Online mattress reviews and sleeping tricks

Can’t Sleep? Use These Science-Backed Tips to Trick Your Mind into Falling Asleep Faster

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There are two types of sleepers; the lucky ones that can fall asleep in a minute and those who take forever just to feel sleepy.

If you take anywhere between 10 and 20 minutes to fall asleep, it's perfectly normal according to the National Sleep Foundation.

If you take longer than that, your sleep latency (the amount of time you take to sleep) could be an indication of an underlying problem. It could be a health issue or a serious sleep disorder but usually, it's our racing thoughts, stress levels and anxiety that keep sleep at bay.

In fact, anxiety about not sleeping is one of the common reasons for not sleeping.

Luckily your mind can be easily tricked to induce sleep faster. Here are some simple tricks you can try tonight.

But first, let’s take a behind-the-scenes peek at how your body falls asleep.

How Your Body Falls Asleep

Falling asleep does not work like a switch; one moment you are awake then click off you go into dreamland.

It’s much more complex than that. It’s a gradual process beginning with physical and mental relaxation then drowsiness begins to set in before transitioning into a fully-asleep mode.

Within these steps is a complex interplay of hormones, brain waves and muscle activity that eventually shut your body down (though a lot still happens in your brain while you sleep).

Factors like room temperature, what you are doing, time of day and diet influence your ability to fall asleep. Sometimes they can act like cues, telling your muscles to relax and your brain that you are ready for some shuteye.

You can use these cues to nudge your brain to trigger the sleeping process by relaxing your body and releasing the right hormones for sleep.

Here are some of the best mind tricks for sleeping, all of them backed by solid scientific research.

1. Cognitive Shuffling

My Sleep Button app and online mattress reviews

You’ve probably heard of that age old trick of counting sheep to fall asleep. Another popular one is counting backwards. But these are usually not very effective at lulling your brain to sleep.

Luc Beaudoin, a university researcher in Vancouver, Canada has come up with a new and far more effective method. He calls it cognitive shuffling.

The trick involves feeding the mind random images and thoughts without any connections. As the brain struggles to visualize each thought, another one is quickly introduced and the brain has to jump to the new image.

This dissociated jumble of thoughts and images is quite effective at making you sleepy. There are two ways you can try out cognitive shuffling. The first is a word game.

Choose a random emotionally-neutral word with at least five letters. Take the first letter and come up with new words beginning with it. Try to visualize each word. When you run out of words, move on to the next letter.

Alternatively use his (paid) app called mySleepButton, available for both Android and iOS.

It does all the work for you. It will list random items for you, giving you only a couple of seconds to visualize each. You can set a timer and the app will turn off automatically when you sleep.

I haven't tried the app yet but looking at customer reviews, a good chunk of them say it actually helps them sleep faster.

2. Visualization

Cognitive shuffling relies heavily on random disjointed visualization to help you sleep. But even normal imagination can help.

Try to imagine yourself in your happy place. It can be a beach, a grass field or anywhere else that makes you feel content and happy. Gradually, that visualization will turn dreamy and you’ll find yourself falling asleep.

3. Rewind Through Your Day

Another visualization trick is to mentally walk back through your day. Start from when you got into bed and work your way backwards to when you got out of bed.

Focus on the little positive things that happened – a call to your mom, someone smiling at you, a joke you read online etc. Don’t dwell on any negatives.

4. Take a Glass of Milk – Sort Of

No, warm milk does not contain enough chemicals to help you sleep faster. This is a myth that has been repeatedly debunked.

What a glass of warm milk does is create a relaxing psychological effect. It helps you wind down and start the sleeping process.

If milk doesn't work for you, you can do any activity that helps you relax – folding clothes, reading a book, drawing, writing and so on. If you make a habit out of it, it will become a reliable ‘it’s time to sleep’ signal to your brain.

5. Lower the Temperature

Your body naturally cools down a bit as it approaches bedtime. In addition to the fading light, lower body temperature acts as one of the signals to your brain that bedtime is coming up.

