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12 Natural ways to get more restful sleep

Amanda Campbell

Are you having a hard time getting and staying asleep? Below are 12 tips to help you get a good night’s sleep so you can wake up feeling rested and energized.

1. Stretch

Gently stretching your body for one to two minutes before bed helps the oxygen circulate throughout your body. It helps your body relax, which in turn lets you fall asleep quickly and wake up feeling rested.

2. Breathe

A light meditation before bed or even just focusing on your breathing helps your body get into a rhythm. Remember to breathe into your belly to get the most oxygen into your lungs.

3. Tea

Lavender and chamomile have a natural calming effect. They work to help your body relax, so it is great to have a tea before you go to bed. Valerian has also been known to assist in sleeping. It comes in both an herb and a capsule, and both are very smelly! Please note: Everyone is different; valerian has been known to have the opposite effect on some individuals.

4. Diet

If you can, try to not eat within three hours of going to bed. If you get hungry, try eating something small, like some almonds or even a small salad. Eating large meals before bed makes your body work extra hard. Not only does it have to work to rejuvenate you, but it also has to digest that large meal. Your body will be on overdrive, so when you wake up, you’ll feel more exhausted than when you went to bed.

5. Crystals

Having crystals such as amethyst, celestite and angelite are great for calming the energy in the body. Putting a crystal next to your bed or under your pillow has been thought to help people have a restful sleep.

6. Power down

Cover all alarm clocks, close the blinds, put down your phone or tablet, and turn off all the lights. Darkness sends a signal to your brain that tells your body it’s time to sleep. Another reason to cover your alarm clocks: You will naturally look at the clock, and seeing the time go by will stress you out. If you like to have a nightlight, try keeping it in the hallway or the next room. Eye masks are also a great way to keep the light out.

7. Bath

Taking a warm, relaxing bath before bed will naturally calm your body. Some suggestions are to add Epsom salts (especially for sore muscles) or a lavender bath baggy into the water, or put on some lavender-scented hand or body lotion after your bath.

8. Music

Music changes your mood almost instantly. Do you find it relaxing to listen to classical music or nature sounds? Play some music as you’re trying to fall asleep, and you’ll feel like you’re floating away. Remember, you can always put it on a sleep timer so it turns itself off automatically to avoid waking you up at night.

9. Don’t relive it

Did something happen to upset you today? Stop thinking about it! When you think about an upsetting situation, it will bring your body back to that state. If it made you angry then, it will make you angry now. Push it out of your mind — there’s no reason you can’t deal with it tomorrow. All you’re doing is putting unneeded stress on your body.

10. Massage

Massages can be either relaxing or stimulating. Going for a massage not only removes painful knots, but it also naturally calms the body. Going for regular massages reminds you and your body that it’s OK to relax.

11. Journal

Journaling before bed is a therapeutic way to get all your thoughts out. Once you’re able to write down everything that’s circling around in your brain, it’ll be much easier to relax and drift away. Jotting down a few things that you’re grateful for also puts your day into perspective. You might realize that things aren’t as terrible as they seem, and once you can physically see what it is that you’re grateful for, it sends a signal of happiness to your brain. It’s much easier to sleep when you’re happy than when you’re thinking about all the terrible things that happened that day.

12. Don’t worry!

The more you worry about not getting to sleep, the more you won’t sleep! Just get comfortable, turn off your brain, and breathe. The rest will come naturally.

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