Sleep Better Naturally Without Medication

woman sleeping and smiling in large bed full of while clean linen, in early morngin light. Caption 'How to sleep better naturally without medication & Increase your energy level'

Increase Your Energy Levels & Cognition

If you have not been sleeping well you know exactly how incredibly debilitation it feels. In this article, you will find all you need to understand how to sleep better naturally.

Sleeping better naturally is more than just about getting enough hours of sleep. It is important to focus on the quality of the sleep as much as about the length of it. 

Sleep first and foremost is crucial in maintaining sanity and healthy emotions. There are actually torture techniques involving not allowing people to sleep.

Being able to sleep better naturally without medication will support you in everything else you are doing in your life. When you improve the quality of your sleep you will have more energy and brain capacity to take on whatever comes your way.
 
That aside sleep contributes to our memory and cognition, retention and organising of information. Maintaining healthy sleep helps with immunity and gut health, contributes to a healthy weight. Also, it supports productivity and overall helps us to be more centred, calm and peaceful.
 
Allowing your body to reset and restore naturally through restful and qualitative sleep will increase the energy levels available for you.

Circadian Rythm – the key to better sleep naturally and without medication

In old times when artificial light was not present, and people didn’t have smartphones, rarely anyone had a problem sleeping. Because when it gets dark our body naturally starts producing melatonin. When it gets light the cortisol rises and we are naturally waking up.

 
Light is the main driving force behind those hormones. Serotonin which is produced in our Gut is also linked to our sleep and wake cycle.
 
As humans we function in accordance with various rhythms and the Circadian Rhythm is one which manages and controls our sleep and wake states. Because of that working with natural cycles and rhythms of our body is the quickest and most reliable way of finding balance in our life.
 
Here we have all the different things you can do to increase the quality of your sleep and sleep better naturally without medication. 
a cup of coffee a pens and a tissue with 'avoid the avoidable' text. Caption 'Be selective in what you drink and eat'
Better Sleep Naturally - Be selective in what you drink and eat.

Sleep better naturally - Your Body and Natural Sleep

There is a number of ways in which your body and how you treat it will affect the quality of your sleep. 

Here are a few which will create a difference for you.

a. Decrease caffeine intake

Decrease caffeine intake, caffeine is one of the most common substances stopping us from sleep. So if you are struggling with getting your shut-eye time, I highly recommend looking into your caffeine intake.

Caffeine is found not only in coffee but also in black tea, earl grey, green tea, white tea, cocoa, dark chocolate and all the soft drinks such as colas and energy drinks. Also, most of the cold and flu medicine will have caffeine in them.

Ideally do not drink caffeine after the noon, if you must then try to stay off it in the late afternoon, from 5 pm onward.

b. Avoid large meals before sleep

”Eating and sleeping are opposite and complementary experiences. When we eat, we assimilate energy, in sleep, we release energy.” Dr. Rubin Naiman

Try to avoid large meals before sleep, ideally, 3 hrs minimum. Eating a large meal not long before sleep will make your body work hard to digest all the food which in turn will prevent your body from having restful sleep.

If you feel heavy and full after eating that was a large meal, if you have food comma after eating that is definitely a large meal!

c. Stay away from sugar

Avoiding sugar, especially before bed is very important. I am very passionate about this one, because of that there is a whole series coming on sugar soon.

Sugar is present in practically everything these days, sugar is added to ketchup, baked beans and other foods and snacks which we consider savoury. Whether it is natural sugar or artificially added sugar, it is still sugar. 

Whenever possible avoid sugar before sleep, sugar will affect your blood glucose levels and your hormones too.

Ever woken up in the middle of night sweating?

Well, one of the reasons might be the amount of sugar you ate before sleep. Sugar also stops you from having proper restful sleep. What is the amount of sugar which can offset you is really an individual case and will change depending on all the other factors mentioned here.

But we really should not have more than 6 teaspoons of sugar a day. That includes everything hidden in the food you having, and for a reference, a can of soda has 10 teaspoons of sugar in it.

The best thing is always to tune in to your body and figure out what works for you and what is your threshold.

Alcohol work similarly, apart from being a toxin it also spikes our blood sugar levels similarly to sugar. So drinking alcohol, especially large amount before sleep is going to affect the quality of your sleep.

d. Try herbal and relaxing teas

A good thing to do is to introduce relaxing herbal teas in the evening. I start mine pretty much any time between 4 pm and 6 pm onward.

Popular mixes of chamomile, lavender, passion fruit or Valerian are easily found in most shops. Look for herbal teas which are naturally caffeine-free.

Many of those herbs have relaxing properties and will prepare your body to sleep. 

One word of caution on some herbs. For example, Valerian root is considered relaxant although it will stimulate some people, so tune into your own bio-individuality.

Also chamomile will make you pee more so it’s not advised just before sleep, same for large amounts of water, ideally you want to hydrate earlier in the day.

Check this article if you are interested in the benefits of staying hydrated.

a light airy cleand and orginised bedroom with bed in the middle covered in white linen. caption 'Manage your environment'
Better Sleep Naturally - Manage your environment

Sleep better naturally - Your Environment

Second most important aspect contributing to better sleep naturally is, of course, the environment you re sleeping in. 

