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Besides using herbs and eating certain foods many cultures exercised different alternative treatments. They used techniques that would relax the body and mind and mainly treated nervous insomnia. Although they are cultural techniques, many have spread to varies parts of the world.
In China many believed that repeatedly yawning just before going to bed would help induce sleep. This was done while in bed placing the tip of the tongue behind the lower teeth and concentrating on keeping it there. They believed this would distract your mind from thinking about problems that would instead keep them awake and prevent them from sleep.
Many also believe that sleep can be obtained by pressing just under the nail of the big toe on the corner of the side closest to the other toes and holding that press. This place is thought to be a pressure point on the body that induces sleep.
In the time that Alexander the Great conquered Egypt, basic Egyptian medicine included the belief that eating garlic would promote sleep. He and his troops picked up the practice and carried it from Egypt to other parts of the world.
Across Europe and within the early American pioneers, the making of tea from various herbs was the practice used to treat insomnia.
Running cold water over the ankles just before going to bed is believed to induce sleep.
Taking a brief cold soaking bath, with a few inches of cold water running can help in falling asleep if one immerses only the lower extremities of the body. This practice should be avoided by elderly people with circulation or heart problems.
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