Do you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep? Here are the best natural ways to improve your sleep, with lifestyle tips and natural remedies.
Ladies and gentlemen…a good night’s sleep begins BEFORE your head hits the pillow.
Does this surprise you? Most of us (moms especially) are constantly reviewing the day, thinking about what needs to be accomplished tomorrow, fretting about future events…and this prevents us from falling asleep. Then if we wake up in the middle of the night it’s hard to get back to sleep.
Great news…there are lots of natural ways to get better sleep. But first, let’s talk about what our bodies need in order to sleep well.
This post is sponsored by Earthley Wellness, my favorite source for quality, natural remedies and body care products.
Our bodies are wired for a 24-hour cycle, and our natural rhythm is based on sunlight. Morning light tells your brain that it’s time to wake up, and your brain needs bright light during the day to reset itself for sleep at night.
If you spend the whole day under artificial light (like in an office) it’s much harder for your mind to distinguish between day and night. This can be one of the reasons why it’s hard for us to fall asleep. (source)
Daytime: Prepare for Great Sleep
Ok, I understand that most of us are not going to “go native” and spend our days outside in order to reset our sleep clock. If you spend your day in an office or indoors, here are actions you can take during the day to prepare for great sleep at night.
Exercise in the morning. Even something as simple as walking around the block at work or taking the stairs instead of the elevator will help.
Don’t consume any caffeine or stimulants after noon. This includes coffee, cigarettes, energy drinks, caffeinated soda, green tea, etc.
Eat foods rich in B6 and magnesium throughout the day. Some examples are wild caught tuna, almonds, banana, turkey, yogurt, or dark chocolate. A great bedtime snack would be a banana and dark chocolate covered almonds.
(Psssst…make your own dark chocolate almonds with this recipe from my friends at Traditional Cooking School!)
Photo credit: TraditionalCookingSchool.com
Don’t use alcohol or sedatives to get yourself to sleep. Besides being bad for your body, these drugs will disrupt the restorative REM sleep that helps you feel rested in the morning.
More natural DIYs you’ll love:
Natural Products to Improve Sleep
There are lots of natural products out there, with varying degrees of effectiveness. I’ve tried just about everything over the years, and these are the best and safest natural sleep aids out there.
Sleepy Time Herbal Extract
Sleepy Time Herbal Extract is a liquid that contains catnip, skullcap, and passionflower. Catnip and skullcap both help to promote restful sleep, while passionflower reduces anxiety. It’s great for adults and for kids–you take a few drops by mouth or add it to juice/tea about 30 minutes before bedtime.
Good Night Lotion
Good Night Lotion is a lovely, soothing creme that has shea butter, lavender essential oil, and magnesium chloride. Many of us are deficient in magnesium, which helps the body produce seratonin. Rub a dab of Good Night Lotion on your legs before bedtime, or if you wake up in the middle of the night.
Ready to give these a try? Earthley is offering BrownThumbMama readers an exclusive introductory price for these two products, through June 2019. You can get 1oz Sleepy Time Herbal Extract and 4oz Good Night Lotion for just $10!
Warm, herbal teas (like Sleepytime or Bedtime) can help you unwind and relax before bed. You can drink the tea by itself or add your Sleepy Time extract to it. Add a handful of dark chocolate covered almonds for an extra boost.
Night: Create the Perfect Environment for Sleep
Let’s keep that sleepy streak going! You’ve had the perfect day and completed all the steps above to prepare for great sleep. Now let’s get you and your bedroom ready for some ZZZZs.
Stop using your computer, tablet, or phone for 30 minutes before bed. The blue light from these devices can reduce melatonin levels, making it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep. And nobody has ever slept well after checking their work email, anyway.
Darken the room completely. Use blackout curtains or a Sleep Master sleep mask.
Aromatherapy can help calm and relax the body and mind, especially when the same scent is used consistently. Apply a drop of Lavender or Cedarwood essential oil to your pillow, or put a few drops in your diffuser. Here’s my review of the best essential oil diffusers.
Keep the temperature in your bedroom between 66-75 degrees. This may require a little negotiation with your partner. If you can’t find a room temperature you agree on, try a Chili Pad. This gizmo goes under your sheets and allows each person to set the temperature for their side of the bed.
Get separate comforters for each of you, instead of sharing one large comforter. This eliminates all of the nighttime blanket fights and quite a bit of tossing and turning. You can roll up like a happy little burrito when you have your own comforter.
Cancel the racket from a noisy partner/household by running a fan or use a white noise machine. I like the Marpac rohm because it creates true white noise or gentle surf sounds. It’s also small enough to toss in your suitcase when traveling.
Are you ready for better sleep? Order your Sleepy Time extract and Good Night lotion for just $10. Sleep tight! 🙂