Today I will be talking about ways to sleep better naturally.

Do you ever wake up in the mornings and wish you were able to get better sleep?  Maybe you feel like you toss and turn all night or your brain just doesn’t shut off.

One of the worst things that can happen when you know you have a busy day ahead of you is to feel tired, fatigued, and unenergized.  If you work at a performance-based job where you always need to be on your A-game, getting no sleep can be so detrimental to your career.

Along with that, always being tired affects your energy levels which ultimately affects your productivity.  If you’re a busy person and you have a million things to do in a day, you know how important it is to feel awake and ready to work to get stuff done!

But, don’t worry, there are ways you can fight those sleepless nights and relax at bedtime. Below, we have shared some effective ways for calming your mind and getting a good night’s sleep.

Disclaimer: I am not in any way a certified therapist so all the advice is given from my own experience and should not be taken as medical advice. 

 

 

10 ways to sleep better naturally

Sleep is so important so if you’re having trouble sleeping, here are 10 tips to get better sleep at night so you can feel more energized, focused, and ready to take on the day, every day!

 

Progressive muscle relaxation

This is one of the best exercises to induce sleep. A lot of sleep experts recommend evening meditation but if you suffer from anxiety, you may not want to meditate before bedtime. It might be more stimulating than relaxing.

Here’s how progressive muscle relaxation works…

Tense the individual muscle groups on your body, one at a time. Then, release the tension and notice how your muscles feel when you relax them. This exercise lowers the stress and tension in your body and it’s very effective for when you experience extreme anxiety. So, it’s useful for when you’re trying to relax enough to fall asleep.

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Once you’re in bed, take 15 minutes to complete this exercise. Start from the top of your head and go over each individual muscle group. So, if you’re working on your forehead, raise your eyebrows as far as you can. Take a slow, deep breath as you do this. Do this for 5 seconds. Once the 5 seconds are up, relax the muscle, and exhale. You will feel the tension flow out. Move on to the next muscle group.

Take care to focus on only one muscle group at a time. Don’t clench any other part of your body, only the muscle that you’re focusing on. It becomes easier to do with practice. No part of this exercise should be painful.

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Military method

The United States Navy Pre-Flight School introduced the now popular Military Method as part of the pilot’s training routine after they discovered that many of the pilots could not get enough sleep amidst training stress and gunfire noises in the background.

How to practice:

  • Start with your face. Relax all of your face muscles, including those inside your mouth.
  • Focus on the Shoulders. Droop them releasing all the tension and let your hands drop naturally to the side.
  • Focus on your legs. Exhale and let your leg muscles go limp and relax.
  • Take a few deep breaths. Let your chest relax with your exhale.
  • Once you relax every muscle from your face to legs, breathe normally and imagine a relaxing scene. You can also imagine yourself falling asleep.
  • If it doesn’t work, relax and say “don’t think” over and over for a few seconds.
  • You should fall asleep within a minute or two.

After 6 weeks of practice, the pilots could fall asleep in 2 minutes or fewer.

The technique worked even after drinking coffee and is also said to be effective if you need to sleep sitting up.

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Abdominal breathing

Abdominal breathing promotes relaxation by altering the way you normally breathe. Unlike with meditation, you won’t need complete silence. You can do it either lying down with your eyes closed or while listening to soft music. Either way, in order to relax, you must pay attention to your breathing.

To effectively do abdominal breathing, lie on your back and place your hands on your chest and abdomen. That helps track your breathing. Remember to inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth. Others prefer exhaling through the nose, which is not an issue.

 

4-7-8 breathing

This breathing technique has been said to have the ability to put you to sleep in as little as 60 seconds.

The technique is simple.

Lay on your back and breathe in deeply. Breathe into the count of four. Hold that breath for a count of seven. Exhale the breath to the count of eight.

Repeat this until you have fallen asleep. It is a cleansing breath, slow breathing technique, and will help your body to slowly calm down and create a feeling of calm.

 

Counting Breath

This type of breathing technique is precisely what it sounds like. You simply breathe in and count that as a breath. Breathe out and count that as well. So, you would be breathing for each count. For example, breathing in would be count one, and breathing out would be count two.

This works for people that find counting to be restful and calming. It can also be the start of a breathing technique that bleeds into another technique like the 4-7-8 method.

 

Self-guided mediation

Many people have used self-guided meditation apps before they lay down to sleep. You may incorporate this new option into your bedtime routine.

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Combined with going to sleep earlier, practice some meditation via a free self-guided meditation app or YouTube on your smartphone. This will help you relax your mind and in turn, you’ll slip off into slumber easier without negative thoughts.

Top tip:

The below channels on YouTube are great for guided meditations;

If you want to learn about meditation, the follow channel is excellent:

If you’re interested in learning more in-depth about meditation, then the below books are excellent:

 

 

Use a white noise machine

Do they have trouble sleeping without having at least some noise in the background?  Or if you live right in the heart of the city where it’s really noisy or in an apartment where the walls are thin, a white noise machine can be super helpful to help you fall asleep faster.

This white noise machine plays 30 different natural sounds and even comes with a handy timer so that it’ll shut off after a certain time period if you don’t want it running all night.

 

Stop using electronics too close to lights-out

You’ve probably heard that it’s not recommended to use your smartphone in bed. Reading on your cell phone, laptop or e-reader or watching TV before bed can mess with your circadian rhythms, making it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep. Plus, it may even contribute to weight gain, according to a 2019 study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Disconnect from your devices well before bedtime. If you like to read before you hit the sheets, opt for a hardcover book rather than an e-reader. And if you can, take the TV out of the bedroom altogether so you’re not tempted to fall asleep with it on.

 

Try reading

Reading is a healthy activity as it primarily sharpens your imagination. Aside from that, it can also aid you in relaxing and staying calm before going to bed.

Reading may also help your mind separate stress from sleep time. It is important to take note though that healthy reading should be done with the paper book, not the electronic one.

Books read from electronic devices produce a type of bright light that may lower the production of melatonin, a hormone that stimulates the sleep-wake cycle.

 

Minimise caffeine intake

Most people might like drinking coffee, especially in the morning as it may help them feel awake, but caffeine can have negative effects on your sleep if consumed in high amounts.

Because caffeine promotes alertness by preventing chemicals in the brain that trigger good sleep or encourage regular sleep cycle, this will make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep.

The effects of caffeine may vary from one person to another, though, so it’s advisable you should not consume caffeine at least six hours prior to sleep.

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10 ways to sleep better naturally – Final thought

If you’ve been struggling to get a good night’s sleep, I hope these 10 tips help to enhance your sleep quality.

These tips are very simple to put in place but surprisingly effective. So, give them a try today and start enjoying the best sleep of your life.

What are your tips and ideas to get a good night sleep?

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