Sleep is one of the most precious things that we can give ourselves. Sure, we start to crave it as the 3pm slump hits you hard at work, but over and above some much-welcomed shut-eye, sleep is transformative, restorative, and can set your body on the right track to functioning most optimally.
The dangers of sleep deprivation go far beyond you just exploding if someone at the office talks to you before you’ve had your morning coffee. Without enough sleep, our brains and bodies don’t function in the ways they should. This could lead to impaired decision-making, and over time, even chronic health problems. A lack of sleep can affect everything from the way you learn to how you work, react and interact with others.
Aside from feeling irritable and annoyed at almost everyone and everything around you when you’re tired, it means that your brain is not fully prepared for the day ahead. Sleep helps your brain to work properly and when you’re catching some Zs, your brain forms new pathways to help you to remember things, and absorb information.
Have a bit of trouble dozing off at night and losing track of how many hundreds of sheep you’ve counted this week alone? Take a look at our best, tried, and tested methods to help you get the best sleep ever, every night.
…And that’s the tea
Apart from being a delicious way to wind down before bed, there are plenty of herbal teas out there that help to promote sleepiness. Herbs and flowers like chamomile, which is commonly listed as an ingredient in nighttime teas, actually contain apigenin, an antioxidant that promotes calmness and sleepiness.
These teas have long been used as remedies to treat headaches, anxiety, and restlessness, making them the perfect base for a pre-bed beverage. You can find sleepytime teas at most major supermarkets and grocery stores, but we like the ones from Pukka and Yogi best.
Essential oils are used to treat all manner of ailments, one of which is insomnia. Roughly 30% of all people worldwide suffer from insomnia or struggle to enjoy restful, restorative sleep at night. Those who prefer an all-natural remedy have found essential oils like lavender and frankincense to be the answer they’re looking for.
Oils are convenient as they can be administered in easy, convenient ways. For one, they can be rubbed directly onto the skin, ensuring that the chemical compounds responsible for bringing calmness and sleepiness are inhaled through the nose and absorbed upon contact. If you choose to use essential oils this way, make sure that you dilute them with a carrier oil to avoid irritation. Generally, one drop of essential oil should be diluted with one teaspoon of carrier oil.
If you prefer to have the scent permeating throughout your home, consider using an Asakuki diffuser. Another great option is to sprinkle a drop or two of your chosen oil onto your Slip pillowcase so that it stays present throughout your sleeping time.
Mag about it
Magnesium is an essential nutrient for over 300 of our bodies’ processes. It helps us to maintain healthy immune systems, regulates nerve and muscle function, and keeps our bones strong and our blood pressure steady. It can be found in foods like spinach, nuts, legumes, yogurt, milk, and brown rice. Taking additional magnesium through supplements could help you sleep better. The nutrient plays an integral role in sleep regulation, making bedtime all the more restful.
This Natural Vitality supplement is one of our favorites.
Sleep with one eye open
Well, we mean this in the metaphorical sense. Keeping an eye on your sleeping patterns and behaviors is a great start to understanding how to correct or improve on them. Investing in a sleep tracking device will give you valuable insights into when you get your most restful sleep, when you’re most restless, when you get that good deep sleep, and even when you snore! By keeping an eye on your sleep analytics, you can figure out how to adjust your habits to make sure you get the best possible sleep every night.
Take some quiet time
Before you go to bed, take some quiet time for yourself. This will help you calm down and cleanse your mind of the day’s stress. However you choose to be quiet, and to be still is up to you, just make sure that you’re doing something that you know will calm you down and bring you a few moments of stillness before you hit the hay.
Some of our favorite quiet time activities include guided meditations, as can be found on GOFA, yoga on a comfortable mat like this one from Lululemon, and just chilling out with some noise-canceling headphones, like these ones from QuietOn.
Trouble switching off the mind before bed? Try our sleep radio for a peaceful night’s rest.