9 Unusual Sleep Tips You (Probably) haven’t heard before
by The House of Pillows
Hello! Welcome to another article! At The House of Pillows, we care about everyone getting a good night’s sleep. In fact- a great night’s sleep! And if you’re anything like us, you love learning about new ways to get that amazing sleep that makes us all feel like a million bucks. You’ve probably done a little bit of research or by random chance, found some articles about sleep. And, they probably all said the same thing, right? It’s kinda like, “when you’ve seen one, you’ve seen all of them”, right? We’ve noticed that, too. That’s why we did some extra digging, to find some weird, uncommon and unexpected sleep tips for you!
Unusual Sleep Tips #1
Breakfast for Dinner
Unusual Sleep Tips #2
Get more sun
More sunlight = More sleep? Who would’ve guessed?
A study from the University of Michigan, found that those who logged time outside catching some sunlight, slept better at night. Indeed, getting sunlight during the day helps regulate your circadian rhythm, and gives you a nice amount of vitamin D!
So if you want to sleep better at night, spend more time outside! Even in the winter when the sun isn’t so visible, getting natural light is especially important.
Unusual Sleep Tips #3
Find your drive
Feeling down in the dumps? Maybe you’ve lost sight of what drives you everyday.
A study from the Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and Rush University Center in Chicago, found that people who reported feeling a “sense of purpose” in their everyday lives, got higher quality sleep and were up less frequently during the night.
Lying awake in the middle of the night? Can’t fall asleep? Maybe thinking about the things that drive you and give you purpose will help rest your mind and enable you to get better sleep.
University of Michigan, found that those who logged time outside catching some sunlight, slept better at night.
Unusual Sleep Tips #4
Get out of Bed
Don’t worry we’ve all been there.
Staring at the ceiling.
In quiet despair. Wondering why you can’t just fall sleep.
Well, if you just can’t: relax. Get out of bed.
Why is this good advice? Because the more you stay in an awake state in bed, the message that sends to your brain is this: “I don’t need to sleep when in bed.”
The message you want to reinforce, in the perhaps more subconscious part of your brain, this this one: “When in bed, sleep!”
Michael Grandner, director of Sleep and Health Reserch Program at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, says: “If you’re in bed, and you’re not asleep: you get out of bed.”
Simple as that.
Unusual Sleep Tips #5
Don’t try to fall asleep
Now this is a weird one.
A study from the University of Glasgow, asked a group of insomniacs to try to stay awake for as long as possible. The participants just lied in bed, with their eyes open – but without electronic devices to entertain them. The goal was to stay awake – for as long as possible. Pretty weird thing to ask a insomniacs, right? Staying awake is kinda their thing!
But! After just two weeks, they actually fell asleep more quickly than another group of insomniacs that stuck to their normal pre-sleep routines.
So, you might say this: the study participants who were asked to stay awake didn’t have electronic devices to keep them awake. So, their falling asleep faster than the other group of insomniacs might be because the other group had electronic devices, if that was apart of their normal pre-sleep routines.
And we all know that electronic devices keep up awake. It’s been told to us time and time again.
But the thing that is interesting here is that the first group of insomniacs had the goal to stay awake for as long as possible, and the second group had the goal to fall asleep as soon as possible by sticking to their normal routine. But the groups both accomplished the opposite.
You may take away two things from this study: avoid electronics and don’t try too hard to fall asleep. Relax, and let it happen.
Blowing bubbles is a fun little activity that is not only fun, but, it is also a deep breathing exercise, and could reduce pre-bedtime anxiety.
Unusual Sleep Tips #6
Try Sleep restriction therapy
This kind of reminded us of fasting, but for sleep.
Could sleep restriction actually help you get more sleep?
If you’re someone who has problems sleeping, you’re probably thinking: “Sleep restriction?! I’m already sleep deprived!”
Sleep restriction is all about setting a balanced sleep cycle. It’s in fact, a behavioral treatment for insomnia that limits your time in bed, to the actual time of sleeping.
Less time in bed, can result in mild sleep deprivation at the beginning, but it can also help you fall asleep faster – once you’re in bed. This is called the sleep onset. An earlier sleep onset should decrease the insomnia, and then give you the confidence in your ability to regain natural sleep.
How does it work?
Those in sleep restriction therapy, keep a sleep journal for one to two weeks and they record the average time slept, plus 30 minutes. For the next two weeks, they limit their time in bed to that average sleep time, using a fixed bedtime and wake time. The desired result from this, is that they feel good and the schedule is kept in place. If they feel tired during the day, they should add 15 minutes to the time in bed, with 15 minutes added each week until they feel well rested after a night’s sleep.
Research showed that sleep restriction therapy is an effective tool for insomnia. The only down side, is that it can take several weeks to see positive results. And during those weeks, it requires strict dedication to keep the same sleep and time spent in bed schedule. But even though you might feel tired when you start out, it usually leads up to a better long term sleep.
Unusual Sleep Tips #7
This one we were thrilled about. Because no matter how old you get, you still need to have those fun activities that bring you back to childhood!
Physician and professor of neurology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Rachel Marie E. Salas, recommended blowing bubbles as a way to help making falling asleep easier.
Why blowing bubbles?
This fun little activity is not only fun, but, it is also a deep breathing exercise, and could reduce pre-bedtime anxiety.
So, if you’re somebody who likes bubbles but has trouble falling asleep at night: blow some bubbles!
And if you have children, they’re bound to enjoy it too! Win-win.
Unusual Sleep Tips #8
Wait — what?
Ever heard of making tea with bananas?
Well, it’s not that common, but if you’re looking for ways to promote better sleep, it could help you doze off faster and easier.
Bananas are packed with magnesium. Magnesium is very important for your health because it’s responsuble for hundreds of bodily functions, and it helps promote relaxation. Eating a banana is great, but if you want the extra magnesium, you’ll find it mostly in the banana peel.
There are recipes for banana tea, that many have tried and tested and have reported back good things. The easiest one is to take a banana, wash it, cut off the tip, the stem, and cut it in half leaving the fruit in and the skin on. Then, put it in boiling water, for three to four minutes, and then drink the water with a little bit of honey.
Honey is a great addition to banana tea, because it helps regulate blood sugar, which is also important for restful sleep.
Some have innovated this simple banana tea recipe to make it somewhat more decadent.
Ingredients: 1 cup water, 1 cup almond milk (or milk of choice), 1 whole banana (choped off at each end, and cut in half), 2 teaspoons coconut oil, 2 teaspoons honey, 1 teaspoon carob, a pinch of cinnamon.
Directions: Boil the water, add the ingredients as they are, and after 10 minutes, strain.
Are you going to try this healthy sleep recipe? Let us know in the comment section!
Unusual Sleep Tips #9
4-7-8 Breathing Technique
Breathing well helps our body relax and lower our stress hormones. But many of us forget to do it.
Andrew Weil, MD, Director of the Arizona Center for integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona, developped the 4-7-8 breathing technique. You can do it in three steps.
First, breathe in deeply throuh your nose for four seconds. Then, hold your breath for seven seconds. Finally, exhale through your mouth for eight seconds. Repeat this process four times.
Sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it?
And, why does this work?
So, this exercise allows your lungs to become fully charged with air, allowing more oxygen to be circulated throughout the body, which promotes a state of relaxation. And for maximum benefit, practice this technique twice a day, everyday. It’s a small, fast and easy exercise, that could dramatically improve your wellbeing and sleep.
Liked our article & find this kind of topics interesting?
Sign up bellow to our Sleep Club newsletter where we talk all about sleep and natural materials with which we make our products as well as their environmental impact.