Does popping an Ambien feel like the only way you can manage to squeeze in a few hours of sleep into your day? Lack of sleep can have several adverse effects on your health – which include stress, lesser concentration, elongated reaction time and more.
Natural sleep aids and some lifestyle changes are the recommended alternative to OTC drugs. They have lesser adverse effects and are likely to improve your sleep cycles for the better.
Relax and read on to discover which of these you can implement in your life.
- Everything warm and fuzzy
When there is a drop in your body temperature, you are highly likely to feel sleepy. Run yourself a nice hot bath or step in for a scalding shower just before you are about to call it a day. Once you are done with a hot bath, your body starts cooling off and the temperature drop is significant – making you feel drowsy. Instead of stalling, capitalize on this drowsiness and head straight to bed. Chances are that you will be sleeping as soon your head touches your pillow!
To make your bath more comfortable and enticing – try using essential oils that have lavender extracts in them. Lavender is known to relax your muscles and slow your heartbeat, which in turn help promote a slow-wave sleep cycle.
- You snooze you lose
The current generation is a preacher and believer of power naps. These intermittent sleep sessions are known to work wonders. Some discussed merits of these small sleep sessions include:
- More patience
- Less stress
- Better concentration
- Improved reaction time
- Enhanced efficiency
However, taking power naps cannot compensate for the actual 6-8-hour daily requirement of sleep by your body. Research has found that napping during the day might affect the circadian rhythm. The natural internal process that regulates our sleep and awake cycle is called the circadian rhythm. Taking naps causes a disbalance in the rhythm. Try avoiding it all costs no matter how inviting a 20-minute shut eye seems.
- The 28-hour concept
While you try to adhere to a global 24 hour into 7 day a week routine, it might not necessarily be working for you. With longer work hours, increased household chores, elongated screen times – following a 24-hour day cycle might leave you feeling worn out.
The 28-hour concept is a relatively new concept that is fast finding takers owing to the flexibility it offers. By pushing your clock forward, the 28-hour cycle gives you more liberty to plan your life better and enjoy certain activities at leisure.
People following the 28-hour concept spend 20 hours awake and 8 hours sleeping. While people with the conventional 9 to 5 jobs might face difficulties in following this cycle, but given the pandemic and shift in work culture, this might just become part of the new normal.
- Exercise to sleep
Physical exercise is regarded to have positive impacts on your sleep cycle. Ensuring a 30-minute moderate to high intensity workout during the day or better yet, early morning, helps your body relax at the end of the day and recuperate.
Exercising 4-5 times during a week is known to regulate blood pressure, lower your heart rate and improve your cardiovascular health. Any physical form of exercise is known to relieve stress. All of this in turn helps your body feel relaxed and sleep better.
- Work the ambiance
Where and how you sleep has a role to play on your sleeping patterns. Creating an environment where you feel safe and comfortable is crucial to the quality of your sleep. Here are some cues that you can work with:
- Sleeping is easier if the mattress is to your liking, the sheets clean and the pillow comfortable.
- Figure out whether you like to sleep with the lights on or lights off – you might be surprised at the difference a little lighting and or the absence of it can make when you want to sleep.
- For sound sleep, you might want to sleep amidst some calming sounds (read music) – people have reported better quality sleep when they listened to some calming music while they tried to sleep. Try playing it on speaker instead of listening in with earbuds or earphones.
- The temperature of the room can also affect your sleep. So, adjust the thermostat to your liking – maybe consider leaving a window open for some natural air circulation to take place.
- Ditch the device(s)
You have heard this repeatedly and yet cannot seem to get yourself to sleep without your smartphone. Or your tablet or even the e-book reader. The light emitted from these devices no matter the mode that they are set on interfere with your sleep. The light reduces the production of melatonin in your eyes. Melatonin is the hormone responsible for sleep.
Try and have a no device policy 30 minutes prior to bed and stick to it. Leave your phone on the dresser instead of the side table if possible. Shut off your laptop and try not to bring it to bed with you. Turn off the show you were watching and try and relax. Once you make these lifestyle changes, you are likely to experience an immediate improvement.
- Use a timer or better yet hide the clock
A friend recommended this trick a while back. Instead of setting an alarm and waking up to it, she turns on a timer. She says it tricks her mind into thinking that she has more time to sleep.
She elaborates that the timer also helps her record her sleep cycle.
For people who cannot sleep or want to wake up on time – an alarm might be a stressful thing. They might wake up at odd hours to check if they have missed the alarm. It is advisable to do away with the clock altogether.
Trying these hacks and natural sleep aids might help you get your disarrayed sleep cycle back in order.
To experience holistic relief, we recommend some herbs for sleep that can easily be found in – Chill Pill.
Chill Pill is a soul-centering mix of herbs for sleep that replicate sleep-inducing effects of melatonin. Made with a specialized formula of herbs and GABA, Chill Pill helps promote deep sleep.
Complement some of the sleeping hacks and lifestyle changes with 3 pills of Chill Pill every day before you go to sleep to experience natural sleep that leaves your body rested and refreshed.