1. Breathe differently
Adopt this yoga breathing technique that reduces blood pressure and calms you. Lie on your left side and let a finger rest on your right nostril to close it. Breathe slowly and deeply, and you should drift off to sleep.
2. Recap your day
Recall who you spoke to, what you had for lunch, the song you heard while heading home and other mundane details. This helps clear your mind and reach that mental state where you’re ready for a snooze.
3. Turn to sleep apps
Tune out your partner’s snores or noise from the street below with apps such as Noisli, Sleepmaker Rain or aSleep. Listening to white noise, seagulls on the beach or a gentle downpour can help put you on the express lane to relaxation and sleep.
4. Get ready to roll
Close your eyes and roll your eyes slowly up to three times – this simulates what your body does naturally when you fall asleep, and may help trigger the release of melatonin, the sleep hormone that relaxes you.
5. Attend to pressing matters
Applying pressure on special points in the body which promote sleep could trick the body into a higher sense of relaxation. Place your thumb on the indent point between your eyebrows and press firmly for 20 seconds, before a brief release and two more reps. Alternatively, sit on the edge of the bed and place your right foot across your left knee. Press the indent between your big toe and second toe, doing three reps. You can also gently squeeze the tip of your second toe using your thumb and index finger.
6. Do stationary ‘exercise’
Give your muscles a mini workout. Lie on your back and breathe deeply, then curl your toes tightly for a count of seven, before relaxing. Repeat this squeezing motion through each muscle group, working up towards your belly, arms and neck.
7. Create lists
Stress is one of the leading causes of insomnia, because people tend to lie in bed making To-Do lists in their heads. To avoid this, make that list on paper after dinner, so you feel calmer knowing you’ve organised your tasks and simply need to execute them the next day.
8. Put that mobile down
It’s tempting to send emails or check your Facebook or Instagram updates right up till you hit the sheets. But experts say electronic devices can have an impact on how well-rested you are. Technology stimulates us mentally, so it can be hard to power down immediately and fall asleep. The glow from electronics also delays the release of sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. Try to stay tech-free 30 minutes before bedtime.