Getting a good night’s sleep should be a natural rhythm the body submits to. Unfortunately, due to stress and a variety of other factors, a decent night’s sleep often eludes many people. And without sleep, it can be difficult to maintain a happy, healthy body and mind-frame.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could all wake up beaming and full of zest?
While there are the lucky few that manage to wake up feeling fresh, being a morning person might not come naturally to all of us. But having a troubled sleep is not a unique problem.
In fact, it seems most people could benefit from having improved sleep.
Research tells us that at least a third of the population are not morning people, having to struggle through the morning grogginess with incredible difficulty. This is usually because the previous night’s sleep was not restful enough, and so you are trying to wake up from a night’s poor sleep.
If you wake up feeling like you need to drag yourself through the morning, you may need to make sure you get better sleep.
Here are some signs that you can benefit from a better quality sleep at night: if you wake up and you feel fuzzy, groggy, and difficult to ‘get going.’ You start to experience a foggy memory as well as if you just can’t quite get a crystal clear view.
If you find that it is more difficult to get focused at work, or your productivity is dropping, or you might even just feel overly fatigued during the day, you may need to give your body (and mind) the rest it needs and deserves.
What happens when you don't get enough sleep?
When your body is constantly tired, you may feel hungry all the time. This is because your hunger hormones can become unbalanced, and when you feel your energy levels crashing in the late afternoon, you may want to reach out for some sugar or salty refined carbs.
While this snacking might provide some immediate relief, you aren’t really doing your body any good. And in the long term? Nope, sugary treats don’t do your sleeping problems or sleep disorders any good.
By the time the day comes to a close, you are likely tired and feel like all the energy you may have had is sapped from your body, and the mood can be grumpy. This is not the ideal mood to be in before trying to get a peaceful sleep, as you find yourself in a vicious circle of fatigue and crankiness.
While there is no magic solution, there are some ways (and natural sleep aids) that can help you drift into a deep slumber and affect your sleep in a positive way. Take a look at these simple ways to fall asleep soundly.
1. Create a restful environment
Create an oasis for yourself. Before you try to fall asleep, you should clear your bedroom of distractions and anything that may be reminiscent of stress. While for some of you, that may be a laughable feat, try to at least create a relaxing environment in your bedroom.
This can sometimes mean a little work in the form of tidying up a bit and just giving the space a bit of fresh energy. Here are some tips for creating a relaxing environment to support a healthy night’s sleep:
- Keep it cool, and keep it dark
Keeping your room and a cool temperature (between 60 and 67 F) could offer a better environment for your body to remain in a restful state. According to a poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, at least 73% of North Americans find sleeping in a dark room more conducive to a better night’s sleep. Try to reduce exposure to artificial lights before bedtime, and limit the light in your bedroom when sleeping.
- Keep it peaceful, keep it quiet.
Most people can agree that falling asleep in a quiet and peaceful environment is the prerequisite of getting a good night’s sleep. Although some people prefer to fall asleep to some sort of background noise, the quality of noise should be questioned as well as the body’s ability to fully ‘let go’ and relax in a deep slumber.
2. Wind down before you unwind
If you’ve had a rough day, you probably have certain things that you turn to to help you wind down. Sometimes these can be mindless and healthy things (whether substances or tv) and can be detrimental for the sleep that is to come. While we aren’t suggesting removing your Netflix account, there is some benefit to limiting your screen time before bed. Here are some healthy ways to wind down before hopping into bed:
- Choose music over news
Reading the news can be stressful and anxiety-inducing as it is, nevermind if there’s pandemic and chaos in almost every country. Try putting on some music that you enjoy to help to shift the sludge of the day out of your mind. This will help to lessen the chatter in your mind and help prepare you for sleep. Consider using a meditation app or meditation music to help ease you into a relaxing night.
- Choose Lower Lights
Using more dimmed light can help your body’s natural circadian rhythm come back into balance. You can even use a candlelight and an indirect light to set an ambiance.
3. Offer yourself some support
If you struggle to keep your mind still before you go to sleep, you may find some alternatives to help support a more restful and still mind. Many options, such as meditation, yoga, some gentle movement, or CBD products like CBD oil or balm, support a more restful state of being. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a popular product. Most CBD products are free of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), but remember to check the product ingredient list, and the mg of CBD as well.
When the endocannabinoid system is out of balance, there are a myriad of side effects that can cause imbalances, including disruptions to the sleep wake cycle. CBD works with the endocannabinoid system to support overall balance and wellness within the body.
4. Comfort is Key
Are you sleeping on a good quality mattress? Do you like the bedding you use? How about your pillows? A good quality mattress can completely transform the quality of your sleep.
Invest in some bedding that makes you smile, and sink into your sheets at night with a smile too. It might just help you.
Pillows are crucial to a relaxing sleep as well. Take care if you suffer from allergies; consider the fill in your pillow. Hypoallergenic pillows are your best option, even if you don’t have any allergy issues.