Why we should all sleep naked - and 84 other ways to get a great night's sleep

Can't sleep? Here are 85 tricks that you can use to fall asleep quickly tonight

According to research that was released by the University of Auckland earlier this year, more than a third of Kiwis aren't getting enough sleep.

The study suggests that nearly 40 cent of New Zealanders are spending fewer than seven hours on the pillow each night – short of the optimal seven to nine hours. That rate is a worry, as short sleep is consistently linked to problems ranging from psychological distress to poorer sense of health, self-esteem and life satisfaction. Study lead, Carol Lee said:

"Multiple studies have shown that insufficient as well as excessive sleep duration can negatively influence our psychological wellbeing in many ways; this includes our subjective health, quality of life and risk of mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety."

Sleep is bound to be as elusive as ever right now, with the worry of coronavirus and all of the associated stresses piling up on us. With that in mind, we have scoured the globe for the easiest, most effective ways to get a full, satisfying night's sleep. From sleep approaches that have scientific backing - to more alternative techniques - take your pick from the list below.

If you have been struggling and stumble across something that turns your sleep life around, we'd love to hear from you. Just email editor@oobymag.co.nz or share your discovery on our Facebook or Instagram page.

Tips for a great night's sleep

1) Sleep at regular times Most adults need between 6-9 hours of sleep each night. This can be achieved if you set yourself a bedtime routine. Try to wake up and go to bed at the same time each night, even at weekends and on days off.

2) Relax before bed

If you finish work right before bed, you might find that your brain is too busy and you can't sleep. Take some time for yourself a few hours before bed, perhaps by taking a bath or trying out some relaxation exercises.

3) Ensure your bedroom is a relaxing environment

You should try to keep your bedroom free from electronics or any work-related activities.

You should also invest in a quality mattress and attempt to keep the room between 18-24C.

Thick curtains can prevent daylight and street lamps from waking you. If you're lucky enough to have double glazing, that can block out those disruptive noises from the street.

4) Keep a sleep diary

If you're unsure why you can't sleep, a sleep diary might uncover lifestyle habits, medicines, or activities that are causing your restless nights.

5) Use reverse psychology

Rather than worrying about the fact you’re not falling asleep, try to force yourself to stay awake instead. A study at the University of Glasgow found that lying in bed and trying to stay awake with your eyes open results in you falling asleep quicker, thanks to the power of reverse psychology.

6) Get up rather than lying there

If you can’t sleep, it’s important that you don’t stay lying in bed – you’re likely to get more stressed about being awake, which isn’t very useful when you’re trying to drift off to sleep. Instead, get up and do something that requires your hands and head, like a jigsaw puzzle, colouring-in book, or reorganising your wardrobe. Then once you feel sleepy, you can head back to bed.

7) Avoid blue light

Melatonin is your sleep-inducing hormone, and blue light has been proven to suppress your body’s production of it. Blue light can be found in plenty of your digital items, like your TV, phone, computer, or tablet. Avoid it 2-3 hours before bedtime so it won’t disrupt your body’s melatonin production. If you can’t avoid digital screens (or can’t give up your night-time Netflix marathon), try turning down the brightness on the screen or using f.lux which will reduce the amount of blue light your screen is producing.

8) Sock it to your feet

Cooling down your body is key to kickstarting the sleep process, and one way to do that is to shift blood flow from your core to your extremities. This is really easy to do – just pop on a pair of lightweight socks.

9) Dunk your face in icy water

It may not sound very restful, but submerging your face in a bowl of cold water is a good way to reset your nervous system and help you calm down before bed. By putting your face in cold water, you’ll trigger an involuntary phenomenon called the Mammalian Dive Reflex – our bodies’ in-built response to water. This will immediately lower your heart rate and blood pressure to soothe your nervous system, helping you get into a more restful state.

10) Try the 4-7-8 breathing technique

According to its inventor, Dr Andrew Weil, the 4-7-8 breathing technique will help you fall asleep in under a minute. That’s because it’s meant to relax you by increasing oxygen in your blood stream, while slowing your heart rate and releasing carbon dioxide from your lungs. Try it for yourself: inhale for 4 seconds. Hold your breath for 7 seconds. Exhale forcefully for 8 seconds. Then repeat 3 times.

11) Stock up on lavender

Not only does it smell lovely, lavender has long been known for its relaxation-inducing properties. You could use lavender essential oil in a diffuser to scent your bedroom, put it on your pillow, sniff it, use it in a massage oil, or add it to your pulse points (after putting it in a carrier oil first).

