We’ve all heard of counting sheep and having a warm bath before bed, but there are plenty of wacky techniques out there to beat insomnia – some are even scientifically proven to work.
If you’re having trouble catching some Z’s and the more conventional methods aren’t helping you, work your way through our list and you might be sleeping soundly soon.
- Put a small weight on your body
Rumour has it that putting a small amount of weight on your body – such as a small rock or a heavy cushion – can encourage your body to increase your brain’s production of serotonin, which, amongst other things, is responsible for making you feel sleepy.
But putting too much weight on your body could make you uncomfortable, so don’t over do it.
- Rub dormouse fat into your feet
Years ago, in 1621 to be precise, Robert Burton claimed that rubbing dormouse fat into one’s feet was the surefire way to cure insomnia.
As ridiculous as it sounds, the method really took off in the United Kingdom during that time, and who’s to say it doesn’t work? We’ve certainly not tried it – have you?
ASMR stands for autonomous sensory meridian response and it causes the pleasurable tingling sensation that some people get when they hear certain sounds. If you’re lucky enough to experience ASMR then it could be the perfect way to help you relax enough to fall asleep.
There are plenty of YouTube creators who make videos specially designed to help you fall asleep, such as Gentle Whispering, so why not give it a go?
- Eat sugary foods
As much as you should stay away from stimulants like caffeine, it has been said that eating some sugary food half an hour before you go to bed can help you fall asleep with ease. Try a biscuit with a glass of milk, or honey stirred into warm water.
- Drink cherry juice
Drinking tart cherry juice has been proven to raise your body’s melatonin levels, which is a hormone that can help to improve your sleeping cycle.
A study even showed that participants that drank tart cherry juice had better sleep and spent more time in bed than those who didn’t drink the juice.
- Sleep restriction
Sleep restriction might seem like a joke when trying to cure insomnia, but it can actually work and is used as a form of therapy for those with severe sleep troubles.
The technique works by eliminating your waking hours in bed – so, if you can only sleep for two hours a night, you should only be in bed for those two hours.
This increases the effects of sleep deprivation which, over time, can lead to better and healthier sleep cycles.
- Go to a sleep concert
Sleeping concerts originated in Japan and they feature music designed to help the audience fall asleep. The concert halls are equipped with comfortable seats so that it couldn’t be easier for you to catch some Z’s.
This Japanese craze might be a bit far to travel to, but you can buy the sleep concert experience on CD. Just don’t listen to it while you’re driving!
- Polyphasic sleep
Humans haven’t always slept all night. In fact, there was a time where it was normal for people to get up every few hours, between naps and episodes of deeper sleep.
It can be beneficial to those who have difficulty sleeping to break up their sleep into 2-3 hour chunks and, in between, getting on with their daily tasks.
Acupuncture is also said to increase melatonin levels, so it’s a great way to beat insomnia.
With acupuncture itself being said to be a relaxing experience, and melatonin contributing to healthy sleep cycles, this dreamy duo could be one of the best techniques to get yourself into a regular sleeping habit.
- Paradoxical intention
Paradoxical intention occurs when you try to stay awake as a way of falling asleep. Confusing? Yep. But it has been proven to work.
Trying to fall asleep when you have insomnia can be a frustrating experience, which doesn’t help you when you’re trying to fall asleep. To take the frustration away, focus on staying awake and you could be relaxed enough to fall asleep.
Think you’ve got a problem with caffeine that may be affecting your sleep? Here’s how much caffeine your favourite drinks contain.