Becoming Friends with Sleep Again
Natural and time-tested tips that can assist you in finding peaceful slumber
First things first: sleep is not the same for everyone.
Genetics and daily habits play a huge part in how well and how long a person sleeps. You might need a good 9 hours to feel refreshed and normal, but your partner may feel fine with 6. (let’s try not to get too jealous…)
Sleep also depends on your age, sex, diet, lifestyle, and the amount of exercise you get. Some other important factors include how much blue light you’re exposed to (that’s your phone and computer), current stress levels, caffeine consumption, and how much television you’re watching. There are numerous factors to weigh in on before going in for the big guns on getting better sleep.
So, if you’ve made an effort to get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day, you’re maintaining a clean and balanced diet, not using caffeine past 2 pm, using breathing and meditation techniques at night, and still suffer from insomnia, it might be time to try some easy and natural remedies to help your issue.
Here are a few to get you started:
First, it’s very important to create an ambiance in your sleep zone (aka bedroom) that invites calm and relaxation. Trying using colors that help to induce calm and sleep, like turquoise, aqua, beige, grey, soft rose, light blue, white, or sand. Invest in a bedroom set that is warm and inviting, and also a comfortable mattress that is appropriate for the health of your back. This is key, and one of the very fundamentals, in getting a good night sleep. Try to keep your bed as a place only for sleep, not for working, watching tv, or even reading.
Make sure your bedroom is as dark as possible when you go to bed. When the environment is dark, it triggers your brain to create the hormone melatonin, which is what helps keep you asleep for long hours. Something as simple as investing in the appropriate blinds or wearing a soft nighttime mask could work wonders in promoting better sleep. This leads into #3…
Turn off phones, tablets, TVs, and computers at least 1 hour before bedtime. This can be one of the absolute most difficult habits to break for some people (myself included)! Many professionals rely heavily on their screens, which in turn affects their melatonin levels and acts as a prolonged stimulus, even after they are asleep. Make sure to set your phone to modes where it will not vibrate or ring when you’re asleep. You can even text those who you often talk to with “I’m sorry, I am limiting my screen time at night to help with my insomnia. I’ll be available tomorrow. Thanks so much for understanding.” Chances are, 99.9% of your contacts will be understanding.
Magnesium Citrate is useful if you’ve tried the above steps and are still experiencing restless sleep. Magnesium is a powerhouse nutrient that acts as a gentle muscle relaxant when taken at night. If you’re an athlete and suffer from tight muscles and body pain, magnesium can be a miracle. It also has the added benefit of encouraging bowel movements so that when you wake in the morning, you get to enjoy the satisfaction of letting that weight go...
5. Herbs are also extremely helpful for helping to induce a long and restful sleep. The herbs listed here have a sedative and calming effect on the nervous system and help stress levels drop naturally. It’s important to follow directions with any herbal remedies you take and to give your body a from them so that you do not become dependent on them. These are the herbs I use regularly for inducing peaceful slumber without morning grogginess:
CBD - CBD, in particular, allows the entire system of the body, including sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems to relax from its constituents. One product I urge my patients to use is from Pure Hemp Botanicals, as I have found the most profound and effective outcome.
If after trying these recommendations you still have issues with sleep, please arrange to see your naturopathic doctor immediately. Prolonged insomnia can wreak havoc on your mental health and overall wellbeing. Here’s to a tranquil nightly slumber!
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