Today, over 35 percent of the world population suffers from insomnia. Basically, insomnia is the tendency of your body to prevent itself from sleeping. It is a kind of long-term sleeplessness. If a person is unable to have a good, sound sleep, he is also affected by insomnia.
Apart from this 35% population, around 15% of the world population experiences occasional problems while sleeping. So, basically, 50% of the world population is unable to get a deep and sound sleep. Sleeping less or not having a good sleep could eventually lead to a headache, dizziness, anxiety, nausea, and make you less efficient in almost everything.
Medically, insomnia is caused due to the interferences with Circadian Rhythm.
Circadian Rhythm is also known as the sleep cycle in layman terms.
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What Disturbs The Circadian Rhythm?
Today, the major reason of increasing insomnia in the world is the blue light that smartphones radiate. People who keep using the smartphone now and then are very prone to insomnia.
There are other factors that stimulate your body towards insomnia, e.g., Coffee, energy drinks like Red Bull, etc. However, the blue light emitted by the smartphones, computers, and other display systems are the biggest factors affecting your sleep.Hereby, we are presenting some of the best methods by which you could fall asleep really fast.
The 4-7-8 Method
The 4-7-8 Method is believed to put you to sleep just within a minute. Strange like it sounds, it is a panacea to people suffering from insomnia.
Here is what you have to do:
1. For 4 seconds, inhale quietly through your nose (while keeping the mouth closed).
2. For 7 seconds, hold your breath.
3. For 8 seconds, exhale out the breath you held completely through your mouth.
This is the combo of 4-7-8 that results out to be a great remedy if you are having problems in falling asleep.
You have to repeat this cycle several times, till you don’t fall feel like sleeping. For the matter of fact, you will start going in sleep just after 3 or 4 consistent cycles.
You need to do this every day; in fact, twice a day. In a matter of few days, your body will learn how to do this technique unconsciously. By this, we mean that it will become very easy to do and this technique will become a great and unique tool throughout an individual’s life.
Why and How Does It Work?
During these steps, the oxygen gets accumulated in your lungs. Consequently, the oxygen runs throughout the body via the blood. This way your body gets rid of anxiety and feels relaxed. Eventually, you fall asleep.
Count The Sheep
This is very simple yet effective hack to do if you are having trouble in getting sleep. In this hack, you just have to imagine a ground divided by fences. In one part there is a flock of sheep and the other part is empty. One by one, each sheep is climbing off the fence and going to the other, empty part. You just have to imagine this much and by the 100th sleep you will be getting unconscious and will go deep in dreams.
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How Does It Work?
Sheepherders in the past used to get worried about the number of sheep in their fields. This used to make them worry to an extent that they were unable to get asleep at the nights. So they would just count the number of sheep they had and this would make them free of any kind of worry, eventually making them sleep.
Turns out, it is reliable to non-sheep herders too! The reason behind this is the concentration. You get to concentrate on a thing and this makes your brain feel tired and finally, you sleep.
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Use of Digitalisation to Neutralise Its Own Effect
By this, we want to indicate apps. As we have already discussed above, the major reason of sleeplessness is the use of the smartphones. These smartphones emit the blue lights that make your body alert of external lights or say stimulate your body. For this, there are blue light filter apps in the PlayStore™ that come free of cost.
Download Link: Blue Light Filter — Night Mode
This app is used widely by variant ages and has been installed somewhere between five to ten million times only on the Android OS.
However, this is not the single app that filters out the blue light emitted by the display of your smartphones, there are plenty of such apps. Following is one more such app, downloaded over somewhere between 10 to 50 million times in the PlayStore™.
Download Link: Blue Light Filter for Eye Care
Beside these blue light filter apps, you can also use sleep monitoring apps that come with built-in melodies made to send you to sleep.
Apart from providing you sleep stats, they also help you fall asleep within minutes.
Following is one such app:
Download Link: Sleep as Android
It comes with some of the best lullabies that will attract you towards sleep.
You can also use any other Music App, or choose a music of your choice for this purpose. In fact, many music apps provide you built-in playlists named ‘Sleep’ to serve this purpose. Modern music players also come with ‘Sleep’ features in which you can select the approximate time after which you would fall asleep. These services and options provided by the music tools prove that a soothing music is a great way to deal with this problem of sleeplessness. It is recommended to choose melodies that have a peaceful nature. You could listen to music with 60-80 beats per minute for the best results.
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Drink a Glass of Hot Milk
You might have observed people following this tradition of having a full glass of warm milk after the meal. This is because milk triggers the brain to produce serotonin (a sleep-promoting hormone released by brain). Hence, having a hot glass of milk before hitting the bed is a very good idea to make your body feel sleepy.
