Last updated on April 4th, 2023 at 10:31 am
It is common knowledge that we all need adequate sleep for optimal health. Yet, all the statistics repeatedly show us that most people need more quality sleep. Sleep is a hormone-dependent process, and there are so many things in our daily lives, like foods, exposure to toxins, stress, etc., that can affect proper hormone balance, so it makes so much sense why many people struggle with sleep specifically. There are so many simple tips (that most of us are aware of), like limiting caffeine and alcohol, exercising regularly, avoiding irregular naps, and so on, but let’s face it, those tips often don’t get to the root of sleep dysfunction in the first place. I thought today would be a good day to avoid all the “common” tips and focus on a few natural sleeping tips that will help you sleep well while supporting the body.
While sleeping, our body repairs, heals, detoxifies, and restores itself each night. When we don’t get enough sleep, we put ourselves at risk for all sorts of health issues, including heart disease, diabetes, thyroid disease, high blood pressure, adrenal dysfunction, depression, anxiety, and more.
13 Natural sleeping tips that will help you sleep well
1. Consider using essential oils.
Before going to sleep, rub one drop of cedarwood and lavender essential oils on the bottom of your feet and big toes. You can also diffuse the same oils in your bedroom when you turn in for the night. This combination of essential oils makes such a huge difference in a good night’s sleep. I also really like the blend called Serenity.
2. Consider using CBD oil.
CBD oil, at its core, reduces inflammation– typically the root cause of many health struggles and diseases. Full-spectrum CBD oil balances the endocannabinoid system, which is made up of different receptors throughout the body to help the body run smoothly and balanced. These receptors impact sleep, nerve function, mood, appetite, memory, pain receptors, reproduction, and more. CBD oil binds to these receptors and helps them to function more efficiently. CBD oil is most effective when used consistently. When it comes to CBD, you have several options – I prefer the liquid drops for an immediate effect before bed and these soft gels for a slow and steady release that will support you throughout the night.
3. Do you tend to get a second wind at the end of the day, or even worse, when you lay your head down on your pillow, it seems impossible to go to sleep?
If you answered yes, consider eating a small snack like a hardboiled egg with sea salt, a slice of raw cheese, or a cup of warm raw milk with a drop of raw honey right before bed. A second wind or being unable to go to sleep is generally due to high cortisol levels, and eating a little snack before bed can effectively reduce cortisol levels. Once you are sleeping well consistently, remove the bedtime snack.
4. Do you wake up in the middle of the night, and it seems near impossible to go back to sleep?
Are you tossing and turning in frustration? Eating something small, like a hardboiled egg with sea salt or a slice of raw cheese, is the solution. Why? Waking up in the night tends to happen when blood sugar levels drop during sleep, which triggers the adrenal glands to produce cortisol and send it into the bloodstream to wake you up. When you eat a small snack, it will help reduce cortisol so you can sleep. You can learn more about adrenal support here.
5. Reduce WIFI exposure by turning it off at night and putting your phone in airplane mode.
Turning off your WIFI at night reduces electromagnetic fields (EMFs.) These artificial electromagnetic radiations can cause sleep disturbances, so taking this simple (and free) step is a great idea to reduce exposure.
6. Are you magnesium deficient? Make sure to get enough magnesium.
Magnesium deficiency is a big thing in the population. This critical mineral is calming and soothing to the central nervous system. Magnesium deficiency is most often caused by the over-consumption of processed foods and sugar, high stress, or being in a chronic sympathetic nervous system state. When stressed, the body turns to magnesium first, so we need so much of the vital mineral. A super (and relaxing) way to increase magnesium stores in the body is to take a magnesium salt bath for 20-25 minutes. This lotion is also a great option to increase magnesium levels topically. I always recommend getting various kinds of magnesium when supplementing – I love Smidge Morning and Evening Magnesium (available at my Fullscript dispensary), as well as this liquid form.
7. Consider taking a cherry tincture.
Cherries are naturally high in melatonin. This tincture combines tart cherries, blue vervain flowers, chamomille, and passion flowers. Another alternative is to mix 1/4 cup of organic tart cherry juice, with 1 cup of filtered water, and one scoop of Jigsaw MagSmooth (available at my Fullscript dispensary)
8. Do you wake up in the middle of the night to pee?
This is one of the tell-tale signs of blood sugar imbalance, so the key here is to regulate blood sugar. The best way to regulate blood sugar is by eating enough nourishing meals and snacks throughout the day and having a small bedtime snack. Buttermints can also be very helpful. With midnight bathroom trips removed, these steps will result in more restful and quality sleep. Once you have balanced your blood sugar and sleep well, slowly remove your morning and bedtime snacks and see how it goes.
9. Do you wake up in the middle of the night feeling anxious, nervous, and drenched in sweat?
Sweating is often rooted in liver congestion, and feeling anxious and nervous in the middle of the night is often linked to adrenal dysfunction. You can learn more about how to support liver health here and the steps to help with adrenal imbalances here.
10. Make sure you get plenty of Vitamin A (retinol).
Get plenty of retinol from animal foods such as grass-fed meats, eggs, pastured organ meats, and raw or cultured dairy. Vitamin A plays a vital analog role in setting the circadian rhythm. When blue light from sunshine enters our eyes, it is up to Vitamin A (retinol), which translates into the signal telling the brain that it is daytime. Our brain knows it is nighttime when the same signal starts to fade. This means that Vitamin A is essential in helping us fall asleep effortlessly, get quality sleep, sleep long enough, wake up feeling rested and restored, and stay alert and energetic throughout the day. If you think eating beef liver is repulsive or needs a subtle introduction, taking pastured beef liver capsules or powder for a few days each week can be beneficial.
11. Work on reducing stress during the day and implementing steps to process and handle stress out of your control.
Stress plays a significant role in blood sugar imbalance. As I have mentioned, blood sugar balance impacts how well we sleep. One of my favorite tools to combat or support stress is using essential oils. Use wild orange, balance, geranium, adaptiv, cheer, or elevation throughout the day to help reduce stress. So many oils can help reduce stress. I also like to support my nervous system by sitting out in the sun doing breathing exercises, making space for a 10-15 minute yoga practice, going for a walk, or coloring to decompress.
12. Take the time to evaluate your bedroom conditions.
Are you comfortable in your bedroom? If not, consider what you can do to add a personal and cozy touch to your space. Is your bedroom dark enough? If not, consider investing in blackout curtains, shades, or blinds for the windows. Alternatively, unplug all electronics that emit light (I am talking about those green or red dots.) Is the temperature in your room comfortable? If not, a small fan or a warm water bottle can make all the difference.
13. Create daily practices for better sleep.
Wake up and go to bed at the same time (yes, even on the weekends). This keeps your hormone cycle regular. Drink plenty of water with the necessary electrolytes during the day. Get at least 30 minutes of sunlight daily. This exposure to wide-spectrum light during the day will boost your serotonin levels, which will help improve your melatonin levels at night. Be sure to eat meals and eat a nourishing breakfast within 1 hour of waking. Move your body every day. Lastly, avoid artificial light as much as possible after the sun goes down. Invest in blue-light-blocking glasses if you must work on your computer or watch TV. You can also install flux on all your computers and devices.
I know these super simple natural sleeping tips will be the ultimate game-changer for you to get the best night’s sleep to live happy, healthy, and balanced.
Resources for further learning:
– Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker
Disclaimer: This post is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and is for educational purposes only.
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If you’d like to learn more about using essential oils in your everyday life, click here to download my free guide, “40 Practical Ways To Use Essential Oils.”