Sleep is something that should come naturally for everyone. It’s the end of a full day, you’re tired, and so you go to sleep, right? Unfortunately, it’s not always that easy. If that’s the case, try these sleep tips for a more restful night’s sleep.
Do you remember when you were a kid and you hated bed time? Like, truly loathed it? I do. Isn’t it funny how things change as we get older? Now, I love bed time. The only issue? I can’t sleep.
If you’ve ever dealt with this issue, too, then you know how extremely frustrating it can be. We need sleep! It’s the only way to have the energy to keep up with our to-do lists, kids, and other responsibilities every day. I don’t know about you, but when I don’t get a good night’s sleep, I don’t get anything done the next day.
Over the years, I’ve searched and searched for ways to fall asleep, and feel like I have a pretty good arsenal of sleep tips, now. I even use them on my husband and kids when they struggle as well! If you’re struggling with falling asleep at night, too, give these a try.
The information provided on this website is for educational purposes and is not intended to prescribe, diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. I am not a nutritionist, certified aromatherapist, or expert in any medical field. The information I share represents what I have chosen to do to take charge of my personal health and that of my family’s.
The Importance of Sleep
When I was younger, the fact that I couldn’t sleep at night never really bothered me. I’m a creative, and typically creatives like to be up while the rest of the world is sleeping. I relished in the fact that 3 am was my most productive hour. That’s when I got my best writing done.
Back then, I didn’t realize how unhealthy that habit was, because I could sleep during the day. Once I started having kids, though, it became more obvious that this wasn’t going to cut it anymore.
It’s really hard to be a good mom and create a happy home when you’re struggling through the day on only 3-4 hours of sleep. You become grumpy, irritable, and a little unstable. Your decision making skills suffer, and you find it hard to focus on important tasks. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you’re running low on sleep, and the longer it goes on, the worse it gets.
I used to think I was more productive when I got less sleep, because I had all those extra hours to get things done. But the truth is, it was taking me longer to do everything because I couldn’t focus and I made more mistakes.
Don’t underestimate the power of a restful night’s sleep. It’s so important to our mental, emotional, and even physical health.
5 Sleep Tips for a Restful Night’s Sleep
Want to try the more natural route and avoid sleeping pills? Besides working until we’re so exhaused we crash at night, here are some tips to help you get a restful night’s sleep the more natural way:
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1. Keep lights low in the evening and dark at night.
Our bodies operate on something called a circadian rhythm. It’s our natural internal clock that tells us when to wake up and when to go to sleep, but it relies on cues from nature. For example, daylight means it’s time to be awake, and darkness means it’s time to go to sleep.
Seems pretty obvious, right? But these days it’s easy to get in the habit of watching TV or staring at our phones in the evening before bed. Even worse is that these devices give off a light called blue light, and it has the worst impact on our circadian rhythm, which means it can really make it hard to fall asleep.
A few things you can do to help are:
- Turn your lights down low about 2 hours before bedtime.
- Consider a pink himalayan salt lamp for a warm glow without the blue light
- Get off all electronic devices (TV, computer, smart phone, etc) 2 hours before bed
- If you must be on your devices before bed, grab yourself a pair of blue light blocking glasses to use.
At the same time, it’s equally important to turn those lights off before you go to sleep.
Just like you want to keep the lights low before heading to bed, when you get there, it’s important to keep the room dark.
Light supresses the production of melatonin, which is the hormone that helps us sleep. So, if you’re struggling in this area, make sure to turn off all the lights and devices before you go to bed.
If you can’t make the house totally dark, consider a sleep mask like this one. This is my remedy, since my kids insist on sleeping with the hall light on.
2. Take a detox bath.
Every day, our systems are overloaded with toxins and chemicals. Even those of us who eat organic diets and use plant based cleaners still come into contact with air pollution. As these toxins build up in our systems, they lead to symptoms like sleep disruption, weight gain, hormone imbalances, poor digestion, and so much more.
I make it a habit to regularly take a detox bath, especially if I notice myself struggling to sleep. It also has an added bonus of helping my muscles relax, which also helps me get to sleep! Want to try one youself? Here’s the recipe I use. Note: a detox bath is known to make people really sleepy, so try this right before bed.
3. Use aromatherapy to relax.
I don’t want to get all scienc-y on you, because that would be a whole new post on it’s own, but just know that essential oils are a great way to get a good night’s sleep.
There are a ton of options in this department, and different oils and blends will work differently for each person, but here are my top essential oils for sleep in our home:
- Roman Chamomile
- Any “tree” scent like Pine
Not sure where to get your oils? I used to recommend Young Living, but after a lot of research and talking to other friends, I decided to make the switch to Plant Therapy for my essential oil needs.
If you’re not sure what to buy first, this set comes highly recommended for beginners. It’s got several options to help you relax and is a great set to get your collection going.
4. Get moving.
Yep, I’m going there. We all know we need exercise to stay healthy, right? But it affects so much more than we realize.
Exercise is scientifically proven to improve your sleep as well as your health! So, find something you love and get moving.
Personally, I’m a big fan of yoga. It offers strength training, flexibility, stability, stamina, and mental strength all in one workout. Plus, it’s so much more than a workout. The tools I’ve learned through yoga have helped me manage my emotions and calm my mind off the mat, too. But, maybe you’ve tried yoga and it’s not your thing. That’s okay, too.
The important thing is to just move your body in some way every day to build strength, improve breathing, and use your energy. Dancing, running, bicycling, and swimming are all great options that don’t require a gym!
A word of caution, though. Exercise is great for helping you sleep, but if you do it too close to bed time, it can cause your adrenaline to ramp up, keeping you awake for hours. (Ask me how I know). I recommend finishing up any workout you plan to do several hours before bedtime to ensure that you have plenty of time to relax and get to sleep at night.
5. Develop a routine.
We do this with our kids, but somehow, manage to forget how important a routine is when it comes to ourselves. A consistent sleep routine of going to bed at the same time and waking up at the same time will help reinforce a consistent sleep rhythm. This will train our brain to know when it’s time to go to sleep, and when it’s time to wake up.
I’m not perfect at this one, because it’s hard to keep a consistent bedtime as an adult, but I can tell you that since I started making an effort, I’ve seen a huge improvement in my own sleep.
Another thing I recommend is a night time routine to gear your mind and body up for bed. This can be anything that helps you relax. For me, it’s a bath with epsom salts, a book (or audio book), a few minutes of quiet meditation, and setting up my diffuser for the night.
Find something to help you calm your body and clue in your mind that it’s time for sleep. Need some ideas? Here are some things you can try out:
- Using a favorite bed-time lotion (I have one with eucalyptus and lavender that I’ve used for years!)
- Read a book
- Talk with your significant other
- Listen to calming music
- Drink a cup of chamomile tea
Are you in desperate need of a restful night’s sleep like I was? I hope these sleep tips help you as much as they’ve helped me!