My weekend was more hectic than usual, which affected my sleep. This morning I woke up before dawn with a stiff neck and a sour disposition. But, once I was showered and started on my 2nd cup of java, I felt almost normal:) which got me to thinking about our bodies and how when we don’t get enough sleep, it affects not only our physical well-being, but our mental and emotional state of mind as well.
I made a note to myself to get back to the practice of loving myself by caring for myself more. And that means going back to rituals that always lifts my spirits and provides for a good night sleep. I’m not just thinking of myself either. So, I’m paying it forward in hopes some of my tips will remind you to keep loving you from the inside out and also nip those sleepless nights in the bud.
Try these natural ways to introduce yourself to a safe and soothing nighttime sleep:
1. Establish a sleep pattern. It’s been proven that when we set a routine for going to bed at the same time every night and getting up at the same time every morning, our bodies adjust to the consistency as this regular sleep pattern keeps our biological clock in sync, allowing us to rest better.
2. Avoid stimulants like coffee, teas and cigarettes around bedtime. These things only keep us awake and irritated when we can’t fall asleep.
3. Milk- according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, there’s a protein naturally found in milk that not only improves your sleep quality, but increases your alertness the following day. Those suffering with lactose intolerance, can choose either soy or lactose free milk components.
4. Do not go to bed hungry, too full from a heavy dinner, or with a full bladder! Do make sure your bladder is fully emptied before going to bed to prevent bloating, indigestion and abdominal discomfort. Also eat a light dinner, with a cut off time from the kitchen snacks around 8-ish. If you’re going to bed on a full stomach, you’ll not only have digestive concerns, but you’ll most likely wake up grumpy and irritated in the morning.
5. My favorite way to get a good night sleep is by incorporating fragrance in my bath and day-to-day routines and frankly felt too beat of late to indulge in… a Calgon girl of old, I ‘m an expert on the benefits of scented baths. Applying light lotions as daily skin moisturizer after an invigorating shower or bath stimulates happy endorphins and ignites your happiness button:) Okay I made that last part up. I believe it:)
Medically speaking, adding one or two small drops of mild fragrances like lavender, peppermint and jasmine oils to your bath have been proven to lessen insomnia, encourage drowsiness and reduce anxiety and they smell good doing it. These same oils dabbed on key body points like your wrist and neck or used as a scented satchel to place between your pillow and pillow case at night before retiring, can also lull you into a deep and peaceful sleep.
An added bonus for anyone trying to fall asleep naturally, without having to resort to using medicinal sleep aids would be to make your bedroom as comfortable and cozy for sleep as possible. In some instances people prefer to not have a television set in their bedroom because of lighting and noise distractions. A cool, quiet and dimly lit atmosphere in your bedroom reportedly lessens your stress levels and helps to relax you in preparation for a good night’s sleep.