4 Scientific Tricks For Falling Asleep

Can’t sleep? You’re not alone. According to the National Institutes Of Health, insomnia affects almost half of U.S. adults.

Unless certain medications or medical conditions are the cause of your sleepless nights, the most usual suspect is anxiety. That’s according to Lisa Meltzer, an associate professor of pediatrics at the National Jewish health in Denver and education scholar at the National Sleep Foundation. “If you’re anxious and worried, it’s very difficult to relax and fall asleep,” says Meltzer. “When you’re not sleeping well, you’ll be more anxious and you’ll have a harder time regulating emotion. It feeds on itself.”

If you want to drift off into the land of nod as soon as you hit the sack, try the following science-backed tactics that include distraction exercises, relaxation techniques and other useful tricks to prepare your body for dreamland.

4. Try forcing yourself to stay awake.

Yes, you read that right. Forcing yourself to stay awake may lessen your sleep anxiety. A study done at the University of Glasgow has found that insomniacs who were told to try to stay awake with their eyes open while lying in bed were found to fall asleep faster than those participants who were told to fall asleep without this “paradoxical intention” (PI). Is there anything reverse psychology can’t do?