FALLING ASLEEP NATURALLY
We've all had trouble sleeping at some point in our lives and there are many reasons why. Some are more serious than others. Whether it be stress, depression, a schedule change, stimulants, late night eating, or even age that is causing us to not get enough sleep, we have some easy tips for improving your chances of falling asleep - naturally.
Like everything else in life, there are less surprises and stresses when you have a plan in place. The same is true when you are planning a good night sleep.
- Invest in a quality mattress. We spend a third of our life in bed, so it makes sense that we would want a bed that is comfortable and healthy to sleep in. You can do it for about 48 cents a day
- Find ways to relax. Getting prepared for a restful night can begin with reducing stress before you even get to the bedroom. A hot bath with our Herbal "Tea" Bath Sachets an hour or two before bed can do the trick. Another option is to give yourself a lower limb, head, or hand massage. You can use non-staining oil (jojoba or sweet almond) with a drop or two of lavender, which helps to calm and relax. Listen to some soft music. Do stretches or yoga. You can even put a few drops of lavender or Marjoram essential oil on their pillow case to help induce sleep. Rubbing a drop of lavender essential oil on the soles of the feet is another great way to relax (since all nerve endings converge at the bottom of the feet).
- Meditate or Pray. Many of us spend the first part of our time in bed worrying about our day, work, or family. When we meditate or pray on these topics, we are able to release them and no longer let them weigh on our minds. It lessens stress.
- Keep Feet Warm. It's helpful to keep your head and feet warm, especially if you have chronically cold feet. You may want to wear a cotton night cap, and our Sonoma lavender spa booties before going to bed. Let the lavender and the warmth relax you and your feet.
- Limit Naps. Taking long or frequent naps can disrupt the natural cycle of sleep. Try to limit yourself to 45 minutes in bed and 30 minutes asleep.
- Create a Routine. You may want to create a routine that includes a warm glass of milk, relaxing activities and some deep breathing. The idea is to train your mind to associate bedtime with a relaxing experience.
Get on a Regular Schedule
Early to Bed, Early to Rise. It is best for human beings to rise before sunrise (before 6am is best), and then in bed no later than 9:45. It is easiest to fall asleep between 6-10pm - evaluate your schedule and see how you can get to bed earlier.
- Same Time Every Day. You should get up in the morning and go to sleep every night at the same time each day. It's like programming your body to know when you are going to sleep.
- Dark and Comfortable. It's important to have an environment that promotes good sleep. The room should be dark. There shouldn't be a TV program on in the background. Close the door to limit interruptions in your sleep. You may want to create some white noise with a fan to help block out other noises that could disrupt your sleep. Also, make sure that the temperature in the room is comfortable. It's never fun to wake up sweaty. Make sure your pajamas are comfortable and loose.
- Keep Clocks out of Site. Seeing a clock can be stressful. You may see the time and begin thinking about how little sleep you're getting, or how much more you need. Set your alarm, and then make sure that you can't see it from your bed.
- Keep the Bed for Sleeping. Make sure that your bed is only used for sleeping. It should not be a place for reading, working or watching TV. Challenge yourself to spend 1 hour less a day in bed. Go to bed when you are tired, and not before. Your body will learn the signal that getting in bed means it's time to sleep.
- Caffeine - Stimulates the body to action not to rest.
- Nicotine - Also stimulates the body into action
- Alcohol - Though many people expect alcohol to help them sleep, it often creates restlessness, and you awake needing more sleep than you got.
- Stay Active. Make sure to use up your energy before trying to go to sleep. Exercise is a great way to make sure you do this.
- Work Out Early. It is important to workout early in the day, or at least 5 to 6 hours before going to bed.
- Moderate Sized Dinner. We have all gone to bed after eating too much, and it isn't comfortable, and worse it can disrupt your sleep. You should limit the amount you eat at dinner, and limit snacks after 7pm. Avoid eating 3 to 4 hours before bed.
- Don't Drink Too Much After Dinner. Limited liquids before bed decreases middle of the night bathroom trips and problems falling back to sleep. If you must drink liquids, try lavender tea as it is a natural sedative.
- Warm Glass of Milk. It's an old but often effective sleep remedy. It works for babies, and is worth a try for you. If you like, you may want to add a dash of nutmeg.
All of these things are easy to do, and most cost little or no money. We hope that they have a positive effect in your lives.
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any illnesses. If you have a medical condition, please consult your physician.
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