Getting enough zzz’s isn’t a simple and direct matter of calling it a night and closing your eyes for most individuals, especially those among us who’s waking lives are chalk-full of to-do’s. For anybody whose day-to-day life is brimming with activity, it’s often difficult to mentally and physically prompt our body to sleep. Pair that with anxiety, stress, blue light exposure, and caffeine, there is indeed plenty of room to improve our evening habits to help welcome the deep and restorative kind of sleep that our body’s need nightly to function at its best.
If you feel like deep sleep is an elusive thing for you in your daily life, incorporate some or all of these holistic evening practices for your best sleep ever.
1. Keep a regular schedule
If you’re a parent, you know how integral it is to keep a regular and predictable schedule for babies and growing children. This helps establish the right cues and associations for necessary tasks throughout the day. Anything off-schedule or unpredictable can lead to a cranky child.
With that said, while adults with sleep issues can better deal with life’s daily fluctuations and surprises, making an effort to keep a regular schedule, especially when starting to remedy any sleep issues, can help give your mind and body the right cues to know what should come next. This means waking up and going to sleep at the same time daily and having a consistent evening routine that you practice nightly.
The logic behind this is to work with your body’s natural circadian rhythm. Think of it like a built-in sunrise and sunset in your body. Working with your circadian rhythm is a great first step in remedying sleep issues as your body will soon learn when it’s time to be active and when it’s time to rest.
2. Have a digital sunset
In line with your circadian rhythm, the body naturally responds to light. In the most primal sense, when your body is exposed to light, it responds accordingly as a time to be awake. This has gotten tricky in this day and age of screens, where our body is exposed to light, particularly highly stimulating blue-light which inhibits our sleep hormone melatonin, which naturally increases by night time.
If you’re having trouble sleeping, consider having a digital sunset at least 1 hour before bed to optimize your body’s natural melatonin production, and to avoid overstimulation from blue-light exposure.
3. Relax your body
Sleeping requires a certain level of letting go of inhibitions, tension, and a general sense of stimulation. This is where customizing your own evening routine comes in handy because you can personally handpick a variety of relaxing activities to help your body wind down for the day.
Some relaxing evening practices can involve releasing tension from light exercise such as yoga or an evening walk/run, calming your mind through meditation, and aromatherapy, and doing relaxing, unstimulating activities such as taking a hot bath or reading a book.
4. Make your bedroom a sleep sanctuary
Give your mind and body the correct association when it comes to your bedroom: it’s a place for sleep, therefore you need to make it so.
Make sleep something you actually look forward to at the end of the day. Whatever works for you to look forward to retreating to your bedroom and getting in some quality zzz’s. Invest in a quality mattress, buy yourself cozy blankets, turn down the lighting by installing a dimmer switch or placing next to your bed a lovely reading lamp.
The bedroom should be just that, a place for sleeping, so save anything non-sleep related outside of your mattress.
5. A diet for good sleep
Don’t keep your body in an active state by eating a heavy meal close to bedtime. Instead, aim to have your last meal at least 2 hours before bedtime and avoid eating a heavy and oily meal altogether, which can keep your digestive system active for hours on end, hampering your body from fully switching into a restful state.
Try incorporating foods that are rich in tryptophan, a precursor to melatonin, and magnesium, to help relax the body. Foods like almonds, avocados, chickpeas, cauliflower, turkey, dates, grapefruit, and cherries can all promote a good night’s rest, with the added benefit of being highly nutritious!
Need ideas for a light yet nutritious meal before bedtime? We’d recommend a combination of a turkey hummus whole wheat pita wrap with roasted cauliflower on the side and a glass of cherry juice to help ease you into slumberland.
Anybody looking to improve their sleep quality or remedy already dysfunctional poor sleep habits can benefit from the above evening self-care practices. Often, the body and mind simply need a little extra help to let go of the day’s activity to welcome the night. Sweet dreams!
Give your body all the right signals for a night of rest and rejuvenation with our Calm Anti-Anxiety, an immune-boosting antioxidant rich blend of calming herbs to help ease your body into slumber, helping to give you the much needed benefits that come from adequate hours of deep and restorative sleep.