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  • Linnette Johnson

Get the Sleep You Need

Most of us know that a good night’s sleep is essential, but many of us don’t make those eight to nine hours of sleep each night a priority. But if you have ever had a restless night, you know how you will feel the next day - irritable, tired, and out of sorts.

For some, this is a regular occurrence, which can have many, more severe consequences, including:

-poor concentration and focus -difficulty with memory -impaired motor coordination -high blood pressure -weakened immunity -weight gain -accidents (caused by fatigue)

If you’ve experienced temporary or chronic insomnia, you may be wondering what can be done for it outside of medicating. Luckily, there are some steps you can take that do not involve medications that can make you groggy or that can even become habit-forming.

Here are some things to consider to achieve better sleep:

Diet Avoid spicy, sugary, and greasy foods before bed that can cause heartburn and restlessness. This includes caffeine and alcohol as well.

Routine Set a nighttime routine that you follow each night, and get up at the same time each morning. To work up to this, maybe start by cutting 15 minutes off your typical bedtime until you reach a bedtime that will allow for a total of seven to eight and a half hours a night.

Exercise Performing sleep-inducing exercises can help relieve stress and restlessness - two causes of insomnia. Yoga or any aerobic exercise is perfect for sleep.

Gadgets The blue light that cell phones, computers, and tablets emit suppresses naturally occurring melatonin, the hormone responsible for regulating sleep. So limit gadget use in bed or close to your bedtime.

Essential Oils Lavender is a natural sedative and is excellent for promoting sleep. Mix 1 cup of water and 4-5 drops of essential oil in a spray bottle. Mist around your bedroom before going to sleep.

A warm drink before bed is yet another way to get the body and mind in a relaxed state. Try this soothing Banana Peel Tea before you hit the pillow:

Ingredients -¼-1/2 banana, including the peel -1 cup water -Optional: Dash of cinnamon

Instructions -In a small pot, combine water and banana. Bring to a boil. Simmer 10-20 minutes -Add cinnamon if desired -Strain and enjoy

Here are some other nighttime drinks to try:

Pink Moon Milk, or tart cherry juice, is a natural source of melatonin.

Chamomile Lavender Latte includes powerful and natural relaxants.

Turmeric Golden Milk is great for inflammation and balancing blood sugar.

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