Can’t sleep? You’re not alone. Millions of people across the world report difficulty falling and staying asleep at night. Not only is this frustrating, but lack of sleep starts to affect your health if it becomes a regular occurrence. Your risk of diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and obesity, for instance, are higher if you suffer from persistent sleep deprivation. While it’s always advisable to consult a doctor, there are a few natural sleep remedies you can use to improve the quality of your slumber.
To help get you started on the path to better sleep, we’ve listed our five favourite natural sleep remedies below.
5 natural sleep remedies you can start using today
While the exact reasons remain unknown, studies have shown that physical activity promotes healthy sleep patterns. People who exercise regularly tend to have long deep sleep cycles, necessary for the body to repair and restore. Ideally, you should aim for 45 to 60 minutes of moderate exercise five days a week, but if you can’t, at least try put aside 30 minutes three to four times a week for a sweat session. Not only does keeping active improve your sleep quality, but it helps reduce stress and depression, both of which have a negative effect on your sleep. However, try to avoid working out too close to bedtime, as the endorphins released during aerobic activity leave you feeling awake and energised. Rather, schedule your exercise for the morning, or at least two hours before turning in.
At some point in your life, you must have had people impart a few universally believed words of wisdom regarding sleep and food. Little nuggets such as milk before bed help you sleep and eating cheese too close to bedtime cause nightmares are two of the popular ones. Now, while you might brush these off as old wives’ tales (probably a good idea in the case of the cheese myth), you should be mindful of what you eat before going to sleep. Some foods help you feel relaxed and drowsy, while others will make you toss and turn all night long. High-fat foods, sugar and caffeine all disrupt your sleep cycles. Instead, consumables such as chamomile tea, cherry juice, whole grain crackers, bananas and low-fat milk (and cheese) all act as natural sleep remedies, helping you drift off to la-la land, and stay there.
The rising of the sun signals the time to wake up, so how does sunlight help you fall asleep? Simple. Your natural body clock relies on daylight to determine whether it should be raising your energy levels or producing melatonin to promote sleep. Ensuring you receive enough natural light during the day helps regulate your body clock’s 24-hour cycle, making it easier to fall asleep at night. When it comes to natural sleep remedies, it doesn’t get more natural than this.
It’s often the case after a busy day – you turn off the lights and all of a sudden your mind is wide awake, with thoughts chasing round in circles. Stress and anxiety can play a critical role in your ability to fall asleep. But before you start stocking up on over-the-counter sleep aids, try to quieten your mind with the power of meditation. As one of our favourite natural sleep remedies, practising meditation before bed helps relax your body and mind by slowing your breathing and reducing your level of stress hormones. With your mind free from worry, you’ll find drifting off much easier, and you’re more likely to experience deeper sleep cycles.
Aromatherapy is one of those natural sleep remedies that people love to debate – does it work, or is it a myth? We can’t make your mind up for you, but studies suggest that lavender not only helps boost your mood and ease anxiety but also promotes sleep. Add a few drops to your evening bath or onto your pillow and inhale the sweet scents as you dose off peacefully.
Now that you have these five natural sleep remedies to help induce slumber, the only thing missing is a quality mattress. Our innovative Meelu Mattress is a latex/memory foam hybrid designed to offer everyone the perfect night’s sleep. Order yours today, and we’ll deliver it free anywhere in South Africa.