Why Sleep Is Important
According to the Sleep Foundation, 35.2% of adults in the United States report only getting less than seven hours of sleep per night on average. Whereas seven to nine hours of sleep is the ideal amount for adults. Unfortunately, there’s a habit of letting sleep fall to the wayside when life gets a little too hectic or stressful. But sleep is an important part of life that can impact physical and mental health, quality of life and even safety. Luckily there are natural ways to fall asleep easier. And if you’re still having difficulty after making these changes, then seeing a doctor would be the next best route to take.
Ways To Fall Asleep Easier
Things To Do
- Routine- Having a good nighttime routine is essential for getting a good night’s sleep. Wake up at the same time every day. Come up with a time to go to bed every night in consideration of your wake-up time. Take at least 30 minutes to an hour to wind down before bed. Keep lights dim.
- Screens- Either ditch electronics or switch them to nighttime mode. The blue light emitted from screens stops the production of melatonin and could prevent the ability to fall asleep.
- Temperature- The best room temperature conducive to getting a good night’s rest ranges between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Although this can vary from person to person. So turn on the air conditioner, a fan, and/or use breathable bedding.
- Exercise- There are obviously many benefits of exercising that are important, but sleep is one of them. As long as it’s done three hours before bed, otherwise it may keep you up. There are many studies that suggest people who exercise more frequently get a better night’s rest than those who don’t.
- No caffeine/alcohol- Caffeine is perfectly fine to consume in the mornings to help get you through the day, but anything after lunchtime can still affect you at bedtime and won't aid you in falling asleep. As for alcohol, one drink before bed is okay but anything more than that might initially help you fall asleep but staying asleep will be the problem.
- Meditation- This is a great way to let go of the day's troubles and clear your mind. Get comfortable, put on a meditation playlist and focus on your breathing. Meditation can lower levels of the stress hormone, cortisol.
- Aromatherapy- This means diffusing or applying essential oils (concentrated extracts of plants) directly to the skin. Lavender, chamomile, bergamot, clary sage, valerian, sandalwood, ylang ylang, jasmine, frankincense, peppermint, and eucalyptus. Some are calming and others clear the nasal passages for easier breathing. Don’t diffuse around animals, certain oils can be toxic.
Foods, Drinks And Supplements
- Tea- Valerian root, chamomile, lavender, lemon balm, passionflower, and magnolia bark are all herbal teas that can help aid in falling asleep. Just make sure there’s no caffeine if buying a blend.
- Sleeping supplements- Melatonin regulates sleep and can possibly assist in helping out your circadian rhythm which can improve sleep. CBD comes from the Cannabis plant but doesn’t contain THC—unless otherwise specified. It won’t cause a high but does assist in relaxation and reduced anxiety which can help with sleep when taken before bed. Tart cherry juice from the Montmorency tart cherry is said to have significant levels of melatonin. They also contain proanthocyanins that process tryptophan that converts to serotonin, another chemical that aids in sleep.
- Foods with amino acid Tryptophan- flax, tofu, oats, beans/lentils, eggs, cheese, chicken, salmon and other foods contain tryptophan that promotes serotonin and melatonin production.