Natural ways to fall asleep faster + sleep better

natural-ways-to-falls-asleep-faster

Natural ways to fall asleep faster and sleep better

Do you have trouble falling and staying asleep at night?

I’ve been a night owl for as long as I can remember. Back in college, I found it almost impossible to function during day. It was all because my sleep cycle was out of control. I drank countless energy drinks during the day in order stay awake, but that also meant that I was up late and found it difficult to fall asleep. It all had to do with my crazy schedule: I’d work all day and right after work I’d go to school and often wouldn’t get home until 11pm. After graduating I was really excited about one thing: finally getting some sleep. My schedule was back to normal, but there was one problem: I still found myself being up at 2am, tossing and turning all night.

One of the first things that I had to do was cut the caffeine out- because even though I no longer had any all-nighters to pull off, I still craved it  (I’d go through 4-5 cans of RedBull a day). It was also around that time that I really changed my diet, started eating more and more plant-based foods and one of the very first changes I noticed, was that I slept much better, I fell asleep faster and I woke up energized, every day.

If you suffer from “occasional insomnia” or are looking for a way to fall asleep faster or get better sleep, give these a try.

AROMATHERAPY

Using essential oils before going to bed can be calming and relaxing, both of which will help you not only fall asleep, but also stay asleep. You can try Lavender oil and/or Roman Chamomile oil both of which have calming and very slightly sedative properties. You can add a few drops of one of the oils to a cotton ball and place it by your pillow/nightstand at night, use a diffuser, you can also use a bed linen spray, or apply the oils directly on your wrists and ankles.

MAGNESIUM

Magnesium is known as natural muscle relaxant. It was also found to help decrease cortisol- the “stress hormone” which often keeps us up at night. I always have a bottle of Magnesium on my nightstand and reach for it especially after those long, stressful days. It helps my muscles relax, calms me down and helps me unwind- it does this by moving calcium out of the muscles and back into the bloodstream. You can take Magnesium Supplement, use Magnesium bath flakes or use a Magnesium oil.

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YOGA/GENTLE STRETCHING

Try doing some yoga or gentle stretching before going to bed- this will calm both your body and mind and lower your stress levels. It will also help to ease tension in your body and you  will find it much easier to relax and fall asleep. Make sure to take long, deep breaths as you stretch.

zupa-z-dyni

PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR DIET

Your body uses the amino acid tryptophan to produce serotonin and melatonin- hormones that are essential for sleep. Tart cherry juice has been used as natural sleep aid for years. Cherry juice is a natural source of the sleep-wake cycle hormone melatonin and amino acid tryptophan. You can also try chamomile tea, which is well-known for its calming and soothing abilities. Green leafy veggies like kale are also loaded with calcium, which helps the brain use tryptophan to manufacture melatonin. Pumpkin seeds also contain tryptophan (700 mgs for 100 g seeds).

spa-day-at-home-diy

UNWIND

Last, but not least, if you want to fall asleep faster, you need to have a good sleep routine. This made a huge difference for me, because I’d usually bring my laptop to bed. Give yourself some time to unwind before trying to fall asleep. Your bedroom should be used only for sleep (and intimacy)- that way when you get into your bed, your body knows that it’s time to fall asleep. Don’t bring things like your laptop or other electronics to bed. Use this time to shut your brain down: take a warm bath, read a book, apply a face mask- whatever it is that calms and relaxes you. If you do this routinely, your brain will make the connection that reading or taking a bath means that you’re ready to go sleep.

Of course, there many more often rather obvious steps you can take like avoid consuming caffeine late in the day as well as alcohol (depending on quantitiy), or turn off the lights and shut down the noise (like the TV). Shutting down the noise might feel weird at first and might take some time getting used to, especially if you’re used to falling asleep while watching TV, but it works wonders. If you have really big issues with falling asleep, remember that it’s not something that will change overnight. It  can take a while, but eventually your body will adjust to the new routine and your sleep will improve.

Do you have a “sleep routine”? What helps you unwind and relax at the end of the day?

  • I loooove cherry juice and have at least a glass of a store-bought one every day (and probably around 2 jugs of fresh one a day in the summer… come on, it is irresistible!). But if I wanted to point out one drink that makes me fall asleep straight away, it’d be Pukka Nighttime – I was never one to believe in ‘sleepy teas’ and such, but this one just does it for me. It is oat flower and lavender, I think, so it’s probably the lavender bit that just sends me straight to bed halfway through the mug.

  • UUUU i love the calming oil to make me sleep better <3

    http://inezdivaa.blogspot.co.id

  • I fall asleep quite easily but I do get up often and toss and turn throughout the the night which leaves me exhausted. I definitely need to try ALL of these tips because I don’t practice any of them, even though I’ve done some of them at other times during the day. I did not know magnesium was good for muscle relaxing, although that makes sense because I know it’s good for digestion! Great tips Paula, I am always learning amazing, helpful things from your post! Hope you’re doing well lovely lady! XO -Kim

    • Oh yes I couldn’t live without magnesium. Especially after I have a long, hard day. I always have it on my nightstand. Thank you so much Kim, you’re so kind!