12) Use visualisation

Visualising a place in your head that makes you feel calm and happy, like a beach or waterfall, can help distract you from thoughts and worries, smoothing the way to sleep. An Oxford University study backs this up. It found that people who were asked to imagine a relaxing scene fell asleep 20 minutes faster than people who were told to count sheep, or not do anything.

13) Listen to music

Music can help lull you to sleep, especially if you listen to classical music or any music that has a slow rhythm of 60–80 beats a minute.

14) Lower the lights

We once lived by the light of the day – we woke up when the sun came up, and slept when it went down. It’s what our bodies’ biological clocks (or circadian rhythms) are built on. Bright artificial light at night throws our bodies out of whack, and the biggest offender is blue light. It doesn’t just come from electronics, it can also be from fluorescent lightbulbs and LED lights. When the sun goes down, switch artificial lights off and enjoy candlelight instead. Think of it as a great opportunity to listen to music or catch up on podcasts.

15) Prioritise exercise in the evening

An intense workout 90 minutes before bed could reduce your levels of the stress hormone cortisol, helping you fall asleep faster. Not only that, it can help you feel more tired and less hungry overnight (a well-known sleep-stealer).

16) Write it down

As your brain tries to process stressful thoughts, it can’t shut down, preventing you from sleeping. One of the best ways to deal with these thoughts is to release them, by writing them down. The act of writing your thoughts and worries down helps you feel more in control, meaning your brain can finally relax and allow you to drift off.

17) Apply some acupressure

Acupressure can help you fall asleep quicker, for longer and enjoy a better-quality night’s sleep too. Techniques you can try include applying gentle pressure for a minute to a small depression on the level of your brows, between your eyebrows, or massaging both of your ears for a minute. You could also invest in a sleep induction mat which uses acupressure points to relax you.

18) Soak up sunshine during the day

Our circadian rhythms (our in-built body system that tells us when to sleep and when to be awake) can be disrupted by irregular light exposure, making it harder to fall asleep and to stay awake. By getting out into the natural light during the day, it’ll help keep your body awake. Then once the natural light disappears at night, your body will know it’s bedtime.

19) Make your bedroom really dark

At night, darkness promotes feelings of sleepiness. Research backs this up, showing that darkness boosts the production of melatonin, an essential hormone for sleep. To create the optimum dark sleeping environment, use blackout curtains or blinds, or invest in a good eye mask.

20) Give yoga a go

The benefits of yoga to our health and wellbeing (both the mental and physical) is well-known. But did you know yoga could also help fix those sleepless nights? That’s because yoga makes you focus on your breathing, and deep breathing is one of your body’s sleep triggers. It also involves movements that release stress and tension in your body, leaving your body relaxed and ready for sleep. Try stretching with the lights off for maximum effect.

21) Give up your daily nap

It’s a vicious cycle: you can’t sleep at night, so you feel sleepy during the day, so you try a nap - which then means you can’t sleep at night. To break the cycle, try eliminating naps or limiting yourself to a short nap (30 minutes or less) early in the day.

22) Stock up on sleep-inducing foods

A balanced diet full of fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean protein, like fish and meat, is great for a healthy body and mind – and a well-functioning body will naturally produce melatonin, our sleep-inducing hormone. But there are additional foods you can try that’ll help boost melatonin production, including foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids (like mackerel, walnuts, chia seeds and wild salmon) and fruits such as kiwis and Montmorency tart cherries (which already contain melatonin). You can buy Montmorency tart cherries in a drink form from a few places in New Zealand, including Cherryvite.

23) Eat breakfast

Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that’s transformed into serotonin in the brain before being converted to melatonin. The transformation of tryptophan to melatonin is higher in the light rather than darkness. So, to maximise melatonin production and help you sleep better at night, it makes sense to combine tryptophan with plenty of natural light – in other words, eat tryptophan-rich foods for breakfast. Try to incorporate milk, cheese, eggs, meat, oat bran, nuts and seeds into your breakfast, they’re all great sources of tryptophan. 24) Consider a more comfortable mattress

A saggy, worn out mattress with springs poking through is likely to be pretty uncomfortable, and this discomfort is probably stopping you from dropping off peacefully at bedtime. It’s been suggested that a medium-firm mattress can positively affect your sleep quality by preventing sleep disturbances and muscular discomfort. As well as falling asleep quicker in your far more comfortable bed, an additional bonus is no longer waking up with aches and pains. 25) Invest in a decent pillow

A good quality pillow is crucial to a good night’s sleep. It’ll support your neck correctly and help you maintain a comfortable sleeping temperature for whole body happiness. Orthopaedic pillows may be a better option for you than feather or memory foam pillows.

