Learn how to sleep well naturally by making some simple changes to your nighttime routine.
Sleep is integral to enjoying good health. Of course eating a healthy, varied diet full of loads of fresh fruits and veggies also helps. But getting a good night's sleep, I think, magnifies every other effort towards living the best life possible. However, it can sometimes be challenging to get a good night's sleep for whatever reason.
Raise your hand if you've been really stressed out about something at work or family troubles and it's kept you up at night? (I kinda think that's unanimous!) There are definitely steps to learn how to sleep well naturally and I'm excited to share what I've learned below. (Plus there's a delicious green smoothie that's perfect for a pre-bed snack!)
Experts all across the board advise that we need to limit screen time before bed. The recommendation is at least 60 minutes before bed, but I have found that if I put my phone away and step away from my computer (late work nights, yo) and give myself some time to unwind before bed, my sleep is infintely better. The reason why is that our screens emit light that messes with our internal clocks. Your phone may have a setting that switches to a warmer, more orange light from the blue light, but it's still not enough. Screens mean stimulation and that means it's harder to turn your brain off if you've been staring at a screen before turning into bed. Also, falling asleep to the tv? Yeah, quit that habit too! There are some other ways that you can unwind that will help you slumber more peacefully.
How To Sleep Well Naturally
And by the way, habits are hard to break. Start with one or two small changes and see what works best. You don't have to do all of these things. 🙂
- Figure out how much sleep your body actually needs.
- Limit or completely avoid caffeine from 3:00 pm onward. Our bodies metabolize caffeine differently, but that afternoon espresso may be wreaking havoc on your body's ability to fall asleep naturally.
- Avoid heavy meals before bed, or late night snacking on fatty or sugary foods. That's where that green smoothie comes in handy. (More on that in a second!)
- Turn off screens.
- Dim the lights – remove devices that emit a light as they are charging too as they can keep you awake (I like a pitch black room).
- Limit noise to create a calm environment.
- Take a warm bath or shower.
- Sprinkle your pillow with lavender essential oil.
- Do mild stretching or yoga, but avoid excessive exercise. Working out hard raises the body's temperature and energy levels both of which keep you alert and awake.
- Adjust the room temperature so it's slightly cooler. Ideal sleeping temperature is about 69°F. Of course this may differ slightly depending on where you live and the climate. But generally, a cooler temperature yields better sleep conditions.
- Eat tryptophan rich foods like cod, halibut, turkey throughout the day.
- Drink chamomile tea.
- Eat a light snack that combines protein and carbs, like a green smoothie made with banana, oats, chamomile tea, spinach, and almond butter (see below), or try our Spiced Almond Milk.
- Increase magnesium intake – ion drops, vitamin supplement, or a bath with epsom salts – this helps with muscle relaxation.
- Wear earplugs – sometimes little noises can keep you awake, buffering the sounds with earplugs can really help.
- Or invest in a white noise machine.
- If stress and your to-do list keeps you awake, keep a small notebook by the bedside and write everything down you're worried about or think you'll forget and save it for tomorrow. I find it's easier to do that and tell myself it will keep, than to worry I'm going to forget everything.
I've created a green smoothie recipe specifically to help with falling asleep. Give a blend about an hour before you're ready to go to bed and drink it at a slow and steady pace (no chugging). Leave a comment to let me know how it works for you!
Bedtime Green Smoothie
Sip on this healthy, calming green smoothie that is loaded with nutrients to help keep your tummy from rumbling in the night.
- 1/2 cup uncooked old-fashioned rolled oats
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 1 cup brewed chamomile tea cooled
- 1 cup tart cherry juice or more tea
- 2 large bananas fresh or frozen
- 2 tablespoons almond butter
Place uncooked oats in blender. Blend until finely ground.
Add spinach, chamomile tea, cherry juice, bananas, and almond butter to the blender. Puree until smooth.
Divide between two glasses or mugs and enjoy.
- If unsweetened tart red cherry juice can't be procured, substitute with extra chamomile tea or water. Or use 1 cup frozen or fresh tart red cherries plus a little water.
- For a really soothing nighttime drink, this smoothie can also be served warmed up.