But not only the place you sleep in but also the environment you are in before sleep and throughout your day.

Because of that, it is important to be mindful of what you expose yourself to and take control of your environment.

Here is how:

a. Dim the lights in the evening

Dim the lights in the evening, when you getting ready to sleep, or even hour or two before start dimming the lights in your whole house.

As mentioned at the beginning, light is highly contributing to our melatonin production. Recreating natural environment by dimming lights in the evening gets our body to produce the melatonin and get ready to sleep. 

If you have access to phone apps and other resources which can do that for you, I highly recommend to automate the process and dim the lights slowly a few hours before you want to sleep. 

b. Reduce the blue light exposure!

While we cover the lights we need to talk about the blue light.
 
Blue light is incredibly disruptive and ever-present in our life.  Because of that, we have to consciously manage the exposure to blue light. That is a TV, laptop, computers, tablet, phones, especially before sleep. Also blue light shocks your brain into being awake.
 
Even a small flashing light in your bedroom can have a negative effect on the quality of your sleep. 
 
Ideally do not expose yourself to blue light and screens at least for an hour before sleep. And by that I mean do not watch TV, use a mobile phone, work on computers. It may sound harsh. But I promise you once you reclaim your energy and reset your Circidian Rythm, you will not risk disturbing your sleep by continuing with unhealthy habits. Especially once you enjoy regular restful nights of good sleep.
 
Here is also what you can do, get yourself blue light apps and programs on your computer and phone. These days those are easily found. I personally use f.lux on my laptop. F.lux syncs with where you are and starts to gradually lower the exposure to blue light the nearer you are to sunset in your timezone.
 
As far as I know, there is no way of reducing blue light on TV, so simply avoid before sleep. 
 
This go without saying for people working on colours sensitive projects that might be harder, thus I would suggest planning this type of work during full day hours.

c. Keep your bedroom tidy and cool

Keep your bedroom tidy. It may sound irrelevant, but if you have overstimulated mind, any type of mess will be making it harder to relax. The cleaner and simpler your environment the easier your mind can slow down and relax. 
That is the case even more so for people who are Highly Sensitive.

Keep your bedroom cool, ideally about 16 to 18 degrees Celsius (60 – 64 F) and dark. This is a super-easy thing to do and makes huge difference.

Our body’s temperature drops when we sleep and we have more restful sleep while the room we sleep is cooler.

If you ever travelled to a much warmer country then one you live in you will know that it is hard to sleep when it is too hot. You may normally not realise that when the temperature difference is not as big, but it will have an effect on your quality of sleep.

Are you always cold?

Now those of you who tend to be cold when going to bed, use a hot water bottle! It is far more affordable then blasting heating in your whole bedroom. Using a hot water bottle will allow for the temperature in the room to stay lower overall. And the added bonus is that you can kick it out of bed when you are at the optimal temperature.

And I am in that group, freezing feet is something regular for me and takes me a while to heat up before I can sleep. I have been known to use hot water bottle in the middle of summer, but to my defence, I live in Scotland and the temperature here can drop to under two digits (Celsius) in the middle of summer.

d. Keep your bedroom a no electronics zone

The bedroom should be a no electronics zone, say no to a TV or laptop in your bedroom. Our brain and body are habitual, it will get confused as to what function a bedroom and your bed has if you bring your laptop there. Working in bed or watching TV in the bedroom is a no-no in my books. TV is a stimulation, it emits blue light to which will keep you awake.

More sensitive people can also get affected by the energy of TV or electronics. Switching off Wifi for the night it’s a helpful thing to try too. 

If you work from home and have limited space for working I would highly recommend to create a zone for the work only. Ideally not in the bedroom. But if that is your only option then do all you can to zone out the working space. Ideally aim to cover it up after the day’s work is done, a curtain or privacy screen are great solutions for that.

Leave your phone in another room, get yourself a regular clock alarm or if you have a fitness tracker you can use that to wake you up and whenever possible.

Natural sleep and waking

I highly recommend to wake up naturally, with no alarm. Whenever possible. Also getting up the same time every day and going sleep the same every day will help your body get used to the routine.

If you struggle to wake up in the morning, well it might be because you are tired! Try to go to sleep earlier.

We live unfortunately in a culture of being oh so proud of sleeping 4 or 6 hrs and downing a jug of coffee a day to keep us awake. This type of behaviour is incredibly harmful and most likely contributing to your long term sleeping problem.

There is no replacement for sleep. Simples. Sleep is one of the most important factors in our health and well-being.

a wooden body brush, amber bottle of oil, lavender towel and few twigs of lavender flowers. Caption 'Your actions & how to prepare for restful sleep'
Sleep better naturally - Your actions and the sleep prep work

Sleep better naturally - Your actions, and the sleep prep work

Second most important aspect contributing to better sleep naturally is, of course, the environment you re sleeping in. 

But not only the place you sleep in but also the environment you are in before sleep and throughout your day.

Because of that, it is important to be mindful of what you expose yourself to and take control of your environment.

