How To Sleep Better at Night Naturally
Struggling to sleep and looking for natural remedies to improve your sleep quality? You've come to the right place. We've been looking into sleep, why we need it, and what can disrupt it, and we've come up with a few natural ways you can sleep better.
Sleep is hugely important to our health and not getting a good night's sleep can have negative effects on your health. We've taken a look at some of the best natural remedies for falling asleep and staying asleep and we've listed them below.
Check them out now and start improving your sleep quality in a natural way!
Why do we need a good night's sleep?
So, why do we need a good night's sleep?
Sleep is incredibly important to good health. Trying to get better sleep can help you to feel more alert, improve your concentration and boost your cognition. Good sleep quality allows you to feel refreshed and ready for the day.
A good night's sleep is essential in a range of ways, which include:
- It improves concentration, productivity, and our ability to engage in social interactions
- It can lower your risk of weight gain and help your body to regulate calories better
- It can lower your risk of heart disease as your body regulates blood pressure during sleeping hours
- It can help to prevent certain mental health conditions and soothe the symptoms of others
- It lowers inflammation in the body
- It supports a good immune system and helps the body to fight off disease
A good night's rest can support your health and help to maintain important bodily functions as well as protect the body from illness. It is in your best interests to learn how to sleep better and work on improving overall sleep quality.
To find out more about what causes sleep problems and how you can treat these naturally, keep on reading!
Trouble sleeping? What can cause poor sleep quality?
With everything from your sleep environment to your natural sleep patterns able to be disrupted easily by day-to-day occurrences, it is not uncommon to have sleep problems now and again. Sleep problems are caused by a variety of different things, and trying to figure out what is disrupting your sleep may not be as straightforward as you thought.
Trouble falling asleep is incredibly common and affects everyone at some point in their lives. There are plenty of different reasons you may have poor sleep quality, and these include:
- Daytime napping. Though napping can be a great way to feel refreshed, if you're napping for extended periods during the day, you may find yourself unable to sleep at night. It is recommended that you only nap in short bursts, between 20 - 30 minutes at a time.
- Anxiety, stress, depression, and other mental health conditions. Lots of mental health conditions can lead to poor sleep quality. If you have racing thoughts and suffer from excessive worry, you may find that reducing your stress levels could help you sleep better. If you have a diagnosed mental health condition that you think is impacting your sleep, speak with your doctor to discuss treatments.
- Caffeine intake. This is a really simple habit to change. If you're guzzling caffeine all day, you may find you are being kept awake, leading to poor sleep and a need to drink even more caffeine the next day. Try reducing your caffeine intake to 1 or 2 cups a day. Additionally, try to stop drinking anything caffeinated after 3 pm to allow your body to relax naturally into sleep.
- Alcohol intake. Did you know that alcohol inhibits deep sleep? Even though you may feel sleepy when you consume alcohol, it actually prevents your body from entering the deepest phase of sleep and can leave you feeling like you had a less-than-restful sleep the night before. Try to limit your alcohol consumption if you're struggling to sleep.
- Screen time. Taking screens into the bedroom, looking at your phone right before bed, or answering a quick work email as you settle in for the night can all cause disruption to your sleep. The blue light in your screen can suppress the production of melatonin, a hormone crucial for sleep. Try making your bedroom a screen-free zone and limiting screen time after dinner time.
- Diet. There is some evidence to suggest that a poor diet can disrupt sleep. Diets high in sugar can cause sleep problems and it is suggested you opt for a diet rich in whole grains to enjoy a more restful sleep.
Altering every day habits can have a big impact on your sleep, but sometimes issues sleeping aren't fixable by small changes. If you've tried making changes like those listed above and you're still struggling to sleep, you should consider speaking with your doctor to discuss the possibility of sleep disorders, like insomnia, and possible treatment for these. Sleep disorders are treatable and your doctor can advise you on the best options available for you.
