Chances are you’re one of the millions on this planet who are walking around in the zombie-like state of sleep deprivation.  Whether it’s due to stress overload or hormones (hello, menopause), walking on the path to dreamland can sometimes come with challenges.  

If you’re frequently chasing those ever-elusive zzzzz’s, there are healthy alternatives out there to sleeping pills – whether over-the-counter or prescribed – to help you drift off and stay asleep once you do.

Get off the screens earlier

Is your nightly routine to watch the 10p news, then turn off your lights and scroll on your phone for a while?  Guess what.  That’s gotta go.

Blue light really messes with our internal clocks (read all about circadian rhythms here to learn more).  And you don’t need me to remind you how toxic it is to watch the news right before you turn the lights out.  Choose a different nightly routine instead, one that creates a more peaceful environment to wind down.

Stop eating and drinking so close to bedtime

Think back to a time when you’ve had a massive meal late in the evening.  How well did you sleep?  It’s safe to say that you probably tossed and turned while that brick in your stomach was being digested.

Also, how often do you have to get up at night to go pee?  It’s hard to sleep with a full bladder.  And if you struggle with falling back to sleep once you’re up, then it’s a double whammy of sleeplessness.

Eat your last meal earlier in the evening, and stop drinking liquids at least an hour before you turn the lights out so that you can fall asleep and stay asleep.

Have a cooler room

I remember that even as a kid I couldn’t sleep when my room was hot.  I’d sleep with my window ajar if it was raining or completely open when it was hot outside just to stay cool.  Add in pregnancies and then menopause, and the fans were brought into the mix.

If you run hot at night, find ways to keep your room temp down so that you can sleep better.  You can always warm up by snuggling under your covers, but it can be difficult to cool down when the air temperature is on the warmer side.

Work with plant allies

I have found great relief when working with different herbal allies to help me sleep.  While they’re all great, they each have a different purpose.

CBD is amazing because it helps reduce pain as well as smooth over any rough edges you might be bringing to bed with you.  This is the company that I’ve been using for several years, and their products are high-quality, taste great, and are even organic. 

Valerian is a wonderful herb to help you sleep.  As a relaxing nervine, it can be used to reduce tension and anxiety as it helps you drift off to snoozeville.  Heads up that it tastes pretty gnarly, but its effects are worth it.  There are sleep-inducing tincture blends readily available in health-food stores and online, many of which include other herbs to help with sleeping including skullcap and passionflower.  Again, unless they’re crammed full of sugar, these can taste kind of nasty.  But don’t let that stop you from giving them a try.  Their results are nothing short of magical.

Create calming nighttime rituals

If you’ve ever gotten a child ready for bed, you know how impactful nighttime routines can be.  What kind of activities can you do to help your body and mind wind down?  Think about calming activities you could do each night before bed and then experiment with what’s helping you drift off easily.

If you could use some guidance on more specific ways to sleep better, join the Rituals For Longevity waitlist so you can be the first to know when our next session will begin.   

Getting enough sleep is absolutely vital for our health and wellbeing.  Our bodies do the most healing during those hours, and when we’re tossing and turning, that healing isn’t happening to the degree it needs to.  Good sleep hygiene is as important as eating healthy food and drinking enough water.