Five ‘unusual’ sleep tips that could help you fall asleep

Between prolonged screen time and excess caffeine during the day, dozing off when bedtime calls might not be so easy. Worryingly, sleep problems have been rife ever since the Covid pandemic threw the world into chaos. Around 80 percent of Britons still struggle to sleep well. Fortunately, an expert has shared the easy sleep hacks that could help get you quality shut-eye.

A survey of 1,014 UK adults, commissioned by Alive!, found that 80 percent of adults experience a broken night’s sleep at least once per week.

Clinical Nutritionist, Suzie Sawyer from Alive!, said: “Getting enough sleep is a real problem for many of us and may be worsened if you’re worried about how to manage household expenditure at a time when the cost of living is escalating.  

“Regular poor sleep puts you potentially at risk of serious medical issues, including obesity, coronary heart disease and diabetes – and it may shorten life expectancy.”

If sleeping problems hit too close to home, the following five “unusual” hacks might offer a helping hand.

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Inhale through your left nostril

If you feel a bit helpless after one too many tossing and turning sessions in your bed, it might be time to switch up your breathing.

Sawyer said: “Put a finger on your right nostril and breathe through the left nostril, taking slow and deep breaths. 

“This helps encourage the body more into the parasympathetic nervous system and therefore aids sleep.”

Be nutrient savvy

From magnesium to vitamin D, research suggests that several nutrients could help promote better sleep.

Sawyer said: “Studies show that magnesium’s relaxing effect may be partly due to its ability to regulate the production of melatonin.  

“Bananas, avocados, nuts, seeds, and legumes all contain beneficial levels of magnesium.”

Hide the clock

It’s probably not surprising that staring at the clock when trying to doze off is counterproductive.

Sawyer said: “Keeping track of time can cause sleep issues, especially if you are using your phone as an alarm clock.

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“Every time you check your phone alarm you are exposing your eyes to blue light which negatively affects sleep.”

Eat breakfast for dinner

If you think that breakfast foods are just for mornings, it might be time to think again.

Sawyer said: “Eating foods that you would normally have for breakfast, including bananas [and] eggs, is actually good for inducing sleep late at night. 

“Bananas contain potassium and magnesium which relax your muscles and ease you to sleep. Eggs contain proteins which help us doze off naturally.”

The expert shared that pairing bananas with oats can help absorb an amino acid called tryptophan, found in the yellow fruit, which could in return help produce the sleep hormone melatonin.

Use earplugs and eyemask

This is probably the oldest trick in the book but new research shares it’s still relevant, Sawyer explained.

She said: “Blocking out an artificial light at night positively affects sleep quality because it helps modulate the body’s natural circadian rhythms.  

“And if you can also eradicate any noise, your slumbers are going to be better and, hopefully, longer too.”

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