Sleep Better: Tips to Help You Fall Asleep, Stay Asleep, & Wake up Feeling Awesome
Good sleep is one of the first steps to healthy living. These sleep tips will help you sleep better tonight! Try one or all of these natural sleep remedies if you have trouble sleeping!
The biggest problem I’ve dealt with as an adult doesn’t have anything to do with parenting, marriage, or even money – it has to do with sleep.
Specifically the inability to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Anyone who has ever experienced any type of sleep disturbance or sleep disorder knows how incredibly frustrating this can be. It can kind of make you a little insane.
I know many people would agree with me when I say I need all the sleep I can possibly get to make it through the day and tackle my daily to-do list.
When I don’t get a good night’s sleep it can feel as though I’m already defeated before the day even begins.
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The Importance of Sleep
It can be very difficult as a mother to create a happy home when you’ve only got 3-4 hours of sleep. The lack of sleep can make you grumpy and irritable.
It can be hard to focus and make decisions. The simplest tasks become overwhelming.
Do not underestimate the power of sleep. It is essential to your mental and physical well-being. The lack of good quality sleep can be detrimental to your health.
Recent statistics show that over 9 million Americans take sleeping pills to help them sleep. So I know I’m not the only one with this problem. I personally try to avoid prescription drugs as much as possible and opt for a more natural approach.
I am not a doctor or a sleep expert but I have researched and tried many different natural methods to improve my sleep and below are my top tips to help you sleep better.
Tips to Help You Sleep Better
Drink Herbal Tea
Drink a cup (or two) of caffeine-free herbal tea about an hour or so before bedtime. There are many teas available specifically labeled for sleep.
You want to make sure whatever you’re drinking has either chamomile, passionflower, or valerian root in it or better yet all three.
I’ve tried dozens of teas specifically for sleep over the years. You can check out my five favorite sleep teas here.
Take a Magnesium Supplement
Magnesium is amazing but unfortunately, some recent studies suggest that more than 90% of people are deficient. Magnesium is well known for its ability to relieve insomnia.
It can help your muscles relax and help you get that sleepy feeling. There are a variety of magnesium supplements to choose from.
My favorite way to get magnesium is by drinking magnesium bicarbonate. Magnesium bicarbonate is extremely bioavailable. I actually make my own at home. I’ll be sharing exactly how I do that in a future post.
But another way I like to get magnesium is through transdermal application. I really love this magnesium lotion from Ancient Minerals.
You can also take magnesium in pill form or just sprinkle some magnesium bath flakes into your bathwater. Your body will absorb the magnesium through your skin.
If you decide to take magnesium in pill form, make sure you know what kind of magnesium you’re getting. There are actually many different forms of magnesium and some are definitely better than others.
I recommend magnesium glycinate.
If you would like to learn more about the amazing benefits of magnesium I suggest you read this book!
Use Essential Oils
Essential oils provide many different health benefits. I love to use them for sleep support.
Click here to read all about the best essential oils for sleep!
I usually just roll my essential oil sleep roller on my wrists before I get into bed or I’ll add some oil to my diffuser which is right beside my bed.
And my favorite way to use essential oils for sleep is by rubbing a few drops of essential oil all over the bottoms of my feet.
I do this to my children as well. It works great!
Get Out in the Sunshine
Bright light can help to stimulate melatonin and serotonin in the pineal gland. Melatonin is the hormone that makes you sleepy. Melatonin can help regulate the circadian system and sleep patterns.
Your circadian system/rhythm is your body’s internal process that regulates the sleep-wake cycle. It’s basically your body’s way of telling you when to wake up and have energy and when to fall asleep and be tired.
If your circadian rhythm is functioning properly then you should start getting tired in the evening when it is dark and you should start feeling awake and energized in the morning when it’s light out.
If you are exposed to a lot of indoor artificial light, especially artificial blue light that emits from your phone, computer, and tv and you’re not getting very much natural sunlight throughout the day, this can wreak havoc on your circadian rhythm.
One of the best ways to reset your circadian rhythm is to expose your skin and eyes to sunshine in the early morning. If you can watch the sunrise that is even better.
Avoid artificial light in the evening as much as possible and watch the sunset whenever you can.
You can read this post – The Power Of The Sun: Healing Benefits Of Sunlight – to learn more about the amazing health benefits of daily sunshine.
Cut Back on Caffeine
Caffeine can be a lifesaver for people who struggle with sleep issues. But it can also ruin a good night’s sleep.
Caffeine can affect the onset of sleep and reduce sleep quality. Even caffeine consumed 6 hours before bedtime can negatively impact sleep.
So try to cut back on your caffeine consumption and make sure you don’t drink it too close to bedtime.
