Sleeping well is essential for our physical or mental well-being. During sleep we go through five stages (1, 2, 3, 4 and REM stage). Each one of them fulfills a function for our body and mind in such a way that insufficient sleep affects us in an important way. Against this is the problem of insomnia is becoming more frequent. For all these reasons, using different tricks to sleep is essential. We tell you about them here!
When it comes to sleeping well, we not only talk about quantity but also quality . An adult person should sleep about 7 to 8 hours a day. This amount is higher when you are smaller. For example, a school-age boy or girl should sleep at least 10 hours and a newborn 16 to 18 hours.
Benefits of Sleep
Tricks to Fall Asleep, As we have already anticipated, the quality of sleep is also important. If sleep is often interrupted or shortened, not enough time will be spent in the different stages and thus all its benefits will not be achieved, such as:
Learn information and form memories.
Release growth hormone (indispensable for children).
Help our immune system by releasing cytokines.
Allow the heart and vascular system to rest.
Recover energy for the next day
Negative effects of not sleeping well
On the contrary, lack of sleep has negative effects such as:
Depression and anxiety.
Increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure.
Aggravate or promote type 2 diabetes .
Faced with this reality, many adults have sleep problems , often due to bad habits. Using different tricks to sleep is essential to avoid these bad habits or at least alleviate them and get
Tricks to sleep better
There are different factors that interfere with sleep . If you have sleep problems, take note of how much you sleep, what factors you think help your sleep or the opposite to lose it. It is also important to be aware of whether you feel rested the next day and how much energy you have throughout a normal day.
You may not be able to control all these factors, but knowing them and acting on them is vital to try to get enough quality sleep, something that a series of sleeping tricks will help you with .
1. Respect sleep schedules
In this sense, it is important both to comply with the recommended hours of sleep every day that you can (between 7 and 8 hours in an adult) and not to overdo it.
To do this, try to maintain the same habits every day and that the difference between the hours of sleep on a daily day and on a weekend is not important. With these sleeping tricks you will reinforce the body’s sleep-wake cycle :
Go to bed and get up at the same time every day.
Try to keep the difference in sleep hours between weekday nights and weekend nights no more than one hour.
If you are consistent you will get better results.
2. Create a suitable environment for sleep
Temperature , noise and light greatly influence sleep time . For all these reasons, taking care of your room by creating a sufficiently ventilated environment, without light sources – even if they are small – and in silence is very important.
The darkness allows the brain to release melatonin which creates a calming and drowsy effect. For all these reasons, it is not only important to minimize exposure to light in your room, but also to do it before going to bed: close the computer, turn off the television or the mobile phone at least 15-20 minutes before falling asleep.
Do not take these devices to your bedroom where you must create a dark space with blinds or curtains that prevent light from passing through. If necessary, use elements that help you achieve this environment, such as an eye mask or ear plugs.
Finally, an important factor is the bed itself . Think that two thirds of your life is spent sleeping and having a comfortable bed is also very important for quality sleep.
3. Control your stress and worries
Thinking about your problems or pending tasks when you go to sleep is one of the most important causes of insomnia. Therefore, try to resolve or park these concerns before going to bed.
Thus, when stress is transformed into worries or anxiety, it alters sleep. Therefore, among the tricks to sleep are practicing techniques to control stress before going to sleep such as deep breathing or meditation.
Also take note of everything you have pending and get organized to solve them for the next day, set priorities and if possible delegate tasks.
In fact, these are not only valid for when you go to bed but also if you cannot fall asleep. Get up, do one of these relaxing activities, and when you feel drowsy again, go back to bed to try to sleep.
4. Do a relaxed activity before bed…
After organizing and trying to park your worries, it’s time to relax. Not only does meditation help relieve anxiety, but it also does relaxing activities that are beneficial for the brain, such as reading, writing a journal, or listening to music.
5. But don’t skip exercising during the day
Physical activity greatly helps to sleep well and soundly. But beware, excessive activity can have the opposite effect, especially if it is before bed.
