Ever experienced the annoyance of struggling to sleep even when you are worn out? Or perhaps you eventually fall asleep but wake up frequently and feel restless. In either case, you are probably familiar with the irritation of looking for sleep remedies when you should be in a deep sleep.
If there is one thing that almost every creature has in common is sleep. We close our eyes, calm our thoughts, and re-energize our bodies once every 24 hours. In addition, sleep is good for your health. But did you know that different people and cultures have diverse ideas about sleep? Yes, they do. This is why it makes sense that different parts of the world have unique sleeping habits and preferences, given that they have different work schedules, priorities, and lifestyles.
And maybe their unique sleeping habits and preferences can also help you sleep? So if the technique you are using doesn’t work, why not try a hack from a different country? And if what you know is not working out for you, then there is no harm in trying what others are doing, right?
You might find some of these hacks weird, but you will be even more surprised to know some of these techniques are scientifically proven. Let’s take a quick look at them.
Traditional Sleep Hacks From Around the World
Lack of quality sleep can harm both your productivity and mental health. You can waste up to eleven productive days a year due to sleep deprivation. And we can’t have that. It is our mission to help you sleep peacefully. And like we said, no harm in trying the techniques that are working for others. So, here are some sleeping techniques followed by various cultures worldwide:
- Soak your Feet (China): An ancient Chinese custom involves bathing your feet in lukewarm water with herbs before bed. It is believed to provide health advantages, like:
- Helps improve blood circulation,
- Lowers tension and anxiety,
- Improves sleep.
It is believed that foot baths in the spring balance the Yang (energy) and avoid Qi depletion (life force).
- Jujube Fruit (China): Northern China is home to a large population of jujube trees, and its seed is used to cure wounds, injuries, and insomnia. The jujube fruit, also known as ‘suan Zao ren’, is often used in Traditional Chinese Methods to relax the brain and take a breather. It promotes emotional calmness and helps one sleep peacefully. You can eat the fruit raw, or make a tea (steeping a pound of jujube fruits in a pint of water for a couple of hours), or as a supplement.
- Enjoy the Sauna (Finland): The Finnish use a relaxing activity, like a sauna bath, as a nightly ritual to calm the brain into a deeper level of relaxation. Sauna is believed to help people sweat off toxins, while the heat also eases pain and improves sleep. The Finnish believe the sauna is the most sacred space and has the strongest connection to their health. You will sleep like a baby after the sauna, but make sure to consume lots of water while in the sauna to avoid dehydration.
- Swing On a Hammock (South America): Brazilians had historically slept in hammocks forever, even before beds existed. Throughout South and Central America, this style of sleeping is highly popular (and so much fun as well!). Swinging in a hammock helps you fall asleep faster, and the occasional swaying on a hammock helps stimulate sleep-related brain waves that aid in a deeper sleep. Because a hammock conforms to your sleeping posture, it can reduce backaches if you manage to find an adequate sleeping position.
- Consume Herbal Remedies (India): India and Ayurveda have a long shared history. Ayurveda, traditional Indian medicine, is known to cure most problems, including the problem of falling asleep. Traditional ayurvedic medicine, such as ashwagandha, is incredibly effective at lowering tension and anxiety, helping you sleep better at night. Additionally, it reduces sleep latency (the amount of time required to fall asleep), enhances adult sleep quality, and increases the quality of living.
- Eat Elk Meat (Sweden): Elks are the largest species within the deer family, and elk meatballs are one of the most famous foods in Sweden! Still, it’s typically served with baked potatoes and some other vegetables as a hearty dinner during the chilly Swedish winters. There are other ways to consume this dish. Tryptophan, a vital amino acid that improves human mood, behavior, and sleep, is abundant in elk. The major causes of insomnia, anxiety, and depression, are also linked to low levels of tryptophan.
- Try the Shikibuton Mattress (Japan): There are several sleep and health advantages of the Japanese futon mattress known as the ‘shikibuton’, which is laid on the floor for use. It is typically made of environmentally safe and natural materials, such as cotton and wool. It is well recognized for preventing lower back discomfort and offering spinal support, which will help you have a relaxed, sound sleep.
- Have a Family Bedroom (Various Cultures): In various cultures, sharing a bedroom with other family members is a common affair. According to their beliefs, cuddling up with your children, partner, or even a pet can help you fall asleep if you’re having problems. The stress hormone cortisol is suppressed by cuddling, soothes the body, and makes you feel at ease. It could be more beneficial to cuddle in bed before going to sleep if you discover that cuddling all night long interferes with your sleep.
- Drink Välling (Sweden): The Swedish would disagree with you if you tell them that milk and oats make for a delicious breakfast. One of their entrusted sleeping tricks for children and adults is Välling, a warm oat-and-milk beverage. This nutritious milk drink is created from pulverized oats and cow’s milk. As we all know, warm milk is frequently used as a sleeping aid since it has ingredients that promote sound sleep cycles, including tryptophan, magnesium, melatonin, and serotonin.
- Use Guatemalan Dolls (Central America): Guatemala worry dolls are handcrafted dolls made out of wood, wire, or vibrant fabrics and come from the tribal people of Guatemala. They are then adorned in traditional Mayan attire. Scared children are frequently given the dolls, and they are encouraged to share their fears and concerns with the doll before tucking it beneath their pillows. The act of recognizing anxieties and then figuratively releasing them by talking to these dolls is believed to help children absorb and manage difficult emotions. However, there is no scientific evidence that these dolls can actually help children sleep.
- Sip Chamomile Tea (Great Britain): Most cultures across the globe, especially Great Britain, enjoy chamomile tea because of its calming properties. Apigenin, a substance in chamomile tea that attaches to brain receptors and induces drowsiness and relaxation, is a fantastic natural remedy for treating insomnia and several other sleep problems. Drink a cup of chamomile tea for about 45 to 60 minutes before going to bed to have a relaxed sleep.
Most food items mentioned here should be eaten at least an hour before bed so that your body gets enough time to absorb them. Bananas, almonds, kiwis, and cherries are some other foods that are known to aid sleep and can be included in various meals.
Now that we have discussed the different sleeping techniques on earth, why not talk about outer space? On a space station, environmental aspects, including lighting, temperature, noise, and carbon dioxide levels, are meticulously controlled to encourage the best possible sleep. Astronauts tuck themselves into individual sleeping pods and fasten themselves into specialized sleeping bags to prevent floating.
The basic conclusion is that sleeping well is essential for your health. Use any global hack that suits you, but if you still have trouble falling asleep, you may want to see a doctor to ensure that there are no underlying medical disorders. And if you can’t sleep because of a snoring partner, try changing their sleeping position and if it doesn’t work, introduce them to Smart Nora. It is a smart, anti-snoring device that adjusts the position of your pillow as soon as it senses any snoring sounds.