6 Viral Life Hacks To Help Sleep Better
From the 4-7-8 breathing technique to dabbing lavender essential oil, here’s a list of Instagram’s best sleep hacks.
There are few things more frustrating than tossing and turning all night, anxiously attempting to fall asleep. Thankfully, there’s help. We scoured through Instagram for tricks that will help you fall asleep faster and improve your sleep quality.
1. Try this military trick
Borrowed from the U.S. military, this method helps you fall asleep in 2 minutes or less. It is a progressive muscle relaxation technique where you start with relaxing your facial muscles. Start by unclenching your jaw, releasing the tension from your shoulders. Take a deep breath and let your chest expand. As you exhale, imagine the stress of the day floating by. Take your attention to your happy place—somewhere you feel safe and calm.
2. Do 4-7-8 breathing
Also known as a relaxed breathing technique, 4-7-8 breathing soothes a racing heart, calms frazzled nerves and prepares you for a good night’s sleep. Breathe-in for 4 seconds, hold for 7 seconds and breathe-out making whooshing exhale from your mouth for 8 seconds. Doing this 4 times can help you fall asleep in a shorter period of time. A study in Frontiers of Psychology says that relaxation breathing techniques enhance oxygenation, helps fight anxiety and promotes the ability to rest well, resulting in a good sleep.
3. Dab lavender oil behind your ear
Take a little bit of lavender oil and put it on the skin behind the ear. Several animal studies suggest that lavender induces relaxation and stabilises mood. Also, the repeated application of lavender demonstrates a more rapid sleep onset with longer duration of sleep, finds a study titled Lavender and Nervous System.
4. Massage your temples for 30 seconds
The theory is that temples are one of your acupoints and by applying pressure here you help release muscle tension and promote blood circulation. A study titled Effects of Acupressure on Sleep Quality finds that there is a significant improvement in sleep quality on practicing acupressure. The study involved 62 nursing home residents with poor sleep quality and the participants found positive outcomes after receiving 20 minutes of acupressure before sleeping 3 times a week.
5. Bath warm with Epsom salt
Try an Epsom salt bath in the evening. Epsom salts have magnesium, sulfur, and oxygen. They allow magnesium to be absorbed readily into the skin when used in a warm bath, promoting a sense of peace and relaxation. “Prolonged soaking in Epsom salt increases blood magnesium concentrations and magnesium improves sleep efficiency,” finds a study titled The Effects of Magnesium – Melatonin - in Treatment of Insomnia.
6. Sleep on an incline
It seems obvious to choose a pillow based on your body measurements and personal preference, but if your pillow’s incline is less than 6 inches, there's a pretty good chance you may take some more time to fall asleep. By sleeping on a pillow with a 6 inch raise, you can help the flow of cerebrospinal fluids (CSF). CSF fluid is a clear fluid that surrounds and cushions the brain and spinal cord. The flow of CSF from brain to body helps flush toxins, and how you sleep affects this waste-removal process and sleep, says a study in The Journal of Neuroscience. The study also states that sleeping on your side is better for waste removal.
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