Health & Wellness: These techniques will help you sleep better

Serene calm african woman sleeping in comfortable bed, top view
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By Luz Lanacheros, MWN

Being under the influence of screens all day, sleeping naturally is a challenge for many people. In fact, according to the 2019 Philips global survey, 62 percent of adults were already not sleeping as well as they were before the pandemic. What’s worse: eight out of ten adults surveyed wanted to improve how they sleep, but 60 percent of them had not sought professional medical help. In fact, 44% had worsened their sleep quality in the last 5 years. 

This is why there are several techniques that could help you sleep better. These can be complemented with professional help, according to your medical history and particular case. 


4-7-8 Method

If you are one of those who wake up in the middle of the night, you can apply this method created by Andrew Weil from the University of Arizona. Like any technique, it only gets better with practice. However, if you have a respiratory condition, consult your doctor before trying it. 

How to do it? 

In a comfortable and relaxed position, inhale calmly for four seconds.

You should hold your breath for seven seconds.

Then exhale through your mouth, with a whistling sound, for another eight seconds. Repeat up to four times.

This breathing technique focuses on relaxing and avoiding distractions before going to sleep.


Winter Method

Trainer Lloyd Bud Winter has prepared numerous Olympic athletes and in his book called “Relax and Win: Championship Performance,” he assures that this technique, which came out of the U.S. Army pilot school, helps to rest at any time of the day and 96 percent of the pilots who did it were able to fall asleep after six weeks of practicing.

How to do it? 

Do not have any turned-on devices within reach.

Do exercises to relax your facial muscles. Smile to the extreme and then relax your jaw. The idea is to tense and relax.

When you feel your face relax, also relax your shoulders and arms at the same time.

Breathe deeply and be aware of your inhale and exhale. Now integrate your legs as part of your exercise.

If you are good at making your mind blank, do this for 10 seconds. 


Gratitude Method

Remember the trendy meme with Leonardo DiCaprio cursing the hippies in “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”? But a study by Lee Wood and other researchers at Manchester University of Psychology showed that writing in a journal about everything you are grateful for helps to sleep better.

How to do it? 

Write about your day and focus on the situations for which you are grateful. According to the study, gratitude activates the hypothalamus, which also works as a sleep regulator.


Basic Method

Take your devices out of your room, keep it tidy and be very strict with your sleep schedule. Naps are necessary to recover during the day, but they should not affect your sleep quality.

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