Sleepless nights is a real problem for many busy people. You finally lay your head to rest on your pillow after an exhausting day. You are ready for bed but why won’t your mind and body let you fall asleep. Whether you are suffering from the inability to fall asleep, you can’t get your mind to stop going or you have trouble with night wake ups, there is hope for you.
In this guide I share with you the top and most effective natural therapies to help you overcome sleep issues so you can get better rest right away. Let’s get started shall we!
Herbs are some of the most effective therapies you can use to help you get to sleep right away. I list this therapy first so you can get started with something that can help you quickly.
Using herbs for sleep is a safe and affective way to help calm and sedate your nervous system so you can fall asleep and stay asleep. There are a couple of different classifications of herbs that are helpful for sleep issues – nervines, sedatives and adaptogens.
Nervine herbs work by helping to support the nervous system. They can calm an overactive nervous system as well as nourish and build up the health of the nervous system. This is important for healthy sleep because an over-reactive or hyper nervous system will make falling asleep difficult. Nevines are safe for longterm use and are non-addictive.
Sedative herbs are a fun group of herbs to use. These types of herbs literally sedate the nervous system, making it easier for you to relax and fall asleep. Sedative herbs can work through various systems of the body like the nervous system and musculature systems. These herbs are most effective for helping you to fall asleep initially.
While sleep issues seem like the problem you are trying to fix, there is an underlying imbalance or reason you are having sleep issues. That is where adaptogens come into play. Adaptogens help to support your body so it is functioning at its best. Through the regular use of adaptogens for stress health and adrenal health, your body will be able to balance it’s daily orchestra of hormones which in turn affect your ‘sleep’ hormones – Getting to the ROOT of the issue. It is a little bit complex to get into right now, but read more about the stress hormones cascade so you can understand that getting better rest starts first thing in the morning.
Learn more about Herbs for Sleep…
One step you can start taking today towards creating better sleep is to help your body to begin releasing sleep hormones before bed time is by creating a nightly ritual. When you do this at the same time every night 1 hour to 30 minutes before bed, you will help communicate to your body that it is now time to unwind and begin relaxing. This is especially important if you live a very high energy life where you are go, go, go all the time.
Here is an example evening ritual that you can use or tailor to fit your likes.
1 hour before bed begin doing the following:
The key to this working is starting it at the same time every night and incorporating some triggers into your nightly ritual. Triggers are specific tools that affect the brain and through repeated use can cause a reaction from the body and brain. All you need to do is just use the same sent regularly and this will eventually create a trigger for you every time you smell it.
In the above example I have used aromatherapy as a trigger. That is why aromatherapy is so powerful as part of your daily ritual. With repeated use overtime of the same blend of essential oil, your brain will automatically associate sleep with that smell – making it easier to get to sleep faster. That smells good to me!
When we are sleeping our brains are going through a cycle of sleep depth. A complete cycle is about every 90 minutes. Knowing this and using it to your sleep advantage is helpful because you feel much more refreshed and awake when you wake at the end of a sleep cycle instead of in the middle.
Have you ever woken up from a nap and felt super cranky and even more tired than when you went to sleep? This is because you woke up in the middle of a sleep cycle.
There are many ways to use sleep cycles to your advantage, but the two easiest ways I have found are:
Another trigger to help your body and mind know it is time to go to sleep is to make your bedroom environment one that is completely focused on sleep. Set up your bedroom in such a way that it is simple, clear, clean and relaxing. Your bedroom should only be used for two things – sleeping and sex. There should be no TV, exercise equipment, etc in your bedroom.
Make it a beautiful, boring and relaxing place to be.
Here are some steps you can take to help make your bedroom a sleep haven.
Aromatherapy for Sleep
Using aromatherapy to help you sleep is a great way to quickly get some sedating and calming herbs into your body. I mentioned it as part of your nightly ritual for good reason. Essential oils are some of the fastest acting compounds you can use to elicit a response from the mind. In our case we want relaxation and sedation.
Over time you can also train your body to react to a certain scent that it is bedtime and time for sleep and your body will then release sleep hormones and settle down much easier. Find a blend that you love and use it repeatedly overtime, creating an aromatherapy trigger that will make it easy to induce a sleep reaction from your body and brain.
Some of the best essential oils for sleep are:
Stop Caffeine and Stimulant Consumption After 1:00
Caffeine may not affect you as much as it affects me, but I find that when I consume caffeine after 1:00 I have trouble falling asleep and I wake up more during the night. Try it out for a week and see how your body reacts. If you are having trouble with reducing your caffeine intake learn how to create natural inner energy so you won’t need to keep pumping in the caffeine just to function daily.
Have you ever noticed how well you sleep after performing physical labor or a full day of skiing? Exercise helps the body in so many ways. It increases energy but it also helps you to get better sleep. Exercising for at least 20-30 minutes a day will help you to sleep better. Make sure that you are not exercising within 2 hours of going to bed, as studies have shown that it can cause sleep issues.
There are additional things, like supplements and sound therapies, that you may want to try, to help improve your sleep. However, I have found what I shared with you above to be the most effective. Are you going to try some of them? If so, please share and follow up. Let me know how your sleep is going.