How to fall asleep and stay asleep naturally
So, we know why we need sleep and we know why we might not be sleeping, and now it's time to find out how we can promote better sleep naturally.
We've done some research into natural ways we can get good sleep, without reaching for the sleeping pills. The remedies listed below have been used for years to treat sleep problems. Not all remedies will work for everybody and so it is worth trying a few until you find the one that helps you out!
Let's take a look!
Limiting screens and controlling light
We've briefly discussed how limiting your screen time can have a positive impact on your sleep. We recommend making your bedroom a screen-free zone. Replace your bedtime scroll with a good book, some soothing music, or a quick meditation session.
As well as limiting your screen time, it is a good idea to dim your lights a few hours before bed. Switch out the ceiling light for a lamp or dim the lights around you to start preparing your body for sleep. Additionally, getting more natural light during the day can help to keep your sleep pattern in check and improve your ability to fall asleep.
Changes to your diet
There is some evidence suggesting that the kind of diet you follow can have an impact on your ability to sleep.
There have been links made between daytime sleepiness and poor sleep quality and a high-fat diet. Foods that are higher in fat can lead to weight gain and can decrease the brain's sensitivity to chemicals that regulate sleep patterns.
High protein foods, like steak, can also be bad for sleep. This is because these foods take a long time to break down and so it is suggested that you don't eat them close to your bedtime as they can keep the body awake.
As we get closer to our natural sleep time, our digestive system begins to slow down means that foods take longer to break down. Eating big meals right before bed can disrupt your body clock. It is suggested that you eat more complex carbohydrates, like wholewheat bread or oatmeal, right before bed. These foods are easier to digest and prompt the release of serotonin which is a hormone that promotes sleep.
Exercise is fantastic for your health. Though you're probably absolutely sick of hearing it, getting enough exercise is good for you - and it's good for sleep.
It's actually not fully understood, but experts all agree that moderate aerobic exercise can improve sleep quality. Getting more exercise during the day can increase the amount of deep sleep you get, helping you to feel more rested when you wake up.
Try going for a run or doing a resistance band workout and see if it improves your sleep.
Care should be taken not to exercise too close to bedtime as the release of endorphins caused by exercise can actually keep some people awake! Try exercising in the morning to help you feel more energised!
We discussed changing your sleep environment and one way you can do this is through the use of essential oils. Using aromatherapy oils can help to create a more claiming and sleep-friendly environment.
There is a whole range of aromatherapy diffuser oils that can help to promote sleep, relax your body, and soothe your worries. These include:
- Lavender oil. Probably the most well-known essential oil for sleep, lavender oil can soothe worries, ease anxiety and relax the body, promoting deep sleep.
- Chamomile oil. More well-known as tea, chamomile oil has the same relaxing effects on the body as in its tea form.
- Sandalwood oil. This rich scent is fantastic for promoting deep and restful sleep. Though on the more expensive side, this essential oil is an age-old remedy for sleep issues.
- Clary sage oil. This oil is known to soothe worrying thoughts and overthinking, helping those with an overactive mind to fall asleep more easily.
As well as pure essential oils, you can also get diffuser oils blends created specifically for sleep, relaxation and stress. Try diffusing for 30 mins to an hour before bed and transform your room into a peaceful, sleep-friendly haven.
Always diffuse in a well-ventilated room and don't diffuse for more than an hour at a time. If you have any pets, ensure your diffuser oils are pet-friendly. Many aren't and can be incredibly harmful to pets’ health!
Drinking a warm beverage before bed is a great way to soothe your body into sleep, even better if it contains sleep-promoting herbs! Try and avoid anything caffeinated before bed, and for those with sensitivities to caffeine, even decaf drinks are a no-go.
There are lots of different sleep tea blends that can promote good sleep and they contain many of the same ingredients. These include:
- Chamomile. Probably the most well-known sleep herb, chamomile tea is fantastic for sleep. It can help to relax your body, promoting good sleep.
