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Obsessed with getting to sleep but still getting none?

By Health and Wellbeing Expert Stephanie Taylor at StressNoMore

According to a study, 36 percent of UK adults struggle to get to sleep on a weekly basis – with women and people aged 18-24 and 45-54 most affected.

But while many have exhausted traditional methods to tackle insomnia, such as avoiding caffeine, heavy meals, and blue light from screens before bed, they have now turned their attention to sleep trackers.

Sleep trackers – designed to monitor inactivity and movement -as well as other factors associated with a person’s sleep have become increasingly popular globally. Previously, the number of people owning wearable devices was estimated to reach one billion by 2022.

Yet, while these trackers have lots of benefits, scientists have discovered they can be responsible for causing ‘Orthosmnia’ – disrupted sleep caused by the unhealthy obsession with getting perfect sleep.

The problem is that people are almost too concerned about their sleep that they forget the importance of listening to the body. In fact, Google searches for ‘insomnia hacks’ and ‘sleep hacks’ have risen by 100 and 88 percent, respectively, since last year alone.

But without using tried and tested methods or relying on sleep trackers, what other methods have people found successful?

Stephanie Taylor, Founder and Wellbeing Expert at StressNoMore, reveals the most popular unconventional sleep hacks on TikTok that you could try (or not) …

Lettuce Tea – 2.6M views @ewitsjacob

You might have tried drinking chamomile tea before bed, but according to one TikToker, lettuce could be the secret to getting to sleep quicker.

The trick is to peel off a section of lettuce, put it in a glass or mug, and pour hot water over it. Allow it to cool, then drink the water and allow yourself to rest before it sends you to sleep.

Verdict: This might have the most views out of all the hacks, but it’s not the most practical and will likely taste horrible. Also, with no scientific reason as to why lettuce is beneficial to help with sleep, there’s no knowing if it will work.

Massage your wrists – 1.9M views @kadama

To fall asleep in under two minutes, one user suggests massaging each wrist for 30-60 seconds in a circular motion. This is thought to reduce anxiety, stress and improve sleep quality.

Verdict: Like normal massages, which have been found to elicit the parasympathetic nervous system response, and create ‘rest and digest’, this method could be a soothing sleep tactic.

Mouth taping – 260.7K views @youngeryoudoc

Some people are putting a special tape over their mouths, which supposedly helps you breathe out of your nose better and can help reduce ageing.

Verdict: Sleeping with your mouth open allows the jaw and tongue to fall back further, which causes the jaw and tongue to fall back further, blocking the airway and making it more difficult to breathe. Using medically approved tape was found to improve snoring and obstructive sleep apnea symptoms. However, this method isn’t for anyone who has nasal obstructions.

Create a pillow wall between you and your partner – 16.6K views @rezaandpuja

While it might not be the most romantic tactic, if you’re sleeping next to a partner and struggling to get a good night’s rest, one user has suggested putting up a pillow wall between you to get some shut-eye.

Verdict: Practical and peaceful, this tip could be good for anyone who struggles to fall asleep next to their partner. Creating a barrier might block out any noise, plus it ensures you have your own space. However, this might not be great for intimacy.

Eat kiwi before bed – 4.5K views @adolfotex

You shouldn’t eat heavy foods before bed, but apparently, eating kiwis before going to bed can increase your sleep time and quality.

Verdict: According to a study, kiwifruit consumption can improve sleep onset, duration, and efficiency in adults, particularly those with sleep disorders. Eating a small amount before bed certainly can’t hurt, especially as it’s a healthy snack, too.

Know when to seek help

If you are struggling to sleep and feel like you have tried everything, get in touch with your doctor or a medical professional. While these TikTok hacks can be effective, they don’t address the causes or stop symptoms completely.