8 Sleep Bloggers Share Their Secrets on Getting Quality Sleep Every Night
Having trouble sleeping? You’re not alone. About one-third of people have at the very least minor insomnia issues. That means 1 out of every 3 people you know are struggling to fall asleep, stay asleep, or both on a regular basis.
Beyond sleeplessness being one of the most frustrating things you can experience, science has also shown us not getting enough sleep harms our health and even our lives – being one of the major causes of car and workplace accidents.
But I’m coming to you with hope. I’ve gathered 8 incredible sleep tips from expert bloggers in order to help you get that precious sleep you’re craving.
We’ve all heard the basic general sleep advice: drink less caffeine, workout during the day, try yoga stretches before bed, etc. But these are 8 ideas you may not have tried before. The best part? Absolutely none of them involve sleeping pills that lead to negative side effects or dependency.
You can even try many of them today! Let’s dive in.
1. Make a Bedtime Ritual
All parents know that getting your kids to sleep has everything to do with a good bedtime routine. Why do we think we grow out of needing rituals and routines to help calm us down and get us ready for bed? I know a nice bath and book put me to sleep too!
“Give yourself one hour before lights out to wind down, letting your body and mind become more relaxed and ready for sleep. Listen to quiet music, take a bath, or read a book. Some people find that light stretches, meditation, creative visualization, or progressive relaxation helps. The average person (adult or child) takes 15-20 minutes to put her/himself to sleep!”
2. Opt for Deep Rest
Sometimes the worry, fear, and anxiety about falling asleep is actually the very thing keeping us from falling asleep. If you give up trying to force sleep to happen – you may be surprised about the level of deep rest you can achieve. Focus on nourishing yourself with rest instead of struggling for sleep.
“While sleep is a miraculous gift, it’s not the only thing to help you renew. Deep rest will give you the benefits of sleep, improving your memory, health, and emotions. And it brings you closer to slumber itself as a bonus. Try it out. Put aside the quest for sleep and experience deep rest. A good place to start is to relax your face: jaw, eyes, and neck. Try it at night, and even take a rest-nap to help manage daily life. This is part of the Restful Insomnia program with a new approach to renewing at night when you can’t sleep.”
3. Have Sex
Our society doesn’t spend nearly enough time focusing on the health benefits of having sex. It’s so good for you – and as you’re about to see – so good for your sleep.
“Here are the chemical reasons why sex relaxes you like nothing else can:
- Oxytocin: Also known as the ‘cuddle hormone’, oxytocin reduces blood pressure and has other anti-anxiety effects.
- Cortisol: This is a stress hormone, and it influences your fight-or-fly response. Its production is significantly reduced during sex.
- Serotonin: This hormone calms and soothes the brain as well as your whole body. It can also directly increase your melatonin, letting you fall asleep easier.
- Prolactin: This hormone is released in men after orgasm. It causes drowsiness, the same feeling when the ‘sleep gate’ is opened by your circadian rhythms.
- Nitric Oxide: This after-sex hormone is what relaxes the male member and returns it to a less high-maintenance state of flaccidity. It’s also very relaxing for the rest of the body.
- Estrogen. Higher estrogen levels in women after sex result in enhanced REM or Rapid Eye Movement sleep, improving the overall quality of sleep, especially after orgasm.”
4. Make a Sleep-Positive Environment
If your room is cluttered, uncomfortable, bright, too hot, too cold, too stressful – you’re not going to be able to fall asleep. Make it our goal to transform your space into a sleep oasis.
“Amerisleep has studied the NSF’s [National Sleep Foundation] research and has found that there are several different factors that compromise the sleep of people in chronic pain. The main discovery was that ‘those with chronic pain indicate that temperature and their mattress most significantly impact their sleep.’ Improving your sleep environment, including your lighting, home temperature, bedding, and mattress can help improve your sleep quality and get you out of sleep debt, even if you are in chronic pain.”
If it can help people with chronic pain, a positive sleep environment can sure help those of us without chronic pain too!
