Drinking warm milk and counting sheep may work for some, but for most of the overly-stressed student population, it may not cut it. Hypnosis has been known to help some people fall asleep. I have done that once, and while it worked, it takes time and concentration. For those who do not want to take a sleep aid or use techniques that mess with the mind to rest a troubled brain, finding a way to safely fall asleep may be difficult.

My advice? Don’t drink caffeine four hours before you need to be asleep. Trying not to eat right before bed is also a good way to fall asleep and to sleep restfully. I enjoy listening to Celtic music as well. The artists Enya and Hayley Westenra are my favorite to listen to.

Many people also find piano music particularly soothing.

Experts’ advice? Buy bubbles.

Men’s Health posted an article titled “7 Sleep Doctors Reveal Their Favorite Tricks for Falling Asleep Fast” in August 2015 on the best ways to help yourself fall asleep. Professor of neurology, Rachel Marie E. Salas, M.D., said that blowing bubbles before you go to bed promotes heavy breathing exercises that trick your brain into thinking that you be getting tired.

According to the Huffington Post’s “15 Science-backed ways to fall asleep faster,” activities that require us to use our heads, “like a jigsaw puzzle or a coloring book” will help our minds get to the point where they want to rest. Another interesting way is to give yourself acupressure. Here are the areas to target according to the article:

— Between your eyebrows, there is a small depression on the level of your brows, right above the nose. Apply gentle pressure to that point for a minute.

— Between your first and second toes, on top of the foot, there is a depression. Press that area for a few minutes until you feel a dull ache.

— Imagine that your foot has three sections, beginning at the tips of your toes and ending at the back of your heel. Find the distance one-third back from the tips of your toes and press on the sole of your foot for a few minutes.

— Massage both of your ears for a minute.

Dr. Andrew Weil also developed a method to help people fall asleep in under a minute after doing it repetitively. According to drweil.com, this is how the “4-7-8” method works: Touch the tip of the tongue to the roof of the mouth. Try to empty as much air out of body as possible. Next, inhale through the nose for four seconds. Then, hold that air for seven seconds. Last, exhale through mouth for eight seconds, pursing lips outward. Dr. Weil advises doing four sets every night in order to fall asleep faster.

There are several psychologists and sleep experts that also suggest reading or listening to soothing music.

Experts have a general consensus that electronics are a no-no. The light from portable devices like laptops, tablets — and yes, phones, trick our brains into thinking it is time to be awake.

That last minute Facebook or Instagram scroll is releasing a hormone into your brain that can keep you from achieving the rest you deserve.

Some of the more outlandish suggestions include covering your face in cold water for half a minute and immersing your room with the scent of lavender.

According to Holistic sleep therapist Peter Smith, breathing out of your left nostril can also help, as can rolling your eyes, humming to yourself, and surprisingly, trying to stay awake.

Marie McBurnett
Editor-in-Chief

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