Not being able to get a good night’s sleep is one of the most consistent complaints I hear in my office, which alarms me, as getting good quality and quantity sleep is essential to your health and well-being. And yes, those pills are pretty alarming, too, whether over the counter or prescription. How some of them like Ambien act is more amnesia-inducing, so you don’t know you didn’t sleep, than a true “sleeping” pill. No one I’ve spoken to actually feels well-rested taking them. Would you disagree?
Here are my top 5 natural tips for getting a good night’s sleep.
1. Early to Bed…Research shows that quality of sleep is better when it starts earlier. Keep a regular schedule, and get to bed before midnight.
2. Sleep Hygiene Turn off electronics 60-90 minutes before bedtime. They stimulate the brain just when you need to quiet it. Turn off wi-fi at night, and turn it back on when you need it. Remove phones, computers, video games and TVs from the bedroom. Sleep in complete darkness. Nothing that produces light, which shuts down your natural production of melatonin. Use curtains to block outside light.
3. Keep it cool. Between 60 and 68 degrees is ideal.
4. Control Caffeine. Enjoy your coffee, but only in the morning. Caffeine stays in the body for 8-12 hours, so mid-afternoon java works into the night. Black and green tea, and decaf tea and coffee still have caffeine, so eliminate after noon, especially if you’re having trouble sleeping.
5. Slow it down. Develop calming bedtime rituals: a hot bath; a cup of herbal tea; a book; prayer or meditation; a short walk; a stretch or a few relaxing yoga poses. Give yourself time to wind down.