Do you have difficulty falling asleep? Do you wake up multiple times throughout the night and experience poor sleep quality? You’re not alone. According to the National Sleep Foundation, over half of the adults in the United States experience one or more symptoms of insomnia at least once a week. There are numerous pharmaceutical options to help overcome sleep problems, however if you want to get to the bottom of the problem instead of just treating the symptoms, consider a holistic approach. Here are six all-natural ways to help you sleep better:
1. Upgrade Your Pillow
Sleep expert Michael Breus, Ph.D., recently told WebMD, “pillows can not only impact the quality of our sleep, but also how healthfully we rest and recharge.” Unsure of what type of pillow you need? Macys.com pillows are evaluated and sorted by sleep position for easy shopping. Other online retailers also offer this same easy system to help you find the best pillow for your preferred sleep method.
2. Reset Your Internal Clock
Get in touch with your circadian rhythm — the 24-hour cycles that determine how well you sleep. When you don’t get enough sleep or sleep in small increments, instead of getting a full six to eight hours of sleep, your circadian rhythm is disrupted and sleep quality declines, according to the National Sleep Foundation. To correct this issue, DallasNews.com health experts recommend establishing a new routine of going to bed and waking at the same time every day.
3. Consider What You Drink
Are you a caffeine junkie? Do you look forward to your nightly glass of red wine? To really improve your sleep, try cutting out caffeine and alcohol. WebMD notes that for most people the effects of caffeine take up to eight hours to fully wear off, which is why your post-lunch java jolt could be keeping you tossing and turning at night. Alcohol consumption is equally as disruptive for sleep cycles, preventing you from entering the deepest stages of sleep — where the body does the majority of its internal healing, reports to NaturalNews.com. Avoid all types of drinks before bed, including water, herbal tea and juice, to prevent waking up mid-sleep cycle to use the bathroom.
4. Listen to the Light
Your body’s internal clock responds to light and darkness, which is why you feel sleepy as the sun goes down and you wake up when the sun rises and light enters your bedroom, according to Psychology Today. To encourage this natural response, Psychology Today recommends to keep the lights low and to prepare your body for refreshing sleep by engaging in quiet, relaxing activities.
5. Adjust the Temperature
Sleep medicine specialist Dr. Shahid Ahsan told JCOnline.com that for optimal sleep, your bedroom must be cool, even during the winter months. Ahsan noted that the ideal temperature for sleep is between 65 and 68 degrees.
6. Wind Down Before Bed
DallasNews.com offers the following schedule to help you wind down:
- Two hours before bed: Don’t drink or eat anything else for the evening.
- One hour before bed: Turn off all electronics, including the TV, computer, cell phone and anything else with a bright screen. Electronic displays can be overstimulating.
- 30 minutes before bed: Begin your bedtime ritual for relaxation doing things such as taking a warm bath by candlelight or reading a book.