If you struggle to get to sleep at night, these Scandinavian and Nordic sleep hacks could be the answer to all your problems.
Sleep hacks have taken over the internet, from the military sleep method to the zero gravity sleep hack. But the one trick that resurfaces time and time again is the Scandinavian sleep hack. The hack, which involves couples sharing the same best mattress but having separate duvets, has completely changed the way many couples sleep, with many saying it stopped them from getting a sleep divorce.
After seeing the results of the original hack, it’s no surprise that Nordic countries consistently top global happiness charts, and Finland has been named the best country for sleep. It looks like we could learn a thing or two from the Scandinavians about sleep, so to find out more, I spoke to sleep experts at Happy Beds who shared five Scandinavian and Nordic sleep hacks you need to try this weekend to revolutionise your rest.
1. Sleep with separate duvets
As mentioned above, the Scandinavian sleep hack which is also called the Swedish sleep method, is where couples sleep in the same bed but use two separate duvets or blankets. Having your own personal duvet means you can choose your own thickness and comfort levels to help regulate your temperature, and it prevents you from disturbing your partner with tossing and turning. Happy Beds sleep experts also state that “studies have shown that this method allows couples to spend more time in deep REM due to having fewer awakenings in the middle of the night.”
2. Air your duvets and pillows
One of the ‘newer’ Scandinavian sleep hacks which has done the rounds on TikTok is airing your duvet and pillows outside to refresh and clean your bedding. As I found out when I looked into why you should air your duvet, Scandinavians recommend airing your blankets, best pillows, sheets and pet beds outside for at least five hours a week.
Not only does this practice leave your bedding feeling fresh and prolongs its lifespan, but it’s a handy cleaning trick too. “The cold, dry air effectively removes moisture, preventing the accumulation of these elements. Moreover, sunlight has natural antibacterial properties and can help remove stains. Consider completing this task every week as part of your cleaning routine to maintain a fresh and hygienic sleep environment,” says Happy Beds.
3. Open your bedroom window for 15 minutes before bed
Since your bedding is fresh and clean, it makes sense to get your bedroom feeling the same way too. Happy Beds explains that “babies in Sweden, Finland and Denmark sleep outside, even in freezing conditions. This is due to many studies showing that exposure to cold helps regulate body temperature which transitions the body into a restful state.” I’m not suggesting you start sleeping outside but a simple alternative is to open your bedroom window for at least 15 minutes before bed to allow cool air to circulate around the room to create a more comfortable and conducive sleep environment.
4. Drink your coffee outside
When you wake up in the morning, chances are the first thing you do is make a cup of tea or coffee. Many Scandinavians enjoy their first caffeine outside, even when it’s freezing cold. Happy Beds states that this is because “spending time outdoors helps maintain a healthy circadian rhythm, otherwise known as your internal 24-hour body clock that regulates sleep-wake cycles.” Exposing yourself to daylight at the start and middle of the day helps with your cortisol levels, making you feel more alert. As the evening approaches, these levels naturally decline and you produce melatonin which helps you wind down and fall asleep at night.
5. Have a hot bath (or sauna) at night
As Finland is the best country for sleep, I’ll be following their tips as closely as possible, and one of those is going in a sauna. According to Happy Beds, the Finnish typically use saunas for muscle relaxation or as a social activity, but the key is to get out of it an hour or two before you plan to sleep. “When you enter a sauna, your body initiates a fight-or-flight response, directing blood flow to the skin to cool down, resulting in significant sweating," says Happy Beds. “Exiting the sauna prompts a rapid cooldown, lowering your core temperature and signalling that it's time for sleep.” For those who don’t have access to a sauna, a hot steamy bath can have a similar effect.