Are you having trouble unwinding?
Is your mind racing with thoughts while you are trying desperately to sleep?
Do you wake up in the middle of the night and spend hours tossing and turning, struggling to get back to sleep?
If so we have some suggestions for you that will be worth a try.
Some plants help to improve the quality of air in our rooms and the scent of some helps us to relax. Growing one of the following plants in your bedroom could improve your sleep and will definitely improve the quality of air in your room. These plants need less light than other plants so are suitable for keeping in bedrooms.
The plants with the best track record for helping with sleep are:
The scent of jasmine essential oil is often used for relaxation. Studies have shown a link between jasmine and lowered anxiety and better quality of sleep.
Snake Plant -
The Snake Plant, aka 'Mother In Laws tongue, is a natural air purifier. It emits oxygen at night improving air quality. It is also known to remove harmful chemicals from the air, including formaldehyde which is found in hairspray and can cause respiratory problems.
Valerian has a sweet scent and has been used for centuries to aid sleeping problems, often as a cure for insomnia. Inhaling the scent of the valerian root has been found to induce sleep and improve its quality. Just add a few petals to your bath before you head to bed or sniff the flowers before you go to sleep. This plant will need more sunlight than the others, it requires six hours a day.
Peace Lily -
The peace lily is an amazing air cleaner and is one of NASAs Top 10 Approved Household Plants for Improving Air Quality It breaks down and neutralizes toxic gases like benzene, formaldehyde, and carbon monoxide. It also increases humidity by up to 5% and increased humidity means better breathing when you're asleep. A low humidity (less than 30%) can irritate your throat, eyes and nose.
Some foods are better than others at helping you get a good nights sleep, snacking on the following foods will be beneficial in your quest for sleep. However do avoid eating in the last couple of hours before you sleep as this will have the opposite effect. There will be more on this later, meanwhile here is a list of food that will help you sleep easier and better,
- walnuts - they have a high concentration of melatonin and should be consumed two hours before bedtime
- olives - full of healthy fat which keeps you fuller for longer and stablises your blood sugar level
- salmon - also high in healthy fat, plus it contains melatonin and trytophan, an amino acid which doubles as a sleep aid
- sunflower seeds - high in magnesium, a relaxation mineral, which can also prevent cramps and headaches
- cherries - full of melatonin, the tart ones have the most
- steel cut oats - high in both melatonin and trytophan
- chicken - high in trytophan
- coconut - high in magnesium
- avocado - high in both healthy fats and magnesium
Black tea and coffee contain a lot of caffeine so it is best to avoid these drinks for several hours before bed. If you are after a drink in the hour or two before bed your best options for a good night's sleep are:
- chamomile - is regarded as a mild tranquilser and a sleep inducer. It contains an anti-oxident called apigenin which binds to specific receptors in your brain that may decrease anxiety and initiate sleep.
- lavender - studies show that lavender decreases anxiety and improves the quality of sleep for those with anxiety-related disorders.
- valerian root - valerian root has been helping people sleep for thousands of years. It increases the level of a neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). With a higher level of GABA people feel more relaxed and sleepier.
- lemon balm - also increase the level of GABA and is regarded as a mild sedative.
A few other helpful hints on how to get to sleep quicker and sleep better naturally (some might be a lot easier to achieve than others);
- sleep at the same time every day (no sleeping in on the weekends)
- do aerobic exercise four times a week (but not in the last couple of hours before you sleep)
- avoid caffeine in the evening
- eat a light dinner and finish it a couple of hours before bed
- avoid using devices/screen time for one hour before sleep (devices stimulate the brain making it harder to wind down)
- don't let kids or pets sleep in the bed (they will disturb your sleep)
- keep your room dark, limit lights
- keep the temperature around 18 degrees Celsius
- reserve your bed for sleeping only, not watching movies, eating or working
Let us know if you try any of these tips or anything we have missed that works for you.