Understanding Your Sleep Cycle and Tips for Better Sleep

Tips for Better Sleep

If you find yourself feeling extra tired, there are a few steps you can take to make sure you are getting enough sleep cycles throughout the night.

1. Wake up at the same time each day

Yes, even on the weekends. When you get into the habit of going to bed and waking up at around the same time each day, you create a natural internal alarm which can help regulate your sleep cycles or at least help them stay somewhat consistent.

2. Take steps to ensure you reach deep sleep

Even if you get 7-8 hours of sleep, if you’re not reaching your deep sleep phase, you may feel tired the next day. Lifestyle habits such as consuming caffeine, drinking alcohol before bed, or outside stimulants like a partner’s snoring can prevent you from getting nourishing deep sleep. Some simple ways to make sure you reach deep sleep are making sure your bedroom is very dark and using the bathroom before you go to bed so that you don’t have to make bathroom trips in the middle of the night.

3. Incorporate homeopathic remedies and herbs into your evening routine

Incorporating botanicals, herbs and supplements into your evening routine can help you wind down for the night and get higher quality sleep. The supplement melatonin is a hormone that we produce that helps us drift off, but when we are experiencing jet lag or added stress, supplementing with a little bit more of melatonin can help us swiftly drift off to sleep. Herbs like tulsi promote natural sedation and when consumed as tea can help us Zen out, and tinctures that contain ingredients like valerian root and chamomile can be taken directly under your tongue for quick absorption and fast-acting relief.

4. Avoid smartphones and screens before bed

Watching TV or scrolling through social media on your phone gives your brain too much stimulation before you try to wind down, and the blue light that is emitted from screens can also interfere with your sleep cycles. Try reading for 30 minutes before bed or doing another activity that doesn’t require technology.

Supplements and Herbs For a Better Night’s Sleep

Besides all the different and easy lifestyle shifts you can incorporate into your life for a better night’s sleep, there are also some natural remedies you can add to your routine! Let’s take a look at some of the most common ones out there.

1. Melatonin

This specific supplement is already found naturally in your body as it is a hormone that is created in your brain. Melatonin has the purpose of regulating your sleep-wake cycles and is commonly used for those experiencing jet lag. If you’re experiencing insomnia or having troubles falling asleep, you can take between 1-10 milligrams between thirty minutes to an hour before you want to fall asleep.

2. Tulsi

Also known as Holy Basil, this herb hails from Southern Asia and was discovered centuries ago. The active ingredient in tulsi, Eugenol, is what gives it its anti-stress and calming effects. It helps our body regulate our cortisol levels so that we don’t accumulate too much of this stress-inducing hormone. In the evening, you can sip on tulsi tea or take it in tincture form to work its magic.

3. Valerian root

This root comes from a flowering plant that smells quite sweet in parts of Asia and Europe and is said to help stimulate GABA production in our brain. GABA is a neurotransmitter that helps us regulate our nervous system so that we don’t feel too jittery and can lower feelings of anxiety and stress. It takes a few weeks for the effects of valerian root to build up and it’s best to consume valerian root a few hours before you want to hit the hay.

4. Chamomile

One of the more popular herbs (it’s actually a flower) you may have heard of. Chamomile is widely consumed as tea and helps calm down pretty much everything in our body. It lowers inflammation, can calm down a distressed tummy, and help us Zen out just in time for bed. You can add a dash of honey to your chamomile tea to get a bonus dose of antioxidants.

By having a better understanding of how our sleep cycles actually work and implementing these easy steps to feeling rested the next day, you’ll be able to take more control of your bedtime routine and your sleep schedule. By making these simple shifts before you wind down for the evening, you can say adios to that second (or third) cup of coffee to keep you alert throughout the day, or that glass of wine to help you drift off to bed. Sweet dreams!

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This article was written by Sarah Baker, a certified holistic nutrition and health coach, certified business consultant with a focus on brand strategy, and founder of BalancedBabe.com. In between working with clients and growing her wellness brand, she spends most of her time as a media and TV personality advocating an approachable and fun holistic lifestyle. 

Credits: iherb blog https://sg.iherb.com/blog/understanding-your-sleep-cycle-and-tips-for-better-sleep/390