Spring should be the time you feel most refreshed — if only you could sleep through the night! Luckily, experts say simple tricks cure seasonal insomnia’s most common snooze sappers, whether that’s allergy-triggered sniffles or slumber-blocking aches and pains. The result: You’ll doze off fast, sleep all night and wake up full of pep.
To ease aches: Add tunes to your shower
Warming your skin with a 10-minute steamy shower or bath before bed reduces muscle soreness by 40 percent. Plus, University of Texas scientists say it releases the sleep hormone melatonin, which helps folks nod off 36 percent faster-that’s better than Ambien! The cherry on top? Listening to relaxing music while you bathe. Australian scientists say it slows your breathing and lowers your heart rate to levels that mimic deep sleep.
To soothe allergies: ‘Baby’ your brows
If allergies and sniffles lead to tossing and turning, wash your lashes and brows with baby shampoo. Pollen can stick to fine hairs, keeping you in close contact with the allergen all night. But NYU scientists say sudsing up with a gentle cleanser twice daily whisks away pollen before it works its way into your eyes, cutting sleep-robbing symptoms by up to 90 percent.
To turn off worries: Bring an orange to bed!
New research in Biomedical Journal suggests breathing in an orange scent overnight works better than prescription insomnia drugs at helping the body reach the deepest stages of sleep. Scientists say that when inhaled, a citrus compound called limonene triggers the release of sleep-inducing brain waves and shuts off the brain’s anxiety center. Just take 12 sniffs of an orange before placing it on your nightstand overnight.
To nix distractions: Create a mini blockade
Harvard scientists say even small amounts of light, like from an alarm clock, suppress melatonin levels by 71 percent. To dodge the issue, block your clock with a tissue box before bed, and it’ll be noticeably easier to fall asleep. Bonus: Scientists say avoiding checking the time if you wake overnight helps you sleep longer and deeper.
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.