When you’re tired, all you want to do is sleep. But lack of sleep activates the brain’s worry center, which makes it harder to sleep. It can be a vicious cycle to break, but lots of us have been there before. Your pulse needs to be slow and even - under 60 beats per minute - to lull your body into unconsciousness and these are proven to help calm you down so you can sleep.
- Journal - Grab a pen and write down your top three stressors and an action item for each one. Acknowledging them like this helps stop ruminating, so you can switch your mind off.
- Progressive relaxation exercise - Start with your feet and work up your body, tensing and relaxing each area for a few seconds. The technique lets you feel strain and rest in different parts of your body and signals your muscle groups that it’s time to sleep.
- Orgasm - Hitting a big O releases the hormone oxytocin, which counteracts stress hormones, as well as serotonin and norepinephrine, which help you cycle through the deeper stages of sleep.
- Weighted blanket - The pressure from a weighted blanket can trigger your brain to release soothing neurotransmitters, like it does when you get a hug. Fans say it helps them doze off and fall back asleep when they wake up anxious.
- Adult lullaby - Research shows the songs that help ease us to sleep have a consistent rhythm of 50 to 60 beats per minute, are five minutes or longer, and don’t have a catchy hook that engages your brain.
- Pot - A study found that up to four milligrams of a synthetic cannabinoid reduced PTSD-related nightmares and improved sleep quality for chronic pain patients. If weed is legal in your state, try a microdose edible to help you sleep. It takes longer to fully kick in, but the effects last longer than smoking it.
- Don’t go to bed angry - All those negative emotions can get stronger overnight, so talk through your conflict before shut-eye.
- Stop the spiraling - When you’re panicking at two in the morning about credit card debt or a comment your boss made, tell yourself: “There’s nothing I can do about it in the middle of the night. I’ll make a solid plan in the morning.”
Source: Women’s Health Magazine