We all have those nights where you toss and turn and just can’t seem to turn off your mind long enough to get those precious hours of recharge before a new day begins. While it may be easy and effective to take a sleeping pill or pop a Dramamine to curb that insomnia, it is not the most healthy or natural avenue to take. Here are 5 tips to help you get a good night’s sleep without unnatural aide.
1. Diet – Your diet is one of the biggest influences on the quality of your sleep. If you are someone who enjoys a cup of coffee after dinner, or a nightcap before heading to bed, try eliminating that a few nights a week to see if that makes a difference. Limiting your intake of spicy foods right before bed and making sure to have a snack if you are an early eater are also ways to improve your comfort level around bedtime.
2. Exercise – While exercise is important for your body on many different levels, it is also crucial to a good night’s sleep because it releases chemicals that relax you and promote restfulness. You don’t have to go run a marathon right before bed, but start trying different methods of exercise in the evening to see what works best for you. Sometimes even just taking a few minutes to properly stretch before bed can help.
3. Reducing Mental Stress – Everyone has the mental list of things to do that never seems to get completely crossed off, a lot of times this list can cause you to toss, turn, and worry all night long. It is important to train yourself to try to let go of these thoughts before bed. For many people, keeping a worry journal near their bedside or listening to calming music and reading a book can help to distract and ease your mind in the evening hours, winding you down for an uninterrupted night’s sleep.
4. Changing Sleep Habits – We are the fast paced age of technology. While this is an exciting and innovative time, it also enables us to bring our technological devices to the bedroom. Texting from your pillow, watching TV in bed, a little work on the laptop before you sleep, all of these are common habits that can send the wrong signals to your brain for preparing for sleep. Try to limit all activity from the bedroom but sleep and sex, that way your body will know that when you are there, it is time to wind down and recharge.
5. Natural Aide – Melatonin is a hormone your body produces that makes you sleepy. This hormone can also be purchased in varying doses and is a great way to naturally and organically increase your body’s hormone levels and produce sleep. You can often find Melatonin pills in the pharmacy section of your local grocery or convenience store.
If you have any questions or would like to learn more about how to naturally improve your sleeping habits, feel free to email us at any time!
Good luck and good night!
Live Mentally Healthy,
Cognitive Psychiatry of Chapel Hill