Get a Good Night’s Sleep Naturally
Do you need to get a good night’s sleep? Let’s look at some ways that we can encourage our mind and body to rest and help us get a good night’s sleep naturally.
If it’s been awhile since you’ve had a good night’s sleep, I know where you’re at. Tossing and turning all night long? Yes, I’ve been there, too.
There have been times in my life when sleep has just not come easily. Or, I fall asleep easily only to awaken a couple hours later and find myself unable to fall back asleep. My mind is way too busy and the opportunity to rest has all but disappeared.
There are a myriad of reasons that can cause us to not get a good night’s sleep. Some of them may be medical and the following solutions may not be the answer. However, for other non-medical reasons, the following ideas may be just what you need for a good night’s sleep naturally.
Typically, adults need 7 – 9 hours of sleep a night so that we feel rested and can function at our best. There are some best get-ready-to-sleep practices that we can follow that will encourage our body and mind to allow us to go to sleep.
How much sleep do you need?
First of all, it is good for everyone to know how much sleep they need. You can easily figure that out.
Here’s how: Decide what time you need to get up and count backwards by the number of hours of sleep you think you need. For an adult, 8 hours is average, so if you want to get up at 6 AM, then aim to hit the sack at 10 PM.
Now, see if you wake up without an alarm clock with 8 hours of sleep. If not, add another ½ hour until waking up is easy for you. Or, if you awaken too early, then decrease your sleep time by ½ hour. Adjust the time by ½ hour either way until you find the number of sleep hours that are necessary for you. Keep in mind, that as you age, the number of hours may change.
Now you have a great starting point – you know how much sleep you need.
Do’s and Don’ts for a good night’s sleep.
First let’s look at some things that can help us get a good night’s sleep naturally.
- Create a routine for sleeping. Go to bed at the same time every night. Wake up at the same time every morning.
- Practice Slow Breathing: Slow down and take only 5 breaths per minute. Breathe in for 6 seconds. Breathe out for 6 seconds.
- Get a good pillow that is super comfortable for you.
- Have your own blanket for your side of the bed. You can pull it on and kick it off easily, whenever you want to.
- Sleep in a cool room
- Keep a notepad and pen by your bedside. Whenever something comes into your mind (and you know it will) that you want to remember, just go ahead and write it down so your mind will let the thought go.
- Use a diffuser with lavender essential oil in the bedroom. Lavender has been shown to increase slow-wave sleep. It also helps reduce stress. You can read about my essential oil experience here. BTW, it’s amazing!
Now let’s look at some things that we should not do if we want to get a good night’s sleep naturally.
- Go to sleep with cold feet. Wear a pair of light socks to bed. You can take them off if they start to get too warm.
- Drink anything with caffeine in it within 6 hours of your bedtime. The amount of hours varies for different people, but 6 hours is a good starting point.
- Stay in bed if you can’t go to sleep. Get up and do something relaxing. Reading a book works for many people.
- Use electronic devices for at least 1 hour before trying to fall asleep (phones, tablets, computers and televisions). The blue light emitted from these devices inhibits the melatonin production and alters the body’s circadian rhythms. This causes your body to not know when it’s time for bed. If you are like me and use your computer a lot after dark you can get a program that blocks some of the blue light. A free one you can try is f.lux. You can also try yellow-tinted eyeglass that can reduce your blue light exposure.
- Use a bright clock in the bedroom. At the least, don’t have it facing you while you are trying to go to sleep or sleeping. You might as well have a bright light on saying “wake up!”.
- Exercise within 3 hours of going to bed
- Take naps after 5 PM. This one can be hard if you sit down and start relaxing in the evening. If that happens, get up and move around for 5 minutes so that the need to sleep will pass.
More Ideas for getting a good night’s sleep naturally:
If you’re still having difficulty falling asleep, here are a few more ideas to try:
- Create a gratitude journal and right before bedtime, write down three things you are grateful for that day. This will help you focus on positive thoughts as you are falling asleep.
- Use a lavender scented pillow or sachet under your pillow
- Drink chamomile tea before bedtime
- Count backward from 300. You are likely to be asleep by the time you get to 0
- Pamper yourself with a soak in an essential oil bath just before bedtime
- Wear a silk eye mask to bed
There are times in our lives when sleep is difficult. It is good to know what do’s and don’ts of a good night’s sleep work for you. Give some of these a try and see which ones work best for you. Try these natural options when sleeping is not too difficult, so you’ll know which ones work best for you when sleep doesn’t come so easily.
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