This may not seem like a viable technique, but so far it is one of the best remedies for insomnia. What you have to do is — get tired and running is the best way to get tired. Quite a few times, primarily on holidays, our body does not show any tendency to sleep because it is not tired.
This leaves the body very enthusiastic and energized and hence, there is no need to sleep. However, once our body acquires this tendency, this becomes a daily habit. We get used to sleeping late in the night.
Hence, it is always recommended to run for a proper sleep. Particularly when the goal is to sleep fast at the night, the perfect time to run in the evening. Generally, when you will come back tired after a lot of running, you will be asleep as soon as you hit the bed. Over time, you will become so used to this that you will be able to get the sleep this fast even after you leave running.
Avoid Scrolling The Feed While On The Bed
As we have already mentioned and discussed above, the smartphones and any other kind of modern displays emit blue light that stimulates you towards sleeplessness. Hence, a very good and simple method to get rid of this problem is to avoid the use of smartphones before sleeping. The most common thing most people are addicted nowadays is ‘feed’. Websites (or apps) like Facebook, Quora, Instagram, Twitter, BuzzFeed, etc. provide interfaces with infinite stories. People keep scrolling for hours and become more prone to sleeplessness. Eventually, after keeping the phone aside the brain becomes so alert of this external light that it doesn’t allow your body to sleep.
Hence, avoiding the use of smartphones on the bed is one of the biggest ways you can get rid of this insomnia problem.
Have A Good Meal
It is a scientifically proven fact that a good meal makes your body feel sleepy. Specifically talking about grains, they raise your blood sugar a bit and you naturally feel like sleeping. It may seem a bit unhealthy but a good, tight meal makes your body relaxed and puts you on a good routine system by making you fall asleep fast. Do not worry if you feel tired after having such a heavy meal, it is indeed normal, and as we said above, this is because of the increased sugar levels in the body. Biologically, a protein named serotonin is responsible for making you feel drowsy. Biologically, a good meal acts as a stimulator to a brain, and your brain starts releasing serotonin, eventually making you sleep.
Hence, a good meal before going to sleep is always recommended.
Avoid Other Stimulants
Quite a many times, primarily when we have to work as hell, say during an ongoing examination, or a project deadline, we find stimulants like coffee or energy drinks like Red Bull quite useful. They serve their purpose too. While coffee contains caffeine, the energy drinks contain taurine, an amino acid that is responsible for elevation in your heart rate and/or blood pressure. They can keep you awake for very long. That is what they are made for. However, these stimulants make our body release some hormones which and relieve your body. Consequently, your body gets somehow addicted to the things like coffee, or energy drinks (e.g. Red Bull). This addiction makes your body consume them a lot, and over time you lose the control over the Circadian Rhythm (or the sleep cycle).
What Else Do I Need To Avoid In Order To Have A Perfect Sleep?
1. Spicy Foods
Many of us love hot and spicy foods. But unfortunately, it is one of those that doesn’t let you sleep. However, you need to avoid them only before going to the bed. Have them as much as you want while it is still a lot of time to hit the bed.
2. Tomato Sauces
Sauces or any other food item made primarily out of tomato may cause acid reflux. And, of course, acid reflux prevents your body from having a good sleep.
3. Orange, Grapefruit or Other Citric Juices
Orange Juice (any juice from citric fruits) causes heartburn which deviates you from the drowsiness you would want to feel so that you could sleep.
We already know that overconsumption (or maybe even consumption) of alcohol is not good for health. But, even if you are a consumer of alcohol, it is recommended to avoid its consumption it in the night. Completely different from what it seems, it leads to sleeplessness. In fact, many people drink alcohol at the night to avoid the sleep when they are working.
Any form of mint, be it the plant itself or its presence in a candy steer you away from the sleep. That is why doctors recommend avoiding candies like Mentos, Halls, etc., before going to the bed.
6. Black Tea
Black Tea, especially known for its high amount of caffeine contents, completely steers you away from even the feeling of naps. Like alcohol, it is also used by workaholic people or students who work for the whole night to keep themselves awake as long as possible.
7. Pizzas, Burgers, Other Fast Food Items
Seems quite weird in the list, fast food items also do not let you sleep. Again, you can have them whenever you want apart from before going to the bed.
8. Smoked Meats
The high amount of Sodium metal in the smoked meats is the major reason why experts recommend NOT to have smoked meats before going to the bed. For the matter of fact, sodium drifts you off from sleeping. Also, smoked meats are not considered healthy plus they are known for their property of disturbing the whole system of Circadian Rhythm (the sleep cycle). Hence, it is better to not have them completely.
Things That Could Make You Feel Sleepy At The Night
1. Dark Chocolate
Surprised? There exists this very common myth that says ‘Don’t have dark chocolates or even simple chocolates in the night. Well, you can eat them whenever you want. In fact, dark chocolates contain a protein called serotonin, yes, the same protein that your brain releases to make you feel drowsy.
