Here are two tips to help you fall asleep, and sleep more deeply, from Dr. Shelby Harris, with the behavioral sleep program at Montefiore Medical Center in New York.
About 90 minutes before you climb in bed, soak your feet in hot water for 15 minutes, about the temperature of a comfortable bath. Dr. Harris says, by warming your feet, you’ll dilate the blood vessels. That’ll draw blood away from your core, and reduce your overall body temperature. And, lowering your core temperature is the key to triggering the production of sleep hormones.
Then, 20 minutes before you hit the sack, try some deep breathing. Deep breathing calms the sympathetic nervous system, reducing stress hormones and heart rate.
It’s been shown to help people get to the deeper stages of sleep and wake up less during the night. That’s true even for people who chronically have poor sleep.