From HuffPo, a suggestion from stress management author Debbie Mandel, from Chinese herbal medicine: “Put feet in a pot of hot water for one minute and then alternate in pot of cold water for 30 seconds. Do this three times. This releases toxins from your feet — … The heat circulates the blood and the cold water reduces the swelling. The cold pulls out toxins in the contractive phase and the heat brings blood and nutrients in the expansive phase.”
Vick’s Vapor Rub on the bottom of the feet, and then put on socks—this also from the Huffington Post.
Here’s something I read in Esquire.com, A.J. Jacobs, “Random Sleep Trick No. 17: Alternative Sheep-Counting:” “Counting sheep is a crock,” and mentions a 2002 Oxford study that shows it actually delays sleep onset. But he (she?) has found “ a mental trick… I invented it myself, but I offer it free here — no trademarks, no royalties. My qualifications: I used to be an insomniac whose mind raced, brooded, and obsessed as I lay in bed. No more. Here it is:
Step 1: Choose a color.
Step 2: Brainstorm a whole bunch of objects that are that color. If you chose green, you can think of green leaves, green beans, green Jets football helmets. And on and on.
Step 3: You must brainstorm in categories. First think of green foods: broccoli, seaweed, the Shamrock Shake. Then move on to green animals: lizards, parrots. Then come up with phrases that have the word green in them: the Green Monster, green with envy, the Green Party,” etc.
It sounds like a lot of effort to me, and effort wakes me up—but if it works for Jacobs, it might work for somebody else.
Esquire, March 25, 2008
AURICULAR THERAPY, stimulating points of the outer ear with seeds or needles. Ear seeds, tiny black seeds of the Vaaccaria plant, are affixed to various points of the ear. One woman says that pressing on the seeds “throughout the day has improved her sleep to the point that she can’t live without them now.”
Camille Sweeney, “A Traditional Therapy Finds Modern Uses,” www.nytimes.com/2008/02/21/fashion/21SKINtwo.html
Along these lines, a reader who’s had serious insomnia was using a WRIST DEVICE to monitor her sleep—when she found herself sleeping better. She thinks she may have happened on a pressure point that brings on sleep. She’s skeptical, but she passes this along:
…am still sleeping better (not good by normal standards). If you can buy a wide Velcro’s watch strap and wear it on your left arm just 3 inches short from you wrist, quite tight. I am sure it can’t be the strap that has changed my sleep but try it (I wouldn’t suggest such a nutty idea to anyone else but I know you have tried some dumb things before!). If it works we’ll patent them and laugh all the way to the bank!
A man who interviewed me for a radio show told me that electromagnetic pollution is a disruptor of sleep. There have been studies about cell phones disturbing sleep.
A device called the COMFORT CLOCK claims to stabilize the destabilizing energies that come from electromagnetic fields.
Richard Shane, who has suffered from insomnia himself, devised a SLEEPEASILY method that he claims can help calm the heart. You know that change in breath that happens just as you’re about to fall asleep? His method teaches you to bring this physiological change on, and thereby induce sleep. He makes a lot of sense.
One study found that babies snugly blanketed (swaddled) sleep longer and wake less often than babies who aren’t. There is even a “swaddler/sleep sack” you can buy, “created after the inventor watched her daughter suffer countless sleepless nights because of the involuntary startle reflex, known as Moro Reflex.” Maybe grown-ups need SWADDLING, too. I talked to a woman who told me that wrapping herself tightly in blankets helped her sleep. Maybe anything that makes us feel less free-floating in the universe is a help.
Things I tell myself: “You can rest now,” I repeat this, like a mantra. “The day is done, no more work, you did good.” Okay, I maybe not so great, but forget that for now— be kind to yourself, the day is done, you can rest.
It sometimes works. Almost.