According to TikToker Frankie Simmons, an ice pack placed on the chest helped her get to sleep in just 15 minutes — rather than the hour it usually takes.
And unlike many TikTok hacks, this one is actually backed by science, as Frankie explained that the ice pack cools the vagus nerve.
“The vagus nerve is one of the longest nerves in your body and it controls a lot of your parasympathetic nervous system, aka the nervous system in control of calming you down,” she explained in a video on the social media site.
Cooling this nerve down “helps it release inflammation, it stimulates it, it just helps it do its job better”.
Similar results can be achieved by having an ice-cold shower, but that’s not an ideal solution just before bed – hence the ice pack is so convenient.
Frankie was quickly praised by her followers for sharing the hack, with one person commenting: “So I started doing this in bed before I fall asleep & I’ve been able to sleep thru the night finally!
“Never before in my 35 years. Thank you so much.”
“I saw this video a few weeks ago and I tried using an ice pack when I couldn’t sleep. It has helped me SO much! Thank you!!!!!” another person wrote.
Others suggested various other ways the trick can be adapted to the bedtime routine, with one person writing: “You can also take a single cube and place it on those spots behind your ear. same thing but don’t need as much ice. works a lil quicker.”
Meanwhile, some people use the trick to help calm themselves down during the day.
“I also find running my wrists under cold water helps when I’m feeling panicky!” one woman wrote. “A great way to calm down if you’re in a public place.”
Neuroscientist Anne-Sophie Fluri added during an interview with Stylist magazine that cooling the vagus nerve helps your body calm down.
“Cold exposure, like icing your chest, face or taking cold showers, will activate the cholinergic neurons of the vagal pathway, releasing the neurotransmitter acetylcholine which tells young lungs to breathe, and your body to chill out,” she said.
This story originally appeared on The Sun and has been reproduced here with permission.