Weird ways to get better sleep

It's not always easy to fall asleep, and age old tricks seem to stop working after a while. You don't have to keep counting sheep; however these methods may seem a bit strange. As someone who often has trouble sleeping, I've tried many different methods, and some work better than others. The following are just five of the weirdest ways to get better sleep.

Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Progressive muscle relaxation is the process of tightening a group of muscles and then relaxing them. This method works to help you get better sleep, because it teaches you to be more aware of your muscles. Begin by contracting one muscle group (like your thighs) for 5-10 seconds while inhaling. Next, release the tension and exhale. Allow 20 seconds to relax and then move on to the next muscle group. Focus on the tension and stress leaving your body each time you relax. Work your way up your body slowly, and soon, you'll be able to relax tense muscles on command. According to Melissa Stoppler, M.D., not only does this method help with sleep, but it also helps with a number of other health conditions, including stress and anxiety, which may also be keeping you awake at night.

Imagery

One of my favorite methods to use is imagery. With imagery, you focus on a certain image to relax. Personally, when I'm having trouble sleeping, I picture myself in a cabin in the woods, watching snow fall, and listening to the crackle of a roaring fireplace.

Lullabies

According to ThirdAge, our brain can only handle one soundtrack at a time. When you sing a favorite song, your mind isn't able to focus on anything else and can help you drift off to sleep. This is a great method for those that can't seem to turn off their brain at bedtime.

Note Taking

Write down anything that you can't seem to get off your mind. As a writer, I often have topic and story ideas hit me in the middle of the night. Sometimes, I'll lay there for at least an hour thinking about the idea. By keeping a pad of paper and pen by the bed, I can jot down a couple notes and get back to sleep.

Programming

I'm not talking about computer programming; I'm talking about programming your body to get ready for sleep. Each night, do the same activity before bed, and your body will soon come to expect that it's time to sleep. For example, you might have a warm cup of chamomile tea or stretch.

You don't have to spend hours tossing and turning. With these strange tips, you can get the sleep you need, so you wake feeling rested.