Nothing feels quite as bad as a sleepless night, which can exhaust the body and the mind while simultaneously depleting our spirits. Yet, taking medication — over-the-counter pills or those prescribed by a doctor — may not be a viable solution for many of us. So, if you're looking to improve your sleep naturally, here are some tricks to consider.
Yoga and Meditation
A natural way to unwind is through yoga and meditation. Because stress can be disruptive, these gentle disciplines can let us relax and unwind. Some people believe that mindfulness is difficult; however, meditation can be as simple as learning how to breathe deeply. No matter which technique you choose, whether it be focused counting, visualization, or a mantra, they help calm our minds. What’s more, yoga offers many of the same benefits. It can redirect anxieties and ready us for sleep. There are even poses you can do in bed if you're restless; these forms are soothing and release tension both from our psyche and our muscles.
Add a Humidifier
Breathing in dry air can make it difficult to get restful sleep. It can impact your sinuses and dry out your body. However, if you increase the humidity in your bedroom, you're statistically more likely to slumber uninterrupted. Not only that, but you'll stay comfortable, and may wake more refreshed. Humidifiers are good for everyone, but especially for those with breathing issues, like asthma or allergies. Like all equipment, humidifiers need upkeep, so change your filters regularly and stay on top of its maintenance to keep it working smoothly.
Update Your Mattress
If you wake full of aches, you may need to update your mattress. It might be an expense, but consider how sleep affects every aspect of our health, from weight to memory. Sleeping well can lower stress, improve allergies, and make us feel better overall. To find the perfect mattress for you, try out different kinds at your local store. You need to spend about 20 minutes lying down on each one to really tell if it's comfortable. Getting a good night of sleep is worth the work.
Invest in Your Bedding
Relaxation doesn't end at the mattress. There are other ways to increase your comfort at night. Start by taking a hard look at your pillow; the perfect one depends on sleep position. Side sleepers need the firmest, most supportive cushioning to buoy the neck. Back sleepers need elevation to facilitate breathing, so add an extra pillow under your shoulders to lift your torso. Stomach sleepers need the thinnest pillow to avoid blocking airways, but it should still provide support. For even more comfort, add a weighted blanket, which can ease anxiety while lowering blood pressure. Many people find slumber easier with the aid of a weighted blanket.
Alter Your Diet
Food plays a significant role in sleep quality. Magnesium, vitamin B, and calcium all help our brains to produce melatonin, which is a chemical that prepares us for bedtime. As such, you should up your intake of sleep-promoting foods like bananas, rice, and leafy greens. You can make a smoothie to enjoy while you wind down with your favorite book, but choose your blender wisely. Some models are better with ice than others and the last thing you need before bed is to get frustrated by your appliances.
Unwind Without Electronics
Blue lights can keep our minds active. That's why we need to put tech away at least an hour before bed. Depending on your personal needs, you may be able to simply put your gadgets away. If you need access to them, however, there are ways to mitigate the light. You can buy a screen or glasses that block blue light. No matter what, don't take your gear into the bedroom. This should be a place for sleep, not work or socializing. Instead of relying on an e-reader or TV to put you to bed, have a book on hand to unwind naturally at the end of a long day.
The night should be when we recuperate and find relaxation. If we work to de-stress, we can improve our chances of getting rest. After all, sleep should never be elusive.
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