It’s 4 o’clock in the morning. Your eyelids are the heaviest they’ve felt in weeks. All you want to do is drift off into a peaceful, dreamy sleep, yet somehow, you’re lying in bed, wide awake. No matter how hard you try, you just can’t find a way to shut off that brilliant, mile-a-minute mind of yours.
Sleeplessness is a frustrating thing. We’ve all probably experienced it at one point in our lives and, quite unfortunately, some of us are affected by it more often than we care to think about. Sleep is essential to our health and well-being. It’s so important that we get an ample amount of it, so that our bodies and minds can function at their fullest potential.
If you’re having trouble sleeping at night – or even if you’re not – here are some simple, natural steps you can take to drift off to sleep quickly and awaken feeling rested, happy, and ready to take on the day!
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1. Create the right environment
According to sleep experts, the best environment for sleep is one that is dark, quiet, comfortable, and cool. Start by creating a bed that’s perfect for you. Some people need one that’s soft and squishy, others need one that’s firm and tough. If you’ve slept on a firm mattress and woken up feeling achy, your ideal bed may be a little bit softer. I use multiple mattress pads and tons of pillows to make my bed feel like a cloud. If your body feels comfortable as soon as you hit the mattress, you’ll have a much easier time falling asleep. If you find that you’re being woken up by a snoring roommate or the sounds of sirens outside, invest in a pair of earplugs to block out the sounds. Unplug any electronics before going to bed to avoid distractions from little flashing lights that can hinder you from falling asleep.
2. Use aromatherapy
Aromatherapy is a powerful tool. It’s so amazing to experience different feelings and emotions brought about by different scents. Lately I’ve been putting a few drops of lavender oil onto a cotton ball, and placing it inside my pillowcase. The soothing scent eases me right to sleep and keeps me there all night long. Chamomile and ylang-ylang are other scents known to aid in relaxation. For more info on this, you may like to read our post on aromatherapy benefits.
3. Take a relaxing bath
Taking a bath a couple of hours before going to bed relaxes your muscles and can help to sedate you. Add a few drops of essential oil into your bath to help kick-start the relaxation and prep your mind for bedtime. The perfect amount of time between taking a bath and going to sleep will differ for everyone, so listen to your body and figure out how long it takes for you to feel sleepy. Just be careful not to take your bath too close to bedtime, as it could possibly act as a stimulant for the first hour or two, keeping you awake.
4. Drink warm milk and honey
Warm milk may help lull you to sleep, while honey helps your body to recover and rebuild, among other things, during rest. While scientists are still unsure as to whether or not milk scientifically affects sleep (studies of the enzyme tryptophan in milk on sleep vary), the warm milk and honey concoction has been used as a sleep aid for centuries.
5. Try relaxation techniques
Often, sleeplessness is the result of a mind that just doesn’t want to shut off after a long and busy “go-go-go” kind of day. A great way to ease your mind is by using relaxation techniques like visualization, deep breathing, and mindfulness. Once you can get your mind to calm down, you’ll be off to a full night of peaceful, dreamy, beautiful sleep.
Please share your tips for combating sleeplessness – we would love to hear them!
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