Sleep issues have become an epidemic and getting proper rest is incredibly important for our wellbeing! Here are 20 tips to help you fall asleep & wake up feeling well rested:
Clean up your space before bedtime: A cluttered space equals a cluttered mind. When you clean up before bed it’s easier to relax your mind because you’re not thinking about the mess. You’ll also wake up in the morning to a tidy space which will allow you to have a productive start to the day instead of having to clean up last nights mess. Who wants to dishes first thing in the morning?!
Limit electronic use and use a yellow screen: Research has shown that the blue light emitted from electronic screens delay the release of melatonin, a hormone produced in the evening that tells our bodies that it’s time to sleep. Try to limit electronic exposure before bed. Dim the screen of your device as much as you can and use an app to give the screen a yellow tint. If you have an iPhone you can enable the ‘Night Shift’ setting. This will turn your screen a warmer colour to reduce the stimulating blue light. I also have an app on my computer called ‘Night Screen’ that allows me to dim the amount of light and change the colour from blue to yellow/orange. It also allows you to invert the screen colours so you will have a black screen with white text which makes it easier on the eyes when reading!
Create a comforting atmosphere: Creating the right ambience in your bedroom can really help you relax. Try to keep your space free of excessive clutter and try to surround yourself with things you love. I personally love having salt lamps in my room because I find they create a very calming atmosphere. Salt lamps also give off negative ions which help improve air quality and will lead to a better night’s sleep! Shop salt lamps here.
Drink herbal tea: Drinking a calming cup of herbal tea is a wonderful way to relax and unwind before bed. Look for tea blends that contain sleep promoting herbs such as valerian root, passion flower, chamomile, lavender, lemon balm, and holy basil. I love this “Nighty Night” tea by Traditional Medicinals.
Aromatherapy: Scent can have a profound effect on one’s sleep. High quality, pure essential oils are extremely beneficial when it comes to calming down and falling asleep. Some of the best essential oils for sleep are lavender, Roman chamomile, vetiver, sandalwood, vanilla, majoram & spikenard. You can diffuse calming essential oil blends or dilute them in a carrier oil and put them on your pulse points.
Set the right temperature: Studies have found that the optimal temperature for sleep is around 15- 19 degrees Celsius (60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit). When you sleep your body’s internal temperature drops to its lowest level, so a cooler bedroom can help you fall asleep faster since it mimics your body’s natural temperature drop. You can also sleep with the window open in the summer months to let the cool, fresh breeze come in.
Have a warm bath/shower before bed: Having a warm bath or shower an hour or two before bed can also help one sleep. The warm water will initially raise your body temperature but when you get out of the tub you will begin to cool down and that will set you up for a good sleep. You can also use products that have a relaxing scent, such as this Organic Tulsi Body Oil from Apoterra.
Sleep promoting crystals: You can sleep with a little gem under your pillow, hold one in your hand, or place them beside your bed. Some calming crystal choices for sleep are rose quartz, lepidolite, amethyst, lithium quartz, danburite, selenite, and more.
Flower essences: Flower essences work on an energetic level to help positively transform your mood + mind. You can buy them in spray form, elixirs, and anointing oils. For sleep, I love the “quiet mind” line from Lotus Wei.
Try a weighted blanket: A weighted blanket is another great option to help with sleep and anxiety issues. The weight of the blanket acts as deep touch pressure therapy and causes the brain to increase serotonin production and relax the nervous system. It feels like a big hug and gives a sense of security. Make sure to find the right weight – it’s recommended to choose a blanket that’s 10% of your body weight plus 1-2 pounds. For example, a 100 pound person would require a 12 pound blanket. Shop weighted blankets here
Sleep in comfortable clothing & bedding: An average person will sleep for approximately 229,961 hours in their lifetime. That’s a lot of time laying in your bed! I suggest investing in some comfortable pajamas and bedding and to make sure your mattress is comfortable and that your bedding is breathable.
Use earplugs and an eye mask: Sleeping in a dark, quiet room is very important for proper rest! Darkness triggers the body to produce melatonin, a hormone that makes you feel sleepy, so using a sleep mask that helps block as much light as possible will make it easier to fall asleep and to remain asleep throughout the night. If you are dealing with loud noises or a talkative roommate, you can wear some ear plugs to bed to block out the sound.
Stay active during the day: Exercising during the day will help tire you out and reduce stress by releasing endorphins. If I’m not active through out the day I notice it’s a lot more difficult for me to unwind at night. Even just walking around outside for a bit and enjoying the fresh air can help. Doing a bit of restorative ‘bed time yoga’ to help unwind can work wonders. Yoga is wondering because it connects us to our breath. However, avoid vigorous activity right before bed because that can give you a burst of energy.
Deep breathing for relaxation: Focusing on your breath is very powerful. It calms the mind and tells your nervous system that everything is okay. Lay in your bed and breathe away your worries. There are many different deep breathing exercises for sleep such as: [insert examples here]
Calming sounds for sleep: Certain sounds can keep you up at night but some sounds can actually help you fall asleep. I love listening to nature sounds to help me sleep. Try sounds such as ocean waves, a streaming river, rain, or healing instruments like tibetan singing bowls. If you prefer music you can listen to something calming like classical music. You can also try experimenting with white, pink, and brown noise.
Watch ASMR videos: ASMR stands for ‘autonomous sensory meridian response’. Certain sounds (such as scratching, whispering, tapping) can trigger ASMR and millions of people are using it to relax. There are endless ASMR videos on YouTube!
Eat sleep promoting foods: What you eat and drink before bed can make a big difference in regard to the quality of your sleep. You’ll want to avoid have a large meal right before bed and avoid caffeine or other stimulants in the afternoon and evening. Magnesium rich foods are great for sleep and I often take a magnesium supplement before bed. I also enjoy taking this herbal “Sleep Inner Beauty Powder” from The beauty chef on sleepless nights.
Positive Affirmations: Our mind is incredibly powerful so try replacing your racing thoughts with calming positive affirmations. Remember to make the affirmations present tense and always keep them positive. You can say them to yourself or listen to them in an audio recording.
Practice visualization exercises: While laying in bed, begin to visualize a scene or story that you find relaxing. An example could be walking along a warm, sandy beach with the wind blowing against your skin. Your attention will be so focused on the details of the scene that you will eventually forget about your worries!
Progressive muscle technique: If you’re laying in bed restless, you can also do a technique called ‘progressive muscle relaxation’ where you tense and then relax all the muscles in your body. Focus on each muscle group in your body, tensing specific muscles for a few seconds and then slowly relaxing them. Breathe deeply as you do this. Start with your toes and work your way up your entire body, all the way to your forehead.
WATCH FULL VIDEO HERE: