A restful and healthy night’s sleep is one of the best things you can do for your body and mind. When we achieve a deeper, longer sleep, we wake up more refreshed and mentally more robust, which can significantly benefit us throughout the rest of our day.
There is a long list of reasons why we often don’t get the sleep we need. In some cases, it has to do with our eating habits — since sugary and processed foods, particularly later in the day, can throw off our digestive system. In other cases, it’s due to stressful daily environments, and it becomes increasingly difficult to calm our minds when it’s time to rest.
Thankfully, there are many ways to improve your sleeping patterns, both in the conventional and unconventional sense. Let’s explore some of your options.
Meditation is a popular holistic approach to improving sleep since it teaches the mind and body to work together to reduce stress and anxiety. Mindful meditation aims to reduce the noise and distractions that often cloud our brains, which sends signals to the body to relax and let go of tension.
One of the benefits of meditation is that there are a variety of ways to go about the practice. Beginners can approach it gently and gradually increase the amount of time they’re able to remain still in their pre-nighttime ritual.
Unconventional: CBD Oil
While it may be categorized as unconventional for now, CBD is quickly becoming a popular sleep, stress, and anxiety remedy for many consumers. From oils in your herbal tea to high quality edibles, there are various options to incorporate CBD into your nighttime routine.
There is more scientific research than ever on the therapeutic effects of CBD. Cannabinoids are chemical compounds that can attach themselves to receptors in the central nervous system and communicate non-psychoactive directions to the brain, helping to relieve anxiety and potentially lower blood pressure and reduce heart rates.
Conventional: Add Physical Activity During the Day
Regular physical activity during the day can reduce your sleep onset, also known as the time it takes to fall asleep. The type of physical activity you engage with can vary, whether you prefer to go for a long run or simply walking around your neighbourhood. So long as you refrain from engaging in vigorous activity in the immediate hours before bed, you should see a significant change in the quality of your sleep.
Unconventional: Eat Earlier
While there are often jokes surrounding early meals, it can actually benefit your sleep patterns. When you eat later in the day, you risk developing gastroesophageal reflux syndrome, which can significantly disrupt your sleep.
The later you eat, the harder it is for your body to warm up, which is a key part of initiating your sleep cycle. If possible, consider eating an earlier supper, approximately two or three hours before you plan on going to bed — and you’ll be surprised at the difference it makes.