We live in a time and country that makes good sleep difficult. Between the fast-paced yet sedentary lifestyle and our habits of consumption, our sleep tends to get overlooked. Why is this? Getting enough sleep is one of the most important things in life. It is when our bodies and minds heal. It’s when we are restored. With sleep being one the most integral parts of a happy, healthy life, we don’t seem to get enough of it. It doesn’t matter what is getting in the way, it’s important to recognize it and work towards getting better sleep. Below are the best natural sleep aids and remedies.
Exercising Regularly & Eating Well
Exercise and diet, of course, go together. They affect each other, and your sleep, quite significantly. It’s all tied together. If you aren’t exercising enough, your sleep could suffer. When you wake up tired, your body craves certain kinds of foods because you need energy. Then, after eating fattening foods you aren’t motivated to work out. This is a cycle that plays itself out again and again.
Start by exercising in the morning. It is probably the last thing that you want to do, but it’s necessary to get yourself off on the right foot. You won’t want to eat poorly when you work out. You will crave lighter, healthier foods. When you don’t feel heavy and have expended energy by working out, your sleep will improve.
Don’t Use Your Devices Before Bed
These days, one of the most detrimental actions to the sleep schedule is using your devices right before you try to sleep. The blue light messes with the circadian rhythm of the body. It projects light into the eyes, making our bodies think it’s earlier than it is. It takes at least 30 minutes to come down from this light. It isn’t just our devices either. The lights that are on at night have an effect on the body’s ability to get ready for sleep. You should be thinking about the light that isn’t entering your eyes before you go to bed. Instead of using your phone, read a book for a while before bed.
Cut Down on Alcohol
Drinking alcohol does not help sleep. It may give the illusion that it is easier to fall asleep, but the quality of your sleep goes way down. Furthermore, when you are coming off the alcohol you will likely wake up. Your heart will be pounding, and it will be difficult to go back to sleep. Not only does this negatively impact your sleep cycle, but it will also lead to believing that you need to drink to sleep. If you are having trouble sleeping, try cutting out the alcohol. It might be tough at first, but over time you will be able to sleep a lot better.
Focus on Mental Health
Sometimes it’s anxiety, depression, or something else that is keeping you awake at night. If you have been struggling with your mental health, the lack of sleep could be related to it. Starting therapy, getting prescribed medication, and working through trauma can all help improve sleep. It might not be insomnia but another mental health issue that is obstructing the ability to get a good night’s sleep.
Melatonin & Melatonin-Free Aids
One of the most popular sleep aids is melatonin. It is effective for a lot of people, but it doesn’t work for everyone. Melatonin is a chemical that can induce the sleep cycle, but for people it doesn’t work because they need something else. When you are looking for the best melatonin-free sleep aid, there are a few options.
For example, there are products that help the body use its own melatonin instead of taking it in a pill. You can also drink herbal teas to help calm your body before bed. Of course, there are unnatural sleep aids, but there are a few options to try before them.
If you are eating well, exercising regularly, cutting down on alcohol, and are taking care of your mental health, it’s necessary to try natural sleep aids. However, if they don’t work for you it’s a good idea to see a sleep specialist who can run some tests and find out what is going on. Sleep may not come easily to you, but it’s something we can all accomplish.