26) Use a weighted blanket to reduce body stress

Newborn babies tend to sleep better when they’re swaddled, as it holds them tight and mimics their living conditions in the womb. Adults can benefit from the same sensation by using a weighted blanket. It uses deep pressure stimulation to relax the nervous system which, in turn, increases serotonin and melatonin levels. By activating pressure points across the body, it can help reduce stress and increase feelings of relaxation and sleepiness.

27) Reduce your caffeine intake

Before you even hop into bed, there are things you can do earlier in the day to make your slip into snoozing easier – like reducing your caffeine intake. Because it’s a stimulant, caffeine makes it harder to fall asleep, which can lead to shorter and poorer sleep. Avoid caffeine at least 6 hours before bedtime, although this timeframe will depend on your individual tolerance to caffeine. It’s not just coffee, tea and energy drinks you’ll find caffeine in; be aware of chocolate and coffee-flavoured ice cream too. 28) Try a non-caffeinated tea before bed

Tea is known for its relaxing properties, due to its high content of L-theanine which has been shown to reduce stress. Try a cup before bed - avoid caffeine-containing green and black tea and opt for caffeine-free tea instead. You can find sleepy tea in a supermarket, and it’s usually full of soothing ingredients like chamomile, passionflower and valerian.

29) Change your sleeping position

It’s thought that sleeping on your side could be the best position for a good night’s rest. Use a pillow between your legs for more back support. If side sleeping doesn’t work for you, tweak your sleeping position for maximum sleep-time benefit. If you’re a back sleeper, use a good quality pillow to support your neck. If you’re a stomach sleeper, don’t use a pillow at all to avoid straining your neck.

30) Switch off by reading a book

Reach for a paper book, not an e-book (due to the blue light they emit), to help you fall asleep faster. Reading helps you relax and distract you from any worries. A clear, untroubled mind will make it easier to fall asleep. It’s best to attempt something light, rather than any heart-pounding horrors or thrillers. 31) Block out noise

Noise is not our friend when we’re trying to fall asleep – it can be a stressful distraction. Luckily, it’s an easy fix. Try earplugs, soft sleep headphones which are more padded and comfortable than normal headphones, or a white noise machine. 32) Savour a sleepy-time snack

A light snack before bed containing a low glycaemic index carb may help our brains to produce serotonin, signalling it’s time to go to sleep. Try a small banana, handful of berries, or a small slice of sourdough toast. Be careful to only enjoy a light snack, as too much food late at night will strain your digestive system. Or you could try foods rich in magnesium combined with carbs. Magnesium-rich foods act as muscle relaxants, while carbs boost your blood sugar, kick-starting your body’s insulin production and helping you ‘crash’ into sleepiness. This makes the ultimate pre-bed snack banana with peanut butter on toast. 33) Sleep in comfortable clothing

There is a strong link between sleep and core body temperature so choose comfortable sleepwear that your body can breathe in, such as cotton or merino. This will help regulate your body temperature better and get you to sleep quicker. Opt for loose clothing that won’t restrict your movements and with no annoying zips or laces that could catch as you move during the night. 34) Sleep naked

The best way to regulate your body temperature is to wear nothing to bed. By shunning sleepwear, nothing will get in the way of a distraction-free sleep.

35) Avoid alcohol in the afternoons

Alcohol is a stimulant which revs your body up, not winds it down. If you indulge in the afternoon or evening, your body won’t have time to process it before bed, meaning it’ll be harder to fall asleep. 36) Consider a supplement

There are natural supplements that could support you to fall asleep faster, beginning with the calming properties of chamomile tea. You could also consider melatonin, the normal hormone that regulates circadian rhythms, or valerian, a sedative and anti-anxiety treatment that has been used for over 2,000 years. There is also kava which helps relieve anxiety. Before starting a supplement, always check with your doctor first, don’t use long term, and start with small doses.

37) Keep pets out of the bedroom

Having a pet as your bedfellow may be making it harder for you to get a good night’s sleep, from their snoring and moving around to acting out their dreams and needing to go to the toilet. Research shows that co-sleeping can result in you waking up more often throughout the night. This choppy, interrupted sleep could soon contribute to sleep deprivation. Try to avoid having a pet in your bed and you may enjoy deeper, better sleep.

