This Simple Body Hack Can Help You Sleep Better at NightOctober 19 2017
Lots of people have trouble falling asleep at night. There are over 9 million americans who depend upon a prescription sleep medication just so that they can fall asleep in the first place; and millions of those people need a prescription that keeps working all night in order to help them stay asleep. But what if we told you there is one simple trick that you can use to "hack" your body into being ready for sleep at just the right time each and every night?
Well, such a hack exists. And you've probably heard of it before. Unfortunately, however, you have to know how to do it right in order to for it to be optimally effective. Below, we're going to get into deeper detail about how utilizing the healing properties of a warm bath can, in fact, help improve your nightly rest. You'll be able to fall asleep precisely when you want to, and you'll get a very deep, restorative sleep all night long. It's a healthy, relaxing alternative to most of the sleeping medications that are available today.
Hack Your Sleep Cycle With a Warm Bath
We're sure by now that someone has told you about how deeply relaxing and comforting a warm back and be. The odds are also strong that at some point in your life, you've enjoyed the benefits of a warm bath first-hand. We're not so naive as to assume that this is breaking news to you. But we do think you might be interested to know that taking a warm bath at precisely the right time on a nightly basis can help alleviate many of your sleep problems.
Unfortunately, it isn't a simple as pouring yourself a glass of wine, opening that expensive bottle of bubble bath that you got for Christmas, and enjoying a few chapters of that new romance novel you've been meaning to read. There's a certain amount of precision required in order to make this hack work for you and your sleep-deprived body. You have to time it just right, and you have to make sure that you give yourself enough time to wind down post-bath so that your body can adjust the way it needs to adjust in order to feel sleepy.
This is going to require a little bit of experimenting on your part, because everyone's body is different. First, figure out exactly what time you would like to fall asleep. Then, plan your warm bath for anywhere from 1 - 2 hours before that moment. The average ideal time between drying off and snuggling up in bed for most people is about 90 minutes; of course, this time may vary for you. But practice will make perfect. And once this becomes a regular part of your nightly routine, it'll be another tool in your toolbox to help you get better, more restful sleep at night.
Now you're probably asking yourself "what if I don't have a tub to soak in?" Fret not - we realize that not everyone has access to a bathtub. Lots of domiciles, especially those in densely populated areas, only have room for a shower. But the good news is that showers work, too! Just make sure the water is warm enough to raise your body temperature. Also, make sure that the ambient environment you step out into after you're done is cool enough to lower your body temperature back down. This is the physiological mechanism - the dramatic rise and then sudden lowering of your body temperature - that triggers the "it's time to sleep now" response in your body and brain.
Taking it to the Next Level: Contrast Showers
If you're feeling brave, and if a precisely timed warm bath/shower to coincide with your sleep schedule has not made it easier for you to fall asleep at night, then you might want to try taking a "contrast shower". Contrast showers are to personal hygiene What HIIT cardio is to your exercise routine. At the very end of your shower, you alternate between cold and hot water exposure in order to trick your body into feeling tired once you're ready to dry off.
If you want to take a quick, effective contrast shower, perform the following steps once you're done with your other ablutions and just about ready to step out:
- Turn the water temperature down until it is slightly uncomfortably cold, and stand there in the water for 20 seconds. As soon as the 20 seconds are over, turn the water temperature back up until it's slightly uncomfortably warm, and hold that for 10 seconds.
- Repeat Step 1 approximately 3 - 5 more times.
- After your final 10 seconds of hot water, turn the water back down for 20 more seconds of cold water exposure. You're now ready to get out of the shower, dry off, and snuggle into bed.
Make sure to be careful with the temperature fluctuation during your first few attempts at contrast showering. Burning yourself with scalding hot water or inducing hypothermia by making it too cold are the last things you want. The goal is to find just the right temperatures necessary to coax your body into drowsiness.
Combining Body Hacks With Natural Sleep Aids
We hope you'll at least give a warm bath or shower a try the next time you're having trouble sleeping at night. But if it's not enough, then we strongly suggest you give contrast showers a try as well. And if either one of these methods fail to work for you, then it can't hurt to try one or both of these hacks at least one more time paired with an herbal sleep aid.Natural sleep supplements contain a variety of safe herbs and extracts which have been used for hundreds of years. It's a gentle, effective remedy for people who are having trouble sleeping. These supplements can help you fall asleep, stay asleep through the night, and give you a restorative and rejuvenating rest. That, coupled with the right body hacks and sleep hygiene strategies, can give you the great night's sleep you deserve without the risks that come with sleeping pills. Good luck, and sweet dreams.