Sleep is one of the most important activities of our daily routine. Without it, we quickly feel sick, run down, worn out, and stressed. Even though the value of sleep is obvious, many people do not get a good night’s rest. Sleep problems are incredibly common and can be experienced for all kinds of reasons. People frequently turn to habit-forming drugs to help them fall asleep at night but you should know that there are many natural ways to help you unwind and relax at the end of the day. The PurMedica blog team has collected five different strategies to help you fall asleep naturally and to get a more restful sleep.
1. Reduce or moderate your caffeine intake.
You might have never thought about it, but caffeine is one of the most widely used drugs on the planet. Though caffeine is found naturally in all kinds of plants, including the cocoa bean, most people are familiar with coffee’s caffeine content. It is not uncommon to have a cup of coffee or two in the morning and then another in the afternoon. However, caffeine can remain active in your body for around six hours. This can have a significant negative impact when it comes time to prepare for bed. Instead of reaching for a cup of coffee in the afternoon, try some tea or select a smaller amount of coffee to drink. You can also stagger the amount of coffee you drink in the morning so that you still get through the slump after lunch. A brisk walk in the fresh air will also help get your blood moving in the afternoon and leave you feeling more awake and aware without caffeine.
2. Switch up your exercise time.
Exercise is a great way to energize the body and mind. Lots of natural stimulants are generated as a result of a few minutes of aerobic exercise. Even though the health benefits of exercise are myriad, making time for this important activity can be challenging; as a result, people tend to squeeze in a little time whenever they can, even if it means exercising a couple hours or so before bed time. Though exercise is great, the stimulation to the body and mind is not as helpful when it comes time to fall asleep. If you tend to work out in the evening, try shifting that routine to earlier in the day. Your body will be more prepared for sleep this way.
3. Take a look at your sleeping hygiene.
Lots of people work, read, study, watch TV, and use the Internet while lounging on the bed. Though common, this tendency is one symptom of poor sleep hygiene. The result of engaging in so many non-sleep related activities on the bed is that the mind no longer associates this space with restfulness. As a result, people tend to think about lots of other things while trying to fall asleep. The impulse to read, work, or watch a movie can significantly disturb your efforts to rest, even if you do not realize it.
Instead of using your bed for all kinds of non-sleep activities, set up a work or study space somewhere else. This can be a challenging habit to break but you will find it much easier to relax. You can start enjoying many more restful nights of sleep as a result.
4. Try some natural sleep aids.
There are some great remedies and supplements that can help you fall asleep safely and naturally. Some of the most popular and common include:
Warm chamomile tea
Powdered or chopped valerian root capsules
Skullcap tea or skullcap extract
These remedies work a little differently for everyone, so if one does not work try another. These are generally taken around 30 minutes before going to bed.
5. Take time to de-stress.
Stress and anxiety can significantly disturb a person’s sleep cycle. Not only is it hard to fall asleep, you might find yourself waking up throughout the night. Try a few strategies to leave stress behind before going to bed. Read a calming or inspirational book. Have a warm shower or bath. Meditate or pray. Take a casual stroll around the block. Write in a journal or call a friend. Some people find that a simple handicraft helps them feel relaxed. Even a few minutes spent doing a calming activity can let you leave the stress of the behind and prepare for sleep.