We’re all about celebrating secrets to good sleep from all over the world year round, but when our usual celebration of sleep overlaps with an actual holiday, we’ll happily take the extra reason to rejoice. In honor of Chinese New Year – today marks the start of the year of the monkey – we’re rounding up some of our favorite tricks for achieving a good night’s sleep that we’ve learned from the Chinese.
Drink more green tea.
Drinking green tea is a good idea whether you’re doing it with bedtime in mind or not, since it’s packed with antioxidants. But that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t come with some serious sleep benefits. Since it has less than half the caffeine in coffee, it’s the perfect replacement for your morning (or hourly, depending on what kind of day it is) cup of coffee that won’t keep you up come nighttime.
Give yourself a foot massage.
Chances are that you’re not going to have to work extra hard to talk yourself into a foot massage at the end of the long day, which works out well since massaging your feet can promote better sleep. According to Chinese medicine, it all comes down to opening up the meridian, or energy, pathways in your body and helping you relax.
Meditating before bed can help you unwind and free your mind of a lot of the clutter and thoughts that might otherwise keep you tossing and turning at night. A method like Chinese Qigong, which combines meditation with simple movements and breathing techniques, is especially effective in easing the transition from wakefulness to sleep by encouraging the mind to switch off for the day.
Avoid drinking cold water.
The body has to work extra hard to warm itself up after a glass of cold water, and at night, that translates into stimulation and wakefulness. So while drinking a glass of lukewarm water before bed may hardly sound as refreshing as having a cold one, the benefits you’ll gain at bedtime by making the switch are well-worth the sacrifice.
Traditional Chinese medicine recognizes that sleeplessness or insomnia often result when something throws off the balance of your energy, or qi. The use of acupuncture focuses on addressing pressure points and meridians to rebalance the body’s internal systems and energy, ultimately helping you get on the path to a sounder sleep.