Insomnia affects approximately 60 million Americans each year.
With these 8 tips, you can avoid becoming a victim of one of the most common sleep disorders plaguing our nation.
1. Create a Nighttime Routine
A routine involves doing a set of activities in a specific order. A nighttime routine is meant to relax you, and create the association in your brain that these activities mean it’s time to rest and recharge.
Your nighttime routine could be as simple as walking your dog, drinking a cup of tea, brushing your teeth, and then washing your face; in that order. The key here is to develop sequential habits.
Over time, your body and inner rhythms will adapt to these behavioral patterns before bed and start to associate them with sleeping.
Eventually, you’ll find yourself yawning through your nighttime routine, in which case, you’ve succeeded.
2. Light Candles and Burn Incense
Candlelight is known for its’ calming effects. The dim glow of a lit candle can be perceived as very warming and soothing to our eyes.
Replace the lights around your sleeping environment with lightly scented candles. Be sure to only light candles that are lightly fragranced, as anything too harsh will disturb your senses and likely prevent you from being able to fully relax and prepare for rest.
On a budget?
Plus, the cool thing about tea candles is that since they are small, they only burn for approximately two to four hours before going out on their own. This makes tea candles ideal to light a few hours before you plan to hit the hay because you don’t have to blow them out before bed.
For incense, we recommend soothing sandalwood, chamomile, lavender, pine, or lemongrass scents.
You’ve heard of FiveBelow right? Of course you have. Well guess what? They sell incense sticks for a great deal – 5 sticks for $1. So you can stock up on incense for the month by getting 15 sticks for less than $4.
Pretty cool, huh?
Take a Hot Bath
Taking a hot bath or shower will inevitably increase your body temperature and make you feel groggy before sleep. This is a common insomniac method to induce tiredness.
Once you get out of hot water, your temperature will be higher for a few minutes until your body regulates. This drop is what’s responsible for causing you to fall asleep quickly, as a lower body temperature is needed for you to fall asleep.
Your muscles will be fatigued and you’ll feel relaxed enough to crawl directly into bed from your bathroom.
To make your bath or shower even more relaxing, try lighting candles or adding lavender essential oil to your bath water.
You could also try epsom salt. Epsom salt is ideal for aching muscles, and contains magnesium, which is drained from the body by daily stress. Magnesium is an essential mineral that promotes rest for the brain… So naturally, adding it to your bath water will only increase your sleepiness when it is absorbed by your skin.
Take Supplemental Melatonin
Melatonin supplements come in all sorts of shapes, flavors, and dosages. It’s the neurochemical that regulates your sleep-wake cycle.
Taking melatonin tricks your brain into thinking it’s producing it on it’s own. Be cautious, though, long-term use of melatonin does have some negative side effects.
We recommend two tenths to five milligrams of melatonin only when you’re really struggling to catch some z’s.
If you’d rather not take a supplement, eat foods naturally high in melatonin within an hour and a half before bed; like pineapple, or a banana.
This is crucial for a good night’s sleep. Alcohol consumption might make you feel like you knocked out the night before, but not so fast….
While alcohol is often attributed to making people fall asleep quickly, it’s not close friends with REM, or rapid eye movement. Rapid eye movement is the deepest, most recharging stage of sleep we go through occurring about 90 minutes into unconsciousness.
Studies show that alcohol agitates us in the later stages of our sleep, like REM.
Avoid excessive alcohol consumption at all costs if you need to catch up on sleep, and definitely avoid it the night before a big day. You’ll thank yourself for this choice when you wake up feeling satisfied.
Wash Your Face
Washing your face at night isn’t just necessary for your skin… it can also relax you.
If you leave makeup on at night, you’re more prone to acne breakouts, oil buildup, and wrinkly skin. You should clean your skin at the end of each day so your pores can breathe.
Take it from Dermatologist Macrene Renee Alexiades-Armenakas, who claims, “eventually, your youth can no longer out-match the toxicity of the damage from makeup left on overnight.”
Plus, a lot of women metaphor washing their face at night to washing off the day’s stress. How wouldn’t that feel relaxing?
We recommend rinsing with warm water and a washcloth to exfoliate and unclog your pores, followed by a splash of cold water to close your pores. Cold water constricts, which makes it much harder for acne-causing bacteria to invade your skin.
Listen to Music that Relaxes You
Sleep-inducing music is known to be mega effective. Light piano or meditation music specifically can help ease your brain and your body into a state of deep relaxation at the end of a long day.
Here at Nuvanna, we listen to sleep and meditation playlists almost daily. We even have our own Spotify channel, where you can access our sleep and meditation playlists.
Check it out by searching ‘nuvanna’ on Spotify.
Choose the Right Pillow
Sleeping with a pillow not suited to your shape can contribute to or even cause neck and back pain. On a brighter note, the right pillow can help prevent snoring and sleep apnea.
For an ideal night’s sleep, it’s imperative that you make sure your pillow fits your physical needs. Here are some tips on how to choose the right pillow.