My Top 10 Remedies For A Better Night’s Rest
We all tend to lead a busy life these days. Everything is always go, go, go, and not very much down time. Don’t forget our bodies need a little recoup time and when we get a solid night’s sleep we are providing them with something as important as eating healthy + exercising. Unfortunately over the years, studies show that our sleep quality has decreased as well as the amount of hours we sleep each night. Try these out and you will not only fall asleep faster, but you’ll have a better night’s rest!
Have a set schedule
Your body has something called a circadian rhythm, this is its own regulatory system. An internal clock that tells your body when to feel sleepy.
By waking up and going to bed at the same time your circadian rhythm will tell your body it’s bed time and thus help you to fall asleep easier. Make sure your schedule is providing your body with 7-8 hours of sleep a night.
Light is a huuuuuge factor
When our body is exposed to bright lights it becomes more alert. For those of you working indoors most the day, use your lunch break or any available time to get outside and soak up a few rays of sunshine!!
Darker the better – turn off all your lights and try to avoid using night lights if you can. Your body senses the darkness and its production of melatonin increases. Melatonin is a hormone required for sleep.
Naps are a no go!
Do your very best to avoid taking naps throughout the day. Chances are you have heard that cat naps ( short naps) can increase your alertness and give you that quick burst of energy you need, but don’t be fooled!! There are not enough studies out there supporting this information.
Insomnia increases your tendency to nap due to you feeling sleepy and low on energy during the day. Those who nap frequently tend to have a harder time keeping a schedule and falling asleep at night.
Yoga + Meditation are always a good idea
When you “bring work home with you” or live a stressful life this plays a factor on your difficulty with falling asleep. Going through a checklist in your head of what needs to be done tomorrow or what didn’t get done today is not helpful! Your mind will stay busy even after you fall asleep, leading to poor sleep.
Yoga + meditation are practices that help calm your mind and ease the daily stress. Practicing regularly will ease the tension you picked up throughout the day. Meditation has been proven to intensify melatonin levels… which we learned above is vital for falling asleep.
What are you having for dinner?
It’s never good to go to bed with a full stomach so make sure to eat a few hours before bed time.
A high-carb meal before bed can be adverse to good sleep. If you must have a high-carb meal make sure to eat it at least 4 hours before bed! This gives your body enough time to start the digestion process.
Ideal meal before bed is a low carb/ high fat meal. Try eating fatty fish like salmon, drinking warm milk, or even tart cherry juice.
What’s on your soundtrack?
Soothing tunes can help to ease the mind. Throw on Pandora and select a relaxation station or soothing nature sounds. Music plays a big role in improving sleep disorders! If music isn’t your thing, make sure that it is completely quiet.
If you are a workout junkie then be careful to watch the intensity of your workout sesh. Working out regularly boosts your serotonin levels improving the quality of sleep, but at a moderate intensity level. Excessive training will decrease your sleep quality.
Another big factor is the time of day you work out. The earlier the better. Try and workout first thing in the morning!
Say night night to your electronics
By turning off your electronics you will have no distractions during your sleep or most importantly while you fall asleep. Watching television we tend to fight falling asleep… we tell ourselves “just get through this episode” or “oh no! I can’t fall asleep yet.” It’s best to shut everything down and leave ourselves with less distractions.
Close your eyes, breathe in & out deeply, relax your body, and snooze.
What’s that smell?
Well that’s the smell of a good night’s rest! Have you tried aromatherapy? Plug in that diffuser, add a few drops of lavender or that pre-made deep sleep mix, and let it relax you & encourage a good sleep.
Studies have shown many positive benefits of essential oils when it comes to relaxation & anxiety.
Be careful caffeine can be found in coffee, sodas, energy drinks, and even chocolate. We might rely on these drinks to keep us going throughout the day, but they are not beneficial when it comes to aiding in sleep. Let’s try avoiding caffeine 6 hours before bedtime.
I hope these tips are able to help you fall asleep & stay asleep! Do you have a routine before bed? Comment below, I’d love to hear them!
Kim Shapira MS, RD