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Its no secret – and quite frankly, its odd that it would even be questioned – sleep is a must. It is a basic human need, integral to keeping us WELL CHARGED!
Sooner than later, the effects of sleep deprivation creep up on you. It can be a frustrating process when you experience sleep difficulties. Waking up and never feeling quite refreshed is a heavy burden to hold day after day. Even more, it will impact other aspects of your life – from school and work, to relationships, to your eating habits and mood, to your health.
There are a host of reasons someone may experience sleep difficulties, whether it be a medical condition, anxiety and stress, or being too overworked. It can even be a consequence of living in our constantly “on” and “go-go” society, where we end up sacrificing our sleep.
Whatever the reason, rest assured, you are not alone in your quest for a long, deep, cozy night of sleep.
Quick Points About Sleep
Consistently not getting adequate sleep has been associated with hypertension, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and depression (1).
Canadian statistics indicate that 16% of preschoolers sleep less than recommended, and one third of teenagers and adults sleep less than recommended (1).
Factors leading to insufficient sleep include lack of physical activity, exposure to artificial lights at night, caffeine intake, work demands, health problems and social commitments (1).
Good sleep hygiene tips include removing screens from the bedroom, exercising regularly during the day, and having a consistent and relaxing bedtime routine (1).
7 Unique Ways to get Better Sleep
Remember: We are meant to sleep and rest! – it is a part of the human experience! Let’s strive to make better sleep a priority and reap the benefits of this natural method of healing. Here, we offer you 7 surprising ways – backed by science – to help you get a good night of sleep!
1) Take a warm shower or bath
So simple isn’t it! According to this study, its called water-based passive body heating. Even just a 10-minute (yay for water conservation!) bath or shower, taken 1-2 hours before bed, significantly shortened the amount to time it took to fall asleep. There were also a host of other benefits including improved sleep quality and sleep efficiency. Give it a try! What’s more? If you want to make your bath a bit more soothing and relaxing, perhaps add in some organic bath salts, or even Himalayan salt!
2) Try a natural bamboo cooling pillow
Bamboo is known to be a green, sustainable, eco-friendly, plant-based fiber (2). Its also known to have a host of additional benefits including antimicrobial properties, high breathability, and being smooth and sleek to the touch. Now, combine that with memory foam and a cooling gel, and you got yourself an awesome pillow to help with increasing comfort, and getting better sleep! Interestingly, according to this study, head-cooling during sleep could improve sleep quality in young women during the luteal phase. Who knew!
3) Listen to your favourite tune
That’s right – your favourite tune! While we may typically associate relaxing, slow tempo music as helpful to sleep – this may not always be the case, unless of course, slow tempo music is your jam! According to this study, there was a large diversity of musical choices that participants used to assist them with sleeping. This suggested that self-selected music was more beneficial than unfamiliar or generic music, at inducing an analgesic or anxiolytic effect. As we always promote here at Well Natured, its about personalization, doing what fits with YOUR nature – no one size fits all!
4) Aromatherapy with lavender
There are multiple benefits of using essential oils. According to this study, it was concluded that lavender was able to promote deep sleep, as it worked as a mild sedative. There is no doubt that the scent of lavender is beautiful. Try inhaling it before bed. Or, you can even try giving yourself a gentle massage with lavender before bed. This study also showed the lavender and good sleep hygiene together, improved sleep quality.
5) Stay Well Nourished of course– the Mediterranean way!
We have all heard that “eating healthy” is important for better sleep. But how helpful is that? The question is, what exactly should we eat? Well, according to this study, high adherence to the Mediterranean diet was found to be associated with better sleep quality! This may be related to the high nutritional value of the Mediterranean diet which typically includes a high consumption of fruits, vegetables, fish, whole-grains, and olive oil. It also includes limiting meat, dairy, and alcohol. Of course, here at Well Natured, we encourage eating high quality foods!
