Not getting enough sleep? Tired of being, well, tired every single day? If you are on a mission to improve your ability to sleep each night and want to do it naturally then this article is for you. Just because you are not achieving a good night’s sleep right now, doesn’t mean that it is impossible to achieve.
People who don’t get the required 7-9 hours of sleep each night are putting themselves at risk of developing an array of different health problems, which inevitably will affect both physical and mental health. In order to get your sleep routine back on track, you first need to understand what sleep hygiene is and the best natural ways to improve it.
‘Sleep hygiene’ is the term given by sleep specialists and physicians to the practices and habits that allow individuals to get the best night of sleep possible. In the past, if an individual was looking to improve their quality of sleep they often were quick to take an over-the-counter medication to solve the problem. However, lately, people are turning to more natural remedies and so they should.
The sleep hygiene practices and habits that we practice in the lead up to bedtime have a direct impact on our sleep quality. What do we mean by sleep quality? This is the ability to fall asleep in less than 30 minutes or less, sleep consistently throughout the night and wake up feeling refreshed in the morning.
If your sleep hygiene is poor, then, unfortunately, you may experience more nights of lying in bed, staring at the ceiling and wishing for sleep to come. Those with poor sleep quality and patterns are more likely to feel restless and have trouble staying asleep during the night.
So, what can you do to improve sleep quality naturally? Well, as you can guess, it is by making your routine in the lead up of going to sleep as free from technology and other stimulants as possible.
Stimulants such as caffeine are detrimental to our ability to achieve great sleep quality each night. Now, that is not to say that you can’t enjoy your morning cup of coffee. Instead, you should be mindful of how much and when you intake caffeine.
Aim to avoid any beverage or food item that includes caffeine between 4 - 6 hours prior to going to sleep. This includes coffee, tea, soda and energy drinks. Instead, reach for a calming cup of herbal tea or even a refreshing glass of water.
Our device usage is one of the single most impactful ways that we are ruining our sleep hygiene and quality. The blue light that is emitted from screens such as TVs, phones and laptops has the ability to alter our mind into believing that there is still adequate sunlight. This then disrupts our production of melatonin which is necessary for regulating our sleep-wake cycle.
All devices should be banned from the bedroom and we should stop screen time for at least 2 hours before going to bed.
Creating a pre-sleep routine can be great for telling your body that it is time to start winding down and that you intend to go to sleep soon.
A relaxing bedtime routine can be anything from having a warm bath, reading a good book, having a soothing cup of herbal tea or practising some meditation. Although you may like to, try and avoid any activities that are going to stimulate your mind too much like playing video games or cooking.
Another great natural way of improving your sleep hygiene is by exercising on a regular basis. Not only is exercise great for regulating and relieving cortisol levels in the body but it also helps to get our internal body clock on the right schedule.
The earlier in the day that you can work out, the better. This helps you to release any stress or tensions that your body is holding, leaving you more relaxed and prepped for a well-deserved sleep.
While we can’t guarantee that your sleep hygiene will improve after just one night, over a longer period of time these natural remedies are great for getting your sleep pattern back on track. Make an effort to adopt at least one, if not all, of these tips into your list of sleep hygiene practices and you will soon notice a huge difference.
It is important to note that even with these changes there are instances where you might still wake up feeling fatigued on a daily basis. If this happens to you, it is important to go and seek professional advice as you could be suffering from a sleeping disorder.