Top Tips for the Best Natural Sleep

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Improve your sleep naturally, without resorting to pharmaceutical options!  Some of these tips may work for you.

  1. When choosing natural products, invest in the best quality you can afford when it comes to what you sleep in and with.  Your mattress and pillows must provide the support and comfort you need.  Understand more about why natural products are healthier and more hygienic for better sleep.
  2. Don’t panic! If you watch the clock at all hours of the night, turn the clock to face away and do not reach out to see it during the night!  This habit can make things far worse as you mentally calculate the sleep you are not getting.  Programme your subconscious with positive sleep messages (e.g. ‘I do fall asleep quickly’ and ‘I sleep through the night’ rather than ‘I keep waking at midnight’).
  3. Create a haven for sleep in your bedroom.  Avoid watching TV, working, using your laptop or mobile phone in the same space as you sleep.  Use another space in your home for these activities and keep your bedroom for the ones it’s meant for!
  4. Soft calming music and lighting, a soothing bath to warm up and wash the day away, aromatherapy and massage are great ways to train your brain that sleep time is coming.
  5. Keep your room temperature at around 15 - 19 degrees and make sure the air flows naturally around the room.  If you can, naturally dehumidify and clean the air around where you sleep to make breathing easier and sounder.  A dark, quiet room helps to still your mind and stimulates the production of melatonin in your brain, promoting better sleep.
  6. Light evening meals, ideally before 7pm, are best. Some fruit or yoghurt after this time is fine to make sure you don’t go to bed hungry.  Try a banana or almond as a snack or a herbal supplement to provide some natural assistance for blissful sleep.
  7. Insomnia is actually created through what we do during the day!  Check your daily routine to set yourself up for better sleep at night.
    • Get some exercise!  Even if it’s just a walk before work or taking the stairs every time – at least 30 minutes of activity is ideal for the best quality sleep. Don’t rely on sleep to provide all the recovery your body needs. 
    • Taking regular breaks during the day has also been proven to improve the quality of your sleep as you are less ‘wired' by the time the day ends.  Allowing yourself some down time / rest time during the day provides mental relief for your brain and helps your brain to ‘relax’ at night when you want to fall asleep.
    • If you are in the habit of napping during the day, check that you are not getting too much sleep during daylight hours. This will have an affect on your night sleep and will alter your natural sleep rhythms
  8. Caffeine will keep you awake – cut it out after lunch time. Try a lovely herbal tea or warm milky drink instead if you need something hot to drink.  Alcohol can make you sleepy but will affect the quality of your sleep. Best to avoid it up to 6 hours before sleep. Nicotine, fizzy drinks and vitamin C too late at night can also affect the quality of your sleep.
  9. Share your worries with a friend or partner, or keep a pad of paper next to your bed to write your ‘To do’ list for tomorrow. Once you have captured this information on paper, your mind can let it go and it’s easier to relax and drift off to sleep.  If you wake in the night – just add it to your list and let it go again!
  10. Learn some relaxation techniques. Practice breathing exercises or progressive muscle relaxation. Try some Yoga.
  11. If you are taking any prescription medication for other health issues, the side effects of your medication may impact on your ability to sleep. Check with your doctor for alternatives.

Even if you are taking medication to help you sleep or recover a better sleep routine, building these natural, healthier habits into your life style will have a positive impact on the quality and quantity of your sleep.