Good physical health and mental acuity require regular restful night’s sleep. The recommended amount of sleep for adults is 7 to 9 hours every night, and many of us are not getting enough sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, a third of all American adults report experiencing one insomnia symptom a night. And about 10 percent of people have chronic insomnia, which means they find it challenging to get enough shut-eye at least three nights a week for at least three months.
I fall into the 10 percent of people that struggle to get enough sleep consistently. My issue is that I can fall asleep but can’t sleep all night; I usually wake up around 2:00 a.m. and find it almost impossible to fall back asleep.
Whether you suffer from parent-related sleep deprivation, have to work late to ‘get it all done, or keep waking up in the middle of the night thinking about your to-do list, here are five things I have found that will help you get a bit more quality shuteye.
Get Regular Exercise
Seems simple, right? When exercising regularly, I noticed I fell asleep faster and spent less time awake in the middle of the night. So why don’t I exercise more to get better sleep? Committing to a regular exercise routine can be challenging with work and family schedules. One of my goals this summer is to build an exercise routine that sticks, even with schedule changes.
Get Smart About What You Eat and Drink
If you know me at all, you know I love Diet Coke. But when I started having sleep issues, I began examining what I was eating and drinking. To start with, I cut back on caffeine. I haven’t given it up, but I feel good about cutting back. I’m sure my daytime eating habits have played a role in my sleeping issues, so I’ve also been watching my sugars and refined carbs and trying to develop some clean eating habits.
Get Out of Your Head
If your mind tends to race as soon as your head hits the pillow, or you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t stop worrying, put the brakes on by distracting yourself. To stay out of my head, I practice breathing exercises and take a breath in, then breathe out slowly while counting. Take another breath and repeat.
If I’m worrying about something specific, I try to postpone worrying by committing to writing about it in the morning when it will be easier to clear up. Similarly, if a great idea keeps you awake, note it on paper and fall back to sleep, knowing you’ll be much more productive in the morning.
Get Set Up
A peaceful bedtime area sends a powerful signal to your brain that it’s time to wind down and let go of the day’s stresses. Set up your bedroom to get the best night’s sleep possible. Make sure your bed and covers are comfortable. There’s nothing worse than sleeping on a pillow that hurts your neck or back.
Decide what type of noise is most conducive to your best sleep. I sleep best when there is a fan or white noise in the bedroom. The app Sleep Sounds by Sleep Pillow contains a variety of soothing sounds to help you fall asleep. I found the rain to be the most relaxing of the available free sounds. If you prefer absolute silence when sleeping or have a partner that wakes you up snoring, invest in sound-canceling earbuds for a better night’s sleep.
Get in the Tub
Baths have become my decompression time; they help separate the day from night, a busy time to sleeping time. Taking a warm bath or shower has long been associated with relaxation. So it was no surprise that this has helped me sleep better, especially if the water temperature and timing of the bath are just right.
I spoke to my friends at Avenue Apothecary & Spa in Rehoboth Beach, DE, and inquired if they had any natural products to promote a restful night’s sleep. They recommended Sweet Dreams Sleep Kit made by Vital Body Therapeutics. Since then, I have begun adding CBD Mineral Bath Soak into my bath. The soak features a blend of essential oils of lavender, ho woods, and bergamot to help soothe aches and pains, as well as organically grown hemp-derived CBD. The effects have been very relaxing, and it smells lovely. I try to take my bath around one or two hours before bed for about 20 minutes.
Right after my bath, I add one dropper full of Restore: CBD Tincture into my herbal tea, usually Chamomile Tea. Sipping the tea with the added tincture helps to relax me and prepares me for a good night’s sleep.
It is easy to see why restful sleep is so important. If you’ve tried many remedies and they aren’t working, it might be time to see your doctor Sleep plays an essential role in your overall health and well-being; take care of yourself.