5. Follow Natural Light Patterns
Most of us spend all day in dark offices and all night in brightly lit living rooms. Not only can this lack of natural light pattern make us anxious and depressed, it greatly throws off our circadian rhythms and melatonin. We have to find balance to beat insomnia.
“To a large extent, we now get up without the sun, go to bed long after dark, work long days indoors under artificial lighting and spend little time outdoors, even in summer. During the day, we receive artificial light from fluorescent bulbs rather than the vitamin D-rich sunlight that our bodies need. Then, at night, when we need the dark to trigger essential melatonin production, excessive light throws our body rhythms out of balance even more. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University in the US found that it’s actually light itself that governs our sleeping patterns. As sunlight enters our eyes it regulates and resets our biological clocks, which involves triggering our brains and bodies to release specific chemicals and hormones that are vital to healthy sleep, mood, and aging. Try to get at least half an hour of regular exposure to natural sunlight a day. In the grey winter months try light therapy.”
Your melatonin levels still may be a bit off, so try taking some as a supplement. Then combine it with other all-natural ingredients like magnesium, valerian, and zinc, and you will have a natural sleep aid that helps you fall into sleep according to your own rhythms.
6. Try Acupuncture
Anytime you can find a therapeutic practice that works – and doesn’t have the many negative side effects of sleeping pills – you may as well give it a try.
“This review did find that acupuncture can be an effective treatment for depression-related insomnia. Acupuncture was found to be more effective at reducing insomnia symptoms compared to conventional Western medicine and significantly more effective at reducing symptoms of insomnia and depression when combined with medication compared to medication alone.”
More Hand-Crafted Posts You May Enjoy:
- Studies Reveal How Acupuncture Can Effectively Treat Insomnia
- What You Should Know About Taking Melatonin As A Sleep Aid
- Meditation and Sleep Techniques That Help You Sleep Through The Night
- How to Treat Insomnia with Natural Supplements
- Researchers Find The Best Relaxing Music that Makes You Fall Asleep Faster
7. Address Breathing Problems
Millions of people suffer from sleep apnea, making it one of the most common sleep disorders. But sleep apnea is not the only breathing problem that could be leading to troubles falling and staying asleep. Be sure to talk to your doctor to see if breathing is at the root of your insomnia, then you can start addressing it.
“You should start with all the conservative options first, such as weight loss (if you’re overweight), diet, exercise, improving your nasal breathing, and not eating late. If these options don’t work, then all the formal options for treating obstructive sleep apnea are possible including CPAP, oral appliances, and even surgery.”
8. Listen to Beats
Many people suggest listening to white noise or nature sounds to help you fall asleep, but science is showing us that a new type of listening may put us to sleep faster.
“Binaural beats are a technique of combining two slightly different sound frequencies to create the perception of a single new frequency tone. The theory is that when exposed to two different frequencies at the same time, one in each ear, what the brain actually perceives a single tone that is the difference between the two separate frequencies. Your brain, in a sense, “tunes” to this new frequency.
You listen to binaural beats using headphones. In each ear, you receive sound at a slightly different frequency (often accompanied by some relaxing background sounds). If your left ear receives a 300-hertz tone and your right ear receives a 280-hertz tone, your brain will process and absorb a 10-hertz tone. That’s a very low-frequency soundwave—one you can’t actually hear. But you don’t need to hear the sound for your brain to be affected by it.
Why is exposure to these soundwaves helpful to sleep and relaxation? Science shows that exposure to binaural beats can create changes in the brain’s degree of arousal. Listening to these sounds that create a low-frequency tone, research indicates, triggers a slow-down to brainwave activity—and that may help you relax, lower your anxiety, and can make it easier for you to fall asleep and sleep more soundly.”
If you want to understand binaural beats more in depth and how they can actually improve your sleep, check out the Sleep Doctor’s full article!
Sleep More Soundly
Feel encouraged, sleepless readers! As you can see, there are so many different things you can do to help you fall and stay asleep. Experiment with some of these ideas from these expert sleep bloggers and start sleeping sound tonight.