About 35% of U.S. adults fail to get the recommended minimum of seven hours of sleep each night. If you fall into this category, chances are you’re feeling the impact it can have on your body and mind. Lack of sleep can compromise your immune system, cardiovascular system, hormone production, weight management, mood, productivity, decision-making, and many other facets of your life. Discover these healthy tips for better sleep.
Unfortunately, many people turn straight to prescription medication in an effort to cure their insomnia. Not only do prescription meds come with a long list of side effects that can prove more harmful than sleep deprivation itself, but they typically only work for the short term as most people build up a tolerance to the meds in no time.
Why not try some other methods for getting better sleep before you get that prescription written? Here are some practical, all-natural, simple healthy tips for better sleep:
Improve your nightly routine
What you do before bed can make a world of difference in the quantity and quality of sleep you get. Think of any ways that you can relax your body and mind to prepare for rest, such as turning off your electronic devices an hour before bed, taking a warm bath or shower, or practicing mindfulness.
However, not all technology is bad for sleep. Investing in a set of quality speakers could allow you to fall asleep to calming music. And a lot of people find that white noise machines do wonders for their sleep quality.
Furthermore, look for ways that you can make your bedroom more accommodating to sleep. Turning the temperature down, minimizing noise, and using blackout shades are known to help promote a restful atmosphere.
Stress and tension throughout the day can also negatively impact your sleep. Figure out how to reduce the stress in your daily life, and it will be easier to wind down at night. For example, maybe you could pick up journaling or guided imagery. Perhaps breathing exercises and muscle relaxation are more your thing. Just try to find a relaxing activity to include in your routine.
Sunlight is an excellent source of vitamin D, which is essential to our bodies and minds. When we absorb the right amount of vitamin D, it yields all kinds of physical, mental, and emotional benefits.
But sunlight also helps to regulate your body’s natural clock. Not only will spending time outdoors help you feel more energized throughout the day, but it will also help your brain produce more melatonin at night, which will lead to better sleep. Do physical activity outside, and get the added benefits of exercise!
If you want to create a relaxing, inviting space in your backyard for these outdoor excursions, don’t try to do this yourself — leave this job to the pros. Before doing anything else, you may need to level an area of your backyard, especially if your lawn is bumpy or at an angle. Do a quick search for a “grading company near me” online to find local pros who have received positive marks from other customers in the area.
Eat foods that promote sleep
So you get the late-night munchies — that’s OK! Just make sure your dinner or late-night snack isn’t keeping you up through the night. Steer clear of any caffeine-rich foods or drinks, fatty foods, or spicy foods. Healthier alternatives that can actually promote sleep include almonds, whole grain crackers, low-fat milk, cheese, salmon, and bananas.
Try natural remedies
There are many natural remedies that can help you achieve a good night’s sleep without the side effects that come with prescription meds. For example, you could make an herbal tea to calm down at night, including chamomile, valerian root, passionflower, or St. John’s wort. Also, both massages and chiropractic adjustments are known to help improve sleep.
If you suffer from sleep deprivation, it’s essential to address it immediately. But don’t assume that getting a prescription is your only path. Incorporating the tips above into your routine may be all it takes to get the restful sleep you need, and the results will be long-term!