Many people have some type of sleep disorder, especially in today’s times. If you do have a sleep disorder, it can lead to various health problems, and make it difficult to go about your day.
There are some medications that can help, but they tend to be used as a last resort, as they can have several side effects. Often, making lifestyle changes and trying natural remedies can help you get a better night’s sleep. Let’s look at several natural ways.
The exact reasons are unknown, but it’s been proven that exercising can help you fall asleep.
You don’t need to go on an Olympic sprint, but by implementing some moderate exercise in your day, you may be able to sleep better.
With that said, avoid exercising too close to bed. You may get a runner’s high from the release of endorphins, and this can have the opposite effect.
Get More Sunlight
Another reason why you may have sleep issues is that you aren’t getting enough sun. The sun helps to regulate our circadian rhythm, and if you are not getting enough, it can cause sleep issues.
Step outside first thing in the morning. Alternatively, open the blinds and get some sunlight.
What if you work the third shift or have another schedule that makes it difficult? You can purchase a light therapy lamp, which can emulate the light of the sun.
It’s not “natural” per se, but it’s the next best thing.
Cut Back on Caffeine
This is one of those “no duh” steps. Obviously, if you are chugging energy drinks an hour before bedtime, good luck with sleeping.
However, everyone breaks down caffeine differently. That mid-afternoon cup of coffee you had can end up lingering in your body at night.
Try consuming a little less and see what that does for you.
Other Dietary Recommendations
It’s not just coffee. There are some other foods you should eat less of or more of.
A glass of wine on occasion isn’t going to hurt you and can make you sleepy. However, too much can make you wakeful. Even if you do pass out because of too much alcohol, it can affect your sleep quality.
Too much sugar can also make it difficult for you to fall asleep. At night, your blood sugar may crash, which can cause sleep disruption.
Foods to Eat
Foods in vitamin B6, which include bananas, sunflower seeds, and wheat germ, can allow your body to create tryptophan, an amino acid that converts into melatonin. Perhaps the best-known source of that is turkey. That’s why everyone is so tired after a good Thanksgiving meal.
Another type of food you should eat is any food rich in magnesium. This can help you sleep as well. Legumes, dark leafy greens, almonds, and whole grains are just some of the foods that are magnesium-rich.
If you still need more B6 or magnesium, you can try supplements as well. However, as you can expect, the best way for you to get those vitamins and minerals is through natural means.
Practice Mindfulness and Meditation
Another way to sleep well is to meditate. There are many different breathing techniques you can try that can relax your body and let your mind focus on something else.
Speaking of which, practicing mindfulness is a good way to sleep. This is when you focus on the present and not let your worries of the future or past get to you. Quite often, worries can keep us up at night, especially nowadays. Instead, keep focused on the present and you may be able to fall asleep.
Take a Hot Bath
Before bed, warming yourself up with a hot bath or shower can allow you to relax and have a more restful sleep. Unwinding in general is a good way for you to fall asleep. By taking a nice, hot bath, you can let your worries melt away.
Don’t be afraid to go all out. Dim the lights, play some relaxing music and let your worries run free.
Avoid Blue Light
Blue light, which is found in many of our devices, can destroy melatonin and keep you up at night.
Devices are getting better about this, with blue light filters already installed in many phones. But even then, the addictive nature of phones, video games, and the Internet, in general, can keep you up. Shut everything off an hour before bed and do something else relaxing. With that said, if a TV show helps you relax, nothing wrong with that.
Take Natural Supplements
There are some supplements associated with restful sleep. You can try melatonin supplements or try some valerian root. Herbal teas may be able to make you fall asleep as well. Lavender is another herb that can help you fall asleep. Just spray some on your pillow and you may be able to get a better night’s rest.
With All That Said, Don’t Be Afraid to Seek Help
While getting better sleep naturally is the best move, there are some cases where sleep just doesn’t come. In this case, there’s no shame in going to the doctor and having them prescribe some medication.
Also, seek help through a therapist. They can get to the bottom of why you’re unable to fall asleep and recommend some personalized relaxation techniques.
With all that said, you may have an underlying sleep disorder that is causing you to have difficulties falling asleep. In this case, you may want to get yourself diagnosed. For more information on getting a diagnosis, click here.
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