5 Ways To More Restful Sleep

5 Ways To More Restful Sleep

by Andrea Pacini November 17, 2019

Sleep is a vital aspect of our health yet one that is elusive for many. I struggled with insomnia during both of my pregnancies (thank God for SATC reruns) and at least twice a month still experience racing thoughts and restless nights. I've compiled this list of things that have markedly helped my sleep - I would love to hear your tips as well!

Write a To-Do List for the Next Day

Getting everything out of my head and onto a page where I can see it tangibly  decreases my anxiety and helps stop the galloping middle-of-the-night thought assault in its tracks.

Magnesium

Magnesium helps the body maintain healthy levels of GABA, a neurotransmitter that promotes restful sleep. It also has been shown to regulate blood sugar levels, assist with insulin resistance, lower blood pressure, decrease anxiety and fight inflammation. 

Aromatherapy

Essential oils communicate directly with the limbic system and have been proven to soothe and calm the brain. Try diffusing lavender, vanilla, valerian, chamomile or clary sage oils for sweeter sleep. A linen mist also works well - I use a blend of lavender, vanilla and balsam fir on my kids' sheets every night before bed.

Aloe Vera

Unlike most plants, aloe vera omits oxygen at night; keeping one in your bedroom can combat insomnia and promote deeper sleep. This do-it-all plant can also be used as a moisturizer, for sunburn relief or on insect bites.

4-7-8 Breathing

Inhale for 4 seconds, hold the breath for 7 seconds and exhale for 8 seconds. Repeat as needed (it usually takes me at least five minutes to wind down). This breathing pattern reduces anxiety and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system which governs  healing, rest, relaxation and restoration.

 Honorable Mentions

  • No electronics at least 30 minutes before bed. This reduces overstimulation, allowing the brain to more easily relax.
  • Sleep in a completely dark room; I cover all the lights, even the digital time display on the cable box.
  • Read for 20 minutes before bed.
  • Exercise. My sleep is noticeably deeper and more sound on days that I've worked out.
  • Drinking a glass of room temperature water before bed helps the body stabilize hormone and nutrient levels.
  • Yoga Nidra

What are your tips and tricks for a better night's sleep? Please share in the comments!

 




Andrea Pacini
Andrea Pacini

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