Feeling exhausted lately? Sleep can be affected by stress, tension built up throughout the day, and even your partner’s breathing (or deafening snoring). Fortunately, there are many tricks out there to help promote a deep and refreshing night’s sleep. Here are five ways to help you sleep better, so you’ll be fresh as a daisy this World Sleep Day, March 17.
From trouble falling asleep and sleep apnea to night wakings and insomnia, sleep disorders are many and varied, and can affect us at different times of life. These various issues can lead people to seek solutions to help them fall asleep more easily, sleep longer and — as a bonus — enjoy refreshing, quality sleep. While some sleep disorders evidently require the attention of a health professional, others could be relieved with simple tricks to adopt on a daily basis. On social networks, sleep is the subject of many videos — and more than 20 billion views — filled with advice on how to get a good night’s sleep. Here are five ways that could make your nights more restful and help you to achieve better sleep.
The 10-3-2-1-0 method
Made popular last year by fitness coach Craig Ballantyne, the 10-3-2-1-0 method involves adopting a new daily routine in order to get a good night’s sleep, with each number corresponding to a specific action. The 10 is for cutting out caffeine 10 hours before bedtime, the 3 is for consuming the last ‘big’ meal and/or glass of alcohol three hours before bed, and the 2 is the number of hours between stopping work and falling asleep.
Finally, the method advocates not looking at any kind of screen one hour before hitting the sack, and to never put off waking up. So, when the alarm clock rings, don’t hit snooze. Instead, you should get up, rather than trying to snatch a few extra minutes of sleep before facing the day. This technique, which is relatively easy to adopt, could not only allow you to fall asleep faster, but also to sleep better, according to the sports coach, at least.
Colours of noise
The benefits of white noise have been the subject of much scientific research, which is not the case for other colours of noise. However, these are the ones that have been all the rage on social networks in recent months. Especially pink noise (29 million views on TikTok) and brown noise (nearly 120 million views). Users claim these have all kinds of virtues to help them relax, calm down, de-stress, fall asleep more easily, and enjoy deep sleep.
Resembling a regular humming kind of sound, pink noise is said to be particularly conducive to deep sleep because of its constant, monotone nature. This is confirmed by a scientific study, although conducted on a relatively small number of participants, which mentions noises like rustling leaves, rain falling in the distance, or the movement of waves. Brown noise is supposedly more conducive to relaxation and concentration, although some people associate it with sleep. This can take the form of a waterfall or thunder. What better way to relax after a busy day?
Keep the bed for sleeping
Beds are made for sleeping. Nothing more, nothing less. If that’s not the case in your home, it’s a good idea to give your bed its primary function back, and to eliminate all the other activities — or almost all — that might happen there. There’s no doubt that the various lockdowns, as well as the widespread move to working from home, have not helped in making the bed anything but a place of rest. Between Netflix sessions, social networking, and — worse still — video calls while lounging on the bed, many people no longer consider the bed to be (just) that special place you fall asleep.
Highly popular on TikTok, the UK’s Dr Karan Rajan, believes that, to counter this phenomenon, it’s essential to reacquaint the body — and the mind — with the bed as that place you go to get your shut-eye. You should go there only when tired. If that’s not the case, you should get up and go do any other activity in a different room of the house, before going back to bed. This advice seems to have proved popular among many TikTok users, given the video’s 600,000 views.
Use music to beat nightmares
As well as being scary or anxiety-inducing, nightmares can also disrupt sleep. However, there is a foolproof technique — or almost — to avoid them, according to Swiss researchers from the University of Geneva’s Faculty of Medicine. They have developed a method to limit the occurrence of nightmares. And this is all based on a simple musical chord, played on the piano.
Published in the journal Current Biology, their research found that the C69 piano chord (combining the notes C, D, E, G and A) could significantly and rapidly reduce the number and frequency of nightmares. The study was carried out on 36 volunteers over several months, and evidently requires further research. However, at the end of this experiment, without this musical aid, the participants observed a progressive return of their bad dreams, demonstrating the impact this technique appeared to have on reducing nightmares.
Sharing the sleep space
Sleeping alone is already difficult enough for some, but sleeping with a partner can sometimes turn into a waking nightmare. The loud breathing, snoring, and even the movements of your partner can lead to frustration, disturbances, and even irritation, and don’t always make for a harmonious relationship. A simple and accessible method, called the ‘Scandinavian Sleep Method’, could allow two people to sleep better together, without having to resort to separate rooms. And the good news is that it doesn’t require much except a bed and two separate duvets.
As you’ve probably already guessed, it is a matter of gaining independence by having your own duvet, without suffering the misfortunes of a partner’s sudden movements. This will not stop them snoring, but it will allow you to move around in your own space and on your own terms, all while maintaining a certain closeness to your partner. A trick that, according to TikTok users, could have saved many couples.
This story was published via AFP Relaxnews
(Main image: Featured image: Taisiia Shestopal/ Unsplash)
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