If your bedroom is too warm, it could keep you from falling asleep quickly.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, the ideal temperature for sleep is between 60 and 67 degrees.

6. Listen to Rain

Ever wonder why cold rainy weather makes you sleepy? It’s mostly because of the reduced amount of natural light (which triggers the release of melatonin – the sleep hormone) and the lower temperatures.

Scientists also think that musty aroma of wet soil – which is caused by oils released from plants – is relaxing and can contribute to sleepiness.

Many people sleep faster and deeper on a rainy night.

But what about those days when there's no pitter-patter of raindrops to soothe you to sleep?

Try listening to artificial rain sounds. Even though it won't feel colder nor will you experience the sweet aroma of rained-on soil, digital rain can still trick your mind and body to relax and fall asleep.

There are plenty of apps you can use or you can listen to an audio recording on YouTube or your favorite music service.

7. Shower Earlier

You probably already know that a warm bath or shower helps you sleep better. To make this trick work best, move your shower time to earlier in the evening.

A hot shower too close to bedtime can actually make it more difficult to sleep because your core temperature is a bit high.

Showering around one and a half hours before bed gives your body time to cool down. This acts as a strong signal to your brain and body to wind down and sleep.

Note: Some tricks will work better in some people than others. Try several of them until you find the one that works best for you. If none works, check whether there are other problems such as a sleep disorder or an uncomfortable mattress.


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Mattress toppers & pads are a great way to cool your bed and extend its life.
Topper SizeMaterialFirmnessWarr.
LINENSPA
LINENSPA 2 Inch Gel Infused Memory Foam Mattress Topper, Twin
Best Value2"Gel memory foamMedium3 years
MOLECULE AIRTEC
MOLECULE AIRTEC
Best Comfort3"Memory foamMedium-firm5 years
MyPillow
MyPillow Three-inch Mattress Bed Topper (Twin)
Best pressure point relief3"FoamMedium-firm10 years
LUCID
LUCID 2-Inch Ventilated Gel Infused Memory Foam Mattress Topper - Full
Best cooling2"Gel memory foamSoft3 years
Milemont
Milemont Mattress Topper Twin, 2-Inch Cool Swirl Gel Mattress Topper for Twin Size Bed, Blue
Best for back pain2"Gel memory foamMedium10 years
Pure Green
Pure Green 100% Natural Latex Mattress Topper - Firm - 2 Inch - Queen Size
Best for stomach sleepers2"Natural latexExtra-firm5 years
Sleep Innovations
Sleep Innovations 4-inch Dual Layer Gel Memory Foam Enhanced Support, King, Made in the US Mattress Topper
Best for side sleepers4"Gel memory foamSoft10 years
Sleep Number DUAL TEMP
Sleep Number DUAL TEMP
Best temperature regulation-Forced Air-1 year
TEMPUR ProForm
Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR Supreme 3-Inch Mattress Topper Medium Firm, Full, White
Best memory foam3"Memory foamMedium-firm10 years
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Avocado Green
Best organic2"Organic latexSoft/firm10 years
Bed cooling/heating systems have come a long way – especially the BedJet, my favorite.
SystemTypeBest For...Temp. RangeControl
BedJet V3
BedJet V3
Air cooledBEST OVERALL (esp. for night sweats)66°F-104°FWireless remote control/smartphone app
ChiliPad Cube 3.0
Chili Technology chiliPAD Cube 3.0 - ME and WE Zones - Cooling and Heating Mattress Pad - Individual Temperature Control, Great Sleep Enhancement, Wireless Remote Integration (Queen (80" L x 60" W))
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Ooler Sleep System
Water cooledBest temperature control55°F-115°FSmartphone app via Bluetooth
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The Pod by Eight Sleep
Water cooledBest smart cooling system55°F-115°FSmartphone app/smart voice assistant
Mattress Cooler "Classic"
2020 Mattress Cooler "Classic" Chilled Water Sleep Cooling System (Now with a Spare "27x63" Cooling Pad)
Water cooledBest budget cooling systemN/AWireless remote control
SleepNumber Dual-Temp v3
SleepNumber Dual-Temp v3
Air cooledN/ARemote control
bFan Cooling System
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Brookstone bed fan
Brookstone Bed Fan with Wireless Remote
FanN/AWireless remote control
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PlushBeds Shredded Natural Latex Pillow
Best Cooling Mattress Pads

