Top 9 Natural Sleep Solutions

In this modern living society, many people forget that sleep is an essential function to keep our body and mind healthy, playing a predominant role in our well-being. Having a good sleep is pretty much as important as exercising your body and maintaining a healthy diet.1

Most adults require an average sleep time of 7 – 9 hours, and particularly children under the age of five require more sleep than the average. When you don’t provide enough rest that your body needs, then you will become unhealthy in the state of mind and body.

A survey reports that an approximated rate of 50 to 70 million individuals is suffering from sleep disorders. Let us know about the top 9 natural sleep solutions for a good night’s sleep in this article.

What leads to inadequate sleep?

Insomnia is a kind of sleep disorder making it difficult to nod off or stay asleep and causes you to get up too early and not get back to sleep. Insomnia affects the older generation more than the younger ones, risking short-term or long-term illness.

Melatonin is a naturally-producing hormone in our body that regulates the sleep-wake cycle. It improves sleep by solving insomnia problems. Darkness produces more measure of melatonin, signalling your body to sleep whereas light produces less measure of melatonin, signalling you to be awake.

Many sleep deficiency problems are caused due to a low quantity of melatonin production in the body.

Here is an outlook presenting the impacts of inadequate sleep2:

  • Insufficient sleep may lead to excessive weight gain and obesity.
  •  People who don’t spend enough time sleeping may have several health issues like heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and diabetes.
  • Sleep loss leads to dull skin and puffy eyes.
  • Loss of a good night’s sleep may cause the person to feel depressed, leading to a state of anxiety, uneasiness, mood shifts, and changeable behavior.
  • Inadequate sleep results in microsleep during the daytime, which is extremely dangerous while driving.

9 Natural sleep solutions

Insomnia and other sleep disorders 3can be prevented by following the top 9 natural sleep solutions for a good night’s sleep:

1. Consume Warm Milk Before Bed

Are you a dairy consumer? Then, this remedy is for you. Following the tradition of grandmother’s natural remedy for insomnia,4 consume a glass of warm milk (also known as “night milk”) with a small quantity of ginger, cardamom, and turmeric for a more relaxing sleep.

Sipping warm milk with honey produces tryptophan, an amino acid that generates a sleep-inducing effect, and also produces serotonin which helps in reducing anxiety, working as a natural sedative. Being rich in carbohydrates, honey transmits the hormones to the brain faster, reminding the brain to sleep.

If you are done with a heavy dinner, it’s healthy that you consume a glass of milk as it improves digestion carrying you to nod off sooner. A cup of milk before sleep makes you burn more calories. It also wakes you up in the morning with fresh energy and a pleasant mood.

2. Take a Bedtime Shower With Hot Water

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Photo by Hannah Xu on Unsplash

Scientists say that taking a hot bath with lavender oil before bed urges you to fall asleep faster, particularly for individuals suffering from sleep deprivation. The perfect time and the perfect temperature for a bedtime shower are crucial for consuming the maximum benefits of quality sleep.

Research by Shahab Haghayegh and his team has proved that taking a bath for about an hour or two before going to bed provides relaxation, thereby helping the person fall asleep faster.

Soaking in a hot tub for about 20 to 30 minutes raises your body temperature, and a sudden cool-down makes you relax, putting you in a profound sleep.

A hot bath has other benefits like curing muscle pain, burning calories, relieving cold and Flu symptoms, making your heart healthy, and soothing irritated skin. Taking a relaxing bath at night seems preferable to the racing bath you take up at the beginning of the day.

3. Exercise Early and Regularly

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Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Regular exercising is very beneficial not only in improving health but also helps in improving sleep. It is one of the natural sleep solutions that provide fitness to your body. A study shows that people who practice regular aerobic exercises for about 30 minutes can fall asleep up to 13 minutes quicker than expected.

Exercising for about 30-90 minutes a day raises your core body temperature. It takes about 6 hours for the body temperature to become normal. The relaxation drives you into sleepiness. Brisk walking, jogging, stretching, cycling, or committing to low-intensity workouts may reduce the risk of death by 17%.

Exercising at night is strictly prohibited by experts as it disrupts sleep and causes adverse health issues. Exercising is good for maintaining your mental health by reducing anxiety, feelings, tension, and upsets. It also improves weight control, metabolism, and cardiovascular health.

Read more about 14 Impressive Yoga Steps for Peace of Mind.

4. Eat Pro-Sleep Foods and Avoid Sleep Stealers for Dinner

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Image by Pera Detlic from Pixabay

Consuming healthy food items are a very natural sleep solution, making you healthy in mind and body. It is to be remembered that good health and a long sleep are the two best cures for anything.

The food varieties that you eat and drink play a significant part in deciding your sleep quality. Given below are some of the preferable healthy nighttime snacks to help you sleep:

  • Tart cherries
  • Walnuts
  • Almonds
  • Low-fat milk
  • Whole-grain cereals
  • Herbal tea (specifically green tea and chamomile tea)
  • Fruity yogurt
  • Roasted chickpeas
  • Honey
  • Turkey

Practicing eating these healthy snacks drives you to fall asleep sooner. Still, having trouble nodding off to the dream world?

Avoid the following sleep stealers that are not good at making you fall asleep:

  • Chocolates
  • Ice cream
  • Alcohol
  • Chips and crisps
  • Fried foods
  • Spicy curry
  • Caffeine products
  • Cheese
  • Soda
  • Chicken

Staying away from these food items can get you a sound night’s sleep. Researchers say that an awful night’s sleep can lead you to seek more unhealthy and junk foods the following day.

Wanna follow a healthy diet? Do check out McDougall Research & Education Foundation.

