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How to Get a Good Night's Sleep Naturally

Updated on November 29, 2013

Do you have have a hard time sleeping at night?

Maybe you have trouble falling asleep. Or maybe you fall asleep easily, but soon wake up and toss and turn for hours. Either way, insomnia is no fun. You wake up groggy. You struggle to get your energy up all day long. Don't turn to sleeping pills right away. They can be addictive. You can get a good night's sleep naturally. Here's how:

I recommended that you follow a sleep schedule.

Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Try not to vary your bed and wake up times by more than half an hour, even on weekends. This steadies your circadian rhythm. Eventually your body will begin to do this automatically, without the help of an alarm clock.

Your sleep schedule should not be set in stone, however. Sometimes we need a little extra sleep, especially if we are fighting a cold or flu bug. If you feel more tired than usual, getting a little more sleep can help you boost your immune system and stave off any illness. Listen to your body and catch up with your sleep if you need too.

Your Diet May Play a Role in Insomnia

There may be a connection between your eating and sleeping habits.

What you eat before bed can make a difference. Some foods keep you up at night. High sodium foods like potato chips can cause dehydration, which can lead to insomnia. Spicy foods stimulate your digestive system, making it difficult to relax. Sugary snacks can energize you to the point where you can't fall asleep. And alcohol can impair your REM, stress your liver and dehydrate you. While you may pass out easily, your sleep will not be restful.

Of course caffeine should be avoided before bedtime. Try to have your last cup of coffee before lunch. Some people are especially sensitive to caffeine, and should avoid it altogether. And for yet another reason to quit smoking: you may have withdrawal in the middle of the night.

What to Eat to Help You Sleep

The best way to eat is to get most of your protein intake in the early part of your day. Protein rich foods at breakfast and lunch will give you the energy you need to power through your day. Focus on complex carbohydrates and a little protein at dinner. Carbs can make you feel sleepy.

A small bedtime snack is a good idea. You don`t want to wake up hungry in the middle of the night.

Foods high in calcium and magnesium will relax your body and your nervous system. Some experts recommend you take a supplement before bed. A glass of warm milk with a bit of honey can help too.

Foods high in tryptophan can cause drowsiness. Tryptophan is an amino acid that has a relaxing effect in your brain by becoming serotonin, a neurotransmitter that slows nerve traffic. It also helps your body make the sleep hormone melatonin. Foods containing tryptophan include turkey, milk, bananas, potatoes or oats.

Remember, if you have a snack before bed, make sure it is small. Eating too much can keep you awake as your digestive system works overtime.

Physical Activity Helps You Sleep

If you lie around and rest all day, chances are you won't be tired come bedtime. Be sure to get enough physical activity during the day.

Exercise helps you to sleep better in a few ways. It burn calories. It reduces stress. And it increases your body temperature. Sleep is promoted by the lowering of your core body temperature 10-15 minutes before you fall asleep. Working out before bed makes this drop in temperature more dramatic, promoting deeper sleep.The best time to exercise for deeper sleep is 3-5 hours before bedtime. Try to get at least five minutes of moderate exercise at this time.

Yoga is the best exercise you can do before bed. Try a gentle, restorative form of yoga before bed. It will help you completely relax your mind and body. One especially helpful yoga pose for relaxation is viparita karani, or legs up the wall pose. It is exactly as easy as it sounds. Sit beside a wall. Scoot your butt as close to the wall as possible and carefully swing your legs up the wall. Relax for a few minutes as you feel all the tension drain away. This move pretty much guarantees me a good night sleep.

Complete darkness will help you sleep deeply.Try an eye mask.

There are many different ways to relax yourself before you fall asleep.

Do you have a relaxing hobby? Perhaps you should find one. Try knitting or reading in the evening. Switch yourself into relaxation mode and put your worries behind you.

Those nagging little worries can really keep you up all night. if you have a lot on your mind, it may be a good idea to keep a journal by your bed. Jot down your anxious, stressful thoughts. Then banish it from your mind. You can deal with it in the morning.

Relaxing is very important before you sleep. Progressive muscle relaxation is a great way to release muscle tension. Learn what to do and you can do it every night as you lie in bed. It will help you melt your tensions away. You can check out the link below.

Deep breathing and meditation can also help release tension and calm your mind.Try the video below:

Just remember...

Keep in mind, sometimes insomnia is a sign of a deeper health issue. It can be a sign of heart disease, arthritis, depression or angina, for example. If your insomnia does not seem to be improving, it is a good idea to see your doctor to rule out any health issues.

Sweet dreams!


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    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Great tips on how to get a good night's sleep, whether you have a cold or not. Voted up for useful!

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 3 years ago from USA

      Appreciate the information. I know that if I eat too late I can't sleep.

    • daisyjae profile image

      daisyjae 4 years ago from Canada

      I'm glad you found it useful, express10, thanks for commenting.

    • Express10 profile image

      H C Palting 4 years ago from East Coast

      Complete darkness in your bedroom, vigorous exercise, and following a sleep schedule are the best tips. One of the reasons for the rise in insomnia can be attributed to the fact that many people sit for much of the day and get little exercise. Then this is compounded by t.v.'s, iPads, alarm clocks, and mobile phones in the bedroom. This is a useful hub.

    • daisyjae profile image

      daisyjae 5 years ago from Canada

      Thanks for your kind comments, Rolly.

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 5 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Excellent tips and you have put this together with great care... Thank you.


    • daisyjae profile image

      daisyjae 5 years ago from Canada

      Yes it is, arun. Thanks for stopping by.

    • profile image

      arun 5 years ago

      yoga is really helpful believe me.

    • daisyjae profile image

      daisyjae 6 years ago from Canada

      Your welcome, ken, i hope my tips help.

    • KenWu profile image

      KenWu 6 years ago from Malaysia

      Thanks for the tips. I too suffer from insomnia.

    • daisyjae profile image

      daisyjae 6 years ago from Canada

      I hope you find my tips helpful, lilian1.

    • lilian1 profile image

      lilian1 6 years ago from Hertfordshire England

      Very good tips daisyjae will try some of these ...

    • daisyjae profile image

      daisyjae 7 years ago from Canada

      Glad you found it helpful, agvulpes.

    • agvulpes profile image

      Peter 7 years ago from Australia

      Thanks for these great tips I will bookmark this Hub for future reference :-)