Sleeping Techniques from Around the World

Have you ever been frustrated by the inability to fall asleep despite being exhausted? Or maybe you eventually fall asleep, but your sleep is restless and frequently disrupted.

In any case, you’ve probably experienced the agony of trying to find sleep remedies in the middle of the night.

Though there is no one-size-fits-all solution, societies worldwide have devised their own methods of ensuring adequate slumber.

Soak your feet

If you enjoy spa pedicures, you should try this one.

This bedtime ritual has its origins in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), and it’s a terrific way to unwind, relax tired feet, and reap the benefits of hot water therapy.

You only need a bathtub or a little plastic basin. You can add delicate items to your hot water, such as:

  • Epsom salt
  • skin-safe essential oils, like lavender and rose
  • fruit peels
  • herbs like mugwort

The jujube fruit

TCM uses the jujube fruit (Suan Zao Ren) to settle the mind and emotions, promoting a peaceful attitude and deep, restful sleep.

“Saponins and flavonoids in jujube lower sensations of tension while also promoting relaxation,” explains Jamie Bacharach, a TCM practitioner and qualified acupuncturist.

Flavonoids and saponins can also help you sleep longer. Flavonoids, in particular, can increase the time spent in slow-wave sleep (SWS).

“The most restorative part of our sleep is SWS,” Kung adds. “Because this form of sleep is associated with memory and learning, a lack of it can lead to decreased daytime functioning and attentiveness, as well as waking up feeling unrefreshed.”

106 postmenopausal women used 250 mg oral jujube capsules twice a day for 21 days in a 2020 randomized clinical trialTrusted Source. When compared to the control group, jujube was found to have a good impact on sleep quality and might be suggested as a useful herbal treatment.

Herbal medicine from India

Ashwagandha has been used for thousands of years as one of the most significant herbs in Ayurvedic medicine, the traditional medicine of the Indian subcontinent.

It is used to alleviate stress and anxiety and to aid in the treatment of mental health issues.

150 healthy participants were given 120 mg of ashwagandha once daily for 6 weeks in a 2020 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled research. According to the findings of the study, ashwagandha:

  • reduced sleep latency (the time it takes to fall asleep)
  • improved quality of sleep
  • reduced non-restorative sleep
  • improved quality of life

Sweden’s preferred meat and drink for bedtime

A famous method for better sleep in Sweden — for kids and adults alike — is to drink Välling, a warm porridge drink including milk and oats, right before bedtime,” says Karl Andersson, a Nordic cultural specialist.

This milk cereal drink made from ground oats and cow’s milk is commonly given to newborns and toddlers since it is nutrient-rich and satisfying.

Warm milk is typical advice for promoting sleep. It contains chemicals that are known to assist good sleep cycles, such as:

  • magnesium
  • melatonin
  • serotonin

The warmth of the milk and the relaxing ritual may also help you sleep.

However, a 2021 study conducted in Sweden discovered that giving children a milk cereal drink when they are young may lead to being overweight later in life, however further research is needed to prove this.


Elk meat is another sleep-inducing meal popular in Sweden.

According to the USDA’s Trusted Source, 100 grams of elk meat contains 30.2 grams of protein and 0.545 grams of tryptophan, an important amino acid. 100 grams of turkeyTrusted Source, on the other hand, has only 19.5 grams of protein and 0.219 grams of tryptophan.

According to a 2022 review, tryptophan supplementation, particularly more than 1 gram, can help with sleep.

Try the Primal Pioneer’s elk Swedish meatballs or Honest Food’s Rocky Mountain Elk Stew.

Sauna steam in Finland

Another Nordic custom is the nighttime sauna ritual practiced by the Finns.

“This elevates your body temperature, relaxes your muscles, and makes you really tired,” Andersson explains.

Saunas, according to a 2018 review trusted Source, provide a variety of health advantages, including support for:

  • depression
  •  and anxiety
  • muscle recovery

A 2019 survey of 482 respondents found that 83.5 percent experienced sleep benefits lasting 1 to 2 nights after utilizing a sauna. Those who utilized it 5 to 15 times per month had higher levels of mental well-being than those who did not.

Simply make sure to stay hydrated.

“As long as you stay hydrated throughout the sauna, you’ll sleep like a baby,” Andersson says.

The shikibuton tradition of Japan

The shikibuton is a floor-based Japanese futon mattress. It not only saves space, but it may also improve sleep and save you from insomnia.

The shikibuton, like the Korean yo, can be rolled up and stored when not in use. It is often produced from environmentally friendly and natural materials like cotton and wool.

While there aren’t many studies on the benefits of futon mattresses, such as the shikibuton, some feel they can help prevent or treat low back discomfort and give spine support.

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