Sleep is one of the best things for your body. During sleep your body is rebuilt and your mind is renewed.
However, getting deep restorative sleep can be difficult at times.
With the fast paced world we live in, getting optimal rest is often far from being a priority.
So how can you improve your sleep? Below are a list of natural tips that can help you to do to improve sleep at night – especially deep REM sleep.
One of the best things you can do is simplify your schedule. If you are constantly running at a million miles per hour, it makes it difficult to relax and unwind.
Take on less commitments. Learn to say no.
You only get one life, and you have to live it to the fullest. Sometimes the most unselfish thing to do is to be selfish with your own time.
So take on less, and use the extra down time as relaxation time. This will help to reduce the stress load on your body and will increase your overall happiness.
Sometimes it takes a little extra to get to sleep at night. During those times, consider taking an all natural sleep aid. Sleep supplements are a great alternative to prescription drugs, which can be hard on your system and can become addictive.
Look for products with natural ingredients, these products will be safe for long-term use. Click here to learn more about which sleep aids are best for you.
One of the main problems that causes sleep issues is caffeine. I’m looking at you coffee. Caffeine is a stimulant that keeps your brain wired and makes it difficult to sleep.
While most people know not to drink a cup of coffee before bed, did you know that caffeine stays in your system for approximately 5-6 hours (source)? That means that if you drink a cup of coffee at 3 in the afternoon, the caffeine content in that cup can still be haunting you when it’s bed time.
For best results, avoid caffeine in the afternoon. While the exact time can vary from person to person depending of caffeine sensitivity, bedtime, etc… it is best to stay free of caffeine 5-6 hours before bed.
Creating a sleep environment that you love is key to better sleep. Find a mattress that is right for you. Buy sheets that are comfortable. Get a luxurious set of pajamas that you love sleeping in.
Bedtime is all about relaxation. If you have a cluttered, dirty sleep environment, it is going to subconsciously make you more agitated and stressed.
So learn how to create an ideal sleep environment. Here is an awesome article with tips on how to create a sleep sanctuary.
LED lights are the lights found in your phone, tablets, and tv screens. These blue lights have a massive impact on our brains. They basically turn our brains “on”. This makes it difficult to sleep at night.
The best way to combat this is to avoid looking at a digital screen at night an hour before bed. Read a book instead. If you have a hard time thinking about cutting your screen time before bed, you can get special eyeglasses that block blue LED lights. This will go a long way towards helping you sleep better at night.
Light keep your brain awake. As you get ready for bed at night, slowly reduce the amount of light that you take in. This could include dimming the lights at night or reducing screen time (as previously mentioned).
During sleep, you want to have a completely dark sleep environment. No night lights. No alarm clock glare. Curtains drawn. Pitch darkness.
Complete darkness is needed so that your body can release melatonin into your body. Having even small amounts of lights can interfere with this natural process.
So there you have it. These are my best natural tips for improving sleep. Do you have a sleep tips that you swear by? Post it in the comment section below to share your experience!
It’s Monday morning. Your alarm wakes you up from the reality that your boss needs the proposal he asked you to do last Friday today. You already know that you should be waking up early today yet you didn’t have a good night sleep last night. And what’s worse is your head throbs badly.
While our body needs water and food for survival, it also needs sleep. We all go to bed every night, but the question is, are we getting the right amount of sleep per day? Maybe that’s because of that bright bedside table light in your room, or your neighbor threw a huge house party last night.
The University of California conducted a study that a proves that there’s no reason for us to sleep longer than six and a half hours. But, whatever your reason is for not having a good night sleep, what you should do is to take note of the tips on things that you should do before bed. Here are just some of those:
Try avoiding being in contact with a bright light at least half an hour before your bedtime. If you’re working at home before bedtime, you need to dim your lights in your work station and turn off those fluorescent lights around you for you to get a sound sleep every night.
Oops! This thing includes all your gadgets such as your iPhone, iPad, and even your television at home. By doing this, you’re helping your body to produce more Melatonin in your body.
When Melatonin, also commonly known as the sleep hormone, levels in the rise of your blood, it makes your body less alert at night and is, therefore, very conducive to sleeping. Help yourself enjoy hitting the hay by staying away from too much light.
