Can’t sleep at night and tired of waking up feeling like you haven’t slept at all? Well, you have a lot of company. According to the CDC, sleep deprivation affects one in three Americans. Science tells us sound can have a major impact on our sleep quality. One meta-study of 10 randomized studies linked music to improved sleep quality for patients with acute and chronic sleep disorders. Another sleep study of young adults found comforting sounds in the form of sedative music allowed participants to sleep longer and more restfully. Check out some sleep music and sounds below to see if they help you get your recommended seven hours of sleep per night!
If you still can’t sleep at night and need more help than just using sleep sounds— review these four sleep-inducting tricks below!
1) Eat Walnuts
Walnuts are a good source of tryptophan, a sleep-enhancing amino acid that helps make serotonin and melatonin — hormones we need to sleep. Through making these hormones, tryptophan helps us set our circadian rhythm (our natural sleep/wake cycles). But that’s not all! University of Texas researchers also found that walnuts contain their own source of melatonin. Walnuts’ double link to melatonin makes them a great culinary solution when it comes to what to do if you can’t sleep.
2) Drink Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea is a tried-and-true natural remedy used to reduce inflammation, decrease anxiety, and treat insomnia. Part of chamomile’s tranquilizing effect likely comes from an antioxidant called apigenin, of which chamomile tea contains a significant amount. The brain receptors to which apigenin binds may help lower anxiety and instigate sleep.
One study of people with chronic insomnia demonstrated that participants who received 270 mg of chamomile extract twice daily for about a month fell asleep roughly 15 minutes faster than participants who didn’t ingest the extract. Study participants who consumed chamomile extract also woke up fewer times during the night.
3) Practice Breathing Relaxation Exercise
Studies show that doing a relaxation exercise before bed can improve sleep quality. This calms and clears our mind and relaxes our body. Guided meditations induced through breath work can be particularly effective.
4) Visualize Positive Things
The National Sleep Foundation counts visualization as an effective tactic for what to do when you can’t sleep. Here’s what’s important: “The key is to find something that allows you to focus your attention and let go of other thoughts. Begin to create this scenario in your mind. Visualize all the details of the image or story, as slowly and carefully as you can.” It can also help lower our heart rate and blood pressure if what we’re visualizing is relaxing in a positive way. Try the guided positive visualization below to drift into dreamland with a positive, life-enhancing vision filling your mind for the sweetest dreams!