10 Natural Ways to Help You Fall Asleep
We spend one-third of our lives sleeping, that’s 33 years and almost 7 of those years are spent trying to get to sleep in the first place! As we get older and life gets busier and often more stressful it can be hard to turn off the stimulation of the day and unwind your mind into a restful slumber. Adequate sleep is a vital part of our body's natural healing process, offering a host of benefits both physical and mental to the body. Taking a chemically produced sleep aid or drinking yourself into a wine coma are not ideal ways to hit the hay, they leave you feeling groggy the next morning and have unintended side effects. In this article, we’ll explore 10 natural tips for falling asleep naturally.
1. Take A CBD Gummy Before Bed
CBD has become a popular option for helping to manage a variety of wellness related symptoms from anxiety to pain and sleep. People who struggle with insomnia tend to have higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol present at night. Research has shown that CBD helps to reduce cortisol levels, thus helping people fall asleep. It was noted in the research though that those suffering sleep disruption may need to take a higher dose of CBD to aid in sleep.
At Lunchbox Alchemy, we formulate our all-natural CBD products to effectively support the needs of those using CBD. We offer a gummy formulated specifically for Sleep which includes chamomile and full-spectrum organic hemp. Full-spectrum hemp extract offers an entourage effect, meaning all of the cannabinoids and terpenes found in the plant work together to make the CBD as effective as possible. These hemp gummies come in 25mg and 50mg dosage options, are vegan and all-natural. Lunchbox Alchemy CBD gummies are 3rd party tested and results are easily accessible under the product description on our website.
2. Breathing & Meditation
Mindful breathing and meditation has been used for centuries as a technique to reduce stress and unwind the body, relaxing the nervous system and providing an immediate calming effect. Practicing this technique before bed is a great way to get to dreaming more quickly. We recommend trying a breathing technique developed by Dr. Weil, the foundation is based on techniques found in yoga practices, it takes less than 5 minutes to complete and can be done from the comfort of your bed.
- With an open mouth, cover the back of your top teeth with your tongue.
- Inhale nasally while you mentally count to 4. Then, hold your breath.
- Mentally count to 7.
- Fully exhale for 8 seconds with an open mouth and pursed lips while simultaneously making a "whoosh" sound.
- Repeat at least 3 times.
Time to catch some zzz’s!
3. Reduce Your Carb Intake
It is smart to not only watch what you eat before bedtime but also during the day. Recent research promotes the idea that low-carb, high-fat meals throughout the day may lead to better quality, deeper sleep. It is recommended that if one wants to consume a carb-heavy meal, to do so at least 4 hours before bed to give the body ample time to digest before entering the sleep cycle.
4. Turn on Relaxing Sounds
You’ve likely heard of people using white noise or nature sounds to fall asleep. Studies have found that playing soothing music before bedtime helps promote a deeper, more restful sleep. It also may help speed up the ‘sleep onset’ or time it takes to fall asleep. If you don’t have access to music it’s recommended to minimize as much stimulation as possible at bedtime - noise, light, electronics, etc.
5. The Early Bird Gets the Worm
According to a Healthline article "regular, morning exercise [leads] to better sleep at night. On the contrary, physical activity that is too rigorous or too late in the day may lead to difficulty sleeping." If one cannot perform traditional exercises, try these "easier to find" alternatives:
- Climbing stairs
- Jumping jacks
- Vigorous housekeeping
Another benefit of regular exercise is that it raises serotonin and decreases cortisol levels. Cortisol is a stress hormone and serotonin is the "happy" neurotransmitter. These chemical reactions decrease stress and anxiety, leading to better sleep.
6. Unplug & Minimize the Blue Light
Our bodies have a natural ‘circadian rhythm’ that tells us when it's time to be awake and when it's time to go to sleep, when we use light at night it confuses our body. Electronic devices emit light known as ‘blue light’ which suppresses melatonin levels and stimulates the mind. For those who just can’t give up electronics before bed can opt for blue-light blocking devices and/or eyeglasses. The use of electronic devices at night may also interrupt one-on-one time with a partner or children. The lack of personal intimacy can also increase stress levels, making it more difficult to have a restful night of sleep.
Reading an actual, physical book can promote deeper sleep and help you fall asleep faster. This is especially true for children. Reading to your child creates bonding time, increasing serotonin levels, leading to better sleep. Interestingly, "e-book" reading makes it harder to fall asleep because of the blue-light emission, so dust off that book on the side table and read your way to a night of better sleep!
8. Positive Imagery
An insomnia study found that people who looked at positive imagery fell asleep faster than those who did not. When people "go" to a peaceful place in their minds, they are focusing on positives instead of the negatives. This allows for deeper relaxation and in turn, less difficulty trying to fall asleep.
9. Try Different Sleeping Positions
People sleep almost a third of their lives so it’s important to make sure you’re comfortable. Don't go too long without changing out pillows and mattresses. If you are a side sleeper and keep waking up with a numb arm, try sleeping on your back or your stomach. If you are a back sleeper and keep waking up short of breath, try sleeping on your side to open up your airways.
There are also health concerns you may want to consider when deciding the right sleeping position for you. One might also want to go to the doctor because waking up with shortness of breath could be a sign of sleep apnea. Pregnant women should sleep on their left sides to prevent cutting off the vena cava, causing circulation issues. Weighted blankets, orthopedic pillows, and soft pajama/bed linen fabric all make for a blissful night's sleep. These products can decrease body stress and ensure a comfortable body temperature. Listen to your body and move around until you find your comfortable cocoon.
10. Getting Your Thoughts Down on Paper
Journaling and getting your day down on paper can help declutter your mind allowing for a more restful night of sleep. A recent study involving 41 college students showed that writing before bedtime improved sleep quality and increased your sleep duration, while also reducing stress.
You might be wondering what do I write about? Not to worry, it doesn’t need to be complicated, remember this is an exercise to relax your mind!
You can start by jotting down how your day went and some of the highlights of your day. If you’re daydreaming about the future, you could write down your goals and possibly the steps it will take to achieve them. Manifesting your goals is one of the best ways to realize them!
If you’re looking for some more creative subjects to journal on you can check out this list of 365 Creative Journaling Prompts. The idea is to fill your mind with positive thoughts and declutter your mind. That way, you can relax better and improve your sleep quality when you retire for the day.
We hope these tips will help you in getting a better night's sleep naturally. If you’d like to try CBD for Sleep you can use the code for SLEEP10 for 10% off your first order.