If you spend most of your nights tossing and turning, you aren’t alone. Nearly half of Americans are sleep deprived and have reported getting less than six hours of sleep each night. Although there are lots of medical sleep aid options on the market, many people are hesitant to use sleeping pills and other forms of medication.
The good news is that a good night’s sleep isn’t as far out of reach as you think and you may not need any medication to achieve it. There are lots of natural options out there that can help you get the rest you need without having to worry about any negative side effects. Take a look at these five natural remedies for better sleep.
- Limit Light Exposure
Our bodies are designed to respond to light. When we’re in darkness, our brains send a signal in the form of a hormone called melatonin that it’s time to sleep. However, light has the opposite effect. For this reason, it’s important that you limit your exposure to light (both natural and artificial) when trying to fall asleep.
Research has shown that the blue light given off by computers and phone screens can trick your brain into reducing the production of melatonin. It’s best to put your devices away at least 30 minutes before trying to fall asleep. Blackout curtains can also be a great option for limiting the amount of natural light that comes into your room.
- Exercise Regularly
Sleep is probably the last thing on your mind when you think of working out, but that’s about to change. Exercising on a regular basis can help improve your sleep pattern and quality. Not only does exercise tire you out and get your body ready to recover in the form of sleep, but it also helps reduce stress and anxiety which can hinder getting a good night’s sleep.
- Use Essential Oils
Extracted from different kinds of plants, essential oils have become a popular form of alternative medicine. Lavender and sage essential oils are known to work as sleep aids and can be applied directly on the skin or used in aromatherapy.
- Create a Peaceful Sleeping Environment
Sometimes, the reason for poor sleep quality is as simple as our our environment. If your bedroom is messy or noisy, it can negatively impact your sleep. It’s important to make sure that your room is clean and distraction-free by fixing any faulty appliances, organizing your belongings, and reducing other distractions, like turning off a blaring TV or hanging blackout curtains to limit the light streaming in from your windows.
- Count Backwards
If you find yourself unable to fall asleep or are constantly waking up in the middle of the night, it could be the result of anxiety or another issue causing your brain to be overly active when it should be in sleep mode. Counting backward from a high number will give you something to focus on to keep your mind from wandering. Since this task is also relatively uneventful, it should help you fall asleep.
A Good Night’s Sleep Promotes Good Health
You may think your body can function on little to no sleep, but these bad habits are sure to catch up with you at some point. Regularly getting seven to nine hours of sleep each night can help promote good mental and physical health. By using the tips above, you can put yourself on the right track to fall (and stay) asleep with ease.