Getting a good night’s sleep is one of the best ways to keep yourself healthy, but not everyone can always achieve the ideal sleep quality that refreshes them, ready for the next day.
Sleep also helps you recover from workouts quickly by allowing your sore muscles to relax and heal from the workout.
Poor sleep is known to have a lot of negative effects on your body. It can cause weight gain, lower your immune system, and affect your cognitive function.
Some people need the help of herbal sleeping aids or medicines, but there are also other options you can take that don’t involve consuming an herb.
This list has five of the best things you can do to help you get a good night’s sleep.
1: Try herbal sleeping aids
In some cases, you can ease your sleep by practicing good sleeping habits, but other people need to have a little help from herbal sleeping aids.
These herbal sleeping aids will help promote sleep, ease your anxiety, and encourage relaxation. They also have the added benefit of improving your digestion and relieving pain from muscle soreness.
Herbal sleeping aids are considered safer than other types of sleeping aids because they are natural and have fewer side effects than prescription or over-the-counter medicines.
When used for a short amount of time, you can avoid growing dependence on these herbs. Use these herbs with caution because the FDA does not regulate natural sleeping aids.
If you experience unusual symptoms or allergic reactions, stop using the herb immediately and consult a doctor.
Below is a list of four of four aids for you to try out as standalone options - usually in tea or tablets - however Juiced Upp’s sleeping aids has a new generation and unique formula comprising the BEST blended ingredients for optimum sleep and recovery. We highly recommend you check it out if the options below are too time consuming to take alone or if you have tried them already.
This herb usually has a calming effect that makes it one of the most common herbs to induce relaxation. Specifically, it has been found to improve the sleep quality of postnatal women.
Chamomile also eases the symptoms of depression.
You can ingest chamomile in a variety of ways. Most people prefer using chamomile flowers and steeping them in hot water to create tea, but you can also buy readymade tea bags from the store.
Some also take chamomile in the form of an essential oil and apply it to their skin or inhale it. Other forms of chamomile include its capsule or tablet form and a topical plant tincture.
If taking chamomile in its tablet or capsule form, you must follow the recommended dosage.
Besides aiding your sleep, chamomile can also help improve your digestion, soothe and heal your skin, relax your muscles to help you recover from workouts quickly, and temporarily relieve headaches.
Ginseng is an herb that is believed to promote sleep and improve immunity. Red ginseng extract has been found to help people improve their sleep quality with only a week’s use.
The recommended dose for ginseng is 800 mg to 2 g of powdered ginseng a day. If you are using it in its tincture form, then you may take ten drops each use for a maximum of three uses per day.
Other than improving sleep quality, ginseng can also raise energy levels, treat impotence, and fight stress.
Ginseng is recommended for use for a maximum of three months. Take a one-week break before continuing with it again.
Valerian is also called “Valerian root.” This herb is known to act as a sedative and has proven helpful in treating people with insomnia and postmenopausal women by improving their sleep quality.
You can combine valerian with other hobs like lemon balm and hops. It is recommended that you use valerian for two to six weeks, gradually upping the dose over this period.
Valerian can be ingested in its tea form by taking ¼ to 1 teaspoon three times throughout the day. It can also be taken as a capsule, though you should follow the recommended dosage.
Besides making your sleep comfortable, valerian also helps ease stomach and menstrual cramps, muscle and joint pain, headaches, and depression.
Use valerian with caution and gradually wean yourself off the herb by reducing your dose. Suddenly going cold turkey may cause withdrawal symptoms coupled with anxiety.
Passionflower is known to bring about a calming effect. Most users note that it can make you feel sleepy and relaxed. Like valerian, you can use passionflower by blending it with other herbs.
They have been shown to alleviate sleeping disorders when ingested for four weeks and also reduced anxiety levels.
Passionflower can be ingested before going to sleep, either as a tea or as a capsule. When using it as a tea, you should only add 10 to 30 drops of passionflower extract.
For a capsule, the highest possible recommended dose is 90 milligrams.
Other than helping you go to sleep, Passionflower can also relieve other symptoms such as muscle spasms, inflammation, anxiety, pain, and symptoms of menopause.
Passionflower should not be ingested for more than two months at a time.
2: Go to sleep and wake up at consistent times
Everyone’s body has a circadian rhythm that aligns itself with the rising and setting of the sun. If you sleep and wake up at consistent times, your circadian rhythm is regulated, and your sleep quality is improved in the long run.
People who have irregular sleeping patterns have been found to have a night of poorer sleep than people who regularly sleep and wake up at the same time.
One of the benefits of following your circadian rhythm is melatonin production, which is a hormone that induces drowsiness. A messed-up circadian rhythm will lead to irregular or untimely releases of the hormone.
This could also be why you feel sleepy in the middle of the day or the afternoons but feel wide awake and unable to sleep at night.
3: Make your sleeping area feel comfortable
Making your bedroom environment comfortable in a way that suits your needs helps your body remind itself that it has to go to sleep.
Deal with possible noise disturbances and keep them out of your room. Arrange your furniture in a way that makes you feel safer. The bed could be moved to a corner or in the middle of the room, depending on your preference.
Your bed quality also contributes to your sleep quality. Ever wondered why you often sleep better when you’re in a hotel?
It may be due to their high-quality mattresses and their pillows. It may be time to replace your mattress and pillows if you find it hard to go to sleep.
Most mattresses are only good for 5-8 years. After that, it’s a good idea to go back out in the market to buy a new one.
Your bed is where you sleep. If it’s not comfortable for you, then consider getting an upgrade.
If you are in an area with a noisy environment, it may be a good option to start wearing noise-canceling headphones. People are known for getting better sleep quality with reduced light and noise exposure.
Some people prefer a room with a cold temperature while others may prefer it to be warmer. Studies even say that your body's temperature and your room affect your sleep quality more than noise and lights.
The ideal temperature is 20 degrees C, but then again, it is up to you and your preferred temperature. Test them out to find the best one for you.
4: Exercise regularly
Exercising is known to reduce symptoms of insomnia and improve your overall sleep quality and health. People who exercised regularly were found to fall asleep faster than people who didn’t exercise.
It has additional benefits for people who are suffering from insomnia. After regular exercise, sleep time increased by 18%, anxiety was reduced by 15%, and so did time to fall asleep by 55%, and night wakefulness was also reduced by 30%.
Exercise is best done during the morning or in the afternoon. It is not recommended close to your regular sleeping time because it will increase your alertness, depending on the individual.
5: Keep your gadgets away when it’s bedtime
Light exposure at night is not as beneficial as exposing yourself to it during the day. Part of this is because of your circadian rhythm being tricked into thinking it’s still daytime.
Electronic devices that expose you to blue light can also mess up your circadian rhythm and prevent melatonin release.
It is recommended that you turn off the TV and dim your lights at least 2 hours before sleep. You can reduce your exposure to blue light by downloading apps that block blue light from your devices.
You can also wear glasses that are meant to block blue light. The less exposed you are to blue light before bedtime, the easier it will fall asleep.
Sleep directly affects your health, and poor sleep has been linked directly to risks of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
It should always be one of your top priorities because not only does it refresh you so that you’re ready for the next day, it also improves your mood and circadian rhythm.