Adults need seven to nine hours of sleep at night while kids and teens need more to avoid sleep problems in children. If you don’t get enough sleep, you can experience cognitive problems related to problem-solving, reasoning, and communication. Other than that, sleep deprivation can also cause a decline in thinking similar to ageing for eight years. It also increases your risk of diabetes and coronary heart disease. If you’re having trouble falling and staying asleep, you can improve it with good sleep hygiene and sleep home remedies.
Be Mindful of Your Activities during Daytime
What you do, eat, and drink during the day has a significant effect on your quality of sleep. To help you fall asleep at night, you need to avoid certain foods and eat during normal hours. Physical activity is also recommended.
Expose Your Body to Light
Light exposure plays an important role in your body’s circadian rhythm. This helps you stay awake during the day and feel drowsy when it’s dark. That’s why when you’re exposed to light during the evening, you will have a harder time sleeping. During nighttime, your body produces melatonin that increases your feeling of drowsiness.
If you have trouble falling asleep at night, one of the sleep home remedies you can try is to spend time outdoors during the day. You can take a short walk around the neighbourhood, open the windows, or exercise in your yard.
Consume Pro-Sleep Food
Your diet plays an important role in your energy production and sleepiness. For example, tart cherry juice contains melatonin, which is a substance that makes you feel drowsy at night. Nuts such as almonds, pistachios, walnuts, and cashews also contain a good amount of melatonin, magnesium and zinc which in combination can reduce the effects of insomnia in older adults.
Monitor Your Alcohol and Caffeine Intake
If you’re a fan of coffee, one of the sleep home remedies you can try is limiting your intake. Caffeine can help improve your energy levels and focus for six to eight hours. If you’re building a consistent wake-sleep schedule, avoid drinking coffee after three or four in the afternoon. Instead, you can opt for the decaffeinated version.
In addition to that, there is a common belief that alcohol can help you sleep better. Consumption of alcoholic beverages can worsen snoring and sleep apnea, a condition that causes disruptions in breathing while sleeping. It also inhibits your body’s melatonin production, thereby affecting your circadian rhythm and causing sleep disturbance.
Make Time for Exercise
If you have insomnia or don’t know how to sleep better with anxiety, one of the effective sleep home remedies is to make time for exercise during the day. Moderate-intensity aerobic exercise can reduce the time you need to fall asleep, prevent sleep disturbances, increase sleep time, and improve anxiety. Make sure to schedule your exercise routines in the morning because physical activity can increase your alertness, making it harder for you to sleep.
Aerobic exercise refers to physical activities that get your heart to beat faster. Brisk walking for 30-minutes a day is an example of a moderate-intensity aerobic exercise. You can also ride a bike or play intensive sports like tennis or basketball.
Create a Comfortable Bedroom for Sleep
If you’re having trouble falling asleep faster, your bedroom might not be relaxing and comfortable enough. You could be distracted by bright lights, toss and turn because of a stiff bed, or feel too sweaty to sleep.
This is why one of the best sleep home remedies is to design a room free from distractions. Consider repainting the walls of your room with neutral colors, as these are more relaxing to the eyes. Layer up the room with blankets, carpets, and comforters to make it as relaxing as possible. It’s also worth it to invest in a comfortable mattress with just the right size and firmness.
Keep Your Room Dark
Your body produces melatonin when it becomes darker to help you feel drowsy and fall asleep faster. If you have a bright room, your brain might think that it’s still daytime so you’ll have trouble sleeping.
That’s why if you live in a street with bright outdoor lights, you can invest in room-darkening blinds for your window. You can also use a sleep mask over your eyes to achieve better sleep. If you need to have illumination in your room, opt for dim lighting.
Tweak the Room Temperature
A bedroom that is too hot can make it harder for you to achieve high-quality sleep. Mild heat exposure can increase wakefulness and decrease rapid eye movement sleep (REM) which is a stage in your sleep cycle. For this reason, one of the sleep home remedies you can try is to create a cooler sleeping environment.
