Natural Sleep: How To Get Better Rest Without Medication
By: Kimberly Hayes
Natural sleep—or sleep that doesn’t require medication—is wonderful for both physical and mental health, but it’s something that many Americans battle for each night. Stress, anxiety, diet, illness, and health issues can all contribute to wakefulness, leaving us feeling groggy and unprepared to face life’s challenges the next day. When that happens, it’s difficult to get back to a good sleep routine. Once your cycle is interrupted, you may find it next to impossible to get a full eight hours in, and the longer you go without good rest, the more your mind and body are affected.
Fortunately, there are several things you can do to get natural sleep and take care of your health at the same time. Ensuring that the air quality in your home is clean will be a big help, as well as getting daily exercise, eating right, and reducing stress. You can also make sure that your bedding and bedroom are as comfortable as possible.
Keep reading for some great tips on how to get better rest without the aid of medication.
Change the air quality
The air quality in your home can play a vital role in how you feel and the way you breathe, so it’s important to make sure it’s clean. A humidifier in your bedroom can eliminate dry air—which makes sleep difficult for many people and can increase the risk of illness—and can help with certain respiratory illnesses, as well. Consider installing a humidifier and running it at night, but make sure you clean the unit and change the filter often. Have a few extra filters on hand as backups so you won’t be caught without one.
Work out daily
When you’re busy, it can be difficult to fit in a workout every day. However, daily exercise is crucial when it comes to your physical health, and it can help to tire you out so that when it’s time for bed, you’re ready for good rest. Exercise can also boost your mood and can improve the state of your mental health; studies have shown that activity releases hormones that help us feel happy and accomplished. If you’re pressed for time, consider participating in a couple of short workouts during the day rather than one big one.
Create some comfort
The comfort level of your home—specifically, your bedroom—is important when you want to get better rest. This means making sure you have soft bedding, a good mattress, blackout curtains or blinds to keep the sun from waking you too early, and soothing colors on the walls. Your environment can have a big effect on how you feel, so making an effort to keep your bedroom a comforting, calming place will help you on your journey to better sleep.
The right diet can help you feel better in several ways, from boosting your energy levels to allowing you to maintain a healthy weight, but did you know it can also help you get a good night’s rest? Eliminating foods and drinks that contain caffeine—such as chocolate, coffee, and tea—can help you unwind at bedtime while adding foods like turkey, nuts, and cottage cheese can trigger the release of melatonin, which helps you sleep better.
Finding good rest can be hard when you’re battling physical or mental health issues, and it can be even more difficult when you don’t give your body and mind what’s needed to relax. Finding ways to stay calm and reduce stress will go a long way toward a good night’s sleep, so treat yourself to quiet time when you can. With a few lifestyle changes, you can get the rest you deserve.
About the Author:
Kimberly Hayes enjoys writing about health and wellness and created PublicHealthAlert.info to help keep the public informed about the latest developments in popular health issues and concerns. In addition to studying to become a crisis intervention counselor, Kimberly is hard at work on her new book, which discusses the ins and outs of alternative addiction treatments
Samantha is the author of "My Bipolar Mind: You're not alone," she is also a freelance writer, blogger, and mental health advocate who runs and manages her own mental health blog MyBipolarMind.com.