Sleep is important. Now, before you say, “Well, duh!”, hear this. From poor cognition to higher risk for diabetes, heart disease, and stroke, lack of sleep is a risk factor for all of it. It’s even linked, unsurprisingly, to higher rates of depression.
Lack of sleep is also connected to weight gain – people who get more sleep eat fewer calories. A study also found that medical interns who got the “traditional” amount of sleep made 38% more medical errors than those who were allowed more sleep.
Insomnia has affected some 30% of adults in the short term and 10% report chronic insomnia. Adults need a total of 7-9 hours of sleep every day for optimal health and performance. Yet, it may be hard to get yourself down to get that sleep.
Now that we know how important sleep is, how can we ensure that we get enough? The following are just a few of the many natural ways to get a good night’s sleep. From creating a ritual to using a dry herb vaporizer, these are natural ways to get to sleep.
1. Make (and keep) a Bedtime Ritual
One of the easiest – and free! – natural remedies for getting a good night’s sleep is to create a bedtime ritual. Make sure you are going to bed and waking up at the same time. During this time – disconnect from technology – no computers or social media surfing while in bed. Get your tasks for the day completed. Spend 20 minutes lying in bed quietly and meditating, or possibly load up your phone (remember, don’t surf the web, just load the music!) with soothing nature sounds or music and let them help you drift away.
2. Count Sheep …. Backwards
Many of us find that life keeps us awake. As soon as we lie down, all those worries of the day tend to invade our minds, making them race and keeping us awake. Banish those thoughts by forcing your brain to concentrate on something else. Count backward from 300 – in multiples of three. It will force your brain to concentrate on something other than your worries.
3. Get Moving
While a workout session right before bed could rev you up and prevent sleep, working out a few hours before bedtime might just help you get to sleep. A Northwestern University’s Department of Neurobiology and Physiology study found that sedentary adults who started getting aerobic exercise 4 days a week said their sleep improved from poor to good.
Yet another age-old cure for insomnia is cannabis. For a great night’s sleep, you might want to skip the sativa, which can have an uplifting effect. An edible may help you stay asleep longer, but be sure to eat it a couple of hours before bedtime to give it time to kick in. Go easy on the THC, which can raise anxiety in some, and pick a strain a little higher in CBD. One strain to try with your dry herb vaporizer: Afghan Kush. This indica is known for being able to crush pain, kill anxious thoughts, and help you get to sleep. Load it into your vaporizer, take a few puffs, and it’s off to dreamland.
A time-honored method of getting a good night’s sleep – breathing in scents known to promote relaxation. While lavender is a good go-to for relaxation aromatherapy, you might want to consider jasmine, chamomile, bergamot, and sandalwood as well. All have relaxing properties that can help you to drift off to dreamland. Try loading a little blend of your favorite scents into an EO vaporizer.
There are numerous natural ways to help a person get to sleep. We’ve only covered a scant few of these natural remedies. If the above tricks haven’t worked, you might want to try taking some melatonin, a natural sleep aid. Or try drinking a cup of valerian tea, especially if you are a woman in the throes of menopause. A study indicated that 30% of women who are menopausal and postmenopausal got more sleep after drinking valerian tea.
Now, quit surfing the web on that cell phone and get some sleep!