38) Learn a progressive relaxation technique

Prep your body for sleeping using progressive relaxation. This simple and quick exercise involves curling your toes tightly for a count of seven and then relaxing them. Repeat through each muscle group, working up from your toes to your neck. This will help to relieve any tension in your body, calming it down for a good night’s sleep. 39) Do a headstand

A headstand forces fresh blood to the master glands in our brain (the hypothalamus and pituitary) which control the other glands in our body. This blood cleanses and detoxifies the glands, making us think positively and making worries and anxieties fade away. Aim for holding a headstand for 1-5 minutes before bed and you should find it easier to fall asleep. 40) Inhale through your left nostril

Breathing solely through your left nostril activates your parasympathetic response, switching off the racing, fight-or-flight-mode of your mind that’s a barrier to restful sleep. To do this, put a finger on your right nostril and breathe through the left nostril, taking slow and deep breaths. 41) Mentally rewind your day

Allowing your brain to process your day calmly and methodically will help ease it into a restful state. Go through all the events of your day, from the last one at night back to the first one in the morning. 42) Curl your toes

A monotonous exercise, with no effort required, helps relax your body and mind. Curl your toes, hold for a few seconds and then release. Repeat 2-3 times to feel calm. 43) Roll your eyes

When you’re sleeping, you unconsciously roll your eyes in small movements. By making these movements deliberately, you can trigger your brain to release the natural sleep hormone, melatonin. Close your eyes. Roll your eyes down, paying attention to your breathing. Then roll your eyes up, paying attention to your breathing. Repeat 2-3 times until you feel relaxed and ready to sleep. 44) Use your breath

Ideally, when you’re ready to sleep your breath should be relaxed – slow and deep. Achieve this with controlled breathing for 10-15 minutes before bed. Sit straight and exhale, releasing all the air inside. Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose, down to the diaphragm. Inhale for 4 counts. Hold your breath for 4 counts. Exhale for 4 counts, emptying out all the air. Hold again for 4 counts. Repeat the exercise at least 4 times. 45) Visit your doctor

If you’ve tried lifestyle changes and relaxation strategies but it’s not helping you fall, and stay, asleep, it may be time to visit your doctor. It could be that your sleeplessness is a symptom of a health issue. They’ll be able to investigate and help you find the best treatment. 46) Make your bedroom comfortable

Help your mind and body to switch off for sleep by creating the optimum, restful sleeping environment. Treat yourself to new pillows, turn your mattress, and change your pillowcases every week, and invest in low lighting next to your bedside. Quick tip: using a mattress topper is affordable way to add a little extra comfort to bed without breaking the bank. 47) Tire yourself out during the day

When you’re on holiday, you usually find that all the fun, excitement and activity results in you falling into bed and going straight to sleep. So, when you’re not on holiday make an effort to mentally and physically exhaust yourself (get in plenty of exercise, do a puzzle or sudoku) rather than just sitting on the couch watching TV. 48) Get a massage

Persuade your partner to give you a short massage before bed. It doesn’t need to be anything too technical – just small, circular motions on the areas that carry the most tension, such as the neck, back and shoulders. Boost the massage benefits by using sleep-inducing lavender oil, diluted in a carrier oil. 49) Have sex

Research agrees that sex can decrease stress and help promote feelings of tiredness, helping you drop off quickly to sleep. 50) Stop snoring

Whether it’s you or your partner snoring, it’s disruptive to sleep. There are a range of snoring aids available that can help. 51) Drink enough water throughout the day

To avoid feeling thirsty at night – which will lead to you reaching for your water bottle, needing the toilet and disrupting your sleep – make sure you drink enough water during the day. Aim for about 2 litres. 52) Keep your bed for sleep and sex only

Help your body and mind to associate your bed with only 2 things: sleep and sex. Then when you slip beneath the covers, your body and mind can prepare to sleep (or have sex!). If you frequently work, game, or watch TV in bed, your body and mind will associate bed with that, making it harder to switch off when you want to be sleeping. 53) Make a dream pillow

Turn a pillow into sleep-inducing dream pillow by stuffing your pillowcase with natural herbs that will relax and calm you before bed, such as lavender and passionflower. If you can’t get your hands on them in their natural form, you could spray your pillow with their scent instead. 54) Stop smoking

Smokers are 4 times more likely to feel exhausted and unrested in the morning than non-smokers. That’s because nicotine has a stimulating effect (like caffeine), stopping smokers from staying in deep sleep as their bodies go through withdrawal overnight. Try quitting and see what impact it has on your sleep. 55) Avoid spicy, fatty or fried foods before bed

