5 Actionable tips to get a more
restful night’s sleep

If you’re looking for a natural way to promote healthy, restful sleep on the long-term, try these science-backed tips:

Create a sleep-inducing bedroom

There are certain environmental factors that disturb your sleep without you even knowing. One of the best-recommended first steps is to create the kind of environment that makes it easy to fall asleep. This entails more than just a comfortable bed. When establishing your sleep-inducing bedroom, focus on the following:

  • Light disruption: Excess exposure to light can throw off your circadian rhythm. Install blackout curtains or wear a light-blocking sleep mask over your eyes.
  • Temperature: A room that is either too hot or too cold can keep you from getting proper sleep. While temperatures vary based on the individual, experts recommend 65˚F.
  • Noise disturbances: Keep noise to a minimum and, if you can’t eliminate nearby noise, cancel it out with a fan, white noise machine, or earplugs.
  • Mattress and pillow: Invest in a high-quality mattress and pillow, but opt for support over comfort. A mattress that sufficiently provides spinal support will help your body relax.
  • Bedding: Your sheets and blankets should be comfortable to the touch and also help you maintain the right temperature through the night.
  • Aromas: Scents that you find calming can help you fall asleep. Consider placing a lavender plant on your bedside table or using essential oils in your room.

Get moving

When you’re feeling tired from a lack of sleep, the last thing you want to do is exercise. However, research shows that regular physical activity can significantly improve sleep. This can be even more beneficial if you choose to work up a sweat outdoors. Exposure to natural sunlight helps to align your circadian rhythm (natural sleep cycle), letting your body know it’s daytime so that it naturally switches off when it becomes darker.

Daily exercise initiates changes in your energy use and body temperature and, as a result, your sleep. This can be as simple as going for a 30-minute walk. But avoid working out too close to bedtime, as this can surge energy and blood levels and stop you from settling down to sleep.

Take control of your schedule

Create a sleep schedule that works for you and stick to it. Taking control of your sleep schedule like this will not only make sleeping easier, but it will also create a routine. If you follow a regular schedule, you will train your internal clock to wake up and go to sleep at certain times. Eventually this will happen naturally, without much work from you.

There are four stages to creating an effective sleep schedule. Start by setting a fixed wake-up time – because your body will never get used to a healthy sleep routine if you’re always waking up at different times. Commit to this time, even on weekends. Then, budget time for sleep by using your fixed wake-up time and working backward to identify a target bedtime. Keep in mind to give yourself extra time before bed to wind down.

Next, be careful with your naps. Don’t nap longer than 30 minutes or later than 15:00, or it could affect your sleep in the evening. Lastly, remember to make any adjustments to your schedule gradually, with a maximum of 1-2 hours per night. This way, your body will better get used to the changes so that they are most likely to be sustainable.

Watch what you eat

There is a broad scope of ailments that can be significantly eased by adjusting your diet, and poor sleep is one of them. According to the National Sleep Foundation, simple carbs like white bread, pasta, and white rice reduce your levels of serotonin, which is essential for good sleep. These foods should be avoided before bed, as well as caffeine and other foods that may cause heartburn.

Fortunately, there are also some foods you can eat that will promote good sleep. Snacks that are high in melatonin, the chemical responsible for restful sleep, include almonds, walnuts, raspberries, bananas, pineapples, and oranges. Cottage cheese is also an option, as it contains tryptophan, an amino acid that increases the production of serotonin.

Cannabidiol (CBD)

From melatonin to valerian root, there are endless natural sleep aids available. However, few have proven to be as effective as CBD. Hemp contains many different natural components, including CBD, CBG, CBN, and CBC. It’s important to note that, unlike THC which is present in very low volumes, CBD does not cause psychoactive effects (it doesn’t make you feel high). Instead, CBD has a calming effect on the nervous system. By preventing the breaking down of anandamide, CBD helps you to respond less acutely to stress or anxiety.

Studies have found CBD to be an effective supplement for both falling and staying asleep. In fact, the sleep scores of 66% test subjects improved. When used over long durations, CBD may even have long-lasting benefits for restful sleep.

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*Tip: Avoid a psychological connection between your bed and sleeplessness. If you can’t sleep and have spent more than 20 minutes in bed, get out and do something calming in low light, like read or listen to music. Get your mind off sleep for a few minutes and try again when you feel more sleepy.