We all want to get a good night's rest; but more often than not, we find ourselves tossing and turning throughout the night.
Experts have discovered 11 successful strategies to help you fall — and stay — asleep.
1. Wear socks to bed
In a study published in the journal "Nature," researchers discovered that warm hands and feet had a direct correlation with immediate sleep. Participants in the study put a hot water bottle by their feet before falling asleep to open up the blood vessels, therefore postponing the loss of heat in the feet. They fell asleep faster than those who did not.
2. Use the "4-7-8" method
This breathing technique has helped thousands of people fall asleep in under a minute. The purpose is to relax your breathing and increase the amount of oxygen in your blood. According to sleep expert Dr. Andrew Weil, this is how you do it:
You begin by placing the tip of your tongue against and behind your upper front teeth. Keep it there for the whole exercise. Then exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound. Close your mouth and inhale through your nose to a count of four. Hold this breath for seven seconds and then exhale completely through your mouth, making the same whoosh sound, for eight seconds. Repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.
3. Keep your room cool
Years of research have shared how crucial it is for your room to stay a cool temperature to keep your body temperature comfortable. The National Sleep Foundation recommends a temperature between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit.
4. Read a book before bed
Has your child ever wanted to take a book into bed with him? If you want him to fall asleep fast, say yes. Your mind is not as visually stimulated when you are doing a relaxing activity, like reading, which makes it a great alternative to looking at your phone.
5. Eat a healthier diet
Research has found that increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables helps improve your sleep dramatically, due to the enhanced amount of magnesium, potassium and other essential minerals your body craves.
6. Scent your bedroom with lavender
Research has shown that lavender helps you fall asleep faster andhelps give you a deeper sleep.
7. Cut out the caffeine
Caffeine is an addictive chemical whose purpose is to keep you awake when your body is slowing down. Consuming it, whether in the form of medication or coffee, etc., can prevent a good night's rest.
8. Hide your clock
Looking at your clock and hearing the seconds tick is not making it easy for you to fall asleep. Help yourself by moving your clock somewhere unseen.
9. Practice the art of meditation
In order for you to actually be able to fall asleep, you have to remove the stress and tension that the events of the day brought; you have to relax. Meditation and yoga are art forms used to do just that.
10. Listen to music
Don't plug in your heavy metal or hard rock favorites at bedtime. Instead, try a selection of slow rhythm. A study of students ages 19 to 28 was done to see whether classical music with under 80 beats per minute would affect sleep. The report showed that those who listened to the classical music for 45 minutes before bed had a better quality of sleep, and fell asleep a lot calmer, than those who didn't. Interesting fact: They also found that it decreased depression symptoms.
11. Give yourself acupressure
Acupressure is similar to acupuncture; it is a method used to help the flow of energy throughout your body. When you press on certain parts of your body, balance is restored and your mind is more at peace. Steve Given, clinical faculty member at Bastyr Center for Natural Health, has shared these tips for applying acupressure:
Gently press the point in between your eyebrows for a minute.
On top of your foot, between your first and second toes, there is a depression that should be pressed for a few minutes until it begins to ache.
Press on the soles of your foot — about a third of the way back from your toes to your heel — for a few minutes.
Massage both ears for a minute.
Give these tricks a try and see how much more quickly you are able to fall asleep.