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10 Things To Remember If You Want To Fall Asleep Faster

10 Things To Remember If You Want To Fall Asleep Faster

Stress from your day job and an endless to-do list at home doesn’t just melt away when you slip into bed. It’s hard to turn off your brain and let everything go when you close your eyes. Here are some things to remember when you want to fall asleep faster, naturally.

1. Turn off the TV.

And not just the TV. Put down your cell phone and shut down your computer at least an hour before bedtime. Your body starts getting sleepy as it gets dark outside. This means you should also turn off those bright overhead lights. Use small, dimmer lamps or handheld book lights later at night. Having lots of lights on and staring into the glare of a screen contradicts what your body is naturally trying to do as darkness falls.

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2. Relax your body.

You’re not supposed to exercise before bed because it gets your body riled up. Instead, work out in the mornings to wake yourself up. Simple yoga moves, however, can stretch your muscles just enough to relax. Once you’re in bed, you can start relaxing by stretching your toes, then your calves, then your thighs, and so on. Simple stretches warm up your muscles just enough to calm you down and put you to sleep.

3. Adjust the temperatures.

Take a hot shower before bed, or cuddle up under a blanket on the couch. Feeling warm will make you feel sleepier. There’s nothing better than finding that cold spot on your pillow in the middle of the night‒imagine if your whole bed felt like that! Keep your bedroom cooler, so when you’re ready for bed you get to slide into fresh, cool sheets.

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4. Unwind with a book.

Reading before bed will help you feel sleepy, and the book doesn’t even have to be boring! Get a new book from the library, or pick an old favorite, and cuddle up in bed to read for awhile. No matter how interesting the book is (as long as it isn’t a scary book!), you’ll feel your eyelids getting heavy and you’ll realize you just read the same paragraph five times in a row‒and don’t even remember what it says!

5. Write in a journal.

The book doesn’t have to be a novel! Find a blank book and start writing down your thoughts. If you get out all your stresses and worries onto paper, your mind is free to think of other things‒or nothing at all! You’ve got your to-do list written down, you analyzed a troubling conversation with a friend, you wrote your worries about tomorrow’s presentation‒now you don’t have to think about them anymore. The words you wrote will still be there in the morning; let your mind be free to drift off to dreamland!

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6. Indulge in a warm drink.

You’ve read about characters drinking warm milk to help them fall asleep. That’s not fiction! It really works. If you can’t fall asleep, sip some warm milk with honey, or a variety of teas. Just make sure there’s no caffeine in the tea, or else your plan will backfire!

7. Turn down the volume.

Eliminate excess noise in your home and bedroom. Don’t leave the TV on all night. Even if you think music helps you fall asleep, it more than likely activates your brain more than you realize. Silence is the best way to encourage sleep. If total silence makes you uneasy, try a white noise machine.

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8. Meditate.

Lay down, clear your mind, and think of nothing. Your body is relaxed, and your mind is on its way. Forget the stresses of your job and all those petty problems nagging you. Think of nothing. Think of something calming and clean and empty. Eventually your mind will be clear and will naturally put you to sleep because it has nothing to think about.

9. Try aromatherapy.

Instead of turning to supplements, though there are natural sleep aids out there, why don’t you try aromatherapy? Find a natural oil scent you like and dab a few drops on your pillow. Lavender is a scent that has been proven to help induce sleep.

10. Get out of bed.

It seems strange, but if you can’t fall asleep after a period of time, get out of bed! Your body is getting tired (no pun intended) of lying down, which frustrates you and makes it harder for you to fall asleep. Instead of tossing and turning for an hour, get up and go to another room. Sit on the couch and read a book. Try to meditate in another room. Just make sure you’re not getting up and turning on bright lights or looking at a phone screen.

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Last Updated on July 2, 2020

Simple Hacks on How to Relieve Neck Pain Fast (and Naturally)

Simple Hacks on How to Relieve Neck Pain Fast (and Naturally)

There is very little in life as annoying or distracting as neck pain. Most people find that neck pain is temporary. What can you do if your neck pain seems chronic or if it comes and goes with no obvious source?

Whether you have simply slept on your neck wrong or you are working late, hunched over a keyboard half the night, neck pain is, well, a pain in the neck!

What most people are unaware of is that there are little known hacks that can help you find relief from neck pain fast and naturally. This means no pills or expensive exercise equipment to buy.

How can you get relief from neck pain?

There are several easy steps to follow to find the perfect hack for solving your neck pain fast and easy.

How Did I End Up With This Pain in the Neck?

Neck pain often has an I-was-looking-right-at-it source that we don’t recognize at first glance. Once you identify the source of the pain, you can take the best corrective measure, or several measures if need be!

Ask yourself these questions to find a possible source:

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  • Do you spend much of the day sitting (desk job, typing, etc.)?
  • How old are your mattress and pillow?
  • How much exercise do you work into an average day?
  • How do you manage stress?
  • Have you been injured or in an accident (no matter how small) lately?

Perhaps one last question to ask yourself might be, “Is my pain a regular occurrence, or is my neck pain something that has just cropped up?

Once you know the answers to these questions, you can start searching for answers.

Remedies for Neck Pain

Once you know the source, try tapping into one (or several) of these solutions to start healing your neck pain now.

1. Everyday Activities

One of the important factors with neck pain will be your everyday activities. Other than an injury or accident, one of the largest factors for neck pain includes working overtime in an office and the stress that work entails[1].

