Tossing and turning all night can make even the most energetic person feel groggy and irritable. After all, getting enough snooze time is critical for rejuvenation. “Sleep affects almost every tissue in our bodies,” says Dr. Michael Twery, a sleep expert at the National Institutes of Health. “It affects growth and stress hormones, our immune system, appetite, breathing, blood pressure, and cardiovascular health.” If you’re having trouble going down (or staying down), read on to learn how to fall sleep better.
Our guide to the perfect night’s sleep focuses on calming your body and mind to get your best rest.
Switch off (your tech) - Studies have shown the blue light that emits from your smartphone disrupts your sleep cycle by suppressing the secretion of melatonin, the “sleep hormone.” It might take a little practice, but turn off your phone (and any other light-emitting device) two to three hours before you plan to slumber. If you need some sort of entertainment to wind down, read a classic paperback!
Inhale, Exhale - Believe or not, your olfactory senses can help you drift off—that is if you choose the right scents. Studies have shown that calming aromas like lavender can help improve symptoms of restlessness and sleep disturbances. Spritz your pillow with Quiet Night Pillow Mist and let the natural essential oils of lavender, ylang-ylang, and cedarwood soothe your soul and pacify your mind.
Bedtime, balm-time - To keep your lulling scents lingering around for longer, massage Quiet Night Relaxing Balm into your wrists, temples and the back of your neck. The therapeutic oils—which include lavender and calendula, another scent that is known to help improve sleep —will quiet your senses and promote quality rest.
Eat early - Try your best to eat dinner and take your last bite of food at least three hours before you hit the sack. Sleep medicine specialist Brandon Peters, MD, writes in Verywell Health that the timing of our meals can affect our sleep by “[prompting] the release of insulin, which may have a role in shifting our circadian rhythm.” Plus, noshing late might cause indigestion and spike blood sugar levels. Avoid caffeine, which is a stimulant, as well as alcohol, which makes you drowsy at first but will keep you up.
A hot bath - Fun fact: when your temperature rises and rapidly cools afterward it helps relax you. This is why people swear by pre-bedtime baths! Sprinkle your bath with Muscle Ease Bath Salts or drop in Lavender Bath Bombs to get extra sleepy.
Yoga before bed - Try some gentle exercise before bed to help unwind. Some simple yoga poses such as “child’s pose” or “corpse pose” will help to calm even the chattiest of minds and relieve tension in your body from head to toe.
Practice mindfulness - One of the main reasons people have trouble falling—and staying—asleep is because they can’t stop thinking! A calmer state of mind will help you fall asleep easier. Focus your attention on the present by concentrating on your breath or visualizing a still and peaceful entity, like the moon against a dark sky. If an anxious thought passes through, don’t judge and allow it to pass.
Block out the light - If you don’t have black-out curtains that make your room pitch black, cover your eyes with an eye mask to help you fall into a deep sleep faster. Use silk to prevent creasing on your skin, or try our lavender and flaxseed Quiet Time Eye Pillow, encased in organic cotton, to truly relax your senses.
Prepare for tomorrow - Whether you’re traveling or staying at a friend’s house, it can be tricky to fall asleep when you’re not within familiar surroundings and cozying up in your own sheets. Help your body recognize that it’s bedtime by following simple habitual steps such as brushing your teeth and laying out your clothes for the next day. Even better? Grab a pen and paper and write down your to-do list for tomorrow so you don’t worry about them while you’re attempting to doze off.
Wake with Intention - When you wake up, set your intention for the day. What’s the one thing you would like to achieve for this new day? Feel empowered to take control and follow with an invigorating shower using your favorite our body washes enriched with enlivening essential oils to wake up your mind, body, and spirit.