Summer visits with family and friends are wonderful... but unfamiliar beds triple our risk of disrupted sleep. Thankfully, these strategies can help you drift off — and sleep deeply — no matter where you rest your head.
Can’t fall asleep? Try a lavender puff.
The mattress feels different, the pillow isn’t quite right... if you have trouble drifting off in a strange bed, well, 64 percent of us know exactly how you feel! A soothing Rx: Put 4 drops of lavender oil on a tissue and tuck it under your pillow. Australian researchers say the aroma of lavender prompts the release of calming alpha brain waves, helping you fall asleep in as little as 10 minutes.
Keep waking up? Opt for earplugs.
When you’re sleeping in an unfamiliar place, half of your brain snoozes while the other half stays vigilant — and may wake you every time it hears a noise, like a toilet flushing or car door slamming. The good news: Canadian studies show that blocking out nighttime noises by wearing soft foam earplugs can instantly cut your risk of middle-of-the-night wake-ups by 65 percent.
Toss and turn? Reach for GABA.
If you wake up tangled in your sheets, taking a 500-mg. dose of GABA at bedtime may help you sleep 56 percent more soundly, Japanese studies suggest. Neurologist Daniel Amen, M., explains this amino acid soothes a busy brain and relaxes tense muscles, helping you sleep more deeply — even in an unfamiliar room. Note: Check with your doctor before supplementing.
Awaken too early? Massage your feet.
Waking up at the crack of dawn is a real hassle when everyone else is still snoozing! Thankfully, Brazilian researchers say you can add up to 40 minutes to your am slumber just by firmly massaging your toes and soles for 10 minutes at bedtime.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine.