There are many methods people use to try to get a good nights rest. The most common sleep conditions; Insomnia, sleep apnea and snoring are just some of the several sleep conditions stopping you from getting a good nights rest. So what things help you sleep? Thankfully there are complimentary therapies covering most sleep conditions that can help get a good nights rest. I was in two minds whether I should write a long-winded, over detailed post to maybe help get you to sleep, but see how I go. (Go read one of my first posts on krill 😉 )
What Things Help You Sleep?
Diet & Nutrition For Sleep
Diet and nutrition plays a major part in getting a good nights rest and in recent years a new substance called “melatonin” has popped up on the scene. Melatonin is naturally produced by the pineal gland and has many health benefits including sleep, with minimal side-effects making its safety one of its prime attributes. However, it is recommended to people over 50 only at this stage as there has not been enough studies to see the long term effects of what melatonin supplements have on natural melatonin production in the pineal gland.
Taking 3-5mg within an hour before bed should help normalize your sleep and help with normalizing early awakening.
Other studies have also shown that blue lights from smart phones, tablets, laptops and various televisions can interfere with the production of melatonin by making us more alert and can affect negatively circadian rhythms. So it is recommended to try to limit exposure to blue light two hours before bed to give yourself the best chance of having a good nights rest.
Meditation For Sleep
Finding inner calm can significantly help with overcoming sleep issues. It’s better to be pro-active with meditation and work out what method suits you best and get into a daily routine. It can help lower blood pressure, help with physical and emotional reactions from stress and improve concentration.
Sitting with your back straight on a chair and feet flat on the ground. Have your arms with palms facing upward resting on your thighs. The common lotus position can also be used. Breathe for 6 -8 counts inhaling, holding, and then breathing out for the same count. It’s good to get into this practice daily, increasing the duration over time.
What Things Help You Sleep? – Exercise
There are a few reasons why exercise promotes a good nights sleep. Just don’t exercise right before bed.
- Promotes oxygen to all tissues
- Maintains muscle tone and joints limber
- A sense of well being
- Helps normalize body weight and balance food intake
- Try and get into a daily routine, with something that suits you
A really great low-impact form of exercise is yoga
Hydrotherapy – What Things Help You Sleep?
Having a hot bath within an hour before bed can really help relax the body and forget about the worries of the day. Close your eyes and visualize all your troubling thoughts and worries leaving through the pores of your skin. Cleaning from the inside out.
An old Chinese technique is to soak your feet in a foot bath for half an hour before bed to help get a good nights rest.
Aromatherapy For Sleep
A few drops of lavender essential oil to the bath can make it even more relaxing. Adding neroli, sweet marjoram or rose can have the same effect.
Also adding these essential oils to a carrier oil and applying to the shoulders, neck, temples and face for a self massage. A couple of drops of neroli or lavender essential oil on your pillow may also help.
Having a tea before bed can aide in getting a good nights sleep. Teas that help are lemon balm, lime blossom, chamomile and/or passion flower are all great teas before attempting to sleep.
Valerian has been used medicinally from at least the time of Hippocrates. Used for treating insomnia since the second century. Today it is a common ingredient in sleeping supplements. Although there isn’t a set standard dosage participants in sleep studies were given between 400 and 900 milligrams. I highly recommend speaking to a doctor about taking this supplement as long-term use may be connected to liver damage.
A great blend of essential oils for insomnia is:
- 2 drops of ylang ylang
- 1 drop of dill
- 2 drops of marjoram
- 2 drops of clary sage
- 1 drop of Roman chamomile
- 2 drops of lavender
- Around 450ml of spring water
Put all essential oils in a spray bottle with the water and spray on your pillow before sleeping.
What Things Help You Sleep? – Other Possible Solutions
Camping can help reset your body clock
It’s good to get away from electronic devices and have a digital detox now and then. It’s an ideal situation to get some down time, recollecting your thoughts, writing, yoga or just simply breathing the fresh air.
In studies, it showed that when campers stayed away from electronic equipment and practiced winding down exercises like meditation or music therapy fell asleep on average two hours earlier.
Help through Music Therapy
There are many types of music therapy and they have been implemented since ancient times. Its greatest advantage being it ease of use and no side effects.
Most people would prefer nature type sounds or chill out music to relax and fall asleep to, but everyone has different tastes in the end.
But there have been studies showing that people who fell asleep to relaxing, calming music before bed had a better sleep than those that didn’t. So if you haven’t tried this already it could work for you.
Wind-Down Before Bed
One of insomniacs biggest problem for a lot of the sufferers is that they can not switch off their thoughts, finding it difficult to turn off their brain. Therefore, it is a good idea to try to set the stage for a good nights rest.
An example would be simply taking a warm shower, helping your body slow down functions like breathing and heart rate, training your body to know that it’s time to relax and slow down. Relaxing music before bed is another example of some positive habits and rituals that you can condition your body to know when it’s just about bed time.
A Cooler Room
The optimal room temperature for sleep is between 16 to 20 degrees Celsius (60.8 – 68 degrees Fahrenheit)
As well as better sleeping environment it helps anti-aging too, the colder air aiding in the release of the melatonin hormone from the pineal gland. Also, reducing neurodegeneration and oxidative stress.
I hope some of these can help with your sleep. Without a good nights sleep, it’s hard to have a positive mental and physical foundation for your well-being. Thanks for reading Anthony