Who doesn’t know this tip? Unsurprisingly, horrifying scenes can be a lot scary and can be the reason why you can’t even close your eyes at night. Watching this kind of shows may make it a lot harder for you to fall asleep and have a sound one.
I know some of you can’t find time in the morning to jog around your subdivision due to a hectic schedule, so you do it in the evening instead.
However, according to David Asprey in his book, The Bulletproof Diet, for you to hit the hay soundly, you need not do any form of exercise (except for a restorative yoga or a breathing exercise) before the said time. Nevertheless, doing workouts, in general, though enhances your sleeping routine.
Well, it doesn’t mean that you need to ditch taking coffee entirely for you to get a good night sleep. What the researchers at Wayne State College and the Sleep Disorders & Research Center at Henry Ford Hospital in Michigan have found is when you consume caffeine even six hours before you go to bed significantly results to poor quality and quantity of sleep.
For example, you should stop yourself from drinking coffee at least eight hours before your scheduled bedtime as this will ensure that you gain all the important benefits of drinking caffeine without putting the quality of your sleep in jeopardy. The best thing you can do is to keep an eye on your caffeine intake and your sleep routine for you to see its effect.
This tip is probably one of the most common things why people can’t get a good amount of sleep. Not being able to free your mind from all the worries and letting stress take its toll on your body will surely hinder you from getting a good night sleep.
When you know you’re stressed, try some breathing exercises first to help your brain free your mind from thinking, recuperate, and be ready for the next day’s happenings.
Living in this fast-paced world makes it hard for us to have a good quality and quantity of sleep. It’s not a surprise that almost all of us are experiencing the damaging effects of a low-quality sleep and the adverse effects of sleep deprivation are affecting how we wake up the next day.
But by slowly practicing these sleep enhancing tips mentioned above, slowly, you will surely notice a significant change in your mood and your demeanor towards everything for the next days.
Being a blogger and freelance writer, Leslie Wyman writes her ideas and spreads it worldwide through some blogs online. Since she’s a proud advocate of an overall healthy well-being, she recommends checking sites such as Beds Online and MyFitnessPal. During her spare time, she goes to a yoga studio a few blocks away from her home.
Oh, the elusive sleep! It is indefinable and mysterious when we can’t get to sleep with our brains running like a dog chasing its tail for hours on end.
Last night I was so sleepy watching the news not wanting to doze because then I wouldn’t go to sleep when I did hit the bed. Did I get right to sleep? Heck no!
It was over 85-degrees yesterday the first time that warm this spring. Too soon to turn on the air conditioner, so I kicked off the comforter, got up to pee at least 4 times all night long, and tossed and turned constantly thinking, Why am I not going to sleep?
I cannot sleep in a room that is not pitch black. I bought some black out curtains to hang over the white leveloir blinds, but haven’t had a chance to get them up because I must do the work of bringing the step ladder in from the garage through three rooms and wiping off its dusty garage feet first. Then I need the drill for the rod bracket screws.
Instead, I found my sleep mask. I put that on and decided I wanted to hear the sound of nature’s waterfall so turned on the sound and white noise machine and fell to sleep peacefully. I like to sleep when it’s raining outside; it lulls me to sleep instantly especially with a little thunder. The sound units have thunder sounds too.
The next thing I knew it was morning and time for coffee. I got up, made coffee, turned on CNN to see what the government is up to today, and proceeded to write this.
Other things you can do when sleepless is meditate on one word. The thing that will usually put me to sleep quickly is listening for the silence where you let nothing enter your mind.
One thing I must invest in however is a new mattress. I do have great down pillows and they are so comfy to fluff and scrunch my head against that I can almost forget about an expensive mattress for the king bed I have.
Other things I’ve done without turning on lights just using the night lights around the house and in the kitchen, is boil a cup of water in the microwave, take out a chamomile tea bag, add some honey, and take that back to bed sipping it in the semi-dark room. That works too.
Did you know a sliced turkey breast sandwich will boost your serotonin levels putting you to sleep from the tryptophan in the bird? It’s like a sleeping pill and that’s why I never eat it for lunch; I’d be napping all afternoon getting nothing done.
Now that I’m thinking of it, I haven’t told you the best essential oils for sleep.
My first choice is lavender. The aroma alone will put you to sleep and breathing in the mist from a diffuser benefits sleep too.
The earthy fragrance of Vetiver helps my brain quiet down. If it’s too heavy of a smell, try blending it with a lighter Roman chamomile or lavender. That will knock your lights out for the night.