- Valerian root. A known sleep aid, valerian root is commonly found in sleep teas.
- Passionflower. Another common ingredient, you can also drink passionflower tea alone. It is known to help treat insomnia as well as anxiety.
- Lemon balm. This herb is used across the board, from use as a cleaning aid to treatment for insomnia.
Magnesium is a known stimulant. of the parasympathetic nervous system. This is the part of the central nervous system that helps you to relax. A lack of magnesium can be characterised by sleep issues (among other symptoms) and so, taking a magnesium supplement may help you to sleep better.
As well as supplements, you could try topical magnesium treatments, like body lotions, to relax your muscles and soothe your body into a restful sleep. Or you could try taking a warm bath using magnesium bath salts to relax your body before bed. Magnesium is absorbed by the skin and so magnesium bath salts can help promote sleep too.
As the hormone responsible for sleep regulation, melatonin is important to get healthy sleep. If you're having trouble sleeping, you could try taking a melatonin supplement. This natural remedy can help to promote more restful sleep and help you to feel more awake during the day.
Healthy sleep is important to a healthy life and so, if you're struggling to fall asleep or stay asleep, you should consider trying one of the natural remedies for better sleep we have listed above. There are many causes of sleep issues and making small changes can really help to support better sleep.
Remember to always use natural or complementary sleep medicine with caution and always follow the instructions on the product you are using. If you are still suffering from sleep issues after trying these remedies, it may be time to speak to a health professional. Your doctor can advise you on the best treatments for sleep issues.
Poor sleep can have an ill effect on your health meaning it is essential you try to get a good night of sleep every night. Check out the remedies we have listed on our site today and get better sleep in no time!
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I improve my sleep?
Improving your sleep can be done really easily. There are lots of everyday habits that can contribute to poor sleep and so correcting this can be a simple lifestyle change. Try turning screens off an hour or so before bed to help your body wind down. Reading a book rather than scrolling will promote more restful sleep. Eat complex carbs before bed, rather than high-fat and high-protein foods as these are more difficult to break down and can keep you awake at night. You could also try to reduce any stress in your life to ensure you're not being kept awake with worry and anxiety.
How can I fight insomnia naturally?
Insomnia is a sleep disorder suffered by some. It is characterised by poor sleep or lack of sleep. If you are looking for natural ways to treat insomnia, you could try drinking passionflower tea or tea containing valerian root. Both of these herbs are known to promote sleep. Additionally, you could try diffusing lavender essential oil or sandalwood oil in your room before bed to soothe you into sleep. If you are struggling to sleep, even with natural remedies, speak to your doctor about your insomnia.
What is the strongest herb for sleep?
There are a few herbs that are known to have sleep-promoting effects. The most well-known is chamomile which is drunk as a tea and is known to relax the body. Valerian root has been used for centuries as a sleep aid and is effective in promoting sleep. Passionflower is also a great herb to consume before bed and is known to help soothe sleep issues and anxiety.
How can I sleep deeply without medicine?
To sleep deeply without medicine, you should consider making a few lifestyle changes. These include:
- Avoid consumption of caffeine after 3 pm to ensure your body can relax into sleep and has enough time to break down the caffeine in your body.
- Avoid excessive consumption of alcohol which is known to inhibit deep sleep.
- Eat more complex carbohydrates and less high-fat and high-protein foods before bed. Complex carbs are easier to break down and promote the release of serotonin which aids sleep.
- Reduce stress in life to avoid being kept awake by overthinking and worrying. Try practising mindfulness, yoga, and meditation to calm the body.
- Reduce screen time before bed and avoid screens totally for an hour or so before sleep.
- Try using aromatherapy oils like lavender, sandalwood, and clary sage to promote sleep and relaxation.
- Drink sleep teas containing sleep-promoting herbs like chamomile, valerian root, and passionflower to relax the body before bed.