  • I find unwinding to be the hardest thing to do. It’s like I cannot shut my brain off, no matter how much I try! I also feel that a warm bath in the evening and not watching tv right before going to bed is also helpful – a calm environment always helpt.

    xoRosie //Rosie’s Life

  • Daisy

    This was a great post, as I often find that I sleep okay but never feel fully content that I’ve had enough or that my sleep is the best. Yoga has definitely helped me a lot, and after doing it for around 6 months now I always feel much more relaxed and calm. An amazing read and I love your photographs! x

    Daisies and Delights – https://daisies-and-delights.blogspot.co.uk

  • I’ve never heard about magnesium! I have to try it :)

    http://www.blossomikebana.com

  • Oh Gosh, I remember those awful nights when I would just toss around and can’t fall asleep! But ever since having my boys it’s enough to put my head on a pillow and I’m already dreaming, haha! x

    Mummy’s Beauty Corner

  • I don’t always have difficulty sleeping, but when I do, it’s really bad, this is something that I need to do for those night. I never heard that cherry tart juice, I really like, should stock more of them for one of those night. Thanks for the tips, Paula!

    Selene Addicted

  • Yana Kasekamp

    I also could not function during the day when I was in college. It has definitely gotten better to get a good night sleep since then. These are really good tips, and I am going to keep them in mind next time I have problem with sleep. Thank you for sharing! :)

    LifeOfArdor.com

  • I really want to start doing yoga before bed! Even thinking about yoga is making me feel much more relaxed!
    Aleeha xXx
    http://www.halesaaw.com/

  • Gitana Deneff

    My brother is a holistic FREAK and always tells me to take magnesium before bed. I really should start because I’ve been having the most restless sleep lately.
    Also YES yoga stretches and YAY chamomile. I should really make tea a ritual before bedtime. I’m also a HUGE proponent of meditation.
    Good meditation app: Stop, Breathe & Think. A must try.

    Good post gurl :* <3

    Gitana | Books & Bellinis | Instagram

  • Biana Perez

    I definitely love falling asleep but on the off nights i have trouble i’m going to reference this post for sure! xo, biana –BlovedBoston

  • Sleep is so important to our health. I work night shift as a nurse so I have to work extra hard to stay on a healthy sleep schedule. Meditation before bed has really worked wonders for me. Thanks for the great tips! I will definitely give some of these a try. :)
    -Brooke | http://www.beautydecorandmore.com

  • Great post! There are nights when I stress out for the next morning and I just can’t fall asleep, this will definitely help :)
    Kathy x
    http://www.alongcamekathy.blogspot.co.nz

  • I definitely struggle with falling asleep and have found that having a sleep routine really helps with that. I make sure to switch off my screen, grab a cup of camomille tea and relax with a book. I also couldn’t live without the This Works Deep Sleep range, and if all else fails, there’s always melatonin. xx

    http://www.shakespeareandsparkle.com/

    • I think that having a routine is what really helped me too. I love unwinding slowly to kind of let my body know that it’s time to go to sleep.

  • I’m a bad sleeper and even when it’s suuuuuper late I just cannot sleep before I unwind a little, so I like to read for at least 20 minutes before bed.

  • Kate

    I tend to go through phases – sometimes I have no problems at all and sometimes I have the worst insomnia! I love aromatherapy, camomile tea and a wind-down routine. Never tried magnesium, though I’ve heard about its benefits before. x

    Kate Louise Blogs

    • Aromatherapy is amazing! I couldn’t live without magnesium, especially after busy days when I’m on my feet all day, it definitely helps my muscles relax!

  • Sounds pretty nice! I’ve already been very tired when I get home, and after meal, there’s nothing to hold me back from sleeping. The times when I can’t sleep at all even though I’m tired, I tried to have some tea like @katemartensotiriou:disqus says.
    Kisses,
    Nazlıgül | on my own way
    Latest POST: Hair Care for This Summer: Biopoint Beauty Elixir
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  • I always knit for a while before I go to sleep. It’s repetitive so it soothes me. One of my cats also ALWAYS comes to bed with me and has to have a good snuggle session, which includes LOTS of purrs that help relax me. But you’re SO right about needing the winding down. If I’m out late, I’m never able to just fall asleep as soon as I get in bed. And I just got a diffuser a couple weeks ago and I absolutely love it! I got peppermint to help with my asthma but I’ll have to give the lavender a try!
    Katie
    OverTheMoony.com

    • I have to take up knitting again! So happy that you’re loving your diffuser, it definitely helps with the unwinding process :)

  • I love aromatherapy!! I love these tips. It’s so hard for me to fall asleep sometimes so I need to try these out! I like to read a book before I go to bed, but sometimes that backfires because I love the book so much and don’t want to put it down lol!

    xx

    Nida | Caked To The Nines

    • Thanks so much Nida! I love reading before bed, too! Haha well, I can’t say that loving a book that much is a bad thing haha!:)

  • Kimberly Rainwater

    Shoot…I just wish I knew how to relax !