How To Sleep Through The Night When Literally Everything Else You've Tried Isn't Working
Falling asleep and staying asleep are two completely separate demons we’re all faced with when it’s time to wind down for the night. There are a plethora of ways to fall asleep to find on the internet, but if these so-called tricks and tips get you to snooze initially, and you still end up tossing and turning throughout the night, then what’s the point? There have to be at least some foolproof hacks out there that can tell you how to sleep through the night so you can finally get the high-quality shut-eye you deserve.
Your sleep cycle doesn’t solely determine how you’re going to feel when you wake up in the morning. Whether or not you’re getting the necessary six to eight hours of uninterrupted slumber determines how you feel physically and how you function mentally. In other words, it’s vital that you uncover behaviors and techniques that work to lull you into a deep sleep, and keep you dreaming until your alarm sounds.
At least in my experience, counting sheep hardly ever does the trick. Fluffing your pillow is a temporary solution to a long-term problem, and while, sure, cutting out liquids before bed keeps me from having to get up and pee every five seconds, it doesn’t negate the fact that it’s 10 p.m. and I’m practically dying of thirst. It’s time to think outside the box (springs), friends, and start dabbling in more creative methods to sooth yourself to sleep through the night. Here are a few for you to consider.
1. Drink Banana Tea
When I first came across boiling bananas as a legitimate sleep remedy, I was totally in agreement with this guy. Boiling bananas? To make banana tea? Bananas are for smoothies, not to be infused in piping hot beverages. But alas, I was wrong.
Aside from potassium, bananas are swarming with magnesium, and banana peels have even more of the stuff than the actual fruit. Magnesium lowers cortisol, which is considered the "stress hormone," and soothes the body to relieve it of any anxious emotions keeping it awake at night.
Dr. Michael Breus, a SleepScore Labs advisory board member, tells Elite Daily to "take an organic banana, wash it off, cut off the tip and the stem, and then cut it in half, leaving the fruit in and the skin on." By boiling the fruit for three to four minutes tops, and adding a little honey to the mix, sipping on the combination before bed will help "to induce relaxation and sleep."
2. Keep Your Feet Warm
I feel like there's a weird stigma around wearing socks to bed, but the truth is, if your soles could use some consoling at bedtime, a warm pair of socks might just do the trick.
The ideal temperature for sleeping falls anywhere between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit, which makes big fluffy comforters and throw blankets a must in the sack. But if you have a case of bad circulation, your feet could still be suffering from the chill.
According to Richard Wiseman, author of Night School, blood flow is what evenly distributes heat throughout the body, and for those who deal with poor circulation, it's likely that extremities will be colder than other parts of the body, and "cause sleeplessness." In this case, it's worth slipping on a pair of fuzzy slippers and calling it a night.
3. Tune Into That Bright, White Noise
Unlike the crash of your partner bumping into something in the living room, or the sound of a toilet flushing, white noise is a constant, and it blocks out all of those minor indiscretions that make it either hard to fall asleep or impossible to stay asleep for more than a few hours at a time.
Your body goes into rest mode when you sleep, but your five senses are still cranking away, which means you can hear loud noises through your sleep cycle and, if jarring enough, you can wake up from them.
According to Popular Science, some sleepers require white noise to guarantee they'll stay snoozing throughout the night, due to its "equal power across all frequencies," unlike the rise and fall of a partner's grunting snore.
So if you find that the reason you have difficulty sleeping through the night is because your sense of hearing is hyper-sensitive, white noise machines (like the Marpac Dohm-DS that has nearly 12,000 rave reviews on Amazon alone) can help drown out the sound and keep you sleeping.
4. Hide And Don't Seek Your Alarm Clock
I know myself, and when I can't sleep through the night, it becomes a game of waking up every hour, on the hour, with my first instinct when I open my eyes being to check the time.
This, according to Dr. Anne C. Epstein, a fellow of the American College of Physicians board, will definitely interfere with your ability to fall and stay asleep. She told Seventeen, "because clock-watching can increase anxiety at night, it is often a good idea to get rid of the bedside clock."
Of course, if you use your clock or cell phone as an alarm every morning, it's probably not a genius idea to store it on the other side of the house for the sake of sleeping through the night. That, I would imagine, could make for an interesting excuse as to why you're late to work or school. Instead, stash your timer in your sock drawer or under the bed so that you'll still hear it in the morning, but it won't be a distraction during the night.
5. Read An Actual Book Instead Of Facebook
Crazy concept, I know, but aside from the fact that blue lights from technology can screw up your sleep cycle, scrolling through Facebook only to trigger major FOMO before bed definitely won't help you fall or stay asleep. Losing yourself in a fictional plot twist, however, can.
Engrossing your mind in someone else's world can help separate yourself from your own — which, TBH, is sometimes really necessary to improve your sleep quality. Most of the time, it's the daily stressors that cause you to toss and turn through the night, but getting your mind involved in a juicy page-turner allows those toxic thoughts to step aside, at least until morning.
Oh, and, according to a study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, reading off a Kindle doesn't count, friends. Health magazine reports that the study proved paperback readers fell asleep 10 minutes earlier than people reading off a digital download, so you'll definitely want to invest in a few hard copies ASAP.
6. Rethink Your Bedroom Color Palette
Who wants to play Fixer Upper?! Make Joanna and Chip Gaines proud by reevaluating your bedroom wall color.
Dr. Michael Breus told Huffington Post back in 2012 that the color of your bedroom, as trivial as it may seem, definitely counts when it comes to whether or not you're sleeping through the night.
Shades of blue, dark gray, lavender, and neutral greens are all excellent choices. If bright orange walls or patterned paper aren't doing it for you, find what hue speaks to your zen and get to painting, pronto.