Want deeper sleep and more restful naps? A new study suggests a simple trick to coax your brain to better sleep: Think of restful language.
Photo by AnneCN.
Researchers from Southern Illinois University, SUNY Buffalo, and St Mary's College found that exposure to sleep-related words, such as "cosy", "calm", "rest" and "relax", positively affected participants' sleep. The volunteers slept 47 per cent longer during a brief nap and also had a significantly lower heart rate during sleep (a sign of deeper rest, according to the researchers) compared to those exposed to neutral words.
In a followup study, rest-related words also helped people with sleep problems, leading the study's authors to say priming with these types of words could help people fall asleep more easily.
Men's Health suggests putting sticky notes or notecards with these sort of words on them around your bedroom (or other place you'll see them in the hour before bed) to try this for yourself. Or, I suppose you can do it the old-fashioned way and pick up a good children's bedtime book.
The effect of subliminal priming on sleep duration (Abstract) [Journal of Applied Social Psychology via Men's Health]