If we think about it, most of us will admit that we don’t get enough sleep at night. You may fall asleep then wake several times throughout the night. Some of us may have trouble falling asleep and spend lots of time tossing and turning.
Quality sleep is vital for a healthy lifestyle. Making sure you get adequate sleep helps your immune system function better and gives your body a chance to restore. Some people feel hopeless and begin to think of less sleep as a way of life. Others go to their doctors for medicines that can be harmful and have serious side effects. Some prescription sleep aids have been shown to cause death. You might find it tough to fall asleep after reading a warning label like that!
Let’s look at some things you can try and natural options to help you get quality sleep each night. There are several things you can do to dial in better sleep. This article will give you 10 ways to improve your sleep quality naturally.
Melatonin is a natural hormone that gets released by the pineal gland. That process happens during evening hours when the sun begins to go down. It works in conjunction with your body’s natural circadian rhythm. Unfortunately, melatonin sometimes gets disrupted because of different work schedules and other activities.
We get exposed to blue light from things like phones and television screens. Blue light can deplete your melatonin levels, so the body doesn’t know it’s time for rest. One of the biggest things that can disrupt your melatonin levels is stress, and many of us deal with that every day. Taking melatonin an hour or two before bed can help you fall asleep and stay asleep. Supplementing with melatonin isn’t a long-term solution because it can disrupt your natural levels, but is very beneficial for those looking to overcome a difficult period of bad sleep.
It is crucial to keep your vitamin D levels at adequate amounts to boost your immune system and get quality sleep. The research has shown that low vitamin D can cause sleep issues.
Getting more vitamin D is a simple and inexpensive way to get better sleep. You can take a quality supplement and get outside more. Morning sun exposure will help raise your vitamin D levels, so take a walk or enjoy any outdoor activity. You can incorporate foods in your diet high in vitamin D. Foods like salmon, sardines, and eggs all contain vitamin D, but it can be hard to get enough of it through diet alone. For people who have trouble sleeping, taking vitamin D at night may be a good option.
Valerian root has shown promise when it comes to sleep. People who take it report that it takes less time for them to fall asleep. Many people drink teas that contain valerian root as a bedtime ritual. Valerian is an herb that has been used for many centuries because of its calming properties. It can help the body wind down after a hectic day, and many people find it relaxes them and prepares them for sleep. If you don’t prefer tea, you can always get it in supplement form. It may be combined with other herbs that work synergistically to promote restful sleep.
CBD is an extract from the hemp plant that has gained attention in recent years because of its medicinal properties. Many people use CBD for everything from pain remedies to better sleep.
When it comes to sleep, CBD has shown effective in helping users get more REM sleep. It also helps them with daytime sleepiness, which many people suffer from today. Some people are afraid to try CBD because they mistakenly think it will make them high. That is not the case because CBD does not have any psychoactive properties. It also doesn’t carry risks of dependency. You can get CBD in different forms now. Some people use CBD oil, but you can get it in pills or a chewable. The dosing can be different for each person, so you may have to adjust to find what works for you.
Chamomile is another herb that has been shown effective for better sleep. Most people who take the herb drink it in teas. This powerful little flower is inexpensive, and you can find this in most grocery stores or online, and keep it stocked for when you need it.
Not only does Chamomile have sedative properties, but it also has an antioxidant that induces muscle relaxation. That is a double win for better quality sleep. Evening tea party anyone?
When it comes to getting proper sleep, most people don’t realize this mineral could be the missing piece of the puzzle. Magnesium is responsible for over 300 processes in the body. Taking it at night can calm the nervous system and muscle tissues in the body. Some people take it to prevent leg cramps at night and help with restless leg issues.
Most of our diets are deficient in Magnesium. Even if you eat as clean as possible, recent farming methods deplete the soil of this vital mineral. It will help to eat more magnesium-rich foods like leafy greens, nuts, avocado, and some fish. When taking a supplement, make sure you get a quality product and the right kind of magnesium. For the best sleep, you want the kind that crosses the blood-brain barrier.
5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is the chemical our bodies make from tryptophan. When this amino acid gets converted to 5-HTP, it produces serotonin. Serotonin is the feel-good hormone that helps regulate our moods. Research has shown 5-HTP to have a positive effect on anxiety and sleep. Some functional practitioners recommend it to their patients for a serotonin boost when they have trouble sleeping or problems with low moods.
Since our bodies don’t make 5-HTP, it must get taken in supplement form. Taking 5-HTP is a safe way to promote better quality sleep. You can take it thirty minutes before bed to get deeper sleep. It is well-tolerated by most people with no side effects.
One of the topics often missed when it comes to proper sleep is the importance of exercise. When we exercise, our brains release endorphins. These are the chemicals that people refer to when they say they have the post-workout high or mood boost. Endorphins help relieve stress, so it may be easier to fall asleep when you exercise.
Moderate-intensity exercise can help with sleep apnea, fatigue, and daytime sleepiness. Many people who have trouble sleeping are less active than well-rested people. It can be a vicious cycle because you get tired from no sleep and may not feel like exercising. When you sleep better, you have the energy to exercise.
An easy way to help alleviate sleep issues is to start slow and build your exercise routine. You don’t have to have fancy equipment to get started. Grab a couple of dumbbells and start a walking regimen. If the weather permits, go for a walk outside and enjoy some fresh air. When it comes to exercise, consistency is the crucial component. Keep going and build up as you can. After a while, you will look forward to the health benefits exercise helps you gain. If you think you don’t have the time to exercise, take a walk on your lunch break. Grab a healthy meal replacement shake and see how many steps you can get in walking around the building or parking lot.
Aromatherapy can make an incredible impact on your sleep. You can use lavender oils in a diffuser or spray some mist on your pillow at night. Some people use peppermint or lemon oil as well. They find that different scents help them relax and sleep deeper.
You can also use them in a warm bath with some Epsom salts (boosts magnesium levels) to promote relaxation. Many people find that the combination works for them and relieves stress in the process. Some commonly used essentials oils for relaxation and rest include:
These oils are popular with people who prefer natural solutions to sleep problems.
Changing our diets can get challenging. As a society, many of us get addicted to caffeine and sugar. We become dependent on them to help us get through busy days.
These can have profound effects on sleep quality. You may not need to give up everything you enjoy but cutting back will help. Stop consuming caffeine after lunch. Since it has a long half-life, caffeine can stay in your system for a long time. Sugar will give you a burst of energy, but it will also cause your blood sugar to be unstable. If your blood sugar falls at night, it can interfere with sleep.
If you need more energy, consider natural sources like foods and quality supplements. Cutting out processed foods and sticking with whole foods will give your body sustained energy and help you rest better at night.
With all the talk about sleep these days, some people still don’t understand why it matters so much. If we are sleep deficient, it leads to severe health issues. That is why many scientists feel sleep is as crucial as food.
Some people think losing sleep because of work and activities is a badge of honor. They brag about working all night and being productive. They don’t realize the amount of damage they may be doing in the process.
All the data shows that sleep repairs our bodies and helps us think better. All our cognitive processes fall short when we don’t sleep well. If you feel like you never get enough sleep, try some of the tips we’ve covered in this article. Quality sleep will recharge your mind and body. It will also make you refreshed and ready to start the day feeling healthy. When you work on your sleep quality, you will see dramatic results in your overall health and wellness journey.