Try to get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise everyday. Go on a run, a hike, or even just a walk. Studies have shown exercise to positively impact your overall quality of sleep.
But beware, exercise can overstimulate the body and interfere with your ability to fall asleep if done too close to bedtime. So be careful.
Everybody is different and there are some who don’t have this problem at all. I go to bed around 9pm and I choose not to exercise after 6pm because I tend to get a burst of energy after a good workout.
If you need some workout motivation read this post!
Grounding (also known as earthing) is simply the act of connecting your bare skin (typically your feet) to the earth’s surface for an extended period of time. This is believed to transfer the energy from the ground into the body.
This study concluded that grounding while sleeping can help reduce cortisol levels which can help you sleep better.
I personally noticed huge improvements in my sleep once I started grounding daily.
You can read this post – Earthing 101: Grounding Benefits & Techniques – to learn all about the amazing health benefits of grounding.
Sleep in Absolute Darkness
Light suppresses the production of melatonin which is the major hormone secreted by the pineal gland that controls sleep and wake cycles.
The lights from our TV, our laptops, our phones, even our alarm clocks can all interfere with our melatonin production.
Try to eliminate all light from your sleep space and if for some reason you can’t do that use a sleep mask to block out all light. Also a few hours before bedtime reduce your exposure to artificial light as much as you can.
Write Down a To-Do list For The Next Day
One of the biggest reasons I can’t fall asleep sometimes is because I’m thinking and worrying about all the things I need to do the next day.
And it’s so silly because it’s the simplest problem to fix. Keep a pen and paper by your bed so you can write out your to-do list for the next day.
You can also write in a journal if you’re consumed with nagging thoughts or ideas. Whatever it is, just get it out of your head and onto paper so you can be at peace and sleep better.
Eat a Pro-Metabolic Diet
A healthy metabolism means so much more than just simply burning calories at a fast rate.
Metabolism is the sum of every metabolic process in the body. When your metabolism is healthy, metabolic processes in the body will function properly.
One of the many signs of a slow metabolism is the inability to get a good night’s sleep. Unfortunately, there isn’t a quick fix for this.
You’ll need to nourish and support your metabolism with a pro-metabolic diet.
You can read this post – What Is The Pro-Metabolic Diet – to learn more.
Develop a Night Time Routine
Try to develop a nighttime routine that is 30-45 minutes long to help you wind down and to tell your body it’s time for bed.
This can consist of a bath (maybe add some magnesium bath flakes), reading a book, or listening to calming music. Do anything that helps you relax.
Personally, I like to drink tea, apply essential oils, and read a book in dim lighting.
Try the 4-7-8 Breathing Technique
The 4-7-8 breathing technique is an amazing and simple breathing technique that you can read about here.
On nights when I’m wound up and can’t fall asleep, I will do this breathing technique over and over and before I know it it’s morning and I don’t even remember falling asleep. It’s truly that effective.
Eat More Carbs
Your body uses energy in the form of glycogen to perform essential repairs and cell rejuvenation while you sleep.
If your glycogen stores get depleted your liver will send a stress signal to your brain in the form of cortisol. Cortisol is a stress hormone. This can disrupt your sleep and leave you feeling really tired in the morning.
The best way to make sure your glycogen stores are optimal is to eat plenty of good carbs throughout the day.
And make sure you eat protein whenever you eat carbs to keep your blood sugar levels balanced.
Drink Bone Broth
Bone broth contains high amounts of glycine. Glycine is an amino acid that contributes to cellular growth and health. It can also help improve your sleep.
Glycine has a calming effect on the body. This study suggests that consuming 3 grams of glycine before bed decreases how long it takes to fall asleep and enhances sleep quality.
Stick To a Consistent Sleep Schedule
Try to go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning. I know this can be a difficult one to master but if you can pull it off you’re going to experience better quality sleep and have more energy throughout your day.
A consistent sleep schedule will reinforce a consistent sleep rhythm and helps to remind the brain when to release sleep and wake hormones and when not to.
Update: I wrote this post a few years ago and although I still stand by the tips mentioned in this post, I wanted to quickly share a product I’ve been using nightly to help me sleep. It’s called passionflower extract.
I just add a few drops to my tea at night and it helps me fall asleep fast and stay asleep. I highly recommend it to anyone who struggles with anxiety-related insomnia!
I really hope these tips help you to get better sleep. Please comment below if any of these tips have helped you and also any sleep tips you recommend.
Workouts in my experience is the most important part for good night sleep, when my body is physically tired due to workouts I fall to sleep without any resistance and almost immediately. Thank you for the informative article.
I absolutely agree. Thanks for sharing!