Lights are out, head is resting on a pillow, and eyes are shut. In a few moments, you’ll drift off and start to dream…
At least, this is what we hope will happen every time we climb into bed for the night. Sleep is a funny thing. Sometimes it hits us hard, and we’re out in a matter of seconds. Other times, it seems as if the minutes are slowly ticking by, as our bodies lie on the cloud we hope to sail away on. For reasons sometimes unknown to us, falling asleep can be one the hardest things to do. Getting the right amount of rest at night is necessary for us to function. We need to let our bodies re-set, and properly doing so helps us keep up our overall health – mental and physical. If you’re having a hard time falling asleep at night, there are a number of natural ways that you can help your body relax, and even speed up the process of falling asleep.
Make A Comfortable Space
I think one of the most important things when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep is feeling comfortable. My bed is one of my favorite places. I love a lot of pillows, and I keep most of them on my bed throughout the night. Figure out what you like best. Maybe it’s 10 pillows, maybe it’s 1…whatever it is, make sure you set your bed up exactly the way you like it. I’ve also started hanging things that are important to me on the wall behind my bed. They are keepsakes of good times, and things that make me feel at home. Having them close to me at night helps me to relax.
Fill Your Room With Inviting Smells
That little wooden stick you see in the above picture is Palo Santo. Palo Santo trees grow in Ecuador, and when the wood from the tree burns, the smoke emits an aroma that is warming and calming. In Spanish, Palo Santo means “Holy Wood.” It has been used in many practices as a cleansing agent and to rid spaces of negative energy. I’ve started to burn a little bit of this at night as I get ready for bed, prepping my room with inviting smells before I tuck in for the night. The smell is strong, so use it sparingly. Burning incense and candles is another way to fill your room with pleasant scents before you sleep.
Read a Book
Next time you’re having a hard time falling asleep, grab a book instead of the TV remote. Moving your eyes from left to right through the pages of a book is an easy way to help you drift off. Make sure you are in a position that is also comfortable to fall asleep in. Position yourself horizontally rather than sitting up. After a couple pages, you’ll find that it becomes harder and harder to keep your eyes open, until eventually you’re sound asleep.
Slip On Socks
I like it cold when I’m trying to fall asleep, but being too cold isn’t going to get you very far during the process. Wearing socks at night can speed up the time it takes to doze off. When you are on the verge of sleep, the blood flow in our body is redirected to your hands and feet. When you keep these extremities warm, it increases blood circulation, and good blood flow induces sleep. This tip really comes in handy in colder months. In the summer, you can still wear socks to bed, but just make sure they are made from a cooler material so you don’t end up waking up in a sweat.
Use Pillow Spray
During a trip to London, one of the hotels I stayed at provided each room with a little bottle of pillow spray. I thought this was the coolest thing. It had a scent of lavender and eucalyptus, and you were supposed to spray it on your pillow right before you went to bed. Lavender is an herb that helps with anxiety, stress, and nervousness. The different aromas in the spray mix together to create a scent that calms the nerves and relaxes the body. When I got back to the states, I wanted to make my own to use before bed every night. Combine a few drops of lavender essential oil with a couple tablespoons of witch hazel in a spray bottle to make your own pillow spray – you can also try adding in other oils, like bergamot, vetiver or eucalyptus.
Make It Darker
If you’re having trouble falling asleep, too much light may be leaking into your bedroom. This really depends on personal preference, but some of us need it to be pitch black in order to fall asleep. Next time you’re having trouble sleeping, try using a sleeping mask. Total darkness helps the body ease into sleep, whereas sleeping with a dim light or television on can be distracting.
Drink Cherry Juice
Tart cherries contain the hormone melatonin, and melatonin helps you fall asleep. If you start drinking cherry juice in the morning and in the evening, chances are you will be able to gain 90 extra minutes of sleep! Cherries are one of the only natural food sources of melatonin, and July is one of the best months to buy them. Eating a handful an hour before bed is another option instead of drinking juice.
Do you have any tips? Please share!
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Thank you for the cherry tip!!!