For all these reasons, establish a daily exercise routine. Two factors explain the positive impact of physical exercise on sleep are physical fatigue and stress reduction. It does not have to be an important physical activity, but if it continues. Try to do it 3-4 hours before going to sleep, if you do it with less time, make it a light exercise, such as a relaxed walk after dinner.
6. Be careful with food and drink
You should never go to bed hungry or feeling very full . It is important that dinner is sufficient and never excessively abundant. Another of the important tricks to sleep is that you leave enough time, at least two hours, between this last meal of the day and bedtime.
Similarly, tobacco, alcohol and caffeinated drinks, all of them stimulants, are great enemies for quality sleep. In the case of alcohol, it can make you feel drowsy but also make your sleep interrupted and unpleasant.
Yes to naps, but short
Something as ours as the nap can be a great enemy to sleep well. In this case, the trick to sleep if you are tempted to take an afternoon nap is that they are neither long -no more than 30 minutes- nor late, that at least 6 hours elapse until bedtime.
7. Make good use of the pillow
Although it is not for everyone, using a pillow is a good idea, benefits are attributed to rest by having your head slightly elevated above the rest of the body. But, in addition, using another pillow as a complement can be a good idea: for example, placing it under the knees if you sleep on your back so that your back assumes its natural curve, or, if you sleep on your side, placing a pillow between your legs.
the good use of the pillow is one of the tricks to sleep fast
8. Use the 4-7-8 technique
One of the best known techniques is called 4-7-8. This is an idea put forward by a university professor at Harvard University, Andrew Weil. The technique is simply to apply a numerical form to a pattern of breaths to help you fall asleep and sleep better.
The system would consist of taking a breath through the nose with the mouth closed while you count to four. Subsequently, you must maintain the air for seven seconds, and finish inhaling the air for eight seconds. The ideal would be to repeat this process three times, which is a quick technique since it can start working in a minute.
The basis of this technique is the fact of supplying oxygen to the parasympathetic system while concentrating on a certain activity , moving away from stress or other thoughts.
9. The Marine Technique
It is a technique known several decades ago but now it seems to have become fashionable again. It is a method to help people fall asleep that the military uses when they find themselves in tense situations, for example during a war. Obviously, it is important in these situations to maintain the highest levels of attention and to be rested, which is why we seek to fall asleep as quickly as possible and improve the rest pattern during this period.
The marine technique for sleeping is divided into two stages. The first stage seeks to make your mind go blank. These are the steps to follow to achieve it:
First, relax the muscles in your face , including your jaw, tongue, and muscles around your eyes.
Second, you should drop your shoulders as low as possible , then be able to relax your upper and lower arms, first one arm and then the other.
Take a deep breath and exhale, relaxing your chest .
Relax the legs , for this you should start with the thighs and go down until you reach the feet.
This entire relaxation period should not take more than a minute and a half . What is intended is that you free your brain from thoughts and tensions. To do this, as a complement, this technique advises you to focus for a short period of time, about 10 seconds, on one of these two mental images:
Imagine yourself inside a canoe on a lake, totally calm, and in which you only see the blue sky.
Picture yourself lying on a rocking black velvet bench in a dark room.
If you find it difficult to recreate these images in your mind, the alternative option is to continually repeat, as if it were a mantra, the words do not think . According to various published data, with sufficient training after a minimum period of six weeks of practice, this technique is very effective and works in more than 90% of cases .
10. Use of reverse psychology
Lastly, if you’re having a hard time falling asleep with all of the above tricks or ideas, try the opposite: try to stay awake. Research conducted at the University of Glasgow, on two groups of people suffering from insomnia, revealed that reverse psychology could help people fall asleep . One of the groups was asked to use their own resources, ideas or tricks to sleep, while the other group was asked to try to stay awake as long as possible, but without using external stimuli. The result is that the second group managed to fall asleep earlier than the first.
All these sleeping tricks will certainly help you rest better, but they may be insufficient in case of severe insomnia or sleep apnea disorders .