Healthy sleep is one of the most essential features of a life well lived. The CDC estimates that 1 in 3 adults don’t get enough sleep per night and to combat that, nearly 9 million Americans use prescription medications to fall asleep each night. As trust in prescription drugs falls, many people are looking for natural alternatives. Check out our 4 favorite ways to fall asleep without medications.
It is so tempting to wind down from a long day by scrolling through Instagram or watching a little Netflix, but all that tech could actually be interfering with a good night’s sleep. Screens emit a lot of light, the most disruptive of which is bluelight, which has been shown to interfere with the body’s production of necessary sleep hormones. By turning off your screens at least half an hour before bed, you allow your body’s natural rhythms to put you to sleep.
Exercise is one of the most common and effective ways to naturally sleep better. Exercising tires out the body and reduces mental stress. In addition, exercising can help reset the sleep-wake cycle, which is the body’s system for regulating sleep. Physical exertion affects energy levels differently, so it is essential to observe how you react. If you feel energized after working out, it is best to keep physical activity for earlier times in the day.
3. Drink Right
If you’re having trouble sleeping, avoid caffeine anytime after 2pm. Even if you are not feeling the effects of caffeine anymore, the chemical can still have a negative impact on your sleep. Switching out coffee for herbal tea is a great choice after that 2pm cut off. Rooibos tea is caffeine free and high in antioxidants. If you are drinking tea right before bed, try chamomile or lavender. Both herbs contain naturally occurring chemicals that help with relaxation and sleep.
Sometimes, our bodies need the right balance of vitamins and minerals to help us fall asleep easily.
Magnesium: Magnesium has been shown to stimulate specific neurotransmitters that regulate melatonin production, and taking 200-400mg a day with food can be beneficial.
Theanine: Theanine is an antioxidant found in a lot of plant sources, including green tea. Theanine helps in sleep production because it aids in stress relief, especially for those with high levels of anxiety.
CBD: Research on CBD is still progressing, a Consumer Reports study shows that 10% of people using CBD buy it to help them sleep. Some preliminary studies indicate that higher doses of CBD have a sedating effect.