Do you find yourself dazing off in mid conversation while you’re supposed to be intently listening? Are you spacing out while driving and feel like you could nod off? Maybe you feel the afternoon slump and can’t seem to muster up the energy to focus. These things are just a few of the reasons you’re searching for increasing your energy. If energy is low, a logical next step is analyzing the quality of your sleep. How are you sleeping? Do you wake feeling rested? Do you fall asleep easily and stay asleep? Improving your sleep is a worthy effort.. Being sleep deprived doesn’t just affect energy or have small consequences. In fact, sleep deprivation can have life altering effects and can disrupt your life in many unwanted ways. Being short of sleep is proven to lower your immune system, increase anxiousness, induce depressed feelings and even contribute to weight gain. Just say “no!” to poor sleep! How can you fix it?
5 Natural Remedies for Improving Your Sleep
Your body has an internal clock and it’s built to run on a cyclical rhythm and pace. Science calls this rhythm a “circadian rhythm.” According to the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, “circadian rhythms are physical, mental, and behavioral changes that follow a 24-hour cycle. These natural processes respond primarily to light and dark and affect most living things. A master clock in the brain coordinates all the biological clocks in a living thing, keeping the clocks in sync.” (1) What happens if that clock gets out of sync? One of the biggest things we will notice is our sleep cycle is affected and the quality of sleep decreases. As your sleep quality decreases, energy decreases and other chronic health issues may arise.
So how can you keep your clock in sync and induce a quality sleep cycle? Here are 5 natural remedies for improving your sleep and restoring your sleep cycle (your circadian rhythm) that you can begin today!
Improve Your Sleep with the Right Temperature
Our body’s natural rhythms allow for a slight dip in core temperature in the evening as it prepares for sleep. Lowering your thermostat can help to cue up sleepiness. It’s been found that an optimal temperature range for good sleep is between 15.6 to 19.4 degrees Celsius.(2) It might feel slightly chilly which will help to decrease your body’s internal thermometer ensuring you fall asleep and stay asleep easier.
Improve Your Sleep with The Right Environment
Lower the lights (this is one of the cues our circadian rhythm is looking for), decrease noise and stimulation and turn on a white noise machine to send a message to the body to prepare for sleep.
Improve Your Sleep by Using Essential Oils
Studies have shown that both lavender and chamomile have sedative-like properties and promote relaxation and restful sleep. (3, 4) Whether it be by tea, bath-soaking or by aromatherapy, the benefits are proven and present.
Fall Asleep Easier by Addressing What’s on Your Mind
Stress can be a major culprit for keeping people awake at night and disrupting sleep. Before bed, you can practice doing a brain dump by journaling in short, objective statements what’s on your mind. Follow that up with reading a light book or spiritually calming book. Brain dumping is a conscious effort to “address” the thoughts by naming them and putting them on paper to handle in the morning. When you follow that up by reading something that moves your mind away from those things, it allows you to let it go and prepare for deep rest.
Improve Your Sleep by Avoiding Late Night Simple Carbs and Sugar
Simple carbohydrates like white bread and sugar will elevate your blood sugar which initially gives you an energy spike, but then will drop your blood sugar later into the evening. The energy spike affects your ability to fall asleep for obvious reasons, but the blood sugar dropping later in the evening may awaken you. (5) Your body might think it needs food. This doesn’t mean you can’t have a snack before bed. If you are hungry try incorporating a small amount of protein partnered with vegetables. Especially incorporate foods that naturally increase melatonin, the sleep hormone.
For more ideas to improve your sleep and increase your energy, read this post!