Updated: Mar 8, 2018
We all need sleep, and most of us really like it. For some though, it can be evasive and kind of a pain to get to. Whether it is your mind racing or your body not being willing to calm down, these ten ideas can help improve your sleep and the speed you get there.
#1 Join the Dark Side
We are programmed biologically to be very photosensitive. Before we had alarm clocks and roosters, people relied on the sun to tell them when to get up. Okay, maybe the roosters were still there when the sun was used for time tracking, but eliminating the light from your room can assist with sleeping faster and longer than many other factors. Invest in some nice black out curtains or choose to sleep in a room with a smaller window. Maybe consider putting your bed in the smaller room in the house so it is just dedicated for sleep and there aren't as many electronics or windows to light it up.
#2 Oil Up!
Essential oils can assist the body in many of its natural processes. Throw on a few drops of Lavender to assist with calming a restless body; or if it is the mind acting up, try some citrus or wood based essential oils.
We have all seen in the movies when the main character switches on their jungle sounds or rain track. Crazy thing is, it actually works. Our mind spends all day observing the stimuli around it - sounds, sights, feelings, etc. - and if we set a static sound it won't need to expend energy gathering data and can sleep well.
So regal! Enjoy your tea in the study before retiring to your quarters. Now, if you don't have an English butler you may have to take tea on the couch after making your own kettle of water, but it is relaxing all the same. Try some chamomile, lavender, or other herbal tea (remember to avoid caffeinated teas).
#5 Enjoy a Snack
Years ago we used to think that if you ate at night you would get fat, but guess what? Sleeping takes energy too. Provide the body with some healthy foods to supply energy and you can get those deeper sleep cycles because the body has what it needs to function.
When you are falling asleep your body temperature actually drops, by cooling your room down you can assist in bringing the body into that mode faster. Plus, it is always a lot easier to fall asleep in a nice cool room than in a hot, sticky one! The National Sleep Foundation recommends a bedroom temperature of 60 to 67 degrees F for the most sleep-friendly conditions. Set your thermostat to drop a couple of degrees at night, your sleep will thank you.
#7 Enjoy a Massage
Do you really need more excuses to get some massage? We think so! Having a massage right before bed can assist the body in relaxing and getting to sleep. Plus, this is a great way to connect with each other and is even easier with The Body Ball (yup, a shameless product spotlight).
Ok, it sounds a little nerdy, but having warm hands and warm feet can be directly associated with getting to sleep fast and staying asleep. So maybe a little nerdy is worth it. Plus, this is a great excuse to buy some cute sleeping socks!
Not only is it fun to eat by candle light, reducing the light you are exposed to at the end of the night can assist your body in realizing that it is time to slow down and prepare for sleep. It might not be practical to light candles every night, but start switching off the overhead lights and use softer light later at night.
#10 The 4-7-8 Method
Oxygenation is very important for the body. It fuels our normal body processes while we are awake and having extra oxygen at the time of falling asleep can speed that up too. The 4-7-8 method is claimed to help you fall asleep in under 1 minute.
According to DrWeil.com, here’s how you do it:
Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth, and keep it there through the entire exercise.
Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.
Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
Hold your breath for a count of seven.
Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.
Repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.