They can upset your stomach and cause acid reflux, both of which are likely to stop you having a good night’s sleep. 56) Don’t press the snooze button

Snooze-button sleep isn’t restorative, deep sleep. Which means hitting the snooze button can leave you feeling more tired than if you’d just gotten up when your alarm went off. Rather than starting your day feeling sluggish, get up when your alarm goes off. You’ll feel more awake and rested which will help you wind down better at the end of the day. 57) Steer clear of deep conversations in bed

When you want to fall asleep, you need a calm and rested mind. Which means bedtime is not the time for deep and meaningful conversations with your partner, mum or best friend as they’re likely to get your mind racing in a way that’s not helpful to falling sleep. Schedule the serious talks for during the day. 58) Stay out of bed until you feel sleepy

If you aren’t sleepy, don’t head to bed as your body won’t settle. If you’ve had a bad night, it’s tempting to hit the hay the next night a lot earlier but trying to trick your body into sleep by getting into bed at 8pm when you’re still wide awake won’t help. Wait until you feel tired. 59) Do something mindless

The more bored you are, the less likely you are to be able to think about anything else – and the faster you’ll fall asleep. Experts recommend a mathematically challenging exercise, like counting backwards from 100 in multiples of 3. 60) Make a to-do list

When your mind is focused on tomorrow, it makes you feel uneasy, which can send adrenaline coursing through your body, keeping you alert and awake. Take control by making a short to-do list before bed each night. It’ll decrease your anxiety about what needs to be done tomorrow as you’ve turned it into a short, easily accomplishable step-by-step task list. Handwrite it rather than using a blue-light emitting phone or laptop. 61) Devote time during the day to your worries

If your mind races as you’re trying to fall asleep, think about scheduling a dedicated ‘worry time’ during the day. Stick to the same 15-minute slot every day and give your brain free rein to consider every single thing that’s worrying you. You can share with a loved one or write them down, but it’s the act of releasing your worries during the day that’ll help you switch off at bedtime. 62) Keep a pen and notebook by your bed

If you can’t sleep because of your worrying mind, make it easy on yourself to unleash them from their head by keeping a pen and notebook close by. Write them down, then drift off quicker. 63) Watch out for a full moon

Perhaps the reason you can’t get to sleep inside your room is because of something outside your room – a full moon. A small study found that participants took longer to fall asleep on nights when there was a full moon. Research the lunar cycle where you live and be prepared for the full moon, perhaps by taking some natural supplements. 64) Don’t go to bed angry

Couples who have been together decades normally have one piece of marriage advice to share – don’t go to bed angry. It turns out, this may actually have some truth. That’s because if you’re angry, wound up and annoyed, you’ll flood your nervous system with sleep-sapping chemicals, like adrenaline. Try to resolve any arguments before hitting your bed, otherwise you’ll have a poor night’s sleep - and probably feel even angrier in the morning. 65) Simulate the sunset

Reducing light inside your house during the evening will help your brain realise it’s night time, and help it switch into sleep-mode. You could try turning off the lights in your house and only use the moonlight that comes through your window to see. Dim the brightness on your electronic devices as much as you can. You could even wear sunglasses while you watch TV to reduce the glow. 66) Try a rocking chair or hammock

Most babies fall asleep when rocked, so there’s no reason adults can’t too. Rocking could be one of the best ways to fast asleep fast and naturally. When we were all still in the womb, we were used to a comforting, gentle and repetitious rocking sensation – that of our mothers moving around. Which means our enjoyment of a rocking movement has been hardwired into our brains before we were even born. 67) Try humming

Humming can help your body feel less stressed and more relaxed and calm, meaning slipping into sleep will be easier and faster. Lie down on your bed with your eyes closed. Breathe in and then gently out of your mouth, lips together so you hum. Try to hum for the whole out-breath. It should vibrate in your chest. Focus on this sensation as you repeat 6 times. 68) Narrate your own story in your mind

Distract a busy mind by creating a story in your head. The idea is that (unless you’re a creative genius) the story will be dull which will make the task feel like boring homework, forcing your brain to give up on it. That should be the time you start to feel drowsy. 69) Develop a sleep trigger

A sleep trigger helps your mind associate a unique action with falling asleep. Choose something that you don’t do at any other time during the day and use it every night as you’re falling asleep – try stroking your cheek. Do it every single night so your mind associates the action with falling asleep, and you’ll be able to use it as a trigger to fall asleep faster. 70) Keep your bedroom tidy

