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Improve Sleep Naturally – 5 Easy Tips

Getting a full night of quality sleep not only helps you feel more well rested and alert, it keeps our appetite and inflammation levels balanced and enables our bodies to heal, regenerate and reduce stress.

1. Keep it comfortable.  Our core body temperature naturally decreases at night and sleep will come more naturally if you keep your room cooler.  It’s recommended that your room be kept at 65 degrees.  That’s a little too cool for me so find what works best for you.  Use breathable bedding that can help wick away sweat or at least won’t induce it.  My auntie told me about celliant sheets that regulate your body temperature while you sleep by increasing oxygen and circulation.  Consider taking a warm bath before bed with epsom salts for the added benefit of magnesium which is a mineral needed for quality sleep.  Afterwards, your body will naturally cool itself down very quickly.  If you can’t take a bath, consider scheduling exercise before bedtime or internally take in some magnesium.  It’s also important that your sleeping space be dark. Even a bit of light can have a big impact on our ability to achieve deep sleep.  Our bodies produce melatonin at night and these levels drop in the presence of artificial or natural light.  If your room must be lit, consider a sleep mask or use dim red lights or a night time light.  Black out curtains and turning off all devices helps a lot, especially since your phone or computer can emit blue light.  I like to put my phone on night mode to filter the blue light but if turning them off completely isn’t an option, look into blue light blocking glasses.

2. Natural supplements.  Melatonin tabs always work like a dream for me on those days I have difficulty going to bed.  Drinking a warm drink can also increase our body temperature and promote a sense of peace and relaxation.  An added benefit is to drink something like lavender, chamomile, kava or valerian tea which all contain mild sedative properties.  Tart cherry juice is a perfect night cap as it naturally contains melatonin.

3. Don’t binge eat before bed.  Eating the bad stuff can promote blood sugar spikes with our bodies sensing the presence of food in our gut {and will work on digesting it} and impedes melatonin production.  If you must eat, try: walnuts which are a good source of tryptophan, almonds which are rich in magnesium, kiwi which contain serotonin to help regulate your sleep cycle or oatmeal which is a source of melatonin.  On certain nights, I’ve made a warm, comforting bowl of oats with homemade almond milk and tart cherry juice and topped it with chopped cherries, bananas {the potassium helps to produce melatonin} and walnuts.  It’s helped relax and lull me to sleep and not to mention, it’s delicious.

4. Essential oils: Valerian, lavender and Roman chamomile are particularly wonderful for stress relief and sleep.  My favorite way to use them at bedtime is with a diffuser but you can also make your own “bed spray” by combining a few drops of one or all of them and diluting it with organic witch hazel.  I pretty much eyeball it and spray it all over my pillows and sheets.

5. If you can’t do it on your own, consider an app like sleep cycle to help you get on track with your best sleep schedule.  There are a plethora of apps out there to help you go to bed or rise at an optimal time and even track your sleep progress.  It’s ideal to be in tune with your internal clock and this can help you do that.  Putting on some pink noise in the background can help you out too.  A recent study found that it’s actually pink noise {like the sound of water} that works better than white noise.

 

 

 

 

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