Many of these I already practice (and get great results), but I had never heard of the cherry juice. That is fascinating. I do like to drink a hot herbal tea before bed sometimes as a way to say goodnight to my body. Obviously you need to make sure the tea is caffeine free, but there is something so calming about a hot drink before bed, no matter the time of year.
I remember the cherry juice tip from when Bridgette posted about making sun tonic and moon tonic. It’s been in my fridge ever since. Works like a charm! As for the pillow spray, I’m thinking a tutorial might be in order? Sounds awesome!
These are lovely tips! Had never heard of the cherry juice tip!
Great post. Lots of good ideas. Thanks
She Adores Vintage
definitely needed this post. after the 4th my nights have been off. gonna grab my book tonight and get a good nights rest!
– christina http://www.cityloveee.blogspot.com
Great tips! We also find that limiting the amount of “blue light” from TV’s, cell phones and tablets can help you fall asleep faster and sleep deeper.
Really unique & helpful tips, thanks!
Hello Jana, thank you for these lovely tips, I put socks on my feet every night even in summer and make my room darker because it helps me sleep very soon. I also listen some calm music to help me sleep sooner and made a playlist in Spotify :)
xo from Istanbul
Sorry I forgot the link: https://play.spotify.com/user/11134082007/playlist/1jU2OZCyupF5TIHulEWese
I love doing something calming, that’s my favorite way to drift off to a blissful night of sleep. A friend of mine creates some absolutely amazing angelic “custom” guided meditation tapes, a few minutes listening to one and I’m out for the count!
Thank you for sharing your wonderful tips!!!
The Weaver Of Words…..give me 15 words and I’ll tell you a tale
Oh I love the idea of a pillow spray! I don’t have any issues falling asleep, but I would use a pillow spray just because it sounds awesome. I love the smell of lavender. My favorite thing to do at night (though I don’t do it every single night) is make a warm milk blend in the stove with whole milk, maple syrup, molasses, salt and coconut oil (if I had grass fed gelatin I’d add some of that too for extra protein) and I drink it while reading a book in bed. When it’s not grossly hot in my bedroom I do wear socks as well. This is the recipe that I worked with http://butterbeliever.com/sleepy-milk-bedtime-snack-insomnia-remedy/
Great tips, btw!! You have a new reader :)
thats definetly me :( I ma having huge problems; I will try the tea and try to find the pillow sprey!
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What great tips. I love the idea of a pillow spray (I’m allergic to lavender so will try another essential oil combined with witch hazel). I sometimes drink herbal tea before bed but will give cherry juice a try. I agree that reading before bed is very helpful. It clears the mind and relaxes you at the same time.
I’ve been struggling to get quality sleep lately so I’m definitely going to try out these things, I’m intrigued about the cherry juice!
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Never heard of a pillow spray before- will definitely check that out! Ugh, sleeping gets especially difficult in the summer!
I had the same problem. going to. sleep.
One solution that worked. is your thinking. about problems that we all have..
First stay calm. forget. everything. RELAX, RELAX, RELAX,
Your mind. should. first. be. controlled.
This has worked for me. and. I slowly drift. to. sleep .
A. S . Bhasker. Raj
such great tips! I really struggle to fall asleep as I seem to battle with switching my brain “off” so i’m forcing myself to go to bed a bit earlier and to read to help relax myself! Love the cherry tip – definitely going to try that!
I have a problem going to sleep too. I read, but then I get engrossed in the book. Cherry juice sounds interesting.
I loved this post! I have suffered from insomnia since forever, and I have slowly learnt to live with it. It really helps me to listen to certain pleasant music, I even created a list in Spotify, and now my brain relates the music with sleeping, it really helps me. I also realized I happen to sleep better when I am together with my bf. Just to know that he is there, feeling with warm body and smell relaxes me, and I fall asleep faster. Even if I cannot fall asleep, his presence makes it easier to bear the insomnia :)
Great post! Thanks for the tips about Palo Santo and the pillow spray! :)
I’ll have to try the cherry juice one I’ve never heard of it, but it sounds like a cool idea! I’ve also learned that packing your things up for the next day (I’m in high school) and looking at your calendar helps you know what’s coming up the next day. Knowing what I’m doing tomorrow helps me de-stress and therefore fall asleep quicker!