Special Report

Can't Sleep? Try These Tips for a Better Night’s Sleep

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11. Try progressive muscle relaxation

Progressive muscle relaxation is a technique Tal sometimes recommends to his patients. “You go through each part of the body and you tense the muscles as you breathe in,” he said. The muscles relax as you breathe out. If your body is relaxed, you feel less anxious. And anxiety would definitely keep you up way past your bedtime.

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12. Breathe deeply

Another technique Tal recommends is diaphragmatic breathing. This kind of deep breathing, also called “abdominal breathing” or “belly breathing,” helps slow down the heartbeat and lower the blood pressure. You’re supposed to breathe in slowly through your nose and let the air in all the way down to your lower belly. Then tighten the abdominal muscles as you breathe out through the mouth.

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13. Consider meditating

There are many types of meditation. “Focus more on relaxation exercise rather than mindfulness,” Tal said. They will activate the parasympathetic system, a division of the nervous system, which decreases adrenaline levels and brings about a calm and relaxed feeling in the body, explained Tal.

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14. Take a warm bath

For one, taking a warm bath is relaxing. But it’s the getting out of it part that counts when it comes to tricking the body into going to bed, according to Tal. A body’s temperature naturally decreases at night. A warm bath would increase it. The shock of cold once you leave the bathroom mimics the body’s decrease in temperature when it’s time to go to sleep, he explained.

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15. Embrace natural light

In a study from Northwestern Medicine and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, researchers observed 49 people who worked during the day – 27 of them were in windowless workplaces and 22 worked near windows. They found that the latter group of people slept better at night — they received 173% more light and slept an average of 46 minutes more per night.