It’s great to get out in the fresh autumn air, but along with all the fun can come hay fever, achy joints, and ‘monkey brain’ that leave nearly 66 percent of us short on Zzzs. And it’s no fun dealing with insomnia every night. Follow these tips to fall asleep quick.
To relieve congestion:
Clock seven to eight hours of slumber, but awaken groggy? “Micro wake-ups” caused by clogged sinuses trigger restlessness. Thankfully, the compound that gives peppers their heat (capsaicin) eliminates sleep-robbing congestion in 2 minutes by easing inflammation, a study in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology found. It’s so effective, scientists have harnessed capsaicin’s power for over-the-counter nasal mists.
One to try: Xlear Max Nasal Spray with Capsicum (Buy on Amazon, $12).
To ease aches:
When yard work leaves muscles too sore to sleep, sip 4 oz. of tart cherry juice an hour or two before bed. University of Delaware scientists say it calms inflammation responsible for joint pain. And Louisiana State University researchers found the fruit’s melatonin helps folks sleep up to 1 hour and 24 minutes longer. That’s 650 percent better than those who take Ambien!
To quiet your mind:
Busy fall schedules make 68 percent of us so “wired and tired” that we can’t sleep. The fix: One by one, relax the muscles of your face, chest, thighs and calves.
This short-circuits racing thoughts. Now, imagine you’re in a hammock in a dark room and focus on the sensation until you doze off. This Air Force hack is proven to help 96 percent of their pilots get to sleep in 120 seconds flat.
To nix 3 am ‘gotta-go’:
Nearly 66 percent of us make two or more bathroom runs per night. And those urges ramp up in the fall, when cool weather makes nerves that control the bladder more sensitive. One remedy: Eat pepitas (green pumpkin seeds) before bed. Japanese scientists say they prevent bladder spasms, reducing nighttime urges by up to 64 percent — better results than some medications!
For more deep sleep:
If these tips don’t seem to fit your problems, maybe a more general solution can help. According to Japanese scientists, the secret to deep sleep is to mist your pillow with rose perfume or essential oil before bed. They say the scent calms sympathetic nervous system activity by 40 percent. This slows your breathing, lowers your heart rate and reduces your blood pressure to sleep-promoting levels. Bonus: The scent can also spurs pleasant dreams!
Spending hours tossing and turning while trying to sleep is mentally and physically exhausting. If this sounds like you, be more proactive about your sleep and try one of these tips. You’ll beat your insomnia and fall asleep quick!
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A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.