Struggeling to catch those zzz’s? I know I do from time to time! Get a good nights rest with my 7 self help sleep remedies.
Sleep Remedy #1
Get That Body Moving
Moving our body not only makes us feel good it allows us to sleep well too. As little as 10 minutes of aerobic exercise, can drastically improve nighttime sleep quality.
You may want to watch what time of day you are exercising and what the activity is. For instance, when I was taking trapeze classes at 8 pm at night I had way to much adrenaline and endorphins pumping through my body. I couldn’t get to sleep. Taking an earlier class at 6 pm and 7 pm dramatically affected my ability to go to sleep at night.
Conversely, when I would take a yin yoga practice late at night it put me in the space to wind down and would help me to sleep like a baby.
Sleep Remedy #2
Feel Those Sun’s Rays
The sun helps us with our body’s circadian rhythms, the body’s internal clock. We can help our body set a regular time of waking and sleeping by getting some sun on our skin.
If you can have your morning coffee in the sunlight or take a breath of fresh air on awakening will help you reinforce these circadian rhythms at your desired waking and sleeping times.
Sleep Remedy #3
Limit Nap Time
A power nap is great. A long nap will tell your body that you have already slept. This becomes a problem when you are winding down and trying to catch some zzz’s.
Napping does not make up for inadequate nighttime sleep. However, a short nap of 20-30 minutes can help to improve mood, alertness, and performance (sleep foundation).
Sleep Remedy #4
Struggling with 3.30itis? Try and skip that last coffee, it will disrupt your sleep cycle. A good rule of thumb is to ensure that you do not have any stimulants after 3 pm.
The glass of wine at night may help you wind down, but it will affect the second stage of your sleep cycle. To stay fully rested skip the booze and opt for a herbal tea.
Sleep Remedy #5
Create A Sleeping Haven
Creating a great space for sleep is important for those who struggle with insomnia. Ensure that:
- The bedroom is dark. For shift workers, you can buy block out blinds or stick some good old aluminum foil on the glass to keep that sun out.
- It stays a place of rest: Avoid working or any activities that wind you up in the bedroom. The aim is to only use it for sleeping so that you condition yourself with entering the room with sleep.
- Aromatherapy: Try infusing some lavender in your room. You can use a diffuser, a candle or wax melts. You can even use Lavender lotion.
- Comfortable bedding: Make sure your mattress supports your back and your pillows support your neck. I am a sheet queen! Good quality sheets make your bed feel luxurious. It reminds me of expensive hotel sheets.
- Plants: Pop a plant in your room. They will improve air quality and sleep quality.
- Electrical Free Phone: Ensure phones are off, as well as computers. Remember this is YOU time and you need to relax your mind.
- The Right Noise: I personally love sleeping to the sound of a fan, it helps me fall asleep much faster. You can also use other noises such as white noise.
Sleep Remedy #6
Establish a Sleep Pattern
Just like we were young and our parents would give us a bath, read a story and put us to bed. We need an adult sleep routine too. Creating a sleeping pattern will begin to wind your body down at the end of the day and tell your brain to prepare for sleep. A few practices you could incorporate into your sleep routine are:
- Yin Yoga
- Warm bath or shower
- Applying lavender body lotion
- Turning a diffuser on
- A hot water bottle
The possibilities are endless.
This sleep pattern must include time for sleep and waking at the same time every day. You need to ensure that you are getting 7-10 hours sleep.
Sleep Remedy #7
Stuck trying to get the cares of the day off your mind? The sleep foundation says that “Stress causes insomnia by making it difficult to fall asleep and to stay asleep, and by affecting the quality of your sleep. Stress causes hyperarousal, which can upset the balance between sleep and wakefulness.”
Try to resolve your day before bed time. This means letting go of worries, tasks, or concerns before bedtime. This can be done through journaling, scheduling your day and using the reframing method for large concerns. If you are unfamiliar with this method please check out my article on 7 Self Esteem Practices.
Stress management might help. Start with the basics, such as getting organized, setting priorities and delegating tasks. Meditation also can ease anxiety. A few articles you may want to check out are:
One practice I love to do is to journal in the morning and night. I have a gratitude journal that reflects upon the day’s events. This journal asks you to write down one thing that you did which was good today. This is a great way to recognize the small things and feel accomplished.
If you are still struggling to sleep you should contact your local doctor and seek his advice.
I hope you enjoyed my 7 self help sleep remedies. Which one was your favorite? Have one to add? Place it in the comments below.