You’ve heard the usual sleep hacks plenty of times. You know - limit caffeine and alcohol, don’t stare at screens late into the evening, take melatonin, drink chamomile, etcetera, etcetera. Those are great and all (and work well), but plenty of other sleep hacks are less well known. Some are medically-proven, some are just great ideas that seem to usher in a good night’s sleep for folks.
Keep in mind that not all of these work the same for everyone. We humans, we’re all so wonderfully unique. We experience different circumstances and have specific emotional characteristics that affect our sleep patterns. So it’s best to give these the old college try one at a time to see what helps you sleep better and what’s a thanks-but-no-thanks sleep hack.
Check out this list of equally wonderfully-unique sleep hacks and see if any strike your slumbering fancy.
1. Boring Relaxing Words
Some of us have trouble falling asleep because we can’t shut our brains off. We think about the days’ events, worry about work, family, health concerns, or ponder things like, "Why an orange is called an orange?!"
To distract your buzzing brain, try to distract it with a boring brain game. The Journal of Applied Social Psychology published a fascinating (yet boring-sounding) study. People who repeated sleep-related words in their minds while falling asleep slept 62% longer than those who didn’t. Recite words like rest, comfy, relaxing, in your mind. It’s so boring, it’ll help you fall asleep.
2. Share Good News
Yes, it sounds odd. But according to a 2017 sleep study, when partners shared positive news from their day with each other (it could even be on the phone), they fell asleep faster and got a better night’s sleep. But it doesn’t end there. The study participants had to receive a supportive response to get positive sleep benefits. Those who didn’t receive a positive response didn’t get the same quality of sleep.
So celebrate your days’ wins with your partner, friend, or family member and make sure they are someone who will celebrate along with you. If you do, you just might find yourself sleeping better.
3. Banana Tea
Okay, stay with us. This one sounds particularly strange, we know.
You’ve heard the old wives’ tale of drinking warm milk to help you sleep, right? Well, nix that idea and sub it for banana tea. Milk contains a high amount of natural sugar, which will raise your cortisol levels. Cortisol is your active and stress hormone. You don’t need lots of that when you are trying to sleep.
On the other hand, Bananas contain tons of magnesium, which has a calming effect on the body. But not so much in the fruit. In the peel. Banana peels contain three times as much magnesium as the fruit itself. To add to that, the peel also contains antioxidants to increase absorption.
Cut the tips off a banana and boil it in four cups of water for five to six minutes. Then let it steep for five more minutes. Strain out the actual banana, and add some cinnamon and honey. Drink up and sleep well.
4. Put Your Legs Up
Lie on your bed and scoot your butt as close to the wall as possible and place your legs on the wall however is comfortable to you. Spread your arms out to the side, palms to the ceiling, and open your chest. Close your eyes and inhale through your nose for a count of four and exhale slowly for four. This is a yoga move called - wait for it - “Legs Up the Wall.” It has been proven to lower your heart rate and make you relax. Typically, you have to do this for around 10 minutes to feel the full benefits.
5. Soothing Tunes
Pop in those earbuds and turn up the calming music to help you fall asleep faster and sleep longer. That is, according to a 2013 sleep study which revealed soft, calming music helps you fall asleep and experience a great, restful sleep. Classical music, in particular, has been shown to slow brainwaves and put listeners into a meditative state.
6. Kick the Pets Out
While it’s true many of us like to snuggle with Fido and Mittens in our bed. In reality, they are doing more harm to our sleep habits than good. A 2015 sleep poll done by the Mayo Clinic resulted in 20% of pet owners admitting to the fact that their animals disturbed their sleep. If you’ve ever experienced it, you know what we mean. Unwanted snoring, whimpering, dreaming - not to mention the taking up of precious bed real estate.
We know it can be hard, but give your pet a comfy sleep space of their own. And when it’s time for you to go to bed, kick them out of your bed and send them to theirs. You’ll be thankful you did.
7. Get It On
This might be the most appealing sleep hack on our list. We don’t need a whole lot of sales tactics to sell this one - sex before bed is a great way to get a good night’s sleep. Feeling emotionally and physycially intimate with your partner not only relaxes you, but having an orgasm releases Prolactin, which is a hormote that promotes drowsiness. Sex also produsices oxytocin in your podis, which lowers cortisol and helps you sleep better.
As a bonus, when you sleep better, you’re more likely to be “in the mood” for sex aftwward. In fact, according to the 2015 study, women who slep an extra hour for two weeks were 14% more likely to have sex the following day.
8. White Noise Machine
Sometimes it’s hard to completely eliminate unwanted noise. Maybe you live on a busy street with cars bustling by at all hours. Perhaps you live in a neighborhood with “chatty” dogs at night. Or maybe you have a deaf kitty cat who loses her way in the middle of the night, causing her to yowl incessantly. (Ehem….personal experience perhaps.)
One fantastic and highly-effective remedy? A white noise machine. Actually, you don’t even need a machine. You can use an app on your phone (on airplane mode….you don’t need the pings of email waking you up).
White noise drowns out your surroundings by delivering a peaceful “whoosing” sound that helps you fall asleep and stay asleep. Think about all those friends who use a fan to fall asleep. A fan = white noise. It’s almost magical.
9. 5-minute journal
The 5-minute journal idea wasn’t originally aimed at helping people sleep better. This sleep hack started to help people focus more on the positive in their daily lives. However, it’s also been proven to help people sleep better.
How it works:
Two times per day, once upon waking and once before going to sleep, you write in a journal. When you wake up, you write about three things you’re grateful for or three things that would make the day ahead of you wonderful.
Before bed, you write down three positive things that happened that day.
This helps you sleep better because it helps you focus on the positive and physically identify how you could have done things a little differently to make it a great day. That means you don’t stew over it lying in bed staring at the ceiling. Getting it out on paper helps. At least, according to some people.
10. Think Positive
While we’re on the “think positive” train, one sleep hack that can help you sleep better is a lot easier said than done. But once you master it, you’ll be sleeping soundly for sure.
What is this magical sleep hack?
It’s been proven: we naturally sleep better when we’re in a good mood.
We’re in a good mood when we focus on the positive. This is a tough one. Why? Well, because life can be tough and seem unfair. But if we practice mindfulness, living in the present, and seeing the silver lining in every situation, we’ll be happier, more content, and more likely to sleep better.
Bonus Sleep Hack
But wait, there’s MORE! What if we told you we know one way that can help everyone sleep better? Well, it’s true. We should know, we experience it everyday.
What is this magical sleep hack?
Why, it’s a weighted blanket by Weighted Evolution. Our weighted blankets are the best on the market because we ensure each one is made with high-quality, non-toxic materials. All our weighted are constructed with double-stitched pockets to ensure our proprietary sensory sand stays inside the blanket and spreads evenly over your body.
Weighted blankets, especially those held to such high-quality standards like ours, deliver Deep Pressure Stimulation (DPS), which is a slight pressure on your body. This helps your body produce more melatonin and serotonin, and decrease cortisol levels, all which your body does naturally when falling asleep. But with our weighted blankets, you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
With our 100-night risk-free trial, you can try our weighted blankets without worry. You have nothing to lose and better sleep to gain.