Sleep is one of the most important aspects of our health. It supports healthy brain function, improves your mood, and gives you the energy you need to get through the day. But what happens when you can’t seem to fall asleep?
Sleep Awareness Week is March 11th through the 17th and to celebrate, we want to share some of our favorite natural sleep remedies to help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep throughout the night. These tips and tricks will help you get a good night’s sleep and enjoy the many benefits of some shut-eye.
Natural Sleep Remedies
There are many ways to fall asleep naturally without having to turn to sleep medications, which may carry some undesired risks. These natural sleep remedies are usually safe, effective, and can be used nearly every night if needed (but always check with your doctor before making adjustments to your diet or lifestyle).
Teas That Help You Sleep
Drinking tea is a great natural way to help you sleep because it’s calming, relaxing, and tastes good. Below are some of the best sleep-promoting herbal remedies:
- Chamomile tea – There’s a reason why chamomile is known for its effectiveness in helping people sleep. The herb is actually a mild sedative, meaning that it helps calm nerves, anxiety, and insomnia. If you really can’t seem to fall asleep, try brewing two or three tea bags at a time. You can never get enough of this centuries-old, natural sleep remedy.
- Valerian root – Valerian root has been proven to help you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly, according to sixteen different studies.
Passion flower – Not only is passion flower delicious, but it is also a mild sedative, working as a great natural sleep remedy. Just brew a teaspoon of the flower in boiling water for 10 minutes and after sipping, feel your eyelids start drooping
Foods That Help You Sleep
Not only can tea help you sleep, but certain foods are also believed to be natural sleep remedies. Here are some foods that may help you get some shut eye:
- Cheese – Cheese is full of tryptophan, the same amino acid that makes you so sleepy after a big turkey dinner. Tryptophan is needed to produce serotonin, the hormone responsible for making you relaxed and sleepy.
- Almonds – The reason why almonds may help you fall asleep is that they contain calcium and magnesium, which are important to getting some good shut-eye.
- Salmon – Salmon is full of omega-3 fatty acid, which is known as the “good” fat. According to the Journal of Sleep Research, omega-3 can help you fall asleep.
- Cherries – Have you ever seen melatonin supplements used to help with falling asleep? Cherries are a natural source of melatonin. In fact, they’re the only edible source of melatonin. Drinking cherry juice or eating the tasty fruits are natural ways to help you sleep.
- Bananas – Bananas really pack a punch as a natural sleep remedy. Not only do they contain tryptophan, but they also contain potassium and magnesium, which can help relax your muscles.
Lifestyle Changes to Help You Sleep
In addition to the natural ways to help you sleep that were mentioned above, there are many lifestyle changes and habits that can help you practice good sleep hygiene.
Taking a Warm Bath
There’s nothing like taking a warm bath before bed. There are many benefits of hydrotherapy, and one of them is that it can help you fall asleep. A warm bath relaxes your muscles and mind and gets you ready for bed in a comfortable, peaceful way. Combine that with relaxing essential oils like lavender or eucalyptus and you’ll be nodding off in no time.
Limiting Screen Time Before Bed
The screens on our TVs, tablets, phones, and computers emit blue light, which has been shown to disrupt our natural sleep cycles. According to Harvard Medical School, “while light of any kind can suppress the secretion of melatonin, blue light at night does so more powerfully.” To avoid this disruption of your circadian rhythm, make sure to stop using any form of technology that may emit blue light for at least an hour before bedtime. Instead, try reading a book, knitting, or listening to peaceful music.
Create a Sleep Sanctuary
One of the best natural sleep remedies is making your bedroom a sleep sanctuary. As mentioned, light can disrupt your sleep, so invest in a great set of blackout curtains to really keep the light out. You could also play relaxing music, light a candle or two, and turn on a fan for some white noise to drown out any distractions. In addition, make sure you only use your bedroom to sleep and try to avoid eating, watching TV, hanging out, or working in your bedroom. That way, when you’re ready for bed, your body will know that the bedroom is the place to sleep.
These natural sleep remedies are safe and will help you get some peaceful shut-eye. Between eating sleep-inducing food, drinking a nice cup of tea before bed, and taking a warm bath, you’ll be sleeping like a baby every night.