Sleep is something that evades many people. I used to be one, so I TOTALLY get the struggle, and the struggle is real.
I used to get anxiety about losing sleep.
Well I’m here to give you some awesome natural tips that can help get those eyes closed fast, and stay that way all night!
- Drink lots of water all throughout the day.
especially in the late afternoon, but cut yourself off at least an hour before you hit the hay. If you’re like me, drinking water late in the evening can have you getting up in the middle of the night for bathroom trips and keep you restless. But water is important for restful sleep, so don’t forget to drink your fill throughout the day and into the afternoon so that thirst doesn’t hit you late!
2. Try to eat an earlier dinner and light protein snack before bed.
Always avoid foods and drinks (yes, alcohol) high in sugar. The alcohol especially will hurt the quality of your sleep. It’s better to eat your big dinner early, at least three hours before you turn off the lights. But 30 minutes to an hour before you turn in, try eating a small snack size serving of protein (like nuts, dairy, legumes, or meat). This will help fight off feelings of hunger before bed and give you just enough of a “full” feeling to help you rest.
3. Avoid LED screens for at least one hour before bedtime.
Yep, that includes smart phones, TV’s, and computers. Don’t roll your eyes at this one. It’s one of the most important and probably one of the bigger causes of restless nights. The LED light in smart devices signals to your pituitary gland that it’s daytime which tells your brain to produce more dopamine…not a hormone you want pumping through you when you’re trying to fall asleep or stay asleep. In case you didn’t know, dopamine is the hormone ADHD meds like Adderall or Concerta aim to increase…would you take an Adderall before bedtime? I don’t think so.
4. Spend the hour before bed doing something to decrease your cortisol levels and increase oxytocin.
So you can’t spend the last hour of awake time on your phone or in front of a TV? WHAT do you do?!….try cracking open a book you’ve been putting off reading, or take an Epsom salt bath with your favorite essential oils. When you decompress and relax, your cortisol levels will drop allowing you to “shut off” your brain and fall asleep. Releasing Oxycontin isn’t so bad either…so some intimacy time with your partner, might also help out.
5. Support your bodies natural production of melatonin.
Avoid popping melatonin supplements every night before bed. Melatonin supplements are often too high in dosage (anything over 1 mg) and can lower your bodies natural production of this sleep hormone. Melatonin should really be saved for sparing use for things like travel Jet lag. Instead, support your bodies natural ability to product this hormone. You can do this by eating foods nutrient rich in niacinamide, vitamin B-6, calcium and magnesium. Make sure you get plenty of sunlight throughout the day. If you work indoors, eat lunch outside when the weather permits and take walks in the morning if possible and the afternoon. Make sure you sleep in the dark; a dark environment signals to your brain to release melatonin. Also, try melatonin supporting essential oils such as orange, lavender, or cedarwood on your big toes before bedtime.
Hopefully these 5 easy tips can change the way you sleep. Don’t fall into the trap that feeling exhausted all the time is normal! We all deserve a night filled with some good ZZZ’s.