Sleep deficiency can do more damage than just make you feel groggy and irritable the next day. Regularly missing out on a solid 7-8 hours of sleep each night can lead to obesity, heart disease, diabetes, advanced aging, depression and more. Unfortunately, 68% of Americans struggle with sleep at least once a week. That’s 164 million people.
If you’re one of those people, you’ve likely been seeking out ways to fall asleep faster, easier and stay asleep throughout the night. And perhaps sleeping pills or other medications have crossed your mind. While they might feel like a quick and easy fix, sleeping pills come with some risky side effects.
But there are other natural alternatives to drugs that can help you get in those 7-8 hours that you long for. Read on as we reveal five natural ways to help you get better sleep.
68% of Americans struggle with sleep at least once a week.
5 natural remedies to help you sleep
You might know about the many physical and emotional benefits of yoga. But what you might not know is that doing yoga close to your bedtime can help fight insomnia. By relaxing your mind and body, calming yoga moves can help you fall asleep more easily and get deeper, more restorative sleep.
Not a yogi? Have no fear. We found this guide that teaches you 8 simple bedtime yoga moves to help you reap the benefits of natural sleeping bliss. The best part is you can do these moves right in your own bed – in the comfort of your pajamas.
Whether or not you’ve hopped aboard the essential oil bandwagon, there’s scientific evidence showing that certain essential oils can help you fall asleep and overcome symptoms of insomnia. And aside from being a great natural alternative to sleeping pills, they also smell fantastic. There are a number of oils that are known for being great sleep aids, but it’s important to find which one works best for you. You can also try blending certain essential oils for customized aroma and effects.
To keep things simple, here’s a list of our favorite essential oils that can help you sleep better:
- Lavender: Lavender is probably the most well-known essential oil for aiding in sleep. Lavender has a very calming effect, which helps prepare your mind and body for rest and relaxation. It also helps with anxiety and emotional stress, helps to alleviate headaches. Lavender is fairly simple to grow and harvest on your own.
- Roman Chamomile: Roman chamomile has been proven to promote calmness and drowsiness, helping you feel ready for sleep. It also packs a number of other health benefits, like promoting heart health, fighting anxiety and depression and relieving allergy symptoms.
- Frankincense: This earthy essential oil helps to lower stress and anxiety levels, which can often times be the main culprits of your sleepless nights. It can also help your body reach an ideal temperature for sleeping and can be a natural aid in pain relief.
Drinking herbal tea before bed can be another great remedy to help you feel relaxed and sleepy. Similar to essential oils, certain teas can provide great calming effects and help your mind and body wind down. And while this may be purely psychological, holding a nice hot cup of tea always makes me feel cozy and ready for a nap.
Teas containing herbs like chamomile, lavender, peppermint, and valerian can aide in preparing your mind and body for sleep. You do want to make sure that if you’re drinking tea at night, it doesn’t contain any caffeine. (That, unfortunately, would have the opposite effect.)
If you’re interested in giving herbal tea a shot, here’s a list of ready-made teas preferred by an Englishman and an insomniac.
Taking a hot bath a couple hours before your bedtime can not only help you feel refreshed and relaxed, but it can also help your body prepare for sleep.
Joyce Walsleben, PhD, associate professor at New York University School of Medicine says, “If you raise your temperature a degree or two with a bath, the steeper drop at bedtime is more likely to put you in a deep sleep.”
Want to maximize bath time? Try adding a few drops of essential oils to help calm and soothe your body or read a book to help your mind wind down before calling it a night.
carbs (the good kind)
Believe it or not, there are certain types of carbohydrates that can help you feel relaxed and ready for bed. Now, we’re not saying that it’s a good idea to munch on a bagel right before bed, but incorporating foods with tryptophan with your dinner or shortly after can help you feel sleepy. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that helps to naturally balance certain hormones and increase the production of good hormones, like serotonin. It also helps your brain relax and wind down from the day.
Tryptophan can be found in healthy carbs like whole grain oats, brown rice or quinoa. So try adding them to your dinner menu as a way to naturally promote tired eyes at the end of the night.
Do you have a natural remedy that helps you feel tired at the end of the day? Let us know in the comments below.