Can’t sleep? Not so unusual. When life gets in your way and it fills your mind, it usually manifests by having a hard time getting a good night’s rest leading to bouts of periodic insomnia. This is common and happens to pretty much everyone. These momentary blips are to be expected but long term, hardcore not sleeping?
Not so much.
The older you get, the more susceptible you are to insomnia, by the way. Health issues, medications, and physical and mental changes as we age can create difficulties sleeping. Whether it’s age, situational, or something more, the inability to get quality rest can create even more issues, exacerbating an already difficult situation.
While there are prescription medications that can help you attack the problem, there are also natural, holistic ways to battle insomnia that may help you overcome it before it gets bad enough to need a sleep doctor. These are our five of our favorites we’d like to share with you.
Sleep and wake at the same time
It may seem like a simple thing, but setting and sticking to a regular sleep and wake schedule helps curb sleeplessness. I know it can be very difficult — especially when you are already having a hard time closing your eyes to get the rest you need — but work with us here for a moment.
The best way is to start slowly and even use a sleep app. Getting 7 hours of sleep is the common suggested number, so figure on getting that many every night and decide “By this time at night, I will be in my bed so I can wake at this other time to get the best sleep.” Once you figure that out, you go about your pre-sleep prep so you can relax your mind and body enough to slip under the sheets and fall into slumber at a reasonable time to get the most out of your rest. Just as with any sort of change, getting into and sticking with this rhythm may take a bit of time, but as soon as you get the hang of it, you’ll embrace and look forward to it.
Do what relaxes you
We talk about this a fair amount — doing things throughout the day or even in the evening that calm you down, relax your mind, body, and soul, and allow you to release the stress from the day. Drawing a hot bath, doing yoga or meditation — whatever helps you lower your heart rate and unwind will help. It makes getting a good night’s sleep that much easier. This is also a time you can incorporate holistic supplements like Sleep Stripzzz right before bed to give you a little extra help kicking off the natural minerals and chemicals in your brain that support quality sleep.
Yep, it’s that simple. By exercising, you’re raising your core temperature and that tells your body it’s time to be awake, which may seem counterintuitive for blissful slumber, but just wait. About 30 to 90 minutes after that, your temperature naturally falls and this prepares you for sleep. This gives you a good idea of how long before bedtime is best to exercise and it’s a great relationship between what helps you in your waking life that also serves you in your sleeping life.
Watch what you eat and drink
You are what you eat, which means you sleep or don’t sleep what you eat as well. Caffeine, heavy and spicy foods, sugary things, anything high in water will make it hard to rest comfortably. Keeping hydrated throughout the day, however, makes slumber better and easier. It goes to lowering that core temperature again as well as oxygenating you. You don’t want anything on your stomach that will aggravate it or will upset your nervous system — a la caffeine. Foods like almonds, turkey, and kiwi are considered good for sleep just as drinking chamomile tea, tart cherry juice, and good old-fashioned milk if your stomach can handle it. We’ll dig more into good sleep nutrition in an upcoming article but we hope this gives you a healthy start towards blissful rest.
Shut it down
Sounds, lights, media, digital devices — turn it off. We sleep better when it is dark and cool, jarring noises make us unsettled and keep us awake, and blue light makes it difficult for our mind to rest. By creating a good environment in our bedroom that supports successful slumber — comfortable bedding that pulls heat away from our body, curtains that block out the sun or light, either no sound or sounds that soothe and help us fall asleep rather than keep us awake — we up our potential for making it through the night without waking.
No laughing matter
Insomnia is nothing to turn our nose at. There are intense moments of sleeplessness known as chronic insomnia that can last for months and lead to some serious health issues. If you find you are having constant difficulty getting a good night’s rest, contact your doctor. You know how important sleep is to your overall well-being and while these tips are known to help, sometimes we need a bit more than a cup of tea, soft music, and a comfy bed. When that happens, getting the support you need will help you rest easier. Trust us.