Natural Sleep Aids.
And here we are again at Sweet Blog, the sweetest blog online.
The place to be for all fans of the 'Home Concept.'
Today, due to several questions from our readers, we will address one of the most significant issues in every home - the sleeping environment.
There is a well-known quote:
"My mom told me to follow my dreams - so I took a nap."
And now, seriously - The considerable contribution of quality sleep to our physical and mental health has been proven by countless studies. Some even jokingly claim that in light of its enormous effects on athletes' performance, It is not clear why sleep is not on the list of prohibited substances.
And yet, more and more people struggle to get proper sleep time in their homes, an action that, as mentioned, is critical for their health and daily functioning.
You can read more here about the devastating consequences of sleep disorders on your daily functioning.
This article will review everything related to sleep within your home space:
What are the challenges/problems, And how can you overcome them and move towards quality sleep within your house?
The article's structure will be presented in the form of a challenge versus solution.
The scope of the discussion will be pretty broad, from physical and medical aspects to mental/social ones.
As always, later in the article, there will be a refreshing infographic presentation and a video summarizing its content for you.
'Natural Sleep Aids.'
1. Physical sleeping Environment.
A famous quote attributed to the fashion Icon Gucci:
'Quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten.'
An intuitively accepted fact is that the quality of your 'Bedding' (mattress, bed, etc.) is critical to the quality of your sleep.
Therefore, first and foremost, you must ensure you have the most appropriate "Sleeping tools" (within your budget, of course).
Although the mattress and bed market is quite huge, and the variety will blow your mind, these products must be adjusted in the most personal and suitable way for your preference.
That is why the large selection mustn't confuse you, and after a thorough examination, You should be able to choose the most suitable ones.
Don't be shy. You must conduct the most in-depth physical and personal tests. Your sense of comfort while lying on the bed should be your top priority, And if that means you have to take a nap in the middle of the store - So be it!
By the way, And our deepest apologies to all online mattress store owners out there - We do not recommend purchasing a mattress online. Unlike most products, we believe you must physically feel your bed in the most intimate sense before buying.
How does it feel?
Another essential aspect is an ideal 'sleeping environment.'
Your sleeping environment is basically a space of four walls, better known as a 'Bedroom.'
As the sense of comfort in your bedroom increases, your sleeping environment will improve accordingly.
But let's be honest. There isn't a one-size-fits-all-magic-solution when creating an ideal sleeping environment:
Some people will need environmental adjustments in light of the Feng Shui style to help them sleep better. It will probably involve creating a darker space. For others, it will be sealing against external noise. Some will prefer lowering the room temperature and taking a warm bath. Each person has their own personal preferences.
The guiding principle is to create a better physical sleep-supportive home environment than your current one. It's one of the best natural sleep Aids.
The way to do so should include preliminary research that will isolate those areas within your bedroom that need improvement and offer a proper design solution accordingly.
Now, after figuring out (the obvious, we should note) that the road to better quality sleeping begins with improving your bedding environment, it's time to move to the next step.
2. The Battle Of The Mind.
Stephen Covey once said:
'mind over mattress.'
No further expansion is needed concerning the overactive brain's enormous effect on insomnia (a common sleep disorder). We all experience it. You don't need to be a rocket scientist to figure it out.
Just try to remember the last time something was disturbing your mind. Were you able to sleep well?
An overly active mind will prevent you from being able to relax, which is especially necessary for a good night's sleep.
Here, you can read more about why your brain won't stop talking to itself - Something that will surely disturb your sleep.
A chattering brain disturbs sleep
We've talked enough about the problem. Well, What about a solution?
It would not be entirely honest to claim there is a magic solution for a chattering mind or nagging thoughts that disturb sleep. And anyone who unequivocally states otherwise is probably trying to sell you something (Don't buy!).
With that being said, we have some ideas that might help you and be worth checking out.
Gillian Flynn once said:
"Sleep is like a cat: It only comes to you if you ignore it."
Without pretending to be a fussy new age spiritual guru, Yet So many lies in the broader contexts of this quote.
You will frequently hear profound spiritual statements that Resistance (in the sense of lack of Acceptance) is the root of all suffering.
Just as Ram Dass (the famous American spiritual teacher) argued:
"The resistance to the unpleasant situation is the root of suffering."
Some will even argue that Acceptance Is the Key to Happiness.
In the very act of non-acceptance, your brain creates a state of disharmony, which inevitably leads to an unpleasant feeling.