Due to the coronavirus, many people find themselves working from home, in kitchens, basements, using a barstool, and/or other equipment that was not designed for humans to spend hours on end, typing and looking at a computer screen.

If you find that your neck pain has occurred during the past few months due to a job change, or if you suddenly began working from home, your issue may be due to ergonomics. Invest in an adjustable office chair to help make your workspace more neck-friendly.

2. Age of Mattress and Pillow

The age of your mattress and pillow should also be considered. Pillows, on average, should be changed every 3 years, and a mattress every 7-10 years. No matter how good or comfortable you think these items are, the truth is that they are hurting your neck and back with a lack of support.

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A good mattress is well worth the investment, and pillows are always on sale, as well as wallet-friendly. If you haven’t tried them, a water-filled pillow can be comfortable for many people.

3. Exercise/Movement/Stretching

It’s that old exercise question that no one wants to hear. This time around, it has been difficult for many people to get in good exercise since they have been housebound due to the quarantine. There are plenty of ways to get in some good, old-fashioned exercise.

Stretching exercises are even more important than before since many people do not get enough movement while sitting at home. There are hundreds of at-home exercise, dance, and yoga videos that require little to no equipment, so even if you’re a beginner, give it a go.

4. Stress and Stress Management

Stress is a hidden danger that robs more people of health than even most doctors realize. While everyone has stress, not everyone recognizes it, nor do they have a means of managing it. Exercise is one of the best ways to release stress, with meditation and yoga being the best ways to manage and relieve stress. All of these will remove tightness in the muscles and relieve neck pain.

5. Accident or Injury

If you have been involved in an accident or injured yourself lately (falling down, or having something fall on you, for example) and your neck pain began after this incident, you should speak with your doctor about this as soon as possible.

6. On-Going Problem or Sudden Occurrence

Finally, if your neck pain is something that has occurred recently, it could simply be that you slept on it wrong or turned your neck too hard. That will make this a very temporary condition. You can try some easy stretches for pain relief .

An on-going problem, however, might respond better to some other alternative methods, including:

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  • Slowly moving and stretching your neck. Do not move too quickly or too far. Roll your head from side to side, shoulder to shoulder, to the front and to the back.
  • Ice packs work well for some people, while heat works best for others.
  • Be aware of how you use your cell phone or tablet. If you keep your neck bent downward for too long to look at it, you can develop an annoying pain called text-neck or tech-neck. Take breaks and look up to stretch those neck muscles.
  • Long hours driving can also be hard on the neck. Look from side to side as far as you can, as well as up and down to prevent a stiff neck.

 

Still Have Tight Neck Muscles? 3 Tips for Finding Relief

When tight neck muscles are not responding to the typical heat, ice, or massage treatments, you might want to give the following a try:

1. Gua Sha

This is an ancient Chinese practice that might seem a bit odd, but it works for many people. In this practice, a trained individual uses a spoon or other object and makes short strokes down the neck. It is believed that poor blood circulation causes it to become stagnant, if you will, and blocks the positive energy needed for life, called qi.

Fresh blood will indeed allow oxygen and nutrients to feed the tissues in a given area, and one study found that gua sha worked where traditional methods, such as heat therapy, did not[2].

2. Swimming

You probably know that swimming is a terrific low-impact exercise that works wonders for those with back and knee pain, but did you know that it also works well for neck pain and tight muscles? It helps if the water is tepid and not cold, but even just floating on your back can offer tremendous relief since most of the body weight is suspended by the buoyancy of water.

3. Chiropractic Massage

Not your typical day spa massage, chiropractic massage is performed under the guidance of a chiropractor. A trained massage therapist will still do the massage, but this time, the chiropractor will have discussed your neck pain and any problems you might be having with them. Many people have found real relief from neck pain through chiropractic massage.

The Best Treatment for Neck Pain

When you need to find relief from neck pain and nothing you have tried previously seems to give you more than a few minutes of relief, spending some time with a chiropractor often times can fix this issue, and it doesn’t often return if you follow a healthy lifestyle.

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I’m certain that many of you are thinking about those awful videos with those loud cracking noises you’ve seen on social media, or you are recalling a news story which might have suggested that allowing a chiropractor anywhere near your neck might be a health hazard[3]. Nothing could be further from the truth.

You should try the other suggestions in this article before you head off to the chiropractor, but when all else fails, don’t let neck pain nag you day in and day out. Take steps to make an appointment, and you will be surprised at the results.

What Can a Chiropractor Do for Neck Pain?

Many people mistakenly believe that the only technique a chiropractor will use is a neck adjustment. Chiropractors are trained in a variety of methods that are designed to help you find the pain relief you are seeking.

A few of the methods a chiropractor might use include:

  • Cervical Manual Traction
  • Flexion-Distraction
  • Cervical Mobilization
  • Ultrasound
  • Cervical Drop Technique
  • Trigger Point Therapy

There are many more options, but your chiropractor should explain to you which techniques s/he intends to use and why[4]

The Bottom Line

If neck pain wreaks havoc in your life regularly, the best way to stop it is to identify the source and attack it from that angle.

Getting plenty of exercises, having a proper posture, and buying an office chair that provides plenty of support, as well as a regular stretching program, will keep your neck strong and flexible for many years to come.

More Tips on Healing Neck Pain

Featured photo credit: Christopher Campbell via unsplash.com

Reference

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