Modern lives can be extremely busy, and there’s nothing worse than trying to tackle a jam-packed day on minimal sleep. Living a healthy life is all about balance, and finding a balance between a good diet, exercise, restful sleep while also working and socialising can be demanding. Before you head to the pharmacy though, try our five helpful tips on how to fall asleep naturally.
Create a restful environment for a good night’s sleep
Your bedroom should be your private haven where you can relax and recharge without distraction. As tempting as it might be to dump your keys, bags and coat when you get into your room, try to keep everything neat and clutter-free. This can help keep your mind calm, which in turn can help you sleep better.
Try adding a weighted blanket to your bed
An aesthetic bed set and cute throw might seem important when you first think about creating some Zen in your room, but what about the actual bedding? Weighted blankets have recently skyrocketed in popularity, and for good reason. Weighted blankets are a type of deep pressure therapy, which can help dampen your fight-or-flight response and help you to relax. Some people say the gentle pressure offered from a weighted blanket almost feels like a hug, so we can see why everyone’s going crazy for them.
Ensure you have a regular sleep pattern
Everyone has an internal clock inside them that resets roughly every 24-hours, called a circadian rhythm. If you’re consistent with the times you get to bed and wake up every day, your body knows when to start producing melatonin, which is the chemical that makes you sleep. In doing this, you’re more likely to fall asleep quickly, sleep better, and feel less tired when you wake up. Sounds like a dream to us! While those who work nine-to-five jobs during the week might think this sounds easy, the tricky part is sticking to it on weekends too. One study found that those who went to bed early during the week and late on weekends reported poor overall sleep, so try and set a sleep pattern and stick to it.
Exercise helps sleep, but not before bed
Exercise has so many fantastic benefits for your body, so it comes as no surprise that it can even help improve your sleep. Regular exercise can help increase the time you spend in deep sleep, which is the sleep phase that’s the most physically restoring. It’s thought that the best type of exercise for sleep is cardio, which includes everything from running to swimming to cycling. Try not to exercise right before bed though, as after your body might have a high level of cortisol in it, aka. the stress hormone. While this is great during exercise, feeling awake right before bed is not what you need when trying to get a good night’s sleep.
Try eating foods high in melatonin
As your body produces melatonin to sleep, eating foods that contain melatonin might help you get a good night’s rest. Tasty snacks like almonds, walnuts and raspberries are all rich sources, making them a natural sleep aid. If you’re interested in learning more about foods high in melatonin, try chatting to one of our in-house nutritionists about incorporating some into your Equalution meal plan.
Yours in Health & Fitness,
The Equalution Team