If it’s way past midnight and you’re saying to yourself “I need to get some sleep,” then you’ve come to the right place.
I spent most of my years as a young adult battling my Sunday sleep demon.
After a weekend of playing hard, changing my hours, and sleeping in, I was up tossing and turning every Sunday night.
The result: dead Monday. By that, I mean a VERY non-productive, exhausted Monday.
I’m quite a few years older now. Thankfully, I’ve learned a few tricks to getting a good night’s rest that I want to share with you, so you don’t fall into this destructive pattern.
It’s ok to get a few extra zzz’s on the weekend or stay up late on special occasions. However, do not drastically alter your sleep pattern.
Changing your sleep/wake schedule disrupts your natural circadian rhythm and propels you into restless sleep sometimes for days.
Keep your sleep routine similar (within an hour or so) every day of the week.
Brewed, caffeinated coffee in its many forms is on nearly every street corner today.
For proper sleep, be aware of all sources of caffeine in your diet: soda, tea, energy drinks, chocolate, and even herbs like guarana.
Caffeine overload is a major sleep disrupter and bladder irritant(think many trips to the bathroom). Skip caffeine altogether after 1:00 pm.
If you’re sensitive to caffeine, it may be a good idea to cut it out completely. Have chamomile or skullcap tea instead, especially if you’re under stress.
Eating high sugar foods (candy, cake, cookies) and refined carbohydrates (chips, refined bread, pastries) causes a rise in blood sugar levels and insulin production.
A drop in blood sugar and increase in stress hormones follows this.
Sugar fluctuations make it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep.Consequentially, next day moodiness or mental fog is a common result.
A better option is to have a little almond butter, full fat yogurt (without added sugars), miso soup, or oatmeal.
Allergies are a huge and overlooked cause of sleep problems. Allergies keep you up with difficult breathing (at its worse asthma), coughing, runny nose, and itchy eyes.
Allergies also worsen and contribute to sleep apnea, an obstructive, respiratory problem that causes a person to wake many times through the night.
If allergies are the cause of your sleep problem, address them with a natural health practitioner or doctor. Some people improve just by cutting out dairy or gluten in their diets.
A gentle nettles tea can help some people overcome mild seasonal allergies, and improve their sleep.
For very stubborn allergies or asthma that disrupts sleep, long- term immune support or respiratory therapy may be necessary.
Herbs can calm stress, relax the mind and body, and encourage a deep, restful sleep.
Nervine, hypnotic herbs like passionflower and skullcap in this formula support the nervous system, allowing you to fall asleep and stay asleep.
They have the advantage of being non-addictive and don’t cause next day fatigue.
Just add 4-5 dropperfuls to water or juice 30 minutes before bed. Add another 1-2 dropperfuls at bedtime for enhanced results if you’re still not sleepy.
Once you get into a good sleep routine, you can start to enjoy bedtime. Get comfortable, and use a good pillow and bedding.
Try some sleep rituals, like guided meditation or deep breathing. Encourage your family or kids to get in on it.
All of these simple techniques can improve your quality of sleep, and allow you to have more energy during the day.