14 quick sleep aids
You can finally enjoy a deep and restful sleep thanks to these 14 quick sleep aids that Melanie Waxman, Natural therapies expert has created for SHA.
1. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, stimulants, and chemicals that prevent sleep.
The stimulating effects of nicotine and caffeine take hours to wear off and can wreak havoc on quality sleep. Alcohol might make you sleepy at first, but it disrupts sleep later in the night.
2. Turn Your Bedroom into a Sleep-Inducing Environment
Create a quiet, dark and restful atmosphere in the bedroom. A fan can help to circulate the air and keep the room cool.
Use cotton for sheets and other natural fabrics in the bedroom. Synthetics give off static electricity that can be unrelaxing and draining.
Turn off cell phones and keep EMR to a minimum in the bedroom.
Keep computers, TVs, and work materials out of the room to strengthen the association between the bedroom and sleep.
3. Create a smooth transition to sleep
Create a smooth transition from day to sleep time with relaxing activities. Take an aromatherapy or epsom salt bath (the rise, then fall in body temperature promotes drowsiness), read a book, do soothing salt foot soak, massage feet, or practice relaxation exercises. Avoid stressful, stimulating activities, doing work, or discussing emotional issues.
Use aromatherapy such as lavender and orange to encourage relaxation and good sleep. Mix a few drops of essential oil and water in a spray bottle and give your pillowcase a spritz.
4. Go to Sleep When You’re Really Tired
If you’re not asleep after 15 minutes, stay in bed (if you not feeling anxious), or go to another room. Do something relaxing, like deep breathing, visualisation, reading or listening to soothing music. Keep the room dim as bright lights stimulate the internal clock.
5. No Clock Watching
Turn the clock away so you don’t watch it if you cant sleep. This can increase anxiety.
6. Nap Early—Or Not at All
Take naps before 5.00pm and only for 10-30 minutes
7. Avoid Late Night Eating
Stop eating 2-3 hours before sleep. Avoid heavy meals in the evening.
8. Balance Fluid Intake
Enjoy relaxing teas that make you feel calm, like peppermint, chamomile, kukicha twig tea with rice syrup and lemon, or Apple juice kuzu
9. Exercise Early
Stop strenuous exercise 3 hours before sleep. Gentle stretching and evening yoga can be enjoyed as a way to relax before bed.
10. Manage stress
Learn simple meditation and breathing exercises to help calm the mind and body
Work on slow and deep breathing. Inhale for 5 seconds, pause for 3, then exhale to a count of 5. Start with 8 repetitions; gradually increase to 15.
11. Keep a sleep diary
Record your sleep patterns over two weeks and note what seems to make it worse or better
Write your worries down in a notebook before sleep. Be detailed.
End your day with 3 blessings. Simple things that have been positive during the day
12. Increase Tryptofan
Increase leafy greens, sesame seeds, sea vegetables and oats which contain high levels of trytofan.
Research is showing that taking a melatonin supplement can help you sleep create a regular pattern of sleep. This should only be used to change the habit rather than as an ongoing medication.
14. Nourish the Kidneys
Take an epsom salt bath, hot water and sea salt foot soak, or massage the feet before bed.
Place a hot water bottle on the lower back.
Stop any coffee, alcohol, sodas, and sugar.
Increase whole living plant foods including beans, miso and vegetable soups, dried daikon, shiitake, and sea vegetables.
Watch salty, dry foods like cookies, crackers, chips.