There are few feelings more frustrating than lying in bed, staring at the ceiling, unable to fall asleep. In a new video, YouTuber Mike Shake shares his experience of trying different methods for getting to sleep more quickly at night.
The challenge is broken down into two separate components: adjusting his habits throughout the day, and specific techniques he used when going to bed.
During the daytime, Mike would regularly exercise so that his body would be physically tired. He also avoided all sources of caffeine for eight hours prior to going to sleep, spent time outside in daylight to help regulate his circadian rhythm, and reduced his exposure to blue light from computer and phone screens in the hours leading up to sleep. In the evenings, he would take a warm bath or shower and then lower the temperature in his bedroom (a drop in temperature can “trick” the body into thinking it’s time to sleep).
“Applying these practices has been relatively easy, except for avoiding artificial lights,” says Mike. “But I tried, and I read a book instead. These habits allowed me to feel way more tired and sleepy when it was time to go to bed.”
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On top of this, Mike experimented with two techniques for falling asleep more quickly:
“The technique consists of relaxing each part of your body,” he says. “Take a deep breath, and focus on all the muscles of your face, including the mouth and tongue. Tighten the muscles by squeezing your face, then let them relax for a few seconds by breathing out.” You repeat this pattern throughout the rest of the body.
The 478 Technique
Mike also tried the “478 technique,” a breathing exercise which consists of inhaling for 4 seconds, holding for 7, and exhaling for 8. “It makes me feel relaxed every time,” says Mike, “but for some reason, it doesn’t make me fall asleep.”
“I’m going to keep using the military method,” he continues, as he has found that to be the most effective (and fast) way of helping him fall asleep.
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