Find yourself tossing and turning night after night, unable to achieve those eight hours of quality slumber? We’ve all been there. There’s plenty of articles about how to make the most of your sleep, but if you prefer a more natural approach – this is the piece for you.
A couple of things to note: when it comes to your sleep, routine is key. If possible, you should try to sleep at regular times and wake up at the same time each day. Most adults need six to nine hours of sleep every night so dependent on whether you’re an early riser or night owl, you should try to stick to the same period of time (where possible) in order to have restful night.
As well as this, you should make sure you have the right support with a good mattress and pillow – so you don’t end up waking up in discomfort during the night. Of course, it’s vital to avoid screen time before bed, and keep your phone on silent or airplane mode.
If the above still isn’t improving your sleep, there’s still more you can do. Here’s the ones we look to for a successful slumber.
Home remedies for sleep
Hot showers & baths
Addicted to hiking up the temperature for an extra-cosy shower? We have good news. Studies shows that taking a shower an hour and a half before bedtime signals to your body that it’s time to go to sleep.
This is because, during the evening, our core body temperature cools, so a warm shower or even a luxury bath set up can help regulate your body temperature , sending you off to sleep. In the hours before bedtime, a human’s core body temperature naturally cools, whilst the temperatures of your hands and feet increase. This is why a warm shower or bath helps your body to regulate its temperature and prepare for the night ahead.
Magnesium and melatonin
If you want to really feel like you’re aiding your slumber, look to a supplement that you can make from the comfort of your own home – and magnesium is a great ingredient. This is because it’s a natural mineral, helping muscles relax and relieve stress, encouraging a healthy sleep pattern.
Foods that have lots of magnesium: healthy greens, nuts, dry beans, whole grains, oats, bran, wheat and bananas.
As well as this, melatonin is great for our slumber, as it includes a hormone that makes us sleepy. If you include some melatonin in your diet, try to have it two or three hours before bedtime to send you off to sleep in style:
Foods that have lots of melatonin: Eggs, cherries, goji berries, milk, fish, tomatoes, grapes and nuts.
Ensure you have some lavender oil or scents on hand to bring a fresh, floral smell into your routine. There are so many benefits of lavender oil, if you spray it onto your pillow it’ll help you fall into a relaxing slumber, whilst the fragrance will also improve your mood and help with pain.
As well as spraying lavender oil on your pillow at night, you can dab a couple of drops onto your temples, wrists, or neck. This will not only make you smell great, but also unlocks calming sentiments. Already have a signature smell? Bring lavender into your home, using a diffuser, bath salts or in a lavender scented lotion.
Have a warm drink before bed (but avoid caffeine!)
Send yourself off to the best sleep of your life with a soothing tea – which is of course, caffeine free or take yourself back to your childhood with a glass of warm milk. Make it an effortlessly luxurious experience with a beautiful mug or teacup, it’s the next best thing to a hotel experience from home. Here’s the top drinks you should try:
Chamomile tea helps with insomnia and anxiety, and is exceptionally popular. You can buy your own ready maid teabag, or create your own by adding four tablespoons of fresh chamomile flowers into one cup of boiling water. Let it infuse for 5 minutes and enjoy.
Moon milk. If you haven’t heard of this one, moon milk is composed of ashwagandha tea (also called Indian ginger or winter cherry,) which is a plant that is known for inducing sleep – and also great for soothing hangovers. As well as this, add cardamom, cinnamon and nutmeg to some warm milk to finish.
Almond milk is a great alternative to cow’s milk, plus don’t forget, nuts are high in magnesium, which helps to improve sleep. Almond milk is also filled with plenty of other goodness, including vitamins and minerals. You could have a glass of almond milk on its own or make a banana and almond smoothie for an extra dose of magnesium and melatonin.
We know that physical activity does improve sleep (trust us, we’re exhausted after our daily spin class…), but working out before bedtime may not be the best idea, dependent on what sport you’ll actually be doing, as aerobics or active classes like HIIT can release endorphins that will keep you awake. Try to leave some time before you exercise and go to bed, a couple of hours should be enough.
As well as this, sleep is a great way for your body to recover after an exceptionally difficult workout. Even just 30 minutes a day has a incredible benefits on your overall health as well as helping your body to shut down at night.
Words: Maria Loizou & Morgane Roos-Carreira