Your bedroom needs to be a restful, tranquil spot to help your mind switch off after a busy night. Clutter isn’t restful. Make sure your bedroom is tidy and clean with no clothes on the floor, piles of work, or exercise equipment. 71) Pick a soothing colour scheme for your bedroom

Calming hues help to trigger sleep because they help you relax. So, decorate your bedroom in natural and muted tones rather than loud and vibrant shades – a mellow blue as opposed to bright pink. 72) Put a pillow under your knees

Prevent tossing and turning by putting a pillow under your knees. It’ll help support your body, by allowing your lower back to assume its natural curve and sink into the mattress for a restful sleep. 73) Drink warm milk

It’s long been thought that warm milk before bed can help you fall asleep. Experts aren’t sure why – it could be that it contains 2 substances which are related to sleep and relaxation (melatonin and tryptophan) or simply that it’s comforting and reminds us of our childhoods. Try a warm glass as part of your bedtime routine and see if it helps you. 74) Listen to sleep podcasts

There is an entire market for sleep-related podcasts with plenty of options that will feed sleep-inducing audio directly into your ear while you’re in bed. Sleep With Me features a monotonous voice that’s so boring, your brain will switch off, allowing you to fall asleep. Or Calm has random sleep stories that’ll distract a busy brain. 75) Try sleep hypnosis

YouTube is crammed full of sleep hypnosis videos for you to try when you’re in bed. Avoid the blue light from your electronic device by only listening to them, not watching them. There may also be sleep hypnosis practitioners near you. 76) Rub your belly

Rubbing your belly can help your body relax, soothing you and allowing you to fall asleep. Starting at your navel, rub your belly in bigger and bigger circles clockwise and then smaller and smaller circles counter-clockwise. Repeat until you feel sleepy. 77) Discover ASMR

Put ‘ASMR’ (autonomous sensory meridian response) into YouTube and you’ll find thousands of results. The videos feature seemingly random noises – such as whispering, tapping sounds and crinkling paper – to create an incredibly relaxing sensation throughout the body, helping you to fall asleep. 78) Synchronise your breathing

Your breathing naturally slows as you fall asleep. Mimic this sensation by helping your breath to slow down. The NightWave Sleep Assistant projects a soft light which slowly rises and falls on the ceiling, allowing you to synchronise your breathing with the slowing wave and helping you fall asleep, fast. 79) Sing yourself to sleep

Another trick of parents, singing lullabies to babies makes them drowsy. Try singing one softly to yourself when you’re in bed. You may find it soothes and relaxes you, helping you fall asleep quicker. 80) Rub on soothing oils

An ancient treatment called Shirodhara involves dripping warm oil onto the forehead, and studies suggest it may help with insomnia. You could try using sesame or coconut oil to oil your feet, the top of your head and the back of your ears before sleeping. Use a towel in bed to prevent any mess and warm the container of oil in a bowl of hot water first to reduce the stimulating effects of cold oil. You could even have a quick warm shower afterwards to really boost the sleepy benefits. 81) Make yourself a cup of banana tea

Bananas contain a lot of magnesium, which helps promote relaxation. Make a relaxing caffeine-free tea to enjoy before bed: wash a banana, cut off the tip and stem, and cut it in half leaving the fruit in and the skin on. Put it in boiling water for 3-4 minutes, discard the banana and then drink the water with a little honey. The honey helps regulate blood sugar throughout the night – a common cause of middle-of-the-night wakings. 82) Keep your gut happy

The balance of good and bad bacteria in your gut can impact the quality of your sleep. Keep them happy with a balanced, fibre-rich diet and supplement your diet with probiotics. 83) Be grateful

Consider an attitude adjustment if you’d like a better night’s sleep. Grateful people have more positive thoughts when falling asleep, perhaps because they’re not fretting about having a bad night or being unable to sleep. Try to go to bed with a positive mindset to pave the way to an easier time falling asleep. 84) Have some quiet time

Chatting or socialising keeps us alert and engaged, making it trickier to unwind and fall asleep. Build some quiet downtime into the hour before bed, where you avoid social stimulation, including online interactions.

85) Turn down the heating

Your circadian drive for wakefulness actually correlates with your core body temperature. As that alertness system starts to shut down at night, your internal temp goes down slightly as well. Making your bedroom cooler will cool your body down and signal to your brain that it's time to get sleepy. If you don't have an air conditioner, position a fan close to your bed instead.