Natural Ways Proven to Help You Fall Asleep Faster
The Natural Path
This is absolutely nothing worse than laying wide awake in bed unable to fall asleep and knowing you have to get up early and take on a long day. I cannot even begin to count the number of nights I have spent that way as I'm sure most adults can't. It is a sad fact that most of us do not get the amount of sleep we need or have a pretty difficult time at night even falling to sleep. A lot of people tend to turn to prescription or over the counter drugs for help, and if they work for you that's great! Whatever safely and healthily gets you some ZZZ's. Personally, I just couldn't take those because of the after-effects so the natural path I turned. It has been more helpful just because again didn't have to deal with the after-effects.
It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it— John Steinbeck
1. Make Time To Sleep
I know this first one sounds a little silly, but in the 2018 National Sleep Foundation's Poll found that a majority of the population is not allowing themselves enough time to sleep. This isn't very hard to believe when you think about it, as a society, we heavily base our worth in productivity and the study shows it.
With the self-love and self-care wave that has come through the next time, you refuse to pick up that extra shift or stay in for the night over getting drinks to think of it as a little self-care. Not going to lie, at the ripe old age of 24 one of my favorite ways to "pamper" myself is to go to bed early.
As a society, we are not prioritizing sleep as we should be and our physical and mental health is taking a toll due to the neglect.
2. Take a Hot Bath or Shower
This is by far my favorite way to help me relax into sleep. Taking a hot shower and bath can be therapeutic for both the body and mind which makes it a little easier to fall asleep if we're feeling a little more relaxed. If you go the bath route throw in a bath bomb, some bubble bath, bath oils, whatever helps you the most to drift off and help melt the stress of the day away. Taking a warm shower or bath can also help to speed up the body's temperature natural temperature changes. As your body begins to cool down after the bath or shower this may send signals to the brain that it is time to go to sleep. (1, 2 )
This is also a good opportunity to add in a little aromatherapy into your evening routine. I tend to lean more towards lush bath products for this. They have a couple of products, which I will link below, that is specifically suited for this and are an absolute dream for both mind and body. I'll also link some of the other brands and items I use as well for different prices. They're all very helpful and designed for a better night's sleep.
- Dreamtime| Luxury Bath Oils | Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics US
- Sleepy | Shower Gels | Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics US
The well-loved soothing scent of Sleepy Body Lotion is now available in a limited edition body wash—the holidays just got brighter.
- Twilight | Bath Bombs | Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics US
This beautiful lavender bath bomb recreates a sunset. Watch as your bath turns from pink to purple to inky black with shimmering sparkles and sink deep into total relaxation.
Screentime before bedtime may leave people feeling groggy in the morning. Cell phones, computers, and TVs emit blue light. And exposure to that bluish light during the two hours before bed can keep us from getting a good night’s rest
3. Reduce Blue Light and Screen Time
It is pretty common knowledge now that blue from our screens is damaging to our sleep. Not only does our phone stimulate our brains before bed which in turn keeps us up longer and makes it harder to fall asleep. They are also damaging to how well we hit REM sleep and our natural sleep cycle. Not to mention using your phone in bed changes your brain to associate the bed with activity and stimulation rather than rest, relaxation, and sleep.
For better sleep, the best practice is to stop using your blue light devices, basically anything with a screen for two hours before you sleep. This sounds like a challenge itself so start slowly if you are more glued to your phone. Even just 30 minutes to an hour can also help drastically to you falling asleep faster and getting better sleep. (3,4,5)
With how busy everyone is today and how many different things we are all trying to juggle at once is it any surprise we have difficulty falling asleep? Some nights it seems almost impossible to quiet down the noise in our minds long enough to be able to catch some much need zzz's. For the best results daily mindful meditation in the mornings is suggested by sleepadvisor.org but if that seems a bit too much for you a little meditation session an hour or 2 before going to bed is the next best step. Doing mindful meditation an hour before bed can increase the melatonin levels in the brain which in turn sends it signals that its time to start calming down to go to sleep. ( 6 ) Also using the mindful form of mediation rather than a different practice helps you to bring your focus into the present and worry less. ( 7 )
This is right up there with bubble baths when it comes to my favorite ways to help fall asleep. I'm very much a sensory type of person in the sense that I am more at ease and just overall happier when I find things that look, feel, and smell pleasing to me all in one. If you too are all about aesthetics like this like me then do I have the sleep hack for you.
Oil diffusers and essential oils.
I bought an led color changing oil diffuser years ago for the first time while I was working at a fragrance and body care shop years ago and fell in love. Unfortunately, my OG diffuser recently was broken but my roommate just bought me a beautiful new one. The lower light setting is perfect for nights I don't really want it completely dark and the noise of the water is like white noise. Below I made a table about the benefits of diffusing a few of my favorite oils besides relaxing you into sleep. Essential oils are packed full of many different health benefits and it is so much fun to play with mixing them to see what smells the best to you. If you ever need oil diffuser blend inspo look no further than your Pinterest app! There are so many on there and a lot of them also include more of the oils and blends benefits too!
Helps to lower blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature which all happens naturally as our bodies prepare to transition into sleep mode. It also helps to reduce anxiety-causing thoughts making it a great booster for your pre mindful meditation practices
One of the best-known oils like lavender to help relieve mild insomnia, anxiety, and even nightmares.
Just like the above two it helps to induce the physical body changes that occur during the transition to sleep and helps to reduce anxieties and stress.
For those suffering from sleep apnea and snoring this oil is anti-inflammatory and helps to reduce both. If diffusing doesn't work this can also be used topically with another oil like olive oil on the chest or bottom of the nose.
- Citrus bergamia essential oil: from basic research to clinical application. - PubMed - NCBI
Front Pharmacol. 2015 Mar 2;6:36. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2015.00036. eCollection 2015. Review
- Citrus bergamia essential oil: from basic research to clinical application
- Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with bright future
- Landenver as a Treatment for Mild Insomnia
J Altern Complement Med. 2005 Aug;11(4):631-7. Clinical Trial; Randomized Controlled Trial
- Lavender and the Nervous System
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Danielle Nash