In this article, we will look at some of the best natural sleep remedies. Let's clarify right away that we won't be talking about drugs, supplements, or anything like that. In fact, we're going to step away for a moment from our typical CBD focus and just look at what you can do by yourself to help get a good night's rest.
Sleep is probably one of the most important aspects of physical, mental and emotional health. Without recharging our bodies and minds for the right amount of time each night (and as we'll see, that amount differs from person to person), we can't expect any part of our being to operate at anything like full potential. This includes not just physical stamina and mental acuity, but also things like the immune system. Simply put, without a good night's rest, you won't be healthy.
But too often, we find ourselves deprived of sleep, getting three or even four hours less than our bodies need. Unfortunately, our society often encourages this. Often, we hear our co-workers bragging about how little sleep they can get and still function (usually only once they've had a load of caffeine).
In fact, one of the main things keeping us from sleep is just that- caffeine. Our bodies will store our culture's favorite drug all day, and when we try to shut down for the evening, it will prevent us from doing so. Since many of us rely on the boost of our morning coffee, it probably isn't useful to suggest we cut out caffeine entirely. Rather, we need to watch how much we're drinking, and when. Do we actually need another cup after lunch? Certainly, caffeine at bedtime should be avoided.
Another of the “social drugs” many of us use that can have a harmful effect on our sleep is alcohol. While a drink after dinner of a “nightcap” can make us feel relaxed, it's only that it is suppressing the central nervous system. When the alcohol wears off, the nervous system goes into a kind of panic mode, resulting in feelings of anxiety and restlessness. If the amount of alcohol a person uses is high enough (as in alcoholics) this becomes a withdrawal reaction and can actually be quite dangerous. Even in moderate amounts, however, alcohol is not good for your sleep. Therefore it is wise to limit or restrict alcohol to special occasions and never to use it to help you to fall asleep.
At this point you may be thinking to yourself “hmm these are things I use a lot of the time”.. well it's about to get even worse. Another thing that's almost ubiquitous these days are gadgets. Smart phones, tablets, watches etc., these things are destroying out sleep patterns. Using a gadget in bed, before we fall asleep, is the worst offender, as the light frequencies are not conducive to the body's sleep response. Even putting them aside for the night won't always help, however, since most of them emit a faint blue light. Go into the bedroom, shut off the lights, and have a look around. If your room looks like the cockpit of a spaceship, with dozens of blue, red and green lights all over the place, you've just found one of the reasons you may be having trouble getting enough sleep. Unplugging these devices or even simply covering up the light sources can have a tremendous effect on your sleep.
We've covered some of the things that may be negatively affecting your sleep, but what are some positive actions you can take to help you sleep? More importantly, what are some NATURAL positive actions?
If you've read some of our other articles, you know CBD has many benefits. For example, Mellow By Design Sleep Assist Formula is a fantastic option to help you relax at the end of the day. But we understand that improving your health as a whole requires more than CBD. Here are a few easy things you can do to help promote better sleep:
- Exercise: You probably don't need us to tell you this. Getting regulate exercise is one of the best things you can do for you overall mental, physical and emotional well-being. And it will definitely help you to sleep better.
- Melatonin: This is a hormone produced in the body's pineal gland that helps regulate wakefulness. For some, melatonin production may be hampered by any number of factors. The body may simply not be producing enough to get you to sleep given the circumstances you're facing. In that case, melatonin tablets are available over-the-counter. Taken just before bedtime, these tablets can be a safe, natural alternative to potentially dangerous or habit-forming medications.
- Meditation: Clearing out the mind's cache at the end of the day is another way to help you to drop off faster. By simply sitting for 5-15 minutes in a quiet space, relaxing the body and letting the mind wander, a number of positive effects can be seen including reduced blood pressure, calmness and easier sleep. Meditation is also an excellent way to cultivate mindfulness and the “in-the-moment” awareness that seems so lacking in many of our lives.
- Darkness: This seems obvious, but think about it: how dark is your sleeping space, really? Do lights from the city or the neighbors, or even the hallway, intrude? Are there lots of doodads blinking away in your space as we mentioned above? Where we live, in a fairly rural area, even the light of the full moon can make it difficult to fall asleep on occasion. It is important that we have as much darkness as possible to tell our brains that it's time to start cranking out that melatonin so we can fall asleep!
This is obviously not an exhaustive list, but these are all things that, together or just on their own, can and will help you to get the rest you need, and allow you to go on to a more productive, more fully-experienced day.
Thanks for reading, and sleep tight!