Roman chamomile again. With the oil’s ability to sooth, calm, and relax with its slight pineapple floral smell, it is great for creating peace within to fall asleep.
Ylang-Ylang has a wholesome fruity fragrance that is calming to send you to dreamland.
I like woodsy smells and that’s why I walk in the woods—especially Morel mushroom hunting this time of year in the Midwest where they flourish if no one has beat you to them. At $260 a pound, the choice mushroom is sometimes ripped from people’s hands leaving the woods and that scares me to go hunting alone now. Here’s what they look like, and no other mushroom looks like these. This is my skillet full sautéing in real butter to soften them after they’ve soaked all night in salt water in the fridge to remove lice and bugs to which I will add 6 eggs and scramble soft with a tad of cream. Delicious! I said all this to say, exercise is good for getting to sleep and after hiking in the woods all day during the Morel season, I sleep like one of those logs they grow near!
Back to woodsy—sandalwood does that woodsy thing for me. It’s costlier than those mentioned here but you don’t need much to get through the night—you’ll be sleeping soon anyway.
Another woodsy fragrance is cedarwood that smells like cedar lumber sliced from trees! It’s very calming and mixes well with floral oils that are lighter. Try it tonight and get to sleep in quick time.
Other than a diffuser, you can apply essential oils with a carrier oil to the bottoms of your feet, your temples, neck, and wrists. Almond oil or avocado are good oils for this purpose—or whatever you like best.
Some healthy habits are go to bed at the same time every night. Take a warm bath with a few drops of essential oil added to the water. Stay away from your computer, tablet, or other devices at least an hour before heading off to bed.
Don’t do what I do: dream all night about articles I’ve written, everything I saw on the Internet and more brain overkill dealing with a computer all day.
It’s time to take the trash out and grab a bite. I hope you all have a good night, sleep like a baby, and wake up refreshed raring to go. Happy dreams!
Getting a good night’s sleep is essential if you want to enjoy great health.
Sleep restores energy and gives us sound minds, not to mention making our whole body rest and relax from a stressful day.
If you find yourself having problems sleeping then you owe it to yourself to read as much as possible on this topic. See what foods can benefit your sleep and what foods hinder it.
This fruit is considered among the very best for delivering a wonderful rest. Bananas contain potassium and magnesium which are both good for the heart. They also relax the muscles which promotes good sleep. Bananas also have vitamin B6 which is essential for the production of the sleep hormone Melatonin. They have carbohydrates and tryptophan as well which induce sleepiness.
Cherries – whether fresh, dried, frozen or juiced – also contain calcium and melatonin, the hormone that helps regulates our internal circadian rhythm. Tart cherry juice, though, gives only small improvements on sleep problems but at least it still helps with the issue. Two cups of tart cherry juice daily is recommended.
Carbs are proven very good for sleep. So, try munching whole grain cereals made up of barley, buckwheat, quinoa and kashi. Cereals often go with milk which also gives a restful sleep.
This a sandwich spread often used in crackers and salads. It contains L-tryptophan which encourages sleep and serotonin that helps relaxes the muscles. Hummus also has vitamin B6 that produces melatonin.
Snacking on lettuce an hour before sleeping can make you have a good night’s sleep. This vegetable contains Lactucarium which has a sedating effect on the brain. Try matching lettuce with kale and spinach for these veggies have an elevated calcium content that will stimulate tryptophan to kick in.
You may well remember that as a little child your parents made you drink a glass of warm milk in the lead-up to bedtime. This is mainly because it is believed to prompt a sound sleep and kids need that rest to grow up healthy and strong. Milk contains tryptophan, an amino acid which releases serotonin that makes the brain signal sleepiness to the body.
Pretzels are low calorie snacks that helps bring about sleep due to its carbohydrate content. An ounce of this gives our body two percent of magnesium which is a mineral known to give quality sleep. It is also suggested that a lack of magnesium in our body can alter your sleep for the worse. It is not always bad to snack before bedtime then!
Sweet potatoes are not just healthy complex carbohydrates that help with sleep issues. They can also make you release gas if you’re suffering from flatulence at bedtime. Its large potassium content aids in that sense too in that it also relaxes our muscles. It is also advised to include the skin when consuming sweet potatoes because more of its nutrients are contained there.