Here is how:

a. Try a shower or bath before sleep

Try a shower, or even better a nice hot bath before sleep, add some Himalayan salt and Epson salt and a dash of relaxing essential oils, such lavender or chamomile.

Natural bath salts have magnesium in them, one of commonly deficient mineral in humans. Magnesium also helps you to relax and supports restful sleep. Himalayan salt has many other beneficial minerals which will be absorbed by your skin and helps the body detox.

All that aside, baths are overall relaxing, your muscle can let go of tension fairly quickly when submerged in water.

Even if you don’t have a bath you could try a salt feet soak, salt shower scrub or just simply a shower.

An additional plus of those is that our body will start to cool down after it, which help feeling sleepy. such 

b. Try tapping, mediation or relaxing music

I really like a guy called Brad Yates , his YouTube channel has many E.F.T. sequence recordings. 

E.F.T. or tapping works with the body meridians and releases the tension in the body, while also inserting helpful programming. If you have never tried it I highly recommend it E.F.T. is quite powerful especially when done regularly.

Meditative music, brain sync, e.g. Delta brain wave music or even other relaxing music can be helpful when trying to fall asleep.

If you must use your phone to listen to those in bed, try to hide your phone in a drawer or so. Also Using a sleepphones, headphones which are designed specifically for sleep, can make it more comfortable to fall asleep.

Although in the long term when you get your sleep under control you don’t wanna do it all the time. That is because any music will keep your mind slightly more active.

As well as, often when the track finishes you can wake up and it might be harder to fall asleep after that. It is not always the case but it is something worth remembering.

c. Manage your stress

Manage your stress, try breathing exercise, mindfulness and gentle exercise before sleep, such Qigong, Thai Chi or gentle yoga.

If you struggle with sleep try to avoid upsetting movies, news, stressful conversation before sleep whenever possible.

The beauty of our mind is that it can perceive a situation as stressful or not. It is all in our processing and perception of the world. But if you know that certain things stress you then try to avoid those especially before sleep.

The way you are going through your day will affect how well you sleep.

d. Have a bedtime routine

Bedtime routine in the evening really helps your body know what’s coming, gives it ques that there is sleep time to follow.

That helps your system to produce more melatonin and to help you fall asleep naturally. Things like putting on a face oil after brushing your teeth, using a lavender essential oil on your pillow, reading before sleep all can be a part of the bedtime routine.

Even if you have one thing which you will start doing every night before sleep it will teach your body and mind that this is the time to get relaxed and ready to sleep.

This types of bedtime routines are also incredibly helpful when you travel and sleep in a new environment.

If you read before sleep ideally read a real paper book to avoid possible blue light waking you up.

e. Other things to try

Here is the last few things to mention.

Spend some time in nature, nature is calming our nervous system and helps to reset our electromagnetic field.

Incorporate some physical activity into your life, eat well, all those things have an effect on how we feel and function.

Something I liked I heard Dr. Rubin Naiman said is that good night sleep is linked to good wake day and ‘cool’ non-inflammatory lifestyle. And I really have nothing to add to this.

a woman with cup of tea relaxed in bath covered in foam. Caption 'your uniqness and bioindividuality'
Sleep Better Naturally - Your Bioindividuality

You are unique, listen to your own body

This is by no means a comprehensive list, but there is enough here to get you started and help you tune in back into your body.

Most of those things also will help you to reset your Circidian Rythm.

It may take some time to incorporate, there is a bit of error and trial in that.

Some days will be easier, you will fall asleep with much less prep, some days it might be harder.

On the busy and stressful day, it may take all those things to get you to settle down.

After the days where you managed to relax and rest, you may not need as many elements to help you sleep naturally.

Listen to your body

It is all about you listening to yourself and recognising your bio-individuality, that some of those may not work for you.

I keep repeating that but we all are unique, we have different bodies and needs and there really isn’t the one-fit-all solution. You need to learn to listen to yourself. Tapping into your intuition will make this process much easier.

Here is my YouTube video on the same subject:

 

What to do to increase the quality of your sleep naturally:
  • decrease caffeine intake;
  • avoid blue light and dim lights in the evening;
  • avoid large meals and sugar before sleep;
  • try a shower or a hot bath in the evening;
  • manage your stress, and environment by having a cool and tidy bedroom with no electronic in it;
  • try tapping, meditation or relaxing music in the evening;
  • establish a bedtime routine;
  • introduce relaxing teas in the evening and waking up naturally;
  • spending time in nature and bringing movement into your life;
  • tune into your body and your intuition to know what works for you.

Love and positive vibes,

Arleta

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Arleta BW

Arleta BW

Arleta is an IIN Certified Health Coach, UK Qualifi Certified Coach, Theta Healing Certified Practitioner, and Gut Health & Nutrition Specialist. After working with many diverse clients & healing herself, she's realized that everyone’s body & needs are unique and there is no one-size-fits all solution. Arleta is dedicated to sharing her knowledge and skills with others who are struggling with the same issues she has faced so they can tune into their own intuition and find the peace, health, and energy they need to live the life they really want as well.

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