What should you do if you’re exhausted but can’t sleep? Maybe you finally nod off but you’re restless and feel more tired than ever. We understand how painful it can be.
Depending on the cause of your sleeplessness, below are some sleep hacks you can do to help you sleep better. However, if none of these work for you, we highly recommend consulting with a sleep specialist.
Chamomile tea is well-known for its calming properties. It has been used traditionally in cultures worldwide, from China to Great Britain.
Numerous studies have shown the efficacy of chamomile tea. Researchers studied 60 older adults and found that taking 200mg chamomile extract capsules twice a day for 28 days resulted in improvements in sleep quality. In another study, researchers found that administering chamomile extract showed sedative effects in hospitalized older adults. Their sleep quality also increased.
However, chamomile might not be the remedy for those with insomnia. A 2019 review and meta-analysis showed that although chamomile showed a significant positive effect on generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and sleep quality, it doesn’t have the same impact on insomnia.
Sleep on a shikibuton
The shikibuton is a Japanese futon mattress usually made with eco-friendly and natural materials like cotton and wool. The futon is typically placed on the floor, and it is believed that the shikibuton may offer sleep and health benefits, like alleviating lower back pain and providing support for the spine.
Enjoying a sauna in the evenings has been a tradition in Finland, and it might be the answer to your sleep woes. A 2019 survey of 482 respondents showed that 83.5% reported sleep benefits that last one to two nights after using a sauna. And those who used it at least five to 15 times per month reported increased mental well-being scores than those who didn’t.
Furthermore, regular sauna use offers several health benefits. A 2018 review found that saunas support muscle recovery, depression, and anxiety, as well as rheumatoid arthritis, peripheral arterial disease, congestive heart failure, and COPD.
In Sweden, drinking a warm mug of välling—a porridge drink containing cow’s milk and ground oats—is guaranteed to help children and adults sleep better. This effect can be attributed to the concoction’s warm milk, which contains compounds known to support healthy sleep cycles, like serotonin, melatonin, magnesium, and tryptophan.
Furthermore, the ritual of drinking a warm, comforting beverage before bed is also a great way to help you unwind and prepare for sleep.
Ayurveda medicine has utilized ashwagandha for years to reduce stress and anxiety and support the treatment of symptoms related to mental health.
In a 2020 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 150 healthy adults were given 120 mg of ashwagandha once daily for six weeks. The researchers found that the herb decreased the time it takes to fall asleep and improved the overall quality of sleep, thus improving the subjects’ quality of life.
If you have insomnia, you might find some comfort in the 2021 review and meta-analysis findings, which showed that ashwagandha had a small but significant impact on sleep. Researchers also found that the herb improved mental alertness and anxiety. However, the study’s authors called for more safety data to determine potential adverse effects.
Which of these sleep hacks have you already tried? And what works for you?