5. Follow a Sleep Schedule

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Image by Claudio_Scott from Pixabay

Generally, people set the alarm to wake up in the morning. Attempt this habit in the evening too to go to bed regularly at the same clock. Delaying the time to sleep by going to bed extremely late and waking up late may make your day look dull and tiring.

Going to bed early and waking up early in the morning is a great appreciable habit to maintain a pleasant sleep.

Set an alarm 15 minutes before going to bed. This reminder lets you do all the night routines like brushing your teeth, wearing pyjamas (nightdress), washing your face, doing some gentle bedtime yoga exercises, and whatever you follow. These natural sleep solutions set your mind to sleep.

Furthermore, do not nap during the daytime as it disrupts your dozing time and ruins your sleep schedule. If you feel like napping, do some exercises that keep you sharp and expel drowsiness. Following a well-planned sleep schedule is a natural sleep solution that seems simple to hear but takes a long time to go after the routine successfully.

6. Create a Relaxing Environment

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Image by Sofia Iivarinen from Pixabay

Designing a sleep hygiene environment is one of the good natural sleep solutions to be followed for a good night’s sleep. It is not about cleaning your bed before you sleep. It speaks about creating a peaceful, relaxing environment for blissful sleep.

Paint your bedroom wall with a comforting colour. Experts explain that the best color that drives you to nod off quickly is blue, which is the most preferable. It is also likely to have colors like silver, yellow, and green creating a calm environment.

National Sleep Foundation sets an ideal room temperature of about 15 to 22 degrees Celsius, which lowers the body temperature, thereby bringing you to fall asleep quickly.

The right scents for your bedroom also equally matter. Scientists prove that pleasant aromatic materials, including essential oils like lavender, promote relaxation. Regular cleaning of your bedroom and proper ventilation can be a plus to your sleep. Your bed sheets and pillows should be comfortable in reducing back pains.5

7. Turn Off All the Lights

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Image by olarts from Pixabay

Darkness matters! Turning off all the lights is a signal to your brain informing you that this is the time to sleep. A study has found that exposure to artificial lights while sleeping can decrease melatonin production by 50%, affecting both the quantity and quality of sleep.

Sleeping with lights on can even lead to severe illnesses like cancer. The usage of window coverings blocks all the light from entering. Special use of blackout curtains provides room-darkening effects.

The use of mobile phones before bed has become a common behavior of many youngsters leading to fatigue and insomnia. It is recommended to prevent using such electronic devices 30 minutes before sleep.

The most helpful natural sleep solutions are to keep the technology away from the bedroom and follow a regular bedtime routine. Why not try this idea for a nighty night?

8. Take On a Chilling Bedtime Habit

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Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

Bedtime rituals are the activities that you perform before going to bed. It must be mind-relaxing activities like reading a book, listening to melodies, and jotting down the next day’s plans to be executed. These are some relaxing natural sleep solutions that pave the way for sufficiently good sleep.

Reading before sleep can develop your intellectual capability. E-reading is a strict no-no as it disturbs your body clock. Choose to read boring topics which results in putting you to sleep faster. Experts at the University of Surrey have found that reading reduces stress by 68%.

Here is another remedy for you that most people enjoy doing if you are not a book lover. Relax by listening to your favourite beats and soothing melodies. Slow rhythmic songs with 60-80 beats per minute provide syncing of your heartbeat with the musical beat. A survey shows that songs by Ed Sheeran are the most heard songs by people before dozing off.

Practice jotting down the plans and activities to be executed the following day. Dumping stuff in your mind makes you stressed and feel tense. Take a piece of paper and write the tasks(To-Do list) that you want to complete tomorrow, thereby putting them down and making your mind feel relaxed and calm. It provides a night of deeper sleep and avoids waking up in the middle.

9. Get More Sunlight

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Image by Daniel Reche from Pixabay

Getting exposed to sunlight causes the brain to release a hormone called “serotonin.” It is recommended to spend about 30-40 minutes undertaking direct sunlight providing sufficient exposure to your eyes.

Do apply sunscreen before going for a jog or a walk in the morning. During the early morning, the intensity of sunlight is less, thereby not causing harm to your skin. It also makes you feel fresh and focused on your work during day time and hence produces enough sleep at night time.

Following these natural sleep solutions helps you get a night of restful sleep and relieves you from insomnia and other sleep disorders.

Advantages of a good night sleep

  • Good sleep boosts your mood and builds a sharper brain.
  • It reduces blood pressure and the risk of heart attacks.
  • Sufficient sleep promotes your performance in athletics.
  • It also controls your weight by making you feel less hungry than normal.
  • Quality sleep functions your immune system to work suitably.
  • It also improves your memory and makes you smarter.

If you still have trouble sleeping after adhering to these top 9 natural sleep solutions, it is recommended that you consult a doctor and talk about your problem to get a good idea about your health issue.

FAQs

  1. Fuhrmann, Arno, and Julius Kuhl. “Maintaining a healthy diet: Effects of personality and self-reward versus self-punishment on commitment to and enactment of self-chosen and assigned goals.” Psychology and Health 13.4 (1998): 651-686. ↩︎
  2. Dahl, Ronald E. “The impact of inadequate sleep on children’s daytime cognitive function.” Seminars in pediatric neurology. Vol. 3. No. 1. WB Saunders, 1996. ↩︎
  3. Sadeh, Avi, et al. “The role of actigraphy in the evaluation of sleep disorders.” Sleep 18.4 (1995): 288-302. ↩︎
  4. Romero, Kate, et al. “Alternative remedies for insomnia: a proposed method for personalized therapeutic trials.” Nature and science of sleep (2017): 97-108. ↩︎
  5. Foster, Nadine E., et al. “Prevention and treatment of low back pain: evidence, challenges, and promising directions.” The Lancet 391.10137 (2018): 2368-2383. ↩︎

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Baruni Priya T S

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