10 Natural Ways to Promote Better Sleep
Dr. Craig Hudson, MD | May 31, 2016
So much of our success and happiness depends on having enough energy to make it through our day – and our energy level is directly related to the amount and quality of sleep that we get at night. In fact, some of us are so desperate to get some decent shut-eye that it takes us to the doctor’s office or local pharmacy in search of sleep aids. And while certain medications can help in a pinch, the natural approach is always preferable in the long term.
If you’re looking for some natural methods to get a better night’s sleep, here are 10 things you can do to naturally find your way to dreamland.
1. Get into a routine
Especially if you’re already not feeling rested, you might be longing for next Saturday when you can sleep until noon. Don’t do it! Get into the habit of going to bed and waking up at the same time each day. Getting your biological clock to follow a predictable pattern will help to minimize sleep disruptions.
Regular exercise is good for more than staying physically fit. It also helps to reduce stress and improve circadian rhythms. Working out at least 3-4 times each week can help attain better quality sleep at night. Just make sure your work-outs end at least a few hours before bedtime so you are not ramped up when your head hits the pillow.
3. Stop Smoking
Smoking has a number of ill effects on the body, and poor sleep can be one of them. Nighttime withdrawal, the stimulant effect of the nicotine, and exacerbated problems with sleep apnea and asthma are a few of the reasons that smokers do not sleep as well as non-smokers.
4. Skip the booze
It might be called a “night cap” but it is anything but! Drinking before bed can have a stimulant effect that will keep you tossing and turning.
Light from electronic devices such as the television, cell phones, and computer screen stimulates the brain. Unplug at least an hour before bedtime to get a better night’s sleep.
6. Climate Control
Many people keep their bedrooms too hot and then wonder why they don’t drift off to dreamland. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the ideal temperature for a restful night is 65 degrees Fahrenheit or 18 degrees Celsius.
Regular meditation can send signals to the brain that it is time to relax, and can help you get into the habit of falling asleep easier and faster.
8. Get it on
There is one exercise that can be done right before bed that helps with sleep – and that is sex. Hormones such as prolactin and oxytocin released during and after intercourse make for a powerful sleep cocktail that can have you out within minutes.
The scent of lavender has been shown to help promote sleep. Try using a natural room spray, a diffuser with essential oil or lavender scented pillows.
There are several natural supplements which have been proven to be effective sleep aids – ZenBev being one of them. ZenBev is an all natural, organic sleep-aid comprised of pumpkin seed extract which contains natural sources of tryptophan (which helps induce sleep!.