Getting a good night’s sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your body. But the sad truth is that most people just don’t get enough. Whether your lack of sleep has to do with “coronasomnia” or something else, it’s time to get to the bottom of the issue. To help you, here are some of the best wellness sleep tips and healthy sleep solutions for a better night’s sleep.
Adults need to get between 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Unfortunately, most people just don’t get enough. It’s been said that 1 in 3 adults don’t get enough sleep. Couple the normal life stressors with the occurrence of a pandemic, and it’s even more startling. There is a worrisome amount of sleep deprivation in this country and it’s having a drastic effect on your health.
Lack of quality sleep has been linked to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, short-term memory loss and more. But, you don’t have to take this lying down (or maybe you want to). Put these tips to use right away to get your sleep back.
Tips for Sleep Management
Fix Your Bed
This is not what you think. If you want to have a get a better night’s sleep, we might as well start by talking about where you sleep first. Did you know that cotton is considered the world’s dirtiest crop? It’s doused in billions of dollars of pesticides, that then make their way onto clothing and personal items. And while most of us are not ready to swap out our favorite outfits (including me), changing your mattress and bedding to organic brands are two things you can do to get a healthier and better night’s sleep.
Honestly, considering that we spend so much of our life in bed, do you really want to be laying on a bed of chemicals every night? On average, mattresses should be changed every 7-10 years. So when it’s time to upgrade, consider buying an organic mattress instead.
For a quick change you can make right away, swap out your non-organic pillows and bedding options, which can often emit toxic chemicals and be less supportive to a healthy night’s sleep.
Synthetic fragrances and dyes often found in laundry detergent can also be robbing you from a restorative and healthy sleep. So reach for gentle products on laundry day and you’ll doing something good for you and the environment too.
Pro Tip: There’s nothing like sleeping in a clean made bed. Making your bed (something we should have been taught from the time we were kids), helps set your intentions for the day and gives a sense of accomplishments for the day.
Control the Light
The wrong kind of light can wreak havoc on your sleep. There are several culprits that could be robbing you from the wellness sleep you crave.
Blocking Artificial Light
Invest in a pair of blue light glasses to limit harmful light from TV’s, smart phones, tablets and devices. If you’re looking for a reliable pair, visit this post. There are several great styles to choose from. See: Work at Home Essentials to Add Comfort and Style to Your Day.
Another noteworthy option is using Blue Light filters made for phones, desktops and smart screens directly. There are several apps to choose from. Also check within your phone’s internal settings to see if there’s a blue light filter already built in.
Blocking Natural Light
There is another type of light to contend with when it comes a getting a good night’s rest and that’s natural light. Depending on what time you’re going to sleep or plan to wake up, blackout curtains can be an excellent tool to limit light that comes into your bedroom.
If the sun rises at 6:00am and your alarm clock is set for 7:30am, that 1.5 hours of sleep you could be missing out on if you’re not adequately blocking the light.
Pro Tip: Learn to use light to your advantage. Exposure of bare skin to bright sunlight for 10-15 minutes every morning and avoiding bright artificial light at bedtime, can help set your circadian rhythm and set you on a path to blissful sleep. An hour before bed, dim bright lights around your home to get ready for bed.
Try a Supplement
When it comes to picking an OTC remedy to help get a good night’s rest, most people have tried or heard of melatonin.
Melatonin is is a hormone that is secreted by the pineal gland and is chiefly responsible for setting the body’s circadian rhythm. While taking supplemental melatonin may be good for some, taking too much can actually have the opposite effect and disrupt sleep.
In addition because melatonin is a hormone that the body produces, taking exogenous sources can cause a disruption in the body’s natural production of hormones. There are also potential side effects like dizziness, groggy/sleepiness during daytime hours and headaches and nausea.
While these side effects don’t occur in everyone, it’s important to be mindful if they do occur. There are also some contraindications to melatonin use including: chronic insomnia, restless leg syndrome and dementia. This doesn’t mean that taking supplemental melatonin should not be explored but rather, there are alternatives whether you want to avoid melatonin all together, have contraindications or just want to try something different.
RidgeCrest Herbals is a company rooted in natural botanical medicine. There are 20 products and each product has is a combination of European, Chinese, Native American and Indian (Ayurvedic Roots). It’s this marriage of different “cultures of herbalism” that make their products shine.
DreamOn Zen is an herbal supplement that is melatonin free. It contains ingredients like black cohosh, valerian root, lemon balm, lupulin and more. One of the benefits of DreamOn Zen is that people that have taken it report no daytime drossiness. Some of the ingredients have been used since Greek and Roman times!
DreamOn Zen like other RidgeCrest Herbal supplements, is non-GMO, wheat-free, soy-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, corn-free and made from vegetarian ingredients.
These are often hard qualities to find in one supplement. So if food allergies or intolerances are of a concern, you’re in good hands with RidgeCrest.
Whenever putting a baby or young child in bed, you never just drop the baby in the bed and walk away. You may first give the child some milk or a filling dinner, followed by soothing lavender bath, read a bedtime story, say prayers and then follow that with a goodnight hug or kiss.
Although adults like to act like they’re are grown and flown, we need bedtime routines too. For an adult, the winddown bedtime routine could look like this:
- Eat a sensible early dinner (try not to eat 2-3 hours before bedtime)
- Close the curtains/drapes
- Refrain from the screen 1 hour-before bedtime (TV, telephones, tablets and the like)
- Take a bath or shower
- Drink a cup of caffeine free herbal tea
- Read a few pages from a relaxing book (nothing too adrenaline pumping)
Turn on your phone’s airplane mode and go to bed.
Notice that’s there’s nothing listed here about binge watching your favorite tv show, scrolling past the latest pictures on Instagram or pulling out your favorite late-night snacks after the kids have gone to bed. It has the opposite effect of winding down and is just not part of the plan.
Set a Bedtime
Adults love telling other people how “grown they are”. And one of the things that make adults “grown”, is going to sleep any time they want. As a result, I’m pretty sure you’re not going to like this next tip. If you want to experience wellness sleep (the kind of sleep that will build you up, boost your immunity, maximize your energy, increase your patience, and turn you into somewhat of a superhuman version of yourself), you have to set a reasonable bedtime. Not only do you need to set a bedtime but, the bedtime should be the same time everyday. This is the case, whether it’s a weekday or weekend, holiday or workday.
Setting a consistent bedtime routine helps solidify your circadian rhythm, trains your brain to feel sleepy at bedtime, may reduce the need for an alarm clock and minimizes sleep disturbances. Both Android and iPhones even have a feature that let’s you set a bedtime every night. Who said the alarms were only for waking up?
Sleep is a biological and physiological process that nearly all animals need. Just because you’re getting some sleep, doesn’t mean that you’re getting enough or even the right type of sleep. For example, Rapid Eye Movement Sleep or REM sleep (which occurs in the last phase of the sleep cycle), is often cut off by alarm clocks, late bedtimes paired with early awakenings, busy schedules and more. REM sleep is also the phase of the sleep cycle where most dreaming occurs.
But What If I Don’t Dream or Remember My Dreams?
Not having or remembering your dreams can mean that you’re not getting enough REM sleep, but it could mean something else too. The best way to tell is to get a sleep tracker or work with a sleep specialist to find out.
But, before you get to that point, start by trying these healthy sleep solutions to regain control. Deep sleep is restorative and is a great way to allow your body to rebuild, repair and renew itself and using this tips is a great place to start.
Visit RidgeCrest Herbals to learn more about DreamOn Zen and get on your way to a more blissful sleep.