best shredded latex pillow for side sleepers
Coop Home Goods Memory Foam
Coop Home Goods - Premium Adjustable Loft Pillow - Hypoallergenic Cross-Cut Memory Foam Fill - Lulltra Washable Cover from Bamboo Derived Rayon - CertiPUR-US/GREENGUARD Gold Certified - Queen
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MARNUR Contour Pillow
MARNUR Cervical Memory Foam Pillow Orthopedic Contour Pillows for Neck Pain Ergonomic Pillow with RoHS Certification and Pillowcase Covers, White(23.5×14.5×5.5 Inch)
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SleepRightSplintek Side
SleepRight Splintek Side Sleeping Pillow Memory Foam Pillow – Best Pillow for Sleeping On Your Side – 24" x 5" Standard Size
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Xtreme Comforts Adjustable Pillow
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UTTU Sandwich Pillow
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Cradle Me Cervical Pillow
Cradle Me Cervical Pillow - Orthopedic Contour Memory Foam Pillow for Back and Side Sleepers with Neck and Spine Support - Helps Reduce Back and Neck Pain
best overall design with lots of position choices
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K Ka Ua Neck Roll Pillow Cervical Bolster with Bamboo Cover – Memory Foam Spine Lumbar Traction Spondylosis Support 4” Diameter x 17 “Length (4 Inch)
1,000s of satisfied customers & rave reviews
J-Pillow Travel Pillow
J-Pillow Chin Supporting Travel Pillow - 2020 Version - British Invention of The Year Winner - Supports Your Head, Neck & Chin (Blue)
added chin support prevents your head from falling forward.
EPABO Contour Memory Foam Pillow
EPABO Contour Memory Foam Pillow Orthopedic Sleeping Pillows, Ergonomic Cervical Pillow for Neck Pain - for Side Sleepers, Back and Stomach Sleepers, Free Pillowcase Included ( Firm & Queen)
Designed to support and cushion you neck and shoulders
J-Pillow Travel Pillow
AVOCADO GREEN PILLOW-Loveable non-toxic pillow has an adjustable fill, made from GOLS organic certified latex and GOTS organic certified kapok.
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Best Luxury SheetsIncludesSizesColours
Parachute
Parachute
Fitted sheet + two pillowcasesTwin to Cal KingSand, Slate, White, Light Grey, Blue
Brooklinen
Brooklinen Luxe Core Sheet Set – Includes 1 Flat Sheet, 1 Fitted Sheet + 2 Pillowcases – 480 Thread Count Sateen Sheet Set – 100 Percent Long-Staple Cotton – Oeko-TEX Certified – Smoke – Twin
One flat sheet, one fitted sheet, and two pillowcases.Twin to Cal KingWhite, Cream, Steel, Smoke, Smoke Stripe
Saatva
Saatva
One flat sheet, one fitted sheet, and two pillowcases.Twin to Cal KingWhite, Ivory, Grey
Boll and Branch
Boll & Branch Luxury Fair Trade Long Staple Organic Cotton Sheet Set - Full, Natural
one fitted sheet, one flat sheet, and two pillowcases.Full, Queen, King, Cal King onlyWhite, Solid Natural, Striped White, Pewter
Best For Specific Needs Soft and Warm: Parachute’s Sateen sheets Most Luxurious: Brooklinen’s Linen sheets Organic Luxury Sheets:  Saatva Lofton Organic sheets Breathable/Cool: Percale sheets from Parachute or Brooklinen

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