Pretty much everybody has had difficulty sleeping at one time or another, whether it was because their regular sleep schedule got thrown off balance, because they were dealing with another life event such as a newborn, or because they were dealing with an increased amount of stress or depression.
Unfortunately, it can be hard to get to sleep if you’re dealing with these issues, especially if it’s your own body that refuses to relax and let you get the rest you need.
There have been plenty of sleep remedies used over the year, from herbal concoctions to counting sheep.
Let’s take a look at 5 such remedies that, while a little unconventional, can do a lot in helping you get the rest that you deserve.
1. Plan Out Your Day
I bet you’ve been here before – you go throughout your day, taking care of work and chores and other necessities, but when bedtime comes, you still have a mountain of things to do. Sound familiar? It happens to the best of us, and it can be hard to get to bed knowing you still have a ton of things that need doing.
Try planning out your day to ensure that you get the most important tasks done early on. Even if you have a few things leftover, knowing that they can wait until tomorrow can ensure you get your shuteye.
2. Keep Things Cool
The temptation to bundle up under the covers in your favorite pajamas can be hard to turn down, but did you know that raising your body temperature can interrupt your sleep?
That’s because your body temperature needs to be on the low side to produce melatonin, the hormone that gets you to sleep. Use a thin blanket, wear thin pajamas, or even sleep naked to ensure you’re staying cool enough to get the rest you need.
3. Shut Off the Lights
Back in the day, sunset was the natural signal our ancestors used to hit the hay. Being modern day humans, we have the luxury of ignoring sunset – sometimes to our detriment. Unfortunately, having on all the lights in the house can trick our bodies into thinking bedtime is still a while away.
And smartphone and computer screens have made things even worse, as we have a tendency to keep them on until it’s lights off. Either shut off the screens an hour before bed or, if you must use them, dim the screen.
4. Watch What You Eat
This common sense rule is still a big hurdle for a lot of folks, especially busy people who tend to eat later in the day. Remember that even if you have to postpone dinner until later in the day, it’s still best to eat at least one to three hours before it’s time to go to sleep.
Simple carbs are ideal for helping you relax, so keep that in mind as you plan out your meals, and remember to lay off of excessive sugars and carbs right before bedtime. You may also consider drinking a relaxing herbal tea (especially chamomile) just before bedtime if you’re in need of a little extra help unwinding.
5. Exercise – But Not Too Late in the Day
Sometimes the body doesn’t want to wind down for one very simple reason – it’s still got tons of energy left that you haven’t used. Ensuring that you’re getting enough exercise, even if you’re just adding a little extra walking to your routine, can be of big benefit to you in getting to sleep. Just don’t exercise too close to bedtime, as this can have the opposite effect.