Most of us know that a good night’s sleep is important, but many of us don’t actually make those eight to nine hours of sleep each night a priority. But if you've ever spent a restless night, you are well aware of how you are going to feel the next day... irritable, tired, and out of sorts!
For some, this is a regular occurrence, which can have many more severe consequences, including:
poor concentration and focus
difficulty with memory
impaired motor coordination
high blood pressure
accidents (caused by fatigue)
If you’ve experienced insomnia, whether temporary or chronic, you may be wondering what can be done for besides medicating. Luckily, there are some steps you can take that do not involve medications that can make you groggy, or that can even become habit-forming.
Here are some things to consider to achieve better sleep:
Avoid spicy, sugary, and greasy foods before bed that can cause heartburn and restlessness. This includes caffeine and alcohol as well.
Set a nighttime routine that you follow each night and get up at the same time each morning. To work up to this, maybe start by cutting 15 minutes off of your typical bedtime until you reach a bedtime that will allow for a full eight to nine hours sleep.
Performing sleep inducing exercises can help relieve stress and restlessness - two causes of insomnia. Yoga or any aerobic exercise are especially good for sleep.
The blue light that cell phones, computers, and tablets emit suppresses naturally occurring melatonin, the hormone responsible for regulating sleep. So limit gadget use in bed or close to your bedtime.
Lavender is a natural sedative and is great for promoting sleep. Mix 1 cup of water and 4-5 drops of essential oil in a spray bottle. Mist around your bedroom before going to sleep.
A warm drink before bed is yet another way to get the body and mind in a relaxed state. Try this soothing Banana Peel Tea before you hit the pillow:
1/4 - 1/2 banana, including the peel
1 cup water
Optional: dash of cinnamon
In a small pot, combine water and banana. Bring to a boil. Simmer 10-20 minutes. Add cinnamon if desired. Strain and enjoy!