6) Take an afternoon stroll in a forest
The benefits of walking, and spending time in nature are well known. When you put these two together, amazing things can happen for your sleep! This study indicated that forest walking – particularly in the afternoon – led to improved sleep, including in depth and length of sleep, and in sleep quality. Get out there and enjoy the scents, sights, and sounds of the forest in the afternoon, for better sleep at night!
7) Reduce blue light exposure
The French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety indicated that LED lights emit high levels of blue light. The report indicated that exposure to blue light during the evening and night disrupts sleep by disturbing the body’s circadian rhythm (3). Try limiting your exposure to mobile phones, tablets, and computers before bedtime as these screens emit high levels of blue light. You can read more about LED lights and ways to reduce your exposure to blue light here.
GOAL OF THE WEEK: Pick one of the above strategies and try it for at least one week! Here’s how 1. Pick a strategy 2. Before you start, on a scale of 1 – 10, rate your quality of sleep. Write the number down. 3. After 1 week of trying the strategy, rate yourself again from 1 -10. Do you notice any difference? 4. If yes, awesome! Keep it up. If no, well, maybe that particular strategy wasn’t right for your nature. Don’t lose hope! Just pick another strategy to try for the following week!
Let’s reconnect with our roots, with one of the most fundamental needs of all – SLEEP! A natural healer indeed – freely given to us. We are not meant to be robots, machines, constantly wired and on the go. We are meant to REST – its in our nature. Good night!
Live Well Natured. Live Well Charged.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, at no cost to you. If you click on a link and make a purchase, we make a small commission. Read our full disclosure for more information. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
(3) ANSES OPINION on the “effects on human health and the environment (fauna and flora) of systems using light-emitting diodes (LEDs)”: Anses – Agence nationale de sécurité sanitaire de l’alimentation, de l’environnement et du travail. (1970, April 10). Retrieved from https://www.anses.fr/en/content/anses-opinion-“effects-human-health-and-environment-fauna-and-flora-systems-using-light
(1) Chaput, J.-P., Dutil, C., & Sampasa-Kanyinga, H. (2018, November 27). Sleeping hours: what is the ideal number and how does age impact this? Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6267703/
Goel, N., Kim, H., & Lao, R. P. (2005). An olfactory stimulus modifies nighttime sleep in young men and women. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16298774
Haghayegh, S., Khoshnevis, S., Smolensky, M. H., Diller, K. R., & Castriotta, R. J. (2019, August). Before-bedtime passive body heating by warm shower or bath to improve sleep: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31102877
Hamanishi, S., Eguchi, E., Ito, T., Nagaoka, K., & Ogino, K. (n.d.). Head cooling during sleep improves sleep quality in the luteal phase in female university students: A randomized crossover-controlled pilot study. Retrieved from https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0213706
Justyna, Ferri, Raffaele, Caraci, Filippo, Cosentino, … Giuseppe. (2019, April 28). Adherence to the Mediterranean Diet is Associated with Better Sleep Quality in Italian Adults. Retrieved from https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/11/5/976/htm
Lillehei, A. S., Halcón, L. L., Savik, K., & Reis, R. (2015, July). Effect of Inhaled Lavender and Sleep Hygiene on Self-Reported Sleep Issues: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4505755/
Morita, E., Imai, M., Okawa, M., Miyaura, T., & Miyazaki, S. (2011, October 14). A before and after comparison of the effects of forest walking on the sleep of a community-based sample of people with sleep complaints. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3216244/
Trahan, T., Durrant, S. J., Müllensiefen, D., & Williamson, V. J. (2018, November 14). The music that helps people sleep and the reasons they believe it works: A mixed methods analysis of online survey reports. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6235300/
(2) Yang, F., Lan, C., Zhang, H., Guan, J., Zhang, F., Fei, B., & Zhang, J. (2019, July 31). Study on Graphene/CNC-Coated Bamboo Pulp Fabric Preparation of Fabrics with Thermal Conductivity. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6723976/
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