When something unpleasant happens, you, If you're not particularly lazy, do everything in your power to make things better. However, unfortunately, Suppose you are still failing to work things out, will worry/beat yourself/get angry/whining - Change the unwanted outcome?
Of course not.
The only thing actions like these (better known as "resistance/lack of acceptance") will do is frustrate you even more.
You must have heard Buddha's famous story about the 'second arrow.'
Buddha once asked his student:
'Suppose you were hit by an arrow; Would it be painful? How about the second arrow?'
After a moment of awkward silence on the part of the student (because he did not fully understand his teacher), he received an answer:
In life, we can only (sometimes) control the first arrow. However, the second arrow is our reaction to the first. The meaning of the second arrow is entirely optional, and it is in our hands.
Once the outcome is clear and unchangeable, there is no point in hurting yourself again with another arrow. Breathe, regroup, and move on as many times as needed.
Read more here about 'Second Arrow Syndrome: How We Multiply our Own Suffering, and How We Might Avoid It.'
Most of our disturbing thoughts deal with issues that are no longer relevant at the practical level and which we have no control over.
This 'Unaccepting dialogue' going on in your chatty mind moves from aspects of concern over which you have no control ("Is Elizabeth mad at me? She made a weird face this morning at the office?"/"What about my rent in ten months, will my landlord raise it in our next contract"), through irrelevant perfectionism ("I'm sure I could have presented my morning presentation better. I can forget about my promotion"), Ending with self-flagellation without any purpose ("I'm not a good father, I'm fed up with myself").
The above examples have a common denominator - Thinking (Obsessively and exhaustingly, it should be noted) about them at this specific moment will contribute nothing as far as finding practical solutions.
If you have a work issue with your colleague Elizabeth, approach and politely ask her.
Your apartment contract for another ten months is not open to any negotiation at the moment. There is no point in worrying about it so early in advance. It does not contribute to anything.
Regarding your morning presentation - Next time, be better prepared if you have doubts about your job performance.
If you think you are not a good father, go to a professional specializing in parenting and see what you can do in order to improve.
The guiding principle is that non-accepting/harmonious thought only exhausts you and distracts you from finding more accurate and effective solutions for your problems.
It is highly recommended that you read a bit more about the subject.
Now, you must be asking how, on God's green earth, all this relates to your home sleep?!
Well, the only solution against the rising flow of disturbing thoughts is to treat them like clouds - just let them pass you by without engaging/getting attached.
An interesting trick in this context is to place a question mark combined with a little smile instead of an exclamation mark at the end of each thought.
"I'm not a good enough of a father" = self-beating/frustration/an exhausted and confused brain that doesn't stop chatting with itself = Sleep disorders.
"Am I not a good enough father? (with a smile that combines supercilious/Self-acceptance) = an amusing thought that passes quickly without leaving a memorable mark = Happy snorts.
These are just simple examples of the Letting go of thought technique instead of struggling with them.
And to all the perfectionists' anxious people among you, remember - the things supposed to be done will eventually get done at the end of the day. Rest assured that three months before your apartment contract expires, everything will be ready for signing a new one - it's in your nature!
Don't mistake this technique for overlooking. It's supposed to help you be practical and calm for this particular moment (which is the only one that exists, by the way) - Thus, get some sleep.
And besides that, a little nonchalance and easygoingness never hurt anyone.
Another excellent tip is to meditate in a technology-free environment about twenty minutes before bedtime. It will help you immensely with calming your mind, which will inevitably help you fall asleep more smoothly.
Those are some great natural sleep aids. Use them wisely.
Leon Kass once said:
"Many people recognize that technology often comes with unintended and undesirable side effects."
Indeed, along with the enormous benefits of technological advancements, it still brings considerable challenges.
As is well known, the main one is the loss of human dimension - We communicate using screens only. We express emotion through engineered 'likes,' and sophisticated algorithms make us feel loved due to the bounce of personalized content at exact times (A second before you want to stop your endless/useless scrolling).
In terms of scope use, some may even argue that technological advance, reflected in the obsessive use of technological equipment (smartphones, for that matter), is much more addictive than heroin and meth. You may be surprised to hear, but there are currently New Studies comparing smartphone use to cocaine Addiction.
In light of this, and further to what was mentioned above regarding the importance of a calm/peaceful mind for good home sleep - it's quite clear how much technology can be a factor in sleep disorders.
Be honest for a moment. How often have you scrolled aimlessly on your smartphone screen until the middle of the night without realizing what you're looking at?
Rest my case, your honor.
Undoubtedly, the wise use of technology in all its components can serve as an excellent component in your efforts to obtain more effective natural sleep aids.
