I’m a psychologist, and listed here are my 8 uncommon ideas for curing insomnia

IF you have trouble sleeping, you have probably tried a plethora of tricks to help you fall asleep.

But have you tried reading a children’s book or doing a headstand?

A psychologist has revealed seven unusual techniques that might be the trick to making you sleepy.

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Lying awake at night? Try reading a children’s book, warming your feet, or spending more time outdoorsCredit: Alamy

Everyone has that are less restful than others.

However, if you roll around awake in bed frequently, you can suffer from insomnia.

Symptoms of insomnia include difficulty falling asleep, lying awake for long periods of time, waking up several times during the night and not feeling refreshed when getting up.

For some people, occasional bouts of insomnia come and go, while others can have them for months or even years.

There are different types of insomnia, with brief periods known as transient and seizures that last months and interfere with daily life known as chronic.

Around one in three Britons will experience insomnia at some point.

Somnus Therapy sleep psychologist Katherine Hall has partnered with retailer Happy Beds to suggest what these people can do:

1. Do a headstand

If you’ve lain awake for hours and have no luck falling asleep, getting up and doing a headstand can sound ridiculous.

However, according to a 2004 study published in the journal Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, yoga poses have been shown to be very effective for people with insomnia.

Katerine said, “Headstands help circulate fresh blood to your brain, particularly to the main glands – the pituitary and hypothalamus.

“It also helps detoxify the adrenal glands to help drive out negative thoughts and encourage more positive thinking.

“Practice by propping yourself up against the wall until you have enough balance and core strength to try a freestanding headstand.”

2. A bedtime story for children

“Bedtime stories aren’t just for kids,” Katherine said.

“Reading a book or telling a fantasy story in your mind helps relieve stress.

“Choose a niche like mystery, romance or science fiction. Avoid non-fiction books that put your brain in problem-solving mode.

“Fictional stories mimic dreams and help your mind prepare for sleep.”

Katherine says that you should avoid reading from a digital device like a Kindle, as the light from screens can keep you awake.

She said, “Blue light can delay the release of the sleep hormone melatonin and reset the internal clock to an even later schedule.”

3. Squeeze your muscles

A technique called progressive muscle relaxation can mimic the feel of a massage, Katherine said.

It involves squeezing the muscles as hard as you can for a few seconds before letting go. The sudden drop in tension in the body helps to appreciate the feeling of relaxation.

Katierine said, “This process consists of three steps: First, take a deep breath.

“Second, squeeze and hold a specific muscle group, then finally let go of it.

“Start with your toes and slowly move up your entire body, focusing on a single muscle group at a time, including your toes, calves, thighs, stomach, buttocks, arms, shoulders, neck, and face.”

4. Turn off the heating

You may think that a warm and cozy room is your idea of ​​a sleepy hideaway.

But this can do more harm than good, as Katherine said, making sure you are cool before bed is imperative to falling asleep.

She said, “Temperature is one of the most important elements of a good night’s sleep. Most people sleep optimally in a room with 65 degrees.

“A cool environment prevents your body from overheating.

“Try to sleep in light pajamas or without clothes. Don’t use a heavy blanket or too many blankets.

“Research also shows that a cooler temperature results in deeper Non-Rapid Eye Movement (NREM) sleep, which means more restful sleep!”

5. Warm your feet

A nifty trick to get in the mood for sleep is warming up your feet before going to bed.

This will help lower the core temperature of the body.

By warming your feet and lowering your core temperature, you are signaling your brain that it is time to be

Katherine HallPsychologist in sleep

Katherine said, “This sounds bad, but it’s an important part of the sleep process.

“Your body’s core temperature naturally drops between 1 and 2 degrees (Fahrenheit) in preparation for sleep.

“By warming your feet and lowering your core temperature, you are signaling to your brain that it’s time for bed. Research also suggests that warm skin, including the skin on your feet, can help you fall asleep faster. “

Katherine said that while you want a cool environment to sleep in, you don’t want your feet to feel frozen.

She said, “Cold feet restrict blood vessels and lead to poor circulation.

“Studies show that wearing socks in bed can improve blood flow through a process called distal vasodilation. As the blood vessels in your feet warm or widen, your core temperature begins to drop. “

6th Go camping

Circadian rhythms determine our “body clock”.

When the sun goes down, the brain produces chemicals that make you sleepy. The opposite is the case when the sun rises in the morning.

But modern life can mess this up thanks to long or lies.

Katherine said, “Your body’s circadian , or sleep cycle, depends on exposure to light.

“When you get outdoors, you can set your sleep cycle to follow the natural of day and night, including the rising and setting of the sun.”

7th Try to stay awake

We’ve all been there before – it’s after midnight and you still can’t sleep which makes you frustrated and worried, which makes it difficult to fall asleep.

“It may sound like a nonsense, but to fall asleep faster, try to stay awake as long as possible,” Katherine said.

Called paradoxical intent, this technique encourages you to lie in bed without doing anything to help you fall asleep.

Katherine said, “The idea is to address the worries associated with lying awake in bed and normalize them in your head.

“Once you face this fear, the fear will subside and you will soon find yourself falling asleep.

“This is also known as staying passively awake. It’s about being aware of any negative thoughts or worries that normally keep you awake and accepting them rather than fighting or blocking them.

“With paradoxical intent you learn to stop wasting energy getting rid of what you don’t want, and start pouring energy into what you want … to sleep!”

I’m a doctor and that’s why I never turn the heating on at night

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