Tuesday, 7 June 2011

8 all-natural ways to get to sleep

You’re exhausted and staring at the clock. Trying to head to bed early, you crawl in at around 9:30pm. And so it goes, as the time clicks past 10pm… Then 11pm… Then 1am… And so on.
For some (or most) having a great night’s sleep isn’t really a priority. We fall into bed because we need to, but our mind is occupied with everything we need to do the next day.
The thing is, having a good night’s sleep is exactly what our body needs. It is the foundation of our health and overall well-being. Not only do we feel better after a good sleep, but we function better, too. Our physical, emotional, and mental health depends on it.
Eight hours asleep isn’t necessarily what everyone needs. Some people can nod off around 2am and be bright and ready for the early morning. Others need to head to bed around 9pm to feel refreshed. Although experts consider seven hours to be the number we need, some of us can get by with a little less.
Tossing and turning isn’t the only thing that keeps us from having a good sleep. Some of us just don’t sleep well, anyway. These are often the lighter sleepers, who never fall into that deep sleep to bring us to pure dozed off bliss.
Not sleeping well? Here are eight all-natural remedies for you to get to bed, and feel refreshed in the morning.

Cut the Caffeine

Perhaps an obvious solution, coffee, tea and other items like chocolate stimulate our bodies and create extra energy. Some folks can’t have coffee in the evening, others need to avoid it all day. If you like your cuppa joe, figure out what time works best, and then try not to drink it any time after.

Shove off the Sugar

Like coffee and caffeine, sugar spikes your blood sugar, creating a boost of energy and then a crash. Sugar should be avoided before bed… But in moderation throughout the day.

Find Some Stress Relief

If you’re super stressed, chances are a good night’s sleep isn’t going to happen. Try to find a way to relieve your mind before bed. For example, writing a list of the next day’s To Do’s often relaxes your mind, or calling a friend or family member and telling them what’s on your mind will help out, too.

Move Your Body… But not too late

If you exercise before bed, your body creates endorphins, making it difficult to sleep right after you finish. However, if you exercise in the morning or late afternoon, it helps bring you back down before bedtime. Take the time to treat yourself to a long walk, some strength training, or a cardio session throughout the day, for a better sleep in the night.

Take a Bath

How can a bath NOT make you feel better? You don’t have to fill it with bubbles, but sitting in the warm water — or even having a warm shower — will bring your body’s temperature to a comfortable state, getting your mind and soul ready to tuck into the covers.

Have Some Tea

Certain teas, such as chamomile, have calming effects on the body, making them a perfect pre-bed beverage. Simply make a chamomile tea 30 to 45 minutes before going to bed to treat sleeplessness.

Don’t Eat Too Much

Stuffing yourself before bed results in poor digestion, making it hard to get into that deep sleep. A snack is fine– just don’t go to bed overwhelmed and full.

Stay on Schedule

On days you don’t have to get up early, get up early anyway. If you get up at 6am most mornings, aim for no later than 7am for the weekends. Sure, you’d love to sleep in, but staying on routine will help you have better sleeps in the future.

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