Achieve Restful Nights: 10 Natural Tips for a Better Sleep

You toss and turn and night – you feel like you’ve tried everything. You really need to get some sleep, but would rather not rely on artificial means. So, what can you do to promote sleep naturally? If you want to get a good night’s sleep the old fashioned way, you have to go back to basics and ask mother nature for a helping hand. Keep reading for some healthy sleep habits that’ll make you zzz fast!

Sleep Tip 1: Routine, routine, routine

Establish a consistent and solid bed-time routine. If you are someone who goes to bed at a different time every night and wakes up at a different time every morning, then you may find it hard to get a good night’s sleep. Consistency in your sleep / wake cycle is just as important as routine.  Sleep is very personal and what works for one may differ for another. Start by establishing how many hours of sleep you need each night – so when do you feel your best and how many hours sleep did you have? I know that I really need at least 7 – 8 hours each night. Then you can work back from there on what time you want to wake each morning and therefore what time you need to go to bed. The next step is establishing your routine, how can you wind down and de-stress each night to prepare yourself for your best night’s sleep. So, how do you create a routine? Your routine should be personalised to what suits you. Create a routine that works for you, and consider a few of my favourites below. 

  1. Cut out all technology (screens / TV’s / laptops / phones) at least an hour before bed (2 hours is ideal).
  2. Dim the lights or turn off any excess lights  in your house after dinner to allow your body to adjust to softer / less light. This will send a signal to the body that it is time to start preparing for sleep. While light is ideal early in the day as it stimulates the body and mind, encouraging feelings of wakefulness, alertness and energy, we don’t want these same feelings at night when we are winding down for sleep. Light exposure during the evening can make it harder to fall asleep. 
  3. Read a real book – this is not the ideal time to be using a kindle or device but a real book with a lamp (for the dim light). According to the University of Sussex reading a real book can help reduce stress levels by 68%. I don’t know about you, but reading a real book definitely puts me to sleep, I find I can’t get past around 10 pages.. give it a go!

Sleep Tip 2: Get some sunlight

If you’re experiencing winter, and craving sunlight, up your vitamin D (and zz’s) by visiting wellness resort in Thailand. You will enjoy other wonderful benefits over and above a good night’s sleep.

Get moving in the morning outside in the sun.  Research from the Lighting Research Centre at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, New York, found that people who were exposed to greater amounts of light during the morning hours, between 8am and noon, fell asleep more quickly at night and had fewer sleep disturbances during the night compared to those exposed to low light in the morning. People getting more morning light were also less likely to report feelings of depression and stress. If you are working during the day, try to incorporate either looking out a window or going for a walk outside at lunchtime, this will be sure to help get your extra exposure to light during the day. 

If you have ever been to the beach and that night slept incredibly well, you’re not making it up. When your body, face and eyes are exposed to the sun, it increases its production of serotonin. Serotonin takes around 12 hours to convert to melatonin, but it is melatonin that helps us to sleep. So spending a little time outdoors to absorb some vitamin D may be just the thing you need for a good night’s sleep. 

Sleep Tip 3: Manage stress and anxiety

Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether you’re having trouble sleeping because you’re anxious, or you’re anxious because you can’t sleep. The answer may be both. It’s a two-way street, stress and anxiety can cause sleeping problems, or worsen existing ones. But lack of sleep can also cause anxiety disorders. Here are some ways you can help reduce your stress or anxiety.  Take time to wind down and create a sleep routine, a healthy bedtime routine allows your body and mind time to slow down before lights out. Take at least half an hour to unwind.  Add exercise to your day, people who exercise regularly fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly. Jot down your to do list in your head on paper – instead of letting your brain swirl with all the things that you don’t want to forget, write them down so your brain can relax.

Amatara offers the perfect program to help you destress and avoid burnout. Our stress wellness program offers a recovery retreat for you to reduce stress and combat burnout for clearer mind.

Sleep Tip 4: Sleep hygiene

Creating a space that supports and enhances your sleep is incredibly important. When was the last time you washed your sheets? One week ago? Maybe two? The Sleep Foundation notes that we should wash our sheets once per week. We like to add in a drop of Goodnight essential oil to our washing liquid with our bedding to benefit from aromatherapy with each wash.    

Sleep Tip 5: Keep clutter free

A neat clutter-free bedroom helps to put your mind at ease during the day and before bed. Tidy rooms are known to foster a sense of clarity and promote pride that will follow you all day. Here are many more tips on how to set up your bedroom for the best night’s sleep. 

Sleep Tip 6: Use aromatherapy 

Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils and other plant aromatics to bring about physiological and emotional changes. This can be done through the use of essential oils which for years have been used to treat illnesses and conditions from insomnia to headaches. A few of our favourite scents to pop into our essential oil diffuser include cedarwood, lavender and sweet orange, which all work to alleviate anxiety and reduce insomnia.  Particularly lavender, which has a long and diverse history in the healing arts. Research has shown how potent lavender is when used as a natural remedy to help aid sleep and today, this is one of the more common uses. Try our Goodnight Blend Essential Oil in your diffuser at home to reap the benefits of this ancient essential oil. 

Sleep Tip 7: Try a gentle and natural sleep aid 

Our Deep Sleep Drops are a combination of homeopathic remedies which aid with relieving stress and anxious thoughts, crafted with all-natural ingredients. Plumbum is used to relieve feelings of anxiety and restlessness. Hypericum helps to alleviate frights and shocks. Anacardium is beneficial for anxiety and feeling apprehensive about the future. Platinum soothes the mind of anxious, frightful dreams., while zinc helps to clear muddled thoughts before sleep.

Sleep Tip 8: Deep Breathing

Have you heard of the 4-7-8 method? it’s very simple – and a total game-changer when it comes to finding easy, natural ways to get some shut-eye. Ditch the sleeping pills and try this: 

  • Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.
  • Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
  • Hold your breath for a count of seven.
  • Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.
  • This is one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.

Sleep Tip 9: Avoid Alcohol 

Think a nightcap may help you get a better night’s sleep? Think again! Recent research has found alcohol, nicotine & smoking are more disruptive to the quantity and quality of sleep than caffeine. Whilst some research shows alcohol may allow healthy people to fall asleep quicker and sleep more deeply for a while, it significantly reduces rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. And the more you drink before bed, the more pronounced these effects. REM sleep happens about 90 minutes after we fall asleep. It’s the stage of sleep when people dream, and it’s the most restorative stage. Disruptions in REM sleep may cause daytime drowsiness, poor concentration, and rob you of needed ZZZs.

Sleep Tip 10: Sleepy Time Snacks

The best sleep-inducing foods include a combination of protein and carbohydrates. Try a light snack of half a banana with a tablespoon of peanut butter, or a whole wheat cracker with some cheese. Eat one of these snacks about 30 minutes before hitting the hay.

BONUS TIP: Mindful Movement

Recently there have been some studies looking into whether or not mindfulness, and other meditative movements like those found in yoga, tai chi, and qi gong, can improve sleep quality. According to one review of studies taking a few minutes to settle your mind and body before bed can help you fall asleep faster as well as help you get more restful sleep.