Sometimes falling asleep can seem impossible, we lay awake tossing and turning for hours and wake up feeling exhausted. This list explores some natural remedies that you can try to make falling asleep a little easier.
Exercise During the Day
There is evidence that exercising during the day can help you fall asleep faster and can improve the quality of your sleep. Aerobic exercise can help the body to release endorphins which keep you awake. Aerobic exercise at least 1-2 hours before bed is optimal because it will give your time to purge the endorphins and wind down. Studies show that people who did moderate to high intensity exercise had improved sleep quality and needed to use sleep medication less frequently.
Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone in our bodies that promotes sleep. You can supplement your melatonin levels to help you if you struggle with sleep. Ensure you consult your doctor before beginning any kind of supplementation.
Swap Your Phone or Kindle for a Book
With the entire world in the palm of our hand it is no secret why most of us reach for our smartphones when looking for some reading material instead of a traditional book. But this small shift can be super detrimental to our sleep.
When the sun sets the natural light gets dimmer and redder, this gives our body the cue that it’s time to sleep and our body releases melatonin which is the hormone responsible for sleep. The backlit blue light screens of smartphones and kindles tricks our body into thinking it’s daytime and can stop that melatonin from being produced. One study found participants who read a printed book fell asleep faster than those who read an ebook before bed.
If you need to use your phone, switch it to night mode which warms the screen and minimises the blue light you’re exposed to.
“I’ve noticed that using night mode even throughout the day has had a dramatic impact on the improvement of my sleep” says Daniel Poskitt who uses tech all day for his profession, “I also like to turn off my notifications so I don’t get distracted especially before bed”.
Listen to ASMR
If you’re the kind of person whose mind runs wild at night time then listening to an ASMR video before bed can really help you to focus your mind. There are tonnes of different videos on YouTube and even some free apps that have calming videos that you can listen to as you fall asleep. Some videos are soothing voices saying positive affirmations or reading bedtime stories and others have relaxing music or sounds that will transport your mind to a blissful state ready for sleep.
You may have never heard of this one but playing this game with yourself in your mind is an awesome way to distract your thoughts. All you need to do is think of a random word like “dog” and then immediately think of a completely unrelated word like “coffee”. The more random the better because your mind will be so busy trying to think of a random word it will have no time to think of anything else.
There are years of research on the use of aromatherapy to induce sleep and relaxation.
“Lavender oil is commonly used to induce sleep with studies finding it improved the quality of participants' sleep and gave them more energy during the day” says the holistic specialists from The College of Holistic Arts.
Get in Rhythm
Giving yourself a set bedtime can be a powerful tool for helping your sleep pattern. Having a set sleep time can help your body predict when it’s time for bed and regulate your natural circadian rhythm.
Take a Breath
Breathing exercises can help with sleep and anxiety.
“A great exercise to try out at bedtime is the 4-7-8 method. Inhale for 4 seconds, hold the breath for 7 seconds and then exhale for 8 seconds” suggests life coach Jeanine Sciacca, “The 4-7-8 method is great for focusing your mind and falling asleep”.
Customise Your Bedding
Your body temperature has a huge impact on how fast you fall asleep and how long you stay asleep. You may find that when your bedding is made out of synthetic material or your doona is too hot for the season you wake up in the middle of the night in a sweat or you can’t get comfortable to fall asleep in the first place.
“We use cotton bedding because it is so soft on the skin and ensures our guests are comfortable no matter the weather” shares Happy Days Moreton Island Holiday Accommodation.
Investing in some good quality cotton sheets will make your sleep experience more comfortable and is super breathable making it perfect for all seasons.
Blog written by colaborator Donna Vance