Bedtime is an important time to relax and prepare yourself for a good night of sleep that leaves you feeling well-rested in the morning. For many, getting situated to fall asleep is an easy task, however, a large portion of the population struggles to fall asleep at bedtime. Wandering thoughts, distractions from our phones and anxious feelings are major factors that negatively contribute to our ability to fall asleep. These factors make for late nights and restless sleep that makes waking up in the morning extremely difficult. A lack of sleep contributes to a reduced level of energy for the next day and makes it harder to remain in a positive mindset.
There are a few remedies that can be done at bedtime to aide our minds and bodies so that they are better apt to doze into a peaceful night of sleep.
1. Get Off Electronics
A major key to preparing our bodies for sleep is to get off electronics. The blue light that radiates from phones, computers or tablets stimulates our mind to focus and stay awake during a period of time where light is normally absent. The presence of forced light stands to confuse our minds because it disrupts the natural cycle that our bodies want to follow. Our senses normally wake us up in the presence of light and naturally shit down as light diminishes into darkness.
Our phones also serve as a major distraction. Scrolling through social media apps causes our mind to stay awake and curious, as it takes in new information and new images. This distraction can hinder our ability to relax and is even more of a distraction for those who struggle with sleep due to anxiety. Needs to say its a good move to put your phone down at least 20 min before snuggling into your sheets.
2. Lavender Oil
Lavender is the flower behind the magic of relaxation. A gift sent from the gods, lavender can be used to relieve a broad range of problems in the body. Working as an anxiety reliever, sedative, pain reliever, this plant interacts with the neurotransmitters to help quite the brain and slow down activity in the nervous system to bring about feelings of calm relaxation. Lavender also can reduce inflammation if used topically, helping calm any pain or irritation that may be preventing you from falling and staying asleep.
A great way to utilize the benefits of lavender for a more relaxed sleep is by using the oil for aromatherapy. Place an aroma diffuser with pure lavender essential oil by your bedside, turning it on a half-hour to an hour before bedtime, so that when its time to sleep your room will be filled with a relaxing scent. Using aromatherapy not only helps you fall asleep but may also increase the time spent in deep sleep, which contributes to feeling better rested in the morning. You can also incorporate lavender into your bedtime routine by applying pure essential lavender oil or infused lotion, or by taking oral supplements.
Melatonin is a hormone in our bodies that help slow down our system in preparation for sleep mode. It lets our body know its nighttime which signals us its time to relax for sleep. However, the natural melatonin produced within us is not always enough to make us doze off into a sweet slumber. The solution to this sleeping problem is to take melatonin supplements 20-30 min before bedtime. Supplements will increase your bodies supply of the hormone and makes it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep.
4. Good Pair Of Pajamas
To help your body notice when its time to go to bed, its crucial to implement a bedtime routine. By practicing the same tasks each night your body will begin to recognize a pattern, which will become a familiar cue to start relaxing for sleep. An important step for bedtime preparation is to change into pajamas. However, not just any pajamas will do. If your sleepy time clothes are anything similar to your daywear, your body may be put into confusion when you lay down to sleep. Pajamas should be soft to the touch, make you feel cozy and warm, yet keep you cool through the night. Investing in a good quality pair of pajamas is beneficial due to our bodies sensitivity, and need to be comfortable in order to sleep.
5. Reading A Book
Forgo the phone and pick up a book instead. Reading from a dim light at bedtime helps to calm our bodies and focus our minds on a relaxing pastime that requires minimal energy. Focusing on the words and story of a book before bed can also help distract us from the worries and stressors that would otherwise be spinning in our heads once they hit the pillow.