The ideal room temperature will vary from person to person, but the recommended bedroom temperature is 18°C.
Choose a High-Quality Pillow and Mattress
One of the most important sleep home remedies is to have a relaxing bed. But unfortunately, many don’t realize that their mattress is not suited for their sleeping needs. Instead, it might be the culprit for increased back pain and wakefulness at night.
You will spend seven to nine hours resting and getting back your energy in bed, so you must choose a high-quality mattress. When choosing, consider your needs. For example, a product with high-quality foam that adapts to the body is recommended for people who like to change sleeping positions. If you easily feel hot, you need a mattress that regulates body temperature when sleeping.
Avoid Using Devices That Produce Light
Many of us spend at least an hour browsing social media apps through our phones before bedtime. But did you know that smartphones, tablets, computers, and television produce blue light that can trick your brain that it’s still daytime? Using your gadgets for social media before sleeping can also make you more likely to have shorter sleep duration, insomnia, and more.
If you need to use blue-light-producing devices, the best sleep home remedies include using blue-light blocking glasses, setting a fixed time for browsing social media, and disconnecting an hour or two before bed.
Take a Shower or Bath
One of the most practical and effective sleep home remedies is to take a bath or shower before bed. Studies have shown that this habit has helped promote good sleep especially in older adults aged 65 and up. If you don’t have time in the evening for this routine, you can also bathe your feet in hot water instead.
You can also use Epsom Salts to relax tense muscles and reduce inflammation. It also contains magnesium which is helpful for sleep. Other than that, you can also buy bath products with essential oils like lavender to promote relaxation.
Find Ways to Release Stress
Relaxation is one of the most effective sleep home remedies for people with insomnia. Before you get some shut-eye, you can explore some calming activities to help you sleep better.
For example, if you find it hard to fall asleep, you can perform a simple meditation. Take deep breaths through your nose and try to let go of your thoughts. People have also reported sleeping better after a good back massage.
The important thing is to find something that can help you destress, whether it is listening to slow instrumental songs, practising aromatherapy, or writing in a journal.
Keep a Consistent Sleep Schedule
Your body has a set internal clock that works in 24 hours. Different parts of your body follow this circadian rhythm to perform essential functions.
One of them is maintaining the wake-sleep cycle. Light signals your body to be awake and alert, while darkness triggers drowsiness to help you fall asleep. If this is thrown off, you can struggle to sleep and wake up in the middle of the night.
Sleep and Wake Up at the Same Time
To maintain a consistent circadian rhythm and achieve long-term sleep quality, try to sleep and wake up at the same time. If you stay up late during the weekends and wake up later the next day, you can trigger changes in your internal clock and affect the production of melatonin. This can result in poor sleep and daytime functioning.
If you’re having trouble sleeping and waking up at the same time, set an alarm and count the number of hours you need to achieve each night. Add 15 to 30 minutes allowance for falling asleep. In addition to the previous sleep home remedies, you will gradually adjust to a sleeping schedule.
Limit Your Naps
One of the best sleep home remedies that are typically ignored is avoiding naps during the day. A short period of rest might be tempting but it can disrupt your circadian rhythm and make it harder for you to sleep at night if not done properly.
If you want to nap, limit it to 30 minutes. It can help you feel more awake and improve your learning ability. Compared to that, longer naps can contribute to sleep inertia or the heavy and groggy feeling you experience after sleeping.
Learn More About Sleep Home Remedies From Sleep Science!
Your activities during the day, the food you consume, bedroom environment, bedtime routine, and sleeping schedule all play a factor in helping you achieve high-quality sleep at night. By incorporating these sleep home remedies into your lifestyle, you won’t have trouble falling and staying asleep!
If you want to learn more about sleep topics, you can browse the Sleep Science website for more. We tackle topics about sleep deprivation, sleep disorders, products for better sleep, and the like. This way, you can purge unhealthy sleeping habits and make way for a restful sleep at night.