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Sleep is such a marvelous thing! We bounce out of bed ready to greet whatever the day brings when we have rested well the night before. When we don’t get enough of it, we are cranky, lethargic, less alert and not so ready to face the world, or the people in it.

Between work, family life, staying plugged in, and the unexpected circumstances of life, it is no wonder our hectic schedules often cause us to have an overactive mind, stay up too late, or simply keep us from getting the healthful and restorative rest our body needs to be refreshed. Getting good sleep is a must for a healthy life.

Try these natural remedies to help restore healthy sleep patterns.

  1. Eliminate sleep robbing habits.  Everybody knows that caffeine tastes great.  However, it remains in your system long after that morning cup of coffee. Try switching to herbal teas such as chamomile or green tea, filtered water, or decaf to help sleep better every night. Other sleep stealers are found in chocolate and tea.  Certain medications may also interfere with your sleep.  If they do, speak with your doctor to see what they recommend.  
  2. Try an essential oil.  Essential oils can deliver positive and therapeutic benefits to relax and revitalize the body and mind. These oils are derived from extracts of the flowers, stems, leaves, as well as the roots and barks of plants.  Lavender is often used to treat insomnia.  It has a soothing and calming effect on the nervous system relieving tension and properties to help calm and relax the body and mind.  With a sweet, fresh and citrus scent, orange is also a good choice to help calm and soothe the body and mind.
  3. Stay cool.  Adjust your thermostat so that your household bedtime temperature is between 60-65 degrees.  You may also want to consider sleeping in a pair of socks which helps cool the body down.  A cooler temperature helps ensure a deep and restful sleep.
  4. Exercise daily.  It doesn’t matter whether you run, swim, kickbox, or take yoga or qigong.  Exercising  a half-hour per day, at least 4 hours prior to bedtime, helps induce restful sleep.  It has an added benefit since it also helps you feel good and look great.
  5. Get on schedule.  Sleep experts recommend establishing and maintaining a consistent sleep schedule.  If you are a night-owl like me, a few late nights often adversely disrupt my sleep patterns.  My goal is to make it a habit to go to bed at least an hour earlier than my normal bedtime most nights. Ideally, I think you will be fine if you can go to bed 7-8 hours prior to the time you need to awaken the next morning.  Studies show that sleeping less than 6 hours per night may increase your risk of diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.