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Nice trick for sleeping: cold shower

hamsterman

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I've been taking a cold shower about 50 minutes before sleeping for 3 weeks now, and it's worked as well as any drug/sleep aid. The only other thing I do is wet my hair again right before sleep, and it does wonders getting my body in the 'sleep zone'.

This is not for everyone, since not everyone responds to cold temperatures the same way. Also, it has to be done in a careful way, as to not cause an adrenaline rush, since that can possibly trigger PEM.
 

Tammy

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Glad you found something that helps. A cold shower would have the opposite affect on me!
 
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panckage

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I do something similiar when my heart rate is too high at bedtime. At the end of my shower I turn the water to cold, aim it at my face and hold my breath to iniate the "dive reflex" it works really well
 

Moof

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At the end of my shower I turn the water to cold, aim it at my face and hold my breath to iniate the "dive reflex" it works really well
You may not even need a shower to initiate this. All it requires is cold water on the face and a breath hold, so dipping the face into a basin should be enough – it might work for folk who react badly to the cold, meaning they could do it whilst wearing a nice cosy bathrobe!
 

Moof

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@Mary, it's also often known as the mammalian diving reflex. Basically, its purpose is to protect vital organs such as the heart and brain by preferentially supplying them with oxygen-rich blood during breath-holding. It also slows down the heart rate – again as a conservative measure – and increases vasoconstriction. From memory, I think all air-breathing mammals have it.

Anyone who's swum underwater even in an ordinary public pool will have noticed that their arm and leg muscles start to feel heavy as they swim, because part of the blood supply has been diverted. I love swimming, and since I developed ME I've noticed this heaviness sets in really quickly.

You can trigger it easily by holding your breath and wetting your face with cool or cold water. If you're not using your limb muscles whilst immersed in water, the reflex may not be noticeable if you have a normal or slow heart rate – but if you have tachycardia, it might possibly calm it down for a short time.