Of all the things you can do for your body, sleep is one of the most important. It allows your body to shut down so that it can heal and rejuvenate itself.
The recommended amount of sleep the average person should get per night is 7 to 8 hours. Unfortunately, however, far too many people aren’t getting the sleep that their bodies so desperately need. In fact, it’s estimated that more than half of American adults are getting less than 7 hours a sleep a night! That’s scary.
The effects of sleep deprivation can be severe. It can cause a number of health issues, including:
- Weight gain that could lead to obesity
- Difficulty concentration
- Mood disturbances
- Lack of energy
- Decreased libido
And that’s not all; sleep deprivation can also increase the risk of developing serious health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.
If you are struggling to get the proper amount of sleep, then it’s high time you made some changes. By investing in some natural sleep aids, you just might find that drifting off to dreamland – and staying there – will be a whole lot easier. (See also: How To Improve Your Sleep Each Night)
#1. A Sleep Mask
If you find that light is affecting your ability to fall asleep or stay asleep, you should seriously consider using a sleep eye mask.
For many people, even the smallest amount of light (like the light emitted by an alarm clock) can make it hard to fall asleep. By using a high-quality eye mask that fits comfortably, adjusts to the size of your head, won’t shift while you’re sleeping, and actually blocks out all light, you might experience a marked difference in the quantity and quality of your sleep.
#2. A White Noise Machine
If the sounds of barking dogs, car horns honking, or people talking are keeping you up at night, try using a white noise machine.
Though the idea of bringing more noise into your room might seem counterproductive, white noise has actually been proven to be a highly effective sleep aid. Why? – Because it blends in with all of the other background noise into one consistent sound, and as such, your brain pays less attention to it.
There are tons of different sounds white noise machines can emit, such as waves crashing on the beach, birds chirping, rain falling, wind blowing, or just generic “whirring”. Try out different sounds until you find one that works for you.
#3. Sleep-Inducing Foods
You know that eating a healthy, well-balanced diet is important for maintaining your weight; but did you know that eating nutritious food is also important for your sleep? It’s true!
If your diet consists of mainly unhealthy fats and sugars, you’re probably going to have a hard time falling asleep. However, if you are eating foods that are high in things like calcium, magnesium, potassium, and tryptophan, sleep will come much easier. These foods help you relax, calm the mind, and reduce inflammation (which eases the pain). Some of the best sleep-inducing foods include cherries, turkey, pistachios, cantaloupe, prunes, and cheese. (See also: 7 Ways To Get To Sleep More Easily)
#4. Essential Oils
Essential oils have been used in alternative medicine for centuries. There’s an oil that can do pretty much everything, from easing the pain to improving immunity. There are also essential oils that can induce sleep. Lavender is probably the best-known sleep-inducing essential oil, but there are several others, too; sandalwood, bergamot, mandarin, and frankincense oils have all been found to have a relaxing effect that can make falling into a restful slumber much easier. Try placing these oils in a diffuser before you go to bed and experience a much more blissful sleep.
About The Author:
Jessica Peters is a freelance writer from Melbourne who blogs about health and fitness. Jessica is an avid traveler and regularly crosses the globe to learn about other cultures while blogging from her laptop.