Ever since coming back to the West Coast from the East Coast for the holidays, my sleep schedule has been a little out of whack. I’m not quite sure if it’s the minor jet lag or just the stress of keeping up with all my New Year’s resolutions, but something is keeping me up at night. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults get 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night, but I am definitely not achieving that every day. If that also sounds crazy to you, then you might need some help. I am wary of taking any medications that are unnecessary, especially ones with such scary side effects like sleeping pills. Therefore, I naturally looked to more holistic remedies first. Before popping a pill to help to get some much-needed shut-eye at night, try these natural remedies out first.
This hormonal supplement is what helps regulate your body’s internal clock. It’s triggered by the absence of light and is what makes sure you get tired in the dark night and alert during the day. Many people swear by this for reducing restless sleep and therefore improving sleep quality. Make sure you check that this is a good supplement for you with your healthcare provider, as it might not be appropriate for all.
Research has shown that increasing magnesium levels can encourage better sleep. It's supposed to be excellent for helping you get a deeper sleep, which means no more restless nights! If you aren’t into the idea of taking a supplement, you can find it naturally in foods like spinach, dark chocolate and almonds.
Studies have shown that calcium deficiency can contribute to limited or no REM sleep phases. It’s supposed to work well in tandem with the magnesium above to encourage deeper and better sleeps. Obviously, milk and yogurt have a lot of calcium in them, but you could also take a supplement if you feel like it’s necessary.
You’re probably familiar with lavender essential oil as a sleep-related scent, but did you know that bergamot and sandalwood also have sleep-inducing properties? Studies have shown that it improves the quality of your sleep by helping slow the nervous system and encouraging a calm feeling. There are many ways to incorporate this into your sleep routine – room spray, a dab of oil under your nose, scented pillow cases, etc.
This herb is purported to help reduce the time it takes you to fall asleep once your eyes are closed as well as encourage deeper and more meaningful rest. You can find it in your local natural foods store..
I’m not much of a bath person as I live with roommates and don’t have much time for that luxury, but I’ve found that they’re actually not too hard to incorporate into my nightly routine. Instead of scrolling on Instagram for 30 minutes, I opt to take a bath and bring in a book with me. Apparently, the high temperatures help encourage sleep. Now you finally have a reason to use that fancy bubble bath or those bath salts that your aunt gave you for the holidays!