If you’re having trouble sleeping and don’t want to pop a sleeping pill, don’t give up hope! While chronic insomnia is best discussed with a medical practitioner, there are steps you can take to calm stress and get a good night’s sleep without taking prescription drugs. From preparing your bedroom for sleepy time to relaxation techniques to using essential oils like lavender for sleep, finding an effective natural sleep aid may be easier than you think.
“Om …” Make a habit of practicing relaxation techniques
If stress or anxiety is keeping you up nights, mindfulness therapy, meditation or yoga could be the natural sleep aid that works for you. And there’s plenty of research to back up the use of these various relaxation techniques to relieve stress, reduce anxiety and mitigate insomnia.
According to the Sleep Foundation, numerous studies support the benefits of yoga for improving quality of sleep, minimizing sleep disturbances, reducing anxiety and depression, and improving overall quality of life. Other research supports the benefit of mindfulness meditation for the treatment of chronic insomnia, while another study shows meditation helps reduce psychological stress and promote wellbeing.
The key is to actually make a habit out of your preferred relaxation technique. One session of yoga or meditation won’t do the trick. The good news is you’ll find plenty of free meditation, mindfulness and yoga classes on YouTube, so give it a try!
Transform your boudoir into a calm, cool, stress-free zone
The next time you get ready for bed, take a few moments to assess your environment. If you find any stress triggers in your bedroom, they’ve got to go. Triggers may include just about anything work related, especially cell phones and laptops. Loud noises coming from the TV or intense music can also get your heart and anxiety racing.
Speaking of electronic devices, research shows that blue light from late night screen time (phone, laptop, tablet, TV) can have a significant impact on quality of sleep. Blue light interferes with our circadian rhythm, the body’s built-in, 24-hour clock that regulates the release of melatonin in the body and eases us to sleep and helps us wake up refreshed. So, if you didn’t hear us the first time, get those devices and screens out of your bedroom. And while you’re at it, turn the thermostat down a few degrees. Cooler temps are best for quality sleep.
Add lavender essential oil and a sleep mask to your bedtime routine
The number of lavender uses is practically endless, and using this powerhouse essential oil to help you sleep is not an old wives’ tale. The benefits of lavender for sleep (and reducing stress) have been well documented. This study supported the use of lavender for sleep in college age women, along with the added benefit of taming depression. While other research supports the calming, anxiety-reducing effects of lavender (even at the dentist’s office!).
What’s better than lavender alone to help promote sleep? Urban Spa’s Lovely Lavender Eye Pillow! Not only does this pure silk eye pillow and sleep mask calm you with the soothing aroma of pure French lavender, it blocks out light to help you relax and fall asleep. A sleep mask is especially helpful if your bed partner insists on bringing their phone, tablet or laptop to bed.
We hope you’ve found a natural sleep aid or two here to bring you more peace, calming and Zzzzzs. Sleep well friends!