Aimless scrolling disturbs sleep
This phenomenon is so common it even received an official name:
"revenge bedtime procrastination" - the decision to postpone your sleep due to mental stress and lack of free time during the day. A kind of unhealthy compensation ("revenge").
And what better "better" way to do so than mindlessly scrolling on your smartphone?
The brilliant software developers of the big tech companies are fully aware of these mental loopholes, and that's why they developed sophisticated algorithms that will uniquely characterize you/your content preferences, Thus tempting you to keep scrolling without being able to put the freaking phone down. Big bucks are invested in it.
The problem with continuous scrolling is not only wasting time that should have been devoted to sleep. It's much more severe - following the exciting content of social media, your heart rate and adrenaline may increase. With them, your emotional state can turn into a roller coaster. And how on earth will you fall asleep like that?
Try to think about it this way - what puts you to sleep faster, a Mike Tyson fight or a documentary about the Austro-Hungarian dynasty?
By the way, don't even get us started with the "blue light" radiating from these screens, which will disturb your sleep and harm your health.
Now that we have somewhat understood the problem, what about the solution?
Well, like many other things in life, the solution is quite simple as far as theoretical discourse is concerned but quite complex to execute:
Once you have decided (and you must decide!) about bedtime - Ensure your phone does not enter the room half an hour prior to that. Plain and simple!
The same goes for the TV in your bedroom (you don't have to take it out of the room. turn it off, and put the remote away).
Your half-hour before bed should be completely screen-free!
Two more tips on that matter.
One, ensure that you charge your phone outside of your bedroom. That way, you will be much less tempted to use it.
Second, conduct some deep mental work by deeply recognizing that your bedroom's sole purpose is to serve as a free space for relaxation and a technology-free zone. This psychological insight will help you in the mental war against technology's temptations.
These actions, along with all those natural sleep aids mentioned above, will help you relax properly - something that has been proven critical regarding falling asleep more smoothly.
4. Better Time Management.
Regarding better time management, first and foremost, you should read the relevant article from our sweet blog.
You must be asking how time management is related to better quality sleep within your home.
Well, If you are not aware of how your day should be conducted and when you are supposed to go to sleep, you will be in serious trouble when it comes to sleeping smoothly.
Manage your day so that the time you are supposed to sleep will be the time you are most physically exhausted.
Pretty clever, isn't it?
Care for some examples?
An unnecessary afternoon nap that will keep you up at night - Out!
Eating too heavily close to sleep, which will weigh you down and prevent you from falling asleep - Hell no!
Aerobic exercises near your bedtime that will raise your heart rate to such a level that it will take time to 'relax,' and thus, your sleep will be disturbed - Think again!
Caffeine/alcohol before bed - A big no-no!
Taking care, close to sleep, of work or family matters which can be done earlier in the day - Not very wise.
Try to create a relaxing sleep ritual that includes reading/listening to relaxing music as close as possible to your bedtime.
Manage your time wisely!
The guiding principle is planning your day's activities to bring you to sleep when you are as relaxed and tired as possible. And although it sounds very "cold" and technical - It definitely can be done - a little strategic thought, and you're all set.
It's usually the first thing that comes to mind when discussing natural sleep aids.
5. Medical Reasons.
Under no circumstances do we pretend to be a medical source that provides medical recommendations. Our sole purpose is to discuss things we believe are essential in this context.
Despite our goodwill and everything stated above, medical reasons are sometimes the source of your problem, making it difficult for you to get a good night's sleep. As such, their solution is only in the hands of your doctor.
Medical reasons that may be responsible can be related to Neurological problems, diabetes, kidney disease, problems with breathing, vascular issues, and even mental challenges.
And although we do not mock spiritual tools, God forbid, still, no matter how much meditation you practice, if you have kidney problems for the sake of argument, things will not work out without proper medical treatment. If this is the case, your only solution is to contact your doctor and talk to him about it. As a professional in the field, he is your only go-to guy in cases like these.
Go see this dude!
The medical field of treating sleep disorders has developed enormously, And doctors have a variety of tools with which they can help you. Sophisticated sleep labs, which you've probably heard of, are just one of them.
Indeed, this paragraph is slightly different from our article's general concept - 'Natural Sleep Aids' - but sometimes, there is no other choice. And who knows, maybe your doctor will decide to go for a more 'natural'/ alternative medical approach to treat your sleep problems.
In conclusion, we hope this article - 'Natural Sleep Aids' - will help you to some extent in improving sleep in your home. And if you have any more questions on the matter, please feel free to reach out.
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