To help yourself hit the hay without the aid of medications or gadgets, try laying back in bed and curling your toes down towards your feet. Hold this position for a few seconds before releasing the tension, and repeat as needed. According to Mattress Advisor, the repetitive motion of curling and releasing your toes physically and mentally grounds us, allowing for easeful relaxation into sleep. In fact, experts say this exercise produces the same soothing sensations experienced with a foot massage. Over the years, ample research has shown a connection between foot massage and improvements in sleep.
In a 2006 study published in the Journal of Korean Academy of Nursing, researchers looked at the effects of foot massage on 50 seniors residing in nursing homes in regards to sleep disturbances, depression disorder, and related physiological markers. When it came to sleep, the study findings showed that participants who received twelve 30-minute foot massage sessions experienced a boost in sleep quality in comparison to those who did not receive the intervention. The intervention group also proved to have fewer depression disorder symptoms and greater levels of serotonin, a hormone that is known to play a role in both mood and sleep (via Cleveland Clinic).