Three techniques to try for a better night's sleep


With the sleep syncing method, you go to sleep at the regular time you start to become drowsy and sleep for the recommended seven to nine hours. — AFP

There are all manner of tips and tricks out there to help you fall asleep faster and avoid spending endless minutes – or even hours – tossing and turning in bed.

These techniques can be particularly prevalent on social networks, and some are more effective than others.

Here are three tricks to try for a more restful night:

> The 10-3-2-1-0 method

Made popular by American fitness coach Craig Ballantyne, the 10-3-2-1-0 method involves adopting a new daily routine in order to get a good night's sleep, with each number corresponding to a specific action.

The 10 is for cutting out caffeine 10 hours before bedtime, the three is for consuming the last "big" meal and/or glass of alcohol three hours before bed, and the two is the number of hours between stopping work and falling asleep.

Finally, the method advocates not looking at any kind of screen one hour before hitting the sack, and to never put off waking up.

So, when the alarm clock rings, don't hit snooze.

Instead, you should get up, rather than trying to snatch a few extra minutes of sleep before facing the day.

This technique, which is relatively easy to adopt, could not only allow you to fall asleep faster, but also to sleep better, according to the sports coach, at least.

> Brain tapping

This sleep-inducing technique involves tapping the face and body while repeating mantras to reduce stress and anxiety levels.

Also known as the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), this trick is inspired by traditional Chinese medicine and kinesiology.

To try your hand at brain tapping before bed, proceed from top to bottom.

Start by tapping a first point at the top of the skull, then move to the point between the eyebrows.

You then move down to the temples, under the eyes, nose and mouth, finishing with the collarbones, arms and chest.

You can also tap the hair and wrists to maximise the relaxing effect on the body.

These movements are performed while repeating motivational phrases such as "I'm falling asleep" or "I feel relaxed".

And the method is scientifically approved.

According to 2019 research published in the US National Library of Medicine, EFT has been shown to help reduce anxiety levels.

The process is also said to have other beneficial effects on the body and brain.

France's Institut du Sommeil et de la Vigilance clinical psychologist Camille Junot explains to Madame Figaro magazine: "Numerous scientific studies prove that the gesture acts on the amygdala, the part of the brain that evaluates the events to which we are exposed in order to activate or not the physiological mechanisms of stress."

She adds: "Gently tapping these points sends a reassuring signal to the amygdala, preventing the onset of stress symptoms and helping you to fall asleep."

However, the results vary from one individual to another.

Junot stresses that it's "important to identify the emotional cause of insomnia so that we can remedy it".

If you have problems with persistent insomnia, this method may not be for you.

> Sleep syncing

"Sleep syncing" promises to help you to regain control of your biological clock.

The idea is to synchronise your circadian rhythm, or internal body clock, with your daily routine.

This technique is said to promote more restful sleep and give you more energy on a day-to-day basis.

Concretely, the idea includes "creating a routine that signals to the brain and body that it is time to sleep and optimises the internal circadian clock to work as it should," American paediatrician and sleep coach Dr Nilong Vyas told Women’s Health magazine.

If, for example, you feel drowsy from 11pm onwards, then this could become your new bedtime every day.

And if you wake up naturally around 9am, this will be your wake-up time.

You also need to make sure you get enough sleep.

The recommended sleep duration for an adult is estimated to be seven to nine hours.

To make sure you don't lose track, it's a good idea to keep a logbook in which you record your daily routine.

If you can establish bedtime and wake-up times that respect the recommended sleep duration, two weeks is all it takes to get your body used to living by your circadian rhythm.

If the synchronisation is well maintained, you'll soon notice an improvement in your sleep and a boost in your energy levels.

You'll wake up feeling better, saying goodbye to insomnia. – AFP Relaxnews

Follow us on our official WhatsApp channel for breaking news alerts and key updates!



Next In Health

Salt: A potential trigger for eczema
Singing helped this stroke patient regain his voice
Picnic tips: Ensuring your food is safe to eat
Soothe your cough with liquorice
Can infants take cow’s milk?
What to know about getting braces for your kid
Prevent a peanut allergy by feeding your baby peanuts
Are we really ‘left-brained’ and ‘right-brained’ people?
Predicting the next pandemic with weather and disease data
How does a deaf patient communicate with a doctor?

Others Also Read