Hence, you are not just free to consume dark chocolate at the night; you even should consume dark chocolates at the night if you are unable to fall asleep quickly.
Apart from this, dark chocolate is rich in iron, and also reduces the chances of heart diseases.
Almonds, rich in tryptophan and magnesium reduce the muscular functions in your body. This reduction in the muscle usage will make you sleep in no time.
Most of the people, especially the students and office goers use oatmeals as their breakfast considering the lack of time. But, oats are not just a great thing for breakfast; they are also capable of making you doze off within minutes after having a bowl of them in the night. As we have already mentioned above, grains led to the production of insulin and eventually trigger the blood sugar in your body. And that is how you feel like sleeping. Not to mention, oats are very healthy to have them so yes, it is indeed a good choice to opt a bowl of oats after a meal, and before hitting the bed.
Just like almonds, pistachios are also rich in magnesium. Apart from this, they also contain Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) and other proteins. This is the perfect blend of ingredients to send you deep in sleep.
However, it must be taken care of that if one consumes more than twenty-five grams of pistachios, it may lead to increase in calories, eventually advancing the purpose and preventing your body from the sleep.
5. Dried Plums (Prunes)
Dried Plums, also known as Prunes are rich in fibers, and it is a well-proven fact that fibers are great when it comes to digestion. Hence, prunes enhance the digestion processes in your body. Also, it is known that a good sleep comes after a good digestion. Hence, consumption of prunes is a great way to get into sleep. Apart from fibers, prunes are rich in calcium, magnesium and the Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine). The most important content of these dried plums is Melatonin — the hormone that regulates the body’s sleep. Please take a note that for the perfect results, it is advised to consume the prunes half an hour before going to the bed.
6. Herbal Teas
Again, like Dark Chocolate, this too seems to be opposite of sleep. But fortunately, we are blessed with these Herbal Teas which have numerous sleep promoting ingredients. They sooth your stomach, calm your nerves, and you feel so soothed that you start to get into a deep sleep. One fact supposed to be noticed here is, they are different from the generic tea that contains amounts of caffeine. The following are the few examples of herbal teas:
i. Ginger Tea
ii. Peppermint Tea
iii. Chamomile Tea
iv. Rooibos Tea
v. Lemon Balm Tea
7. Peanut Butter
Peanut Butter is rich in Tryptophan. It is an amino acid that converts into two other proteins; first serotonin — the hormone that brain releases and makes you feel drowsy and melatonin — the hormone that is responsible for the regulation of sleep in your body. Hence, Tryptophan makes you feel tired and sleepy — the perfect thing you need if you suffer from insomnia. You may spread this peanut butter over bread to make a delicious snack for your bedtime.
According to the dieticians, apart from oats, cherries are also a big source of the sleep regulatory hormone — melatonin. We have already discussed above how this hormone helps your body correct the Circadian Rhythm.
Hence, intake of cherries an hour before hitting the bed is one of the best ways to get a good sleep.
It is also a well-known fact that banana is considered to be a very very iron-rich food item. Apart from iron, banana also contains potassium and magnesium. Most importantly, it also contains the Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) and Tryptophan. Not to mention, this is the perfect blend required for catching a fast, good, and deep sleep.
Dehydration is an important factor affecting your sleep cycle. If you keep your body properly hydrated, you would be less prone to this problem of sleeplessness. Hence, you should always choose melons, or any other watery foods as your pre-bed snack so that you remain properly hydrated and become able to fall asleep fast.
Apart from the above ten food items, you could also try the following supplements that contain fair amount of Tryptophan, and serve the same purpose.
3. Soya Foods
6. Pumpkin Seeds
Pro Tip For Getting A Sound Sleep.
It is a common phenomenon that occurs during the sleep — you feel that you just fell from somewhere. This is called the Hypotonic Jerk. According to the scientists, this is a signal from the brain that awakens you from sleep in order to remind you to complete any leftover task. To avoid such hurdles during the sleep, you must make sure that you do not have any task that could make your brain restless.
The inability of your body to get a sleep is termed as insomnia. Today, this condition has become quite common. However, there are certain measures that we can take in order to cure our sleeplessness. For example, by avoiding the use energy drinks; or by limiting the use of smartphone after hitting the bed. Also, it is important for the brain to release Serotonin which makes the body drowsy. Other hormones related to the sleep cycle are Melatonin and Tryptophan, the former acting as a sleep regulatory. Tryptophan converts to Serotonin and Melatonin, so it is good to have Tryptophan rich food supplements like peanut butter, cherries, honey, etc.
Apart from this, it is also very important to keep the body hydrated in order to get a sound and peaceful sleep.