These 11 Tips Will Help You Get More Sleep Tonight Naturally
You glance at the clock for the umpteenth time. It’s 3 a.m., and you have only two hours left to get some shuteye after a tumultuous night. How can you remedy your insomnia when it’s too late to take a pill?
You don’t have to get caught in the addictive prescription sleep aid trap. By embracing the holistic therapies below, you can get the shuteye you need without resorting to medications. Try one or a combination to help yourself get more sleep tonight naturally.
1. Pour Yourself a Cuppa
You might reach for a nightcap when sleep proves elusive. However, doing so could cause more harm than good. Alcohol might help you fall asleep, but when it wears off, you’re left staring at the clock.
Instead, why not try a cup of herbal tea? The following five ingredients can help you reach dreamland more quickly:
• Chamomile: This delicate white flower gently eases tension.
• Lavender: The scent of lavender relaxes you — try blending this herb with chamomile and adding milk.
• Passionflower: Passionflower, especially when blended with valerian and hops, may work as effectively as Ambien for some.
• Magnolia bark: The skin of this tree modifies GABA levels, a neurotransmitter that influences sleep.
• Valerian: This herb can improve the quality of your rest, especially when blended with others. It does take time to build up in your body, so give it a week to test the effects.
2. Try Melatonin
Melatonin levels typically hit their peak between 11 p.m and 3 a.m., which makes sense. This hormone helps to regulate your circadian rhythm and help you sleep more soundly. However, influences from our modern world can disrupt your levels.
You can take supplemental melatonin in 3-, 5- and 10-gram strengths. Start with the lowest dose before bedtime and work your way up if necessary.
3. Install Blackout Curtains
If you live in an urban area, flashing neon lights can dance past closed eyelids and disrupt your slumber. Try installing blackout curtains to minimize outside light pollution. If you don’t like how dark these fixtures make your bedroom during the day, consider investing in a bed tent to create a shaded, womblike oasis.
4. Ban Electronics
One of the most substantial challenges modern life poses to sleep involves your reliance on electronic devices. The blue light wavelength emitted by screens can interfere with melatonin production and disrupt circadian rhythms. Keep all electronics, including televisions, out of the bedroom — create a charging station in your kitchen. If you need an alarm, opt for an old-fashioned dial version.
5. Change Your Exercise Routine
Exercise can improve sleep quality, but working out too close to bedtime can keep you awake. For best results, try to finish high-impact or intense activities at least two hours before calling it a night. That way, your body has time to flush out endorphins, natural opioid-like substances that increase energy levels.
6. Avoid High-Fat, High-Carb Meals
Maybe you remember your post-Thanksgiving nap and decide that a midnight snack will do the trick. Unfortunately, foods that are high in fat take considerable energy to digest, which can keep you awake. Carbs provide a speedy energy boost, which helps at 3 p.m. — not a.m.
7. Spray Your Pillow With Lavender
Lavender isn’t only useful in tea. The essential oil from this flower has a reputation for decreasing tension and stress that leads to tossing and turning. You can find inexpensive spray versions, but make sure the one you select contains the oil and base only, without a ton of chemical fillers.
8. Take a Hot Bath
The heat from the water helps release muscle tension, which can lead to painful cramps that keep you awake. A warm bath enables you to fall asleep up to 36% faster, and the magic doesn’t all stem from feeling more relaxed. The heat also drops your body temperature an hour or so later, which cues your brain that it’s time for slumber.
9. Practice Yoga in Bed
While you don’t want to do anything vigorous, practicing yoga in bed for a few minutes can also help alleviate the muscle tension that can keep you awake. Fortunately, you can find tons of free videos on YouTube. If you struggle to get into some poses, the frustration can stimulate you, so stick to poses you are already comfortable with. Keep a strap or a rolled-up towel handy to help you relax your hamstrings and quads without straining.
10. Try a Guided Sleep Meditation
Remember when you were little, and your mom or dad would read you a bedtime story? You can recreate this soothing experience as an adult by tuning into a free guided meditation video on YouTube. Folks like Michael Sealy and Jason Stephenson have tons of recordings that pour the sweet honey of slumber into your ears.
11. Drop the Temperature a Notch
Your body temperature increases during your most active, awake times. Cooling it down sets off internal cues that signal the wind-down process. Whenever possible, drop the temperature by turning up the AC or opening the window and turning on a fan.
Get More Sleep Tonight Naturally With These Tips
Don’t spend another evening tossing and turning in frustration. Try these 11 holistic tips to get a good night’s sleep naturally.
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