When you’ve got a busy day ahead of you, getting a good sleep the night before is essential. Not only does a restful sleep give you the energy to get the most out of your daily routine, but it also helps you to maintain your overall health and wellbeing. In fact, a lack of sleep is associated with an increased risk of developing certain health conditions, including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease - so it’s important that you get at least seven to nine hours of sleep every night to reduce the chance of developing these conditions.
However, getting a peaceful night’s sleep is sometimes easier said than done. Poor sleep hygiene habits, such as looking at your phone before bed, can directly interfere with melatonin (the “sleep hormone” that plays a key role in the body’s sleep-wake cycle) and make it harder to sleep well. Likewise, stress and anxiety can perturb even the soundest of sleepers and disrupt quality sleep - resulting in tiredness and elevated stress levels throughout the day.
So, what can you do if you’re struggling to get a decent night’s sleep? There are a few natural solutions that can help.
Natural sleep aids
Natural sleep aids (also known as natural sleep remedies) are herbal supplements created to promote a more restful night’s sleep. For example, Sleep Deep is a sleep remedy that contains Montmorency cherry, a source of natural melatonin. It’s also packed with 7 other ingredients that have been blended together specifically to encourage a better sleep so that you can feel more refreshed when you wake up.
But taking sleeping remedies isn’t the only way to experience higher quality sleep. There are other natural sleep remedies (known as “good sleep hygiene habits”) that you can use to have more restorative sleep.
Turning off screens before bed
Computer monitors and phone screens emit blue light, which hinders the body’s ability to release melatonin. This can disrupt the body’s natural circadian rhythm and make it harder to fall (and stay) asleep.
Therefore, it’s a good idea to turn off all devices that emit blue light (e.g. your laptop, phone, and tablet screens) at least two to three hours before bed to help prevent them from interfering with sleep. Alternatively, you can install a blue light reducing app that cuts the amount of blue light you receive from your screens by placing an orange or yellow filter over them.
If you’ve ever spent a day hiking, you know just how exhausted (but accomplished) you feel by the end of the day. The moment your head touches the pillow when you return to your room, it’s lights out.
This, of course, can be used to your advantage if you struggle with sleep. Exercise not only makes it easier to fall asleep, but it increases the amount of slow wave sleep (AKA deep sleep) you get in a night. Slow wave sleep is important, as it gives the brain and body time to recover each day. Without proper sleep, your brain is unable to form or maintain the pathways needed for learning and memory. You’re also more likely to find it harder to concentrate or stay alert, and this can make performing day-to-day tasks significantly harder (or potentially more dangerous).
Therefore, if you need help sleeping you can try aerobic exercise (i.e. walking, running, or anything else that gets your heart rate up) for 30 minutes. Doing just half an hour of exercise is enough to experience better quality sleep on the same night, which can be a lifesaver if you have important things to do the next day.
Avoiding eating or drinking alcohol before bed
Grabbing a midnight snack is a naughty indulgence we’re all guilty of from time to time. But before you go rummaging around the fridge in the early hours of the morning stop to ask yourself this: “Will this have an impact on my sleep?”
The answer is “There’s a chance it might”.
Foods high in carbohydrates (which include sugary snacks, pasta, and crisps) can affect sleep quality, and eating lots of high-carbohydrate foods may slash the amount of deep sleep you’re able to get by making you wake up multiple times a night.
Drinking alcohol before bed can also wreak havoc on sleep. Not only has alcohol been found to decrease overall sleep quality, but there is also research to suggest that imbibing increases the risk of sleep apnea by 25%. Sleep apnea happens when your breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep. This can disturb your sleep by causing you to wake up at night. For many people, sleep apnea leads to feelings of tiredness, an inability to concentrate, and even mood swings.
Swapping alcohol for water (or nothing at all) before bed can help you to avoid alcohol-related sleep issues and the problems they cause, allowing you to feel more refreshed in the morning. It’s also a great way to complement your exercise routine so that you can benefit from the effects of two “natural sleep remedies” at the same time.
The numan take
If you need help with sleep, there are a plethora of natural sleep remedies available to help you drift off. Sleeping aids such as Sleep Deep contain ingredients that help to promote a better night’s rest and can be taken on a nightly basis to support sleep. Likewise, exercising, turning off screens before bed, and avoiding midnight snacking are all natural solutions that can be used to encourage deeper sleep and leave you feeling more refreshed in the morning.
- 6 popular natural remedies for erectile dysfunction
- Testing for tiredness and fatigue with the At-Home Health MOT
- How do I know if I have enough vitamin D?