10 Natural Ways to Sleep Well during Night
Sleep is one of the pillars of good health but it can be hard to get sometimes. In this article I want to talk about my top 10 natural tips to get better sleep and faster sleep based on science.
Here are the 10 science-backed ways to get sleep well :
1. sleep in a cool room
The National Sleep Foundation actually recommends temperatures around 65 degrees Fahrenheit which is roughly eighteen point five degrees Celsius. Now that does sound a little cold and I don’t think I’ve ever slept in a room that cold but I started to reduce the temperature in my room when I slept and I found that it makes a big difference. When my thermostat is set to higher I tend to wake up in the middle of the night kicking off the sheets because I’m too hot. So it does work.
Now what’s the reason behind this? It’s because when we go to sleep our internal body temperature naturally drops and a lower body temperature promotes deeper sleep and when our temperature is too high we have very fitful sleep. So if you’re having trouble sleeping consider sleeping in a colder temperature room.
2. Sleep in darkness
The reason for this is when we are exposed to light our bodies can’t produce melatonin that well. Melatonin is a sleep hormone if you don’t produce melatonin properly you’re not going to sleep well. So any exposure to light isn’t a good idea and I personally struggle with this. When I’m sleeping in a room that has a little bit of light I can’t fall asleep. I wake up many times in the middle of the night.
3. Use White Noise Machine
Now if you sleep in a really quiet environment and you’re not a light sleeper you probably don’t need a white noise machine but if you live in the city the way I do there’s a lot of street noise and sometimes if you’re a light sleeper you can wake up in the middle of the night. Use a white noise machine to drown out that sound. So white noise machines have sounds like a waterfall or an electric fan or just regular white noise. These noises can basically drown out any of the extraneous sounds so you won’t wake up in the middle of the night.
4. Avoid devices before going to bed
Devices such as a computer a laptop television phone all of these devices produce blue light. The problem with blue light is your body thinks it’s daylight and because of that it can’t produce the melatonin and you can’t fall asleep properly.
So if you’re struggling with sleep try to limit your device usage before bed. I try not to use my phone an hour to an hour and a half before bed but you know let’s face it sometimes you do use your phone so there is a little thing that you could do. So a lot of phones have something called the blue light filter. So you can click that blue light filter and you don’t have to worry about blue light being emitted from your phone. If you don’t have a blue light filter on your phone directly you can actually get it an app – there are many apps to deal with this.
5. Develop a sleep routine
The National Sleep Foundation recommends that you have a sleep routine because when you wake up at different times on the weekend than you do on the weekday it confuses your body. It’s sort of like when we travel we have that trouble with sleep schedule in a new time zone. It’s because our bodies aren’t used to it. So let’s say you sleep at 10 p.m. on weekday and then on the weekend you’re sleeping at 1:00 a.m. your body is going to be rather confused. To get proper sleep throughout the week it’s a good idea to stick to a sleep schedule – a sleep routine.
6. Get enough exercise
Studies show that people who exercise more often specifically aerobic exercise tend to get better sleep quality. So if you are having trouble with sleep try exercising. And I think this works. The days I exercise. I’m exhausted by the end of the day and I need to get my sleep and I fall asleep rather quickly. Now the timing of exercise it varies- some people can exercise before bed and have no problems but other people cannot. It tends to make them feel a little awake. So you need to figure out what works for you I personally don’t exercise in the evening I don’t find that it works for me. I tend to get a little revved up and then I can’t sleep. So I try it in the morning.
7. Avoid Caffeine six hours before bed
There’s actually a study on this. But there are also studies that show that caffeine and sleep aren’t interrelated so it’s a little confusing. Now personally I can have caffeine and fall asleep very quickly caffeine does not work that well on me in terms of keeping me awake but everyone’s a bit different so that’s why I think the studies are not very conclusive because everyone’s genetics impact how caffeine affects them. So if you happen to be one of those people who’s having trouble with sleep try to cut down the caffeine and see if it works.
8. Get enough magnesium
Consider taking supplements or eating more magnesium because magnesium is known as the relaxation mineral. It can help relax your muscles and it can help you sleep better. The problem with magnesium is it’s only available in whole foods. It’s not really prevalent in processed foods. There’s very little in it.
So people who are relying mostly on processed foods don’t get enough. And even if you’re eating whole foods sometimes it’s hard to get enough magnesium because our soil doesn’t have as much as it used to. So a lot of people are a deficient in magnesium and it impacts how you sleep. So if you’re having trouble sleeping and you think you might be low in magnesium consider taking a supplement. You can eat more magnesium rich foods on a regular basis.
9. Lavender essential Oil
lavender oil is known as a relaxation essential oil and it does work. I was able to find a few studies that show that inhaling lavender can promote better sleep. In one study that I looked at basically took a cotton ball put it into a container and then put a few drops of lavender essential oil on that cotton ball and they asked the study participants to basically inhale that lavender oil ten times before going to bed and it made a difference. So it definitely is worth the shot. It doesn’t seem like it’s a very difficult thing to do. Now if you have cats or dogs I do urge you to do your own research based on what I found that the ASPCA says that lavender is toxic to cats and dogs.
10. Drink Chamomile tea
Chamomile tea has been known as a sleep aid for a very long time. But the research on it is scant so I couldn’t find anything that’s conclusive but I did find something interesting while chamomile tea and sleep don’t necessarily have a strong connection. There is a much stronger connection in the research with chamomile and anxiety. So if the reason you’re not able to sleep is anxiety or you know stress then chamomile tea probably will work for you.