One sleepless night often turns into two, then three, and before you know it, you’ve established a routine. You spend your mornings wading through day-to-day activities in a zoned-out trance.
To restore some sense of normalcy, you fuel yourself with espresso shots and energy drinks. You’re tired during the day and at night, but you just can’t bring yourself to fall asleep. Tired of lying awake and staring at your ceiling, you consider the last resort to help you sleep better: sleeping pills.
But not so fast. You might feel alone when you’re tossing and turning night after night, but the reality is millions of Americans report they don’t sleep enough — and they definitely don’t sleep the recommended amount.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends getting at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night, but a 2020 survey found that 59% of respondents are averaging less than 6 hours.
The good news is you don’t have to book an appointment with a sleep specialist just yet. There are several natural remedies to help you sleep better, which range from ensuring you have the best mattress possible to popping on a soothing playlist before bedtime.
Here are just 6 natural sleeping tips to help you get a better night’s rest without reaching for pills.
1.Watch When You Eat
Sometimes a late-night dinner is unavoidable. Either you’re not hungry until right before bedtime or your day’s been so long that the only reasonable option is getting a pizza delivered. But to sleep better, it’s important to eat better, which also means being mindful of when you eat.
When you eat a heavy meal right before bedtime, you run the risk of waking up in the middle of the night feeling overstuffed or with a burning sensation in your chest. This is because lying down immediately after you eat can trigger heartburn or indigestion, particularly if you’ve had a carb-heavy meal.
While healthy fats and lean proteins are easier to digest, you don’t necessarily have to lay off the pizza you’ve been craving all week. To guarantee a better night’s sleep, just make sure you eat dinner, particularly if it’s a high-carb meal, at least 3 hours before bedtime.
2.Move Your Body
Getting some exercise can vastly improve the quality of your sleep and even a bit of physical activity goes a long way. If you don’t have access to a gym, try walking, running, or cycling for just 30 minutes a day. You can also exercise from the comfort of your own home by doing some yoga or pilates.
Choose the exercise plan that works best for you and stick to it at least three times a week to sleep better. Exercising regularly not only has physical benefits, but it also relieves stress, allowing you to eliminate any anxieties from your mind when it’s time to sleep.
3.Create a Sleep Schedule
Forcing yourself to go to bed at a certain time every day might not be easy initially, but enforcing a schedule that states you’ll go to bed by 11 p.m. and wake up at 8 a.m. can keep you in check and help you sleep better, particularly on nights when you feel tempted to stay out later.
Much like any habit-forming task, you’ll find that sticking to your sleep schedule will become easier after a couple of weeks. It might become so easy, in fact, that your body clock will automatically let you know when it’s time to go to sleep and when to wake up.
Natural sleeping tips can only work if your bedroom is optimized for a good night’s rest. First things first, consider whether you have the best mattress. If your mattress is the culprit behind your lower back pain or if it’s older than 8 years, do your research and invest in a replacement that suits your needs and contours to your body.
To make your bed extra cozy, try the layering trick and pile on some throw blankets. Not only can layering create dimension and spruce up your room, but it’s also a way to help you sleep better by creating a space that feels so comfortable that you’ll be tempted to stay there all day.
Opt for a faux fur blanket if it’s winter and you need additional warmth. However, if you tend to overheat during the night, make sure you choose a cooling blanket for optimal comfort.
5.Unwind with a Bedtime Ritual
There’s nothing more relaxing than doing what you like at the end of the day. Read a book, meditate, listen to your favorite playlist, and enjoy a bubble bath. Whatever self-care looks like for you, make it a nighttime ritual to get rid of the day’s stresses and sleep better.
If your ritual involves catching up on your favorite show, keep yourself in check and turn off all your screens at least 30 minutes before bedtime. This is because light, particularly blue light, is known to suppress melatonin, causing you to stay awake longer than necessary.
6.Make Better Drink Choices
Sip smarter to sleep better. This means laying off the caffeine early on in the day and saying no to that glass of wine with dinner.
Consuming alcohol or caffeine even 6 hours before bed can disrupt your sleep. But that doesn’t mean you’re only left with the option of chugging water. If you’re craving a drink, opt for caffeine-free teas, such as chamomile, peppermint, or rooibos, to help you sleep better. Herbal teas have been used as a natural sleep aid for many years because of their ability to reduce anxiety and induce sleep. Alternatives for tea include a cup of warm milk, hot chocolate with less sugar, and tart cherry juice.
Lack of sleep doesn’t have to dictate your life. Follow natural sleeping tips and mindful practices to lock in a good night’s rest. To sleep better, all you need to do is establish a steady sleep schedule, invest in a top-rated mattress, and take care of your body by treating it right.