By Elizabeth (Betty) Nolan, Earth Spirit Wellness Inc.
We all experience a restless night from time to time. However, when lying awake in the wee hours becomes a regular thing, we need all the help we can get. The ten solutions below can help you get a good night’s rest when you’re struggling to sleep.
Ask your medical professional for a blood test to check your vitamin and mineral levels. If stress is the cause of your wakefulness, it’s possible that you may have a deficiency.
Get some fresh air. Computer screens give off positive ions that cause the body stress. Nature gives off negative ions that help reduce stress. While you are outside, take a few deep breaths to bring oxygen into the bloodstream.
Decrease electromagnetic rays from TVs, smartphones, and tablets by reducing your evening time in front of the electronics and using the night shift feature on smartphones and tablets. The night shift feature is designed to reduce the blue light hitting the pineal gland. It is found in Settings, usually under Display & Brightness.
Try to refrain from eating heavy meals after 8:00PM. If we eat heavy food too late in the evening, our bodies don’t get the opportunity to cleanse while we sleep. Instead, the body has to work at digesting. If you intend to eat after 8:00PM, try to keep the snacks light and nutritious. Drinking a glass of water with a slice of squeezed lemon in the evening will help the body cleanse toxins while sleeping.
Keep alcohol consumption to a minimum. Even one glass of any alcoholic beverage will disrupt the sleep cycle. If you plan on drinking alcohol at night, make sure you are well hydrated during the day and drink a 12-ounce glass of water with lemon before going to bed.
Diffuse a good quality lavender essential oil in your bedroom for 20 to 30 minutes before going to bed. Lavender has a calming effect on the mind and body. Lavender essential oil is safe during pregnancy and around babies and animals.
Establish and maintain a regular sleep routine and schedule to help settle the body and prepare it for rest. By practising a regular sleep schedule over time, you will achieve better quality sleep.
While it’s great to get a workout in after work, try not to exercise too late. Your body has to come down from the adrenaline rush that a workout provides. Working out too late may keep you awake.
Limit caffeine intake to one or two caffeinated drinks and consume them before noon. Caffeine raises cortisol levels: that’s why it helps you get going in the morning. If you want a good night’s sleep, it’s best to keep the caffeine to the morning routine. Soothing herbal teas are great for afternoon and evening consumption. If you don’t like tea, you can still brew an herbal tea and dilute it for a lightly flavoured water.
We spend 25 to 30% of our lifetimes asleep, so be sure to invest in a great bed with a comfortable mattress. Make your bedroom a place of relaxation with clean and comfy sheets and blankets, as well as a supportive pillow.
Not everyone can incorporate all ten healthy sleep practices into their lives, but sometimes just making a few changes gradually will take you a long way toward getting more sleep and feeling rested in the morning.
Elizabeth (Betty) Nolan,
Betty is a naturopathic practitioner who also practices Reiki, BioScanSRT, and Raindrop Technique. She owns and operates Earth Spirit Wellness Inc., located at The Commons, Villa Nova Plaza, in Conception Bay South, where she helps her clients achieve their best health and wellness. When she’s not helping her clients or studying, you can find her spending time outdoors with her sheltie, Rosie.