For The Greater Goods (sm)

9 Natural Sleep Solutions for a Better Night’s Sleep

In this blog post we’ll be discussing some natural sleep solutions for those of us who either have trouble getting to sleep, or don’t get enough sleep.  I think it’s safe to say that many of us take sleep for granted. Or we think it’s a waste of time.  I know plenty of people natural sleepwho say they can run on five hours of sleep just fine.   Well, that’s what they may think, but in reality they are actually sabotaging their health.  See sleep is one of the most important things we can do for our health.

When we are sleeping our body does amazing things like:

  • Our heart rate and blood pressure fall by about 10%. People who sleep seven to eight hours a night have the lowest rates of heart disease.
  • Sleep releases growth hormones, which boost muscle mass and repair cells and tissues (every tissue in the body is renewed faster during sleep then during anytime when you are awake).
  • Sleeping helps our immune system kick into gear to help fight and recover from illnesses more quickly

So, how do we go about getting enough sleep?  Here are a few natural sleep solutions you can try:

1. Don’t eat anything about 2 hours before bedtime. Remember our bodies need to rest, repair and heal at night. If we eat before bed our body will be digesting as we sleep and the repair and healing will be on the back burner.

2. Like above, refrain from drinking a lot of liquids before bedtime to reduce trips to the bathroom. Also it helps to avoid caffeine after 2-3pm.

3. Stay away from processed foods. Eating a properly prepared, nutritious whole foods diet, will increase optimal health and in turn help regulate sleep.

4. Turn off all the lights when you sleep, this includes phones, alarm clocks, TVs, etc. Even street lights can affect our sleep. Invest in some black out curtains, or hang some blankets up. This will be very important for someone who works nights and sleeps during the day.

5. Try to get to sleep before 10pm. Not just be in bed by 10pm, try to be asleep by 10pm.  Adjust your sleeping schedule so you can get 7.5-8hr of sleep a night.

6. Sleep with the temperature below 70 degrees. Our body temperature naturally drops right before we fall asleep. If it’s too warm in the house or bed, it will be more difficult to remain asleep. Try to avoid heating blankets also.

7. Find a relaxing routine that you can get into every night. Whether it be reading a book, taking a relaxing bath (maybe with some lavender essential oil),  listening to some relaxing music.  Do whatever you can to help you to relax.  I actually like to put a few drops of lavender oil on a cloth and stick it in my children’s pillow cases at night. They love the smell and I think it helps wonderfully.

8. Try some herbal natural sleep solutions.  Valerian Root is an all natural herbal supplement that has been known calm the nervous system and can help with relief of occasional sleeplessness.  It is one of the ingredients in an herbal blend called Sleep Better, that also contains other sleep-promoting herbs.  Chamomile Tea is another wonderful herb known for its soothing and calming properties. Try sipping a small cup an hour or two before bed.

9. Do you stay awake due to stress or repetitive thoughts? Give flower essences a try.  Bach Rescue Remedy makes a Rescue Sleep flower essence blend that eases stress and calms repetitive thoughts, allowing you to fall asleep and stay asleep.

I hope some of these natural sleep tips were helpful to you.  What is your favorite natural sleep solution for getting a good night’s rest? 

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I'm a firm believer that you are what you eat and I want to be fresh, local, organic and healthy! I've spent a lifetime experimenting with natural foods, different diets and ways of eating, and have settled on the food philosophy that Michael Pollan expresses so well: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. I'm passionate about organic foods, natural living, cooking healthy meals, and improving my health on a daily basis.

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