Sleep. It’s one of the most often lamented resources of man and woman-kind today. We all know that the loss of a good night’s sleep can lead to discomfort, ill-tempers, short moods, and even difficulty remaining focused and on task at school or work.
However, few people fully understand the detrimental effects long-term sleep loss can cause. They include:
- Diminished immune systems
- Errors in judgment
- Automobile crashes
- Heart attack
While many people are reluctant to seek pharmaceutical solutions for chronic insomnia, difficulty falling asleep and/or difficulty remaining asleep, there are natural methods to help you improve your sleep that may create a positive chain reaction of improved health and wellness events for you.
Adjust Your Diet
The things you eat can have an impact on your ability to rest easy and get a good night’s sleep. While eliminating the foods that come back to haunt you and keep you up at night, such as spicy foods, acidic foods, processed foods, and artificial fats is important, it’s equally important that you’re eating more of the right kinds of food, too. This is especially true among the food items you eat later in the day.
Switch to healthy fats, like coconut oil, butter, avocados, walnuts, and such to help your body produce more sleep hormones. At the same time, look for foods that are high in antioxidants to eliminate toxins that often make sleep difficult.
Pay attention to your protein intake during your evening meal. Eating adequate protein at this important meal helps your body become better prepared to enter into its sleep cycle.
Eliminate sugar from your diet as well. Especially in the hours approaching your bedtime as it contributes to spikes in blood sugar, along with bursts of energy that can be extremely disruptive to your sleep.
Last, but not least, remove caffeine from your diet if at all possible. If you must indulge in coffee, tea or chocolate, try to keep your consumption to the morning hours or early afternoon at the latest. That way, you give your body time to wear off the effects of caffeine before retiring to bed.
Enhance Your Environment
While you might not be able to move your bedroom to another area of your home, there are things you can do to make it an environment more conducive to sleep. The first thing you need to do is remove the distractions that interfere with your ability to sleep. In other words, no screens. Get rid of the television, mobile phones, tablets, computers, laptops, etc. in your bedroom. They cause unnecessary disruptions to your sleep, not only because you might be thinking about what you were doing on these electronic devices, but also because of the blue light effects they can have on your sleep quality.
Next, you need to transform your bedroom into an oasis of neutral colors, while minimizing visual clutter. That is anything that your mind can fixate on other than sleep. You want to make it a low light environment that is soothing, rather than energetic. It also means you want to clear out the actual clutter as well. This is a room that should be reserved for physical intimacy with your partner, and sleeping. Everything else should be cleared out, as it becomes a distraction to these things.
Reduce the Temperature
Believe it or not, the temperature of your bedroom can also be a distraction from sleep. Consider lowering the thermostat a couple of degrees at night, throughout the year, to make your bedroom more conducive to sleep. It is much easier to sleep when you are cooler than it is when you’re overheated.
Another thing you can do is take a warm shower shortly before sleeping. Then the dampness of your skin can have a cooling effect, as it evaporates, to help you fall asleep faster.
Adopt a Sleep Routine
Your nighttime routine can go a long way toward signaling your brain that it is time to begin the process of shutting down for sleep. There are several keys to keep in mind in order for this to be effective, including:
- You must keep consistent scheduling for sleeping and waking.
- You must do the same activities every night.
- Your routine needs to be one that is soothing and relaxing, and not one that will wake your brain up instead.
- Your routine should last about 30 minutes immediately prior to going to bed at night.
Wondering what kind of activities help? These are some suggestions to consider.
- Skincare routine
- Nighttime reading (books are better than readers and tablets in this instance)
- Stretching exercises (nothing vigorous or designed to accelerate heart rate)
- Relaxing bath
- Soothing music
Notice that none of these activities involve screens. Screens emit lights that signal the brain to wake up. Some readers have “nightshade” types of functions that dim the lights for nighttime reading, but it is best to avoid them altogether when possible.
Invest in a Natural Mattress
Your mattress has a bigger impact on your sleep than you may imagine. The right mattress can help you relieve pain, ease pressure, and provide vital support for your spine and body. Not only that, but the right natural mattress can eliminate exposure to a wide variety of toxins that are impacting not only your ability to sleep at night but your overall health and wellbeing, too.
A 100 percent natural latex mattress, like the Latex For Less mattress, offers all the benefits of a top-quality mattress, without exposing your families to a wide range of toxins, including:
- Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
- Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs)
- Heavy metals
- Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)
The combination of these steps can lead to a much better sleep routine, naturally, for you. If these do not work, consider working with your physician to see if you may have a sleep disorder that would be better served with light exposure therapy, sleep apnea treatment, or herbal remedies, such as melatonin.