This delicious fish offers a high content of vitamin B6 which produces melatonin and tryptophan that gives out to serotonin. These are all essential for promoting good sleep. Be sure to consume tuna two hours before your planned sleep time to make certain it’s digested fully. This forces the healthy components to work best.
This bird might have protein like chicken but turkey also has tryptophan which counteracts the effects of protein for sleep purposes. This explains why Americans tend to fall asleep as soon as they get into bed after Thanksgiving meals!
Valerian tea is an herb derived from the flowers of Valerian roots. This herb is used by doctors along with melatonin and serotonin to help regulate and increase the amount of sleep (especially for those suffering from insomnia). Unlike other teas, Valerian doesn’t have caffeine in it. This medicine causes drowsiness and sedates the brain and CNS. It is also used for anxiety disorders, migraines and stomach upset. Valerian tea should be taken an hour before bedtime but with the advice of a doctor. It should not be taken for longer than two weeks to avoid dependency on the herb.
This high fat, salt-packed food is definitely one of the biggest no-no’s if you are yearning for a restful sleep. Fatty foods provoke the formulation of acid in the stomach and thus cause heartburn and acid reflux. In case you can’t avoid bingeing, be sure to wait an hour or two before snoozing as it can also cause nightmares when sleeping if you are still full from eating.
Protein is energy and thus it is essential to have it during the day where our bodies need to be up and running the whole time. Chicken in particular is very high in protein and consuming an excess of this meat tends to slow down digestion beyond 60% at night. Protein in chicken can make us feel energized and ready for action at bedtime. This may cause sleep apnea too if consumed right before sleeping as the body is taking time to digest the food. This may, of course, eventually lead to irritability and utter exhaustion the following day.
As has been said over and over again, coffee is sleep’s number one nemesis. Its caffeine content will definitely hamper your chances of good sleep. This is best taken only at breakfast because of its active stimulant effects on the CNS, one thing that everyone needs in order to stay awake the whole day to perform well. Or better yet, do not drink coffee at all.
Contrary to popular belief, dark chocolate is not that healthy at all. It causes more problems than regular chocolate when consumed before sleeping. This comfort food has a larger amount of caffeine than ordinary chocolate bars which may cause sleeplessness. Dark chocolate also has theobromine, a property toxic to dogs but very rare in humans (although if taken in huge amounts, it can lead to hyperventilation, palpitations, hypertension, stroke or even death).
Energy drinks are packed with even more caffeine than coffee. This boosts the waking factor of the body to keep you going even at those times you need to sleep. These drinks contain 80 to 242 milligrams of caffeine per drink. And, if you are into trying to have a good slumber, then it’s best to avoid taking these drinks at all.
Curry is packed with delicious, spicy seasoning that adds zest to an everyday meal. Curries are often OK but Indian curry is proven to impair good sleep and, even worse, may cause nightmares due to the spices present in it which also elevates blood pressure. Indigestion and accumulation of acids in the stomach are the common culprits. Since a hot Indian curry is harsh to the tummy, it’s best to eat this sort of meal in the day as people are usually busy and won’t be able to notice mild discomfort caused by the curry.
It is already a known factor that sodas contain caffeine so, needless to say, you should avoid drinking much of it at night. People nowadays are already used to pairing soft drinks with meals. And, if you are a food chain lover, chances are you’re guilty of this pleasure. Mountain Dew, for instance, has 71 milligrams of caffeine per serving. Pepsi and Coca Cola, on the other hand, don’t only contain caffeine but citrus and sodium benzoate at the same time. This stimulates acid production which may in turn cause acid reflux.
You will probably wonder what this healthy drink is doing in this category. Water isn’t really bad and does not contain any of the components that lead to sleep disruption but, drinking too much of it three hours before bedtime will cause you to pee all throughout the night. So, best take a sip or two after dinner and get most of your intake during the day.
Contrary to what some believe, drinking wine before sleeping is not a smart move. It brings on sleep faster but it causes disruptions in your sleep. The alcohol in wine causes snoring and frequent trips to the bathroom that can make sleeping back difficult. And, moreover, it can make you feel restless with headaches the next day.
We hope that this handy selection of what to embrace and avoid has given you food for thought.
Take action in any way you can and give yourself the sleep you so richly deserve.
