8 Steps for a Restful Night of Sleep
None of the products listed below are sponsored. All of my recommendations are 100% honest and authentic based on what has truly worked for me.
A restful night of sleep is one of the most important things that you can do for your health. Here are some methods that have worked for me in order to have the most peaceful night of sleep that leaves you feeling refreshed and ready to go in the morning.
1. It’s time to power down.
This is the first and perhaps the most important step. Unplugging at the end of the day, is extremely beneficial according to the National Sleep Foundation who found that electronic devices can interfere with sleep as it provides too much stimulation or blue light before bed. The best environment for sleep of a cool and quiet environment, so this means you should try to avoid letting Netflix or the hum of a TV lull you to sleep if you want to feel well-rested the next day. Also, try to avoid the temptation to scroll through your social feeds before bed (don’t worry I’m guilty of it too), but trust me.
2. Plan for the next day.
During the weekdays, I like to lay out my outfit, pack my backpack and gym bag for the following day. By doing this the day before, you save time in the morning and it is less of a hassle to get out of the door to start the next day. I also like to make a task list in my planner of the things that I need to do the next day which gives helps me to relax into my work and focus without distraction.
3. Do a yoga practice for sleep.
The YouTube channel Yoga with Adriene has a large number of yoga practices designed specifically for unwinding at the end of the day and for getting a restful sleep. Two of my favorite practices from Adriene are the Yoga for Bedtime - 20 Minute Practice and 7 Minute Bedtime Yoga.
4. Have a cup of tea.
I’m sure you’ve heard this time and time again from various wellness blogs on the internet, but drinking a cup of your favorite decaffeinated tea in replacement of an alcoholic beverage can be a great way to unwind after a long day and to get the best sleep. Despite the calming and sleepy affect that alcohol can have on many, it can actually disturb your sleep because it is a stimulant. There are many decaffeinated teas on the market that boast a calming, soothing, and sleep-inducing effect, but the question is which ones actually work?
I really enjoy the Traditional Medicinals Peppermint Tea which can not only help with bloating during your time of the month, but also aids digestion after a big meal. After cutting way back on my coffee intake, which was affecting my sleep schedule, I’ve been drinking two cups of this tea a day and now I simply can’t go without it. Traditional Medicinals Cup of Calm is also very effective at stress-relieving after a long day at work. It contains passionflower, chamomile, lavender and catnip all of which can promote relaxation and a restful night of sleep.
Bonus tip: I would also recommend not going to sleep with a growling stomach or empty stomach. Have something light and healthy to satiate you until the next morning such as a piece of your favorite fruit.
5. Write in a journal.
Writing in a journal is a nice thing to do in order to reflect on the day and a good way to remember the things that you might have otherwise forgotten. I like to include 3 things that I am grateful for each day because gratitude has been suggested to increase overall happiness.
6. Curl up with a book.
Perhaps one of my favorite ways to unwind after a long day is to drink my cup of tea in bed with a good book. I have been reading mostly non-fiction which I adore because I love learning new things. I suggest books such as Fat for Fuel, Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, and 52 Small Changes for the Mind.
7. Try a meditation practice.
Jason Stephenson offers a variety of meditation practices for sleep on his YouTube channel. I really like this guided meditation in particular because I am usually asleep by the end of the 30 minute video. A progressive muscle relaxation exercise provided by the YouTube channel Relax For A While ASMR is also a great way to relax if you are not prone to hypertension. I learned about this from my counseling psychology class where we were required to complete this exercise. The results are incredible. I usually experience full body relaxation after committing to this 15-minute practice. It is also particularly helpful for people who often toss and turn when they sleep like I do.
8. Take a melatonin.
If you are having an extremely hard time getting to sleep or suffer with insomnia try taking take a melatonin about 40 minutes prior to laying down. Melatonin is a natural hormone that you produce before sleep in the pineal gland of the brain. I like to take the lowest dose of 1 mg in the pill form, but consult your physician before making a decision about whether or not to try using this method.
Try out the first 7 steps and see how they work out for you. If you’re still having trouble getting a restful night of sleep, visit your doctor, ask about melatonin or for their suggestions for natural sleep remedies.