tic sleep ther­a­pist and au­thor of Sleep Bet­ter With Nat­u­ral Ther­a­pies, Peter Smith. Five min­utes later, you may well be sound asleep.

CON­TROL BINGE TV WATCH­ING Can’t stop stream­ing your new favourite se­ries? There’s ev­i­dence to show that hour af­ter hour of binge-watch­ing TV can af­fect sleep. Re­cent re­search from the Uni­ver­sity of Michi­gan found that higher binge-view­ing fre­quency was as­so­ci­ated with a poorer sleep qual­ity, in­creased fa­tigue, and more symp­toms of in­som­nia, while reg­u­lar tele­vi­sion view­ing was not. Take binge-watch­ing out of the bed­room and stop at least an hour be­fore sleep.

TAKE TIME TO RE­FLECT ON YOUR DAY Ac­cord­ing to Sammy Margo, au­thor of The Good Sleep Guide (the­good­sleep­ex­pert.com), re­mem­ber­ing ev­ery de­tail – no mat­ter how mun­dane – of your day in re­v­erse or­der clears your mind of wor­ries. ‘Re­call con­ver­sa­tions, sights and sounds as you go. It helps you to reach a men­tal state that’s ready for sleep,’ she says.

TRY TO STAY AWAKE It’s the old re­v­erse psy­chol­ogy trick. Re­search con­ducted on two groups of in­som­ni­acs at the Uni­ver­sity of Glas­gow found that trick­ing your mind to think the op­po­site ac­tu­ally helps you to fall asleep.

While one group was left to their own de­vices, the other was told to stay awake for as long as pos­si­ble but banned from mov­ing around or watch­ing TV. And, you guessed it, it was the lat­ter that fell asleep the fastest. COOL IT With sum­mer com­ing, it’s im­por­tant to be aware of the tem­per­a­ture in your boudoir. A study from the Uni­ver­sity of South Aus­tralia found that the body tem­per­a­ture has a vi­tal role in the on­set of sleep.

‘Stud­ies of sleep-on­set in­som­ni­acs show that they con­sis­tently have a warmer core body tem­per­a­ture im­me­di­ately be­fore ini­ti­at­ing sleep, when com­pared with nor­mal, healthy adults,’ says re­search fel­low Dr Cameron van den Heu­vel.

By keep­ing your bed­room tem­per­a­ture low, at around 18C, you can force your body to do less work cool­ing down, which will help you fall asleep faster.

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