In today’s fast-paced world, it can be challenging to quiet your mind and get a good night’s sleep. While the occasional poor night of sleep is normal, regularly disrupted sleep has severe health impacts, lowers your mood, and reduces your productivity. Sleep deprivation is associated with many health problems, including high blood pressure, heart attacks, diabetes, stroke, poor memory, weight gain, weak immune system, and poor cognitive function. How closely your health is linked to sleep is why it’s crucial to get proper rest consistently.

Do you struggle with catching enough zzz’s? Here are five useful natural sleep aids and remedies that may help:

1.    Warm drinks before bed

Sipping on a warm, soothing drink before bed can help you relax and prepare for sleep. Herbal teas without caffeine are excellent, particularly Chamomile. According to the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, Chamomile acts as a mild tranquilizer and induces sleep. These effects may be due to the presence of flavonoid – apigenin. It binds to benzodiazepine receptors present in the brain.

Warm milk may also help due to its melatonin and tryptophan levels, a chemical building block of serotonin that plays a role in the sleep-wake transition.

Do you struggle with catching enough zzz’s? Here are five useful natural sleep aids and remedies that may help:

2.    Complete darkness

Many people do not ensure their bedroom is completely dark, and this can seriously interfere with your ability to sleep. Streetlights, moonlight, television boxes, and laptop chargers all give off light that disrupts your environment.

Invest in black-out curtains or a sleeping mask to block out incidental lights, and move your cell phone and laptop chargers out of your bedroom to experience the difference for yourself.

3.     Try melatonin supplements

Melatonin is a natural hormone your body produces before sleep. You can also take it in supplement form before bed, and, unlike other sleep medications, it is not linked with dependence or excessive next-day tiredness.

4.    Sunrise alarm clocks

Sunrise alarm clocks are a game-changer: they wake you up gradually using increasing light, like the sun rising in the morning. Many also use nature sounds that start quiet and become increasingly louder when it’s time to rise. The sunrise effect gradually transitions your body out of sleep for a gentle wake up that calmly starts your day. There are few things worse than being jolted out of bed by a blaring alarm clock- do yourself a favor, and give a sunrise alarm a try.

5.    Regular exercise

Exercise is key for physical and mental health, and yes, that includes proper sleep! Exercise improves sleep quality and helps you fall asleep faster. While researchers have not yet pinpointed the exact reason exercise helps, the evidence is clear that it makes a significant impact.

However, avoid exercising right before bed, as the increase of your core body temperature and endorphin release can keep you awake. Instead, get active a minimum of two hours earlier in the day. By keeping a regular exercise routine, you will find that your sleep is improved and have more energy throughout the day.

As we’ve all experienced after a rough night of sleep, it’s challenging to be productive and positive when you’re sleep-deprived. Taking charge of your sleep and employing some of these natural remedies can help you feel healthier and rested so that you can be the best version of yourself.

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