Sleepless nights are no fun. They make us groggy and unable to focus, but they're also an underlying threat to our health. Over time, lack of sleep can lead to issues like high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and depression.
If you're struggling to get restful sleep on a regular basis, skew the sleeping-pill route and instead try one (or all!) of these natural strategies.
Natural solution for restful sleep tip #1: Turn down the dial.
Most modern thermostats let you set the temperature to go down at a certain time each night. Turning the dial just a few degrees lower can help better regulate body temperature, keeping you free from the night sweats, and providing a natural solution for a good night's sleep.
Natural solution for restful sleep tip #2: Soak it up, and soak it in.
The sun gives us much-needed vitamin D and helps our bodies produce melatonin, a hormone that naturally tells our brains when it's time to go to sleep—so make sure to get your daily dose. At night, a hot bath or shower with some calming essential oils can promote relaxation.
Natural solution for restful sleep tip #3: Try lavender essential oil.
Lavender essential oil is well-known for its relaxing properties. Roll some onto your feet and temples before bed, or spray some onto a pillow for a natural solution for restful sleep.
Natural solution for restful sleep tip #4: Keep it moving.
Study after study shows the importance of regular exercise and its positive impact on our health. The same goes for sleep. Aside from the endorphin release, it can help reduce negative feelings, making for more restful nights.
Natural solution for restful sleep tip #5: Eat clean.
Artificial, spicy, and fatty foods can not only disrupt the gastrointestinal system but also our sleep rhythms. Instead, eat foods that promote restful sleep, like cherries, kiwi, bananas, chamomile tea, whole-grain crackers, almonds, and salmon.
Natural solution for restful sleep tip #6: Power down.
The blue light from devices acts as an electronic form of caffeine and can mess with your sleep cycle. Make sure to shut off electronics at least an hour before bedtime so your eyes and brain can prep for sleep.
Natural solution for restful sleep tip #7: Write it down.
If worry or stress is keeping you awake, try writing it all down in a journal. The power of putting pen to paper exists here too; once it's written down, you may find that your worries go down as well, providing an opportunity to have a more restful sleep.
Natural solution for restful sleep tip #8: Set your bed up for success.
Do what you can to make your bed situation as comfortable as possible: splurge on sheets that wick away moisture, invest in a weighted blanket, or upgrade your mattress to an adjustable one. You spend one-third of your life here, so you might as well make it an oasis for the perfect night's sleep.
Natural solution for restful sleep tip #9: Stretch it out.
Yoga is a powerful yet gentle way to relax the mind and body, massaging muscles and organs as you twist and stretch. Even just a few minutes of gentle stretching and mindfulness before bedtime can be a natural solution to a deeper sleep.
Natural solution for restful sleep tip #10: Try a supplement.
If all else fails and those elusive sheep are still, well ... elusive, try one of the many natural supplements available today that aim to promote a more restful, relaxing slumber. Brewing an herbal tea of chamomile and valerian root has become a nightly ritual for my husband and I.