Even if you yourself do not suffer from insomnia, restless leg syndrome or night time disruptions, you probably know someone who does. The busy lifestyle of a modern world is not conducive to restfulness. Many people are searching for ways to boost sleep because they either can’t fall asleep or don’t stay asleep through the night. Waking up and already feeling fatigued or not rested can be a sign of underlying health problems. However, there are often natural remedies you can implement to help get a better night’s rest.
Before reading further into this post, ask yourself these questions: Do I often use electronic devices in my bedroom or keep them in the room overnight? Does my night time routine fluctuate, going to bed early on some nights and late on others? Am I often awakened at night because I have an infant or young children who need me? Do I have habits that might be keeping me from falling asleep or interrupting my sleep patterns throughout the night? If you’re not sleeping well, it might be worth trying some of the ideas listed below.
Remove pollutant from the air to boost sleep
The air in your bedroom might not be as clean and pure as you think. If that’s the case, poor air quality might be negatively affecting your ability to get a good night’s sleep. There several issues that often increase air pollution in a home, and, specifically, in a bedroom. The following list includes numerous items that may reduce the quality of the air you’re breathing at night:
- Pets (Sorry, but it’s true.)
- Burning candles
- Cooking ( a necessity, yes, but still causes air pollutants)
- Many store-bought cleaning products
Removing as many pollutants as possible helps improve air quality, which can, in turn, boost sleep. Getting rid of some of these pollutants is fairly easy. No — no one is suggesting that you re-home your pets. But, maybe they can sleep in another room? However, you can make your own non-toxic household cleaners, for starters. You can also use candles that are made with soy or beeswax and are not processed with paraffin. The type of wick is also important. Many store-bought candles have metal wicks, which releases pollutants into the air when you burn them. As for mold, the minute you find it in your house, you should take steps to resolve the issue. And, you can improve air quality related to cooking by eating more whole foods and raw foods, and using less toxic oils that have been fried past their smoke points on top of your stove.
There’s ongoing debate as to whether green plants boost sleep
I’m a believer that placing greenery, such as spider plants or snake plants in a bedroom can help purify the air. Such plants emit oxygen in the night and help remove pollutants from the air. That said, there’s ongoing debate as to whether such claims are more myth than truth. I discovered something interesting when I was researching both sides of the debate for the purpose of writing this post. All of the articles I found that say it’s a myth that house plants purify the air are published by companies that sell plant air filters/purifiers. These are gadgets similar to an essential oil diffuser. You fill them with moss or other natural plant materials. Manufacturers claim that the system’s function equates to having thousands of plants in your room, which would then actually purify air.
You can research the topic and decide for yourself. Personally, I’m always a believer that any step in the right direction is better than standing still. Traditionally, some other types plants that are used to purify bedroom air, include a phalaenopsis orchid, a peace lily and a monstera deliciosa. At any rate, having plants in your bedroom enhances beauty, which may evoke feelings of calm that are conducive to restful sleep.
Sorry, but the electronics must go, if you want to boost sleep
Using technology via electronic devices such as a cell phone, tablet or laptop stimulates your brain. Statistics show an alarming rate of insufficient sleep in this country. As many as 72% of high school students say they don’t sleep well. More than 35% of adults and 25% of young children also get inadequate sleep. An alarming 95% of people surveyed say they regularly used an electronic device within an hour of lying down to sleep at night. It’s also not uncommon for people to keep a cell phone, computer or other device right next to or ON their bed, all night!
If your goal is to boost sleep, one of the first changes you might consider making is removing such devices from your bedroom, period. This can be inconvenient because many people nowadays use their cell phones for an alarm clock. The sleep benefits of a technology-free bedroom far outweigh the convenience (or pleasure) that keeping a cell phone or computer in the room all night might provide. In addition to late-night brain stimulation causing sleep impediments, the flashing lights and sounds such devices make throughout the night are affecting your sleep patterns, whether you realize it, or not. Blue light impedes production of melatonin. This is a sleep-inducing hormone. It also disrupts your circadian rhythm.
A bit of lavender or other essential oils under the pillow might help
Placing a few drops of quality essential oils on a tissue or cotton ball, then placing on or near your pillow might help you get a better night’s sleep. Oils that evoke restful sleep, include lavender, chamomile, cedarwood, clary sage and peppermint. That last one seems to be counterintuitive because peppermint is typically used to stimulate the senses. However, many people say it helps them sleep because it clears their mind and promotes calmness.
Adequate sleep is essential to good health
So much goes on in your body while you sleep. It is a time of restoration and rebuilding and rest that is essential to your good health. If you’re a parent taking care of young children in the night, you can’t avoid sleep disruptions. However, some of the ideas in this post might help you fall asleep and make the few hours of sleep you ARE getting, more restful.
Do you have an idea to share that provides a natural way to help others boost sleep? Feel free to leave a comment under this post on our Facebook page!