We have previously looked at some great tips for getting a better night’s sleep.
One of the most crucial and simple steps of all in rejuvenating yourself with the sleep you deserve is having a bedroom which is conducive to relaxing and falling into dreamland as quickly and easily as possible.
Today we will walk you through some basic ways in which you can improve your chances of getting that fabled eight hours of rest even if you normally struggle with sleep.
The first thing to do is to try to remove as many distractions as possible from your bedroom.
It might not be possible or practical for everyone to achieve the kind of stripped-down pure minimalism pictured above.
As an example, though, it works well. The sole focus in this bedroom is an extremely comfortable bed with luxurious bedding and absolutely nothing to keep you from sleeping. No TV, no mess, nothing to stimulate you.
Without needing to go to such extremes – unless such minimalism is to your taste – simply try to get rid of anything unnecessary in the bedroom and see how this helps you to fall asleep more quickly and for longer.
Comfort is key and, before thinking about bed linen, the most fundamental issue to address is your mattress.
Perhaps this is stopping you from getting the sleep you deserve…
If so, invest in a new one.
One of the inbuilt problems with buying a new mattress is that what feels perfect in the shop might turn out to be less than ideal after you have properly tested it at home.
It’s fine to do your research online or at a store, whichever works best for you. Don’t get too hung up on the more esoteric features. You are looking for support and comfort.
Take your time and find a company that offer you the ability to return and exchange the mattress if it fails to live up to your expectations.
Now that you have something to sleep on maximized, it’s time to think about what you sleep in…
Go for some natural sheets in either Egyptian cotton or tree-fiber. Whatever your preference for color, choose something nice and soothing.
Although they are not cheap, think about treating yourself to a cashmere throw to go over the top.
Choose a duvet cover in silk to cover a thick and luxurious duvet.
And go for as many pillows as you can with the focus on hypoallergenic products.
If you surround yourself with the finest fabrics, you will feel much more comfortable and more inclined to drop off rapidly into a restful slumber.
In order to sleep with consummate ease, you really need a darkened environment. Make sure that blinds and drapes are closed when it comes to bed time.
Intrusion from street lights or even the moon can seriously disturb your ability to fall asleep.
If you are particularly sensitive to light or live in a bright area, think carefully about getting some heavily-lined blackout drapes to help you on your way to dream land.
In addition to a bedroom that looks nice and feels nice, it’s also key for your sanctuary to smell nice too.
One immediate tip is to spritz some lavender on your pillow. Lavender has been used for centuries to aid with sleep.
Another option is to use an essential oil diffuser and fill your room with the relaxing aroma of your favorite essential oils.
These devices come in all shapes and sizes so choose according to your taste and the design of your room. They are inexpensive and represent the most effective delivery system for essential oils.
If you are too hot and bothered, slipping into an invigorating sleep will be problematic.
When the temperature is lower, your body gets the message that it’s time to sleep.
Nobody is suggesting that you should be shivering as that will have the opposite effect but regulate the AC or heating so that it is slightly lower to kickstart your system into sleep mode.
An excellent way to lower the temperature of your own body is to have a bath before bed time. This is a win-win. A bath in itself is highly relaxing. Also, while you may heat up in the tub, your body’s response to this heat is to reduce your internal temperature.
Most of us use a cell phone for our alarm today. If this is the case, consider removing all other clocks from the bedroom.
If you have a clock which you do not want to remove then turn it to face away from you in bed.
If you wake in the night and see that it is not so long until it’s time for you to rise, this has a negative effect and often prevents you from dropping off again.
It takes practice but will repay the effort.
Put On Some Socks!
Wearing socks in bed has been shown to help you to sleep.
The reason is not absolutely clear but it does work. One suggestion is that this operates on the same principle as having a bath… With your feet and legs warmed up nicely, the body’s internal temperature drops thus promoting a healthy sleep.
If you have a clock radio with an LED display or an alarm clock with similar neon, think about ditching it.
Often, the body reacts subconsciously to even very dim lights and feels that it’s time to wake up.
In short, when it’s dark, your biological clock is inhibited and your brain gets the message that it’s time to sleep.
Work with this rather than against it and maximize your chance of avoiding insomnia.
If you pay attention to these handy hints and make your bedroom into a peaceful haven, you should notice a difference in any problems you have with sleeping.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any queries about sleeping or sleep disorders.