- Inhale through your left nostril
This yoga technique, achieved by applying gentle pressure to your right nostril and breathing deeply, is thought to reduce blood pressure. This is particularly good when overheating or menopausal hot flushes are preventing sleep.
- Try to stay awake
Tell yourself to stay awake – your mind will rebel! It’s called the sleep paradox, says psychotherapist Julie Hirst.
- Rewind your day
Remembering the mundane details in reverse order clears your mind of worries. Sammy Margo, author of The Good Sleep Guide says: “Recall conversations, sights and sounds as you go. It helps you to reach a mental state that’s ready for sleep.”
- Press here!
There are special points in the body which promote sleep when pressed gently but firmly. Sleep expert Dr Chris Idzikowski suggests gently pressing on “the point between your eyebrows at the top of your nose [and] the slight indent between your big toe and second toe”, and gently squeezing “the point just below the nail on the upper side of your second toe.” Each time, hold for 20 seconds and repeat three times.
- Make a worry list
Going over a mental to-do list in bed is a major cause of insomnia. Write an actual list before bed so you can forget your tasks for the night and sleep calmly.
For more secrets of sleep, pick up the February issue of NEXT on sale now.