I’m a doctor and here's the secret hack to fall asleep quickly when all else fails
IT'S been a tiring day and you can't wait for your head to hit the pillow for some much needed sleep and rest.
But even though you're exhausted, you're struggling to drift off as your mind continues to race - sound familiar?
Struggling to sleep is common and it seems that people across the UK are having issues when it comes to getting to the scared land of nod.
In the last seven days, Google searches for 'sleep cycles' have gone up by 130 per cent in the UK with the search term 'why do I struggle to sleep', also up by 100 per cent.
If you're one of these Brits then it might feel a though you've tried every method of getting to sleep, whether it's counting sheep or blocking out every inch of light.
Posting to TikTok, one doctor has revealed the secret hack to fall asleep quickly, when everything else has failed.
Dr Karan Rajan did however warn to not try the 'powerful hack' until you have exhausted every other method.
He explained: "You can fall asleep by trying not to fall asleep.
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"This trick is known as paradoxical intention. If I ask you not to think about a polar bear, the first thing you do is think about a polar bear.
"Your body works along the same principles. Don't force yourself to sleep and make that your main thought.
"Do the opposite and lie in bed really still with your eyes open and tell yourself 'I'm going to stay awake'.
"Your body will do the opposite and eventually you will feel tired and will drift off to sleep."
He added that there are many other ways that you can 'optimise' your sleep and that this technique was 'end game stuff'.
OPTIMISE YOUR SLEEP
Dr Rajan has previously revealed some of the best sleep hacks that you can try if you're struggling, including the 10-3-2-1 method.
He explained: "Here's how to sleep better with the 10-3-2-1 trick. Ten hours before bed, no more caffeine.
"This is how long it takes your body to clear it from the blood stream and eliminate the effects."
Caffeine is a stimulant, which is why a lot of us drink it in the morning to help us feel a little more alive.
Drinks that contain high amounts of caffeine include coffee, tea, energy drinks and other soft drinks such as cola.
If your normal bed time is 10pm, Dr Raj's method means you can't have any more caffeine after 12 in the afternoon.
His next tip, is that three hours before bed, you avoid big meals.
He explained: "This helps avoid heartburn and interrupted sleep. Also avoid alcohol as this impairs your REM sleep."
When we sleep, we move between the different stages of both non REM and REM sleep.
REM sleep (rapid eye movement) starts around 90 minutes after we drift off.
It's important because it's the part of sleep that helps us stimulate our brain and it's at this stage we are also more likely to dream.
The next tip, is that two hours before bed, you should stop working. Dr Raj says that this helps you get into a relaxed state of mind - there's no way you're getting to sleep if you're still obsessing over the thousands of unread emails in your inbox.
One hour before bed, Dr Raj says you should cut out screens.
He added: "That means Netflix too! Blue light inhibits melatonin production which delays sleep."
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