In these uncertain times, quality sleep may be hard to find. Anxieties over uncertainty are understandable as we navigate through this together, but many of us may be facing altered sleep patterns as a result of these changes in routine. Sleep is important to our general wellness, productivity and even immune health.* Tossing and turning all night, additional stress, or a change in routine can all lead to broken sleep, which may cause feelings of fatigue the next day.* If you’re having trouble finding quality sleep, try these healthy tips to promote restful sleep naturally.
Keep a consistent sleep schedule
Keeping a consistent sleep schedule may be hard for those of us whose routines have been disrupted. Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day helps regulate the body’s circadian rhythm, or internal clock. It’s O.K. if your sleep hours have shifted, but try to sleep and wake at the same time every night, and aim for 7 to 8 hours of sleep nightly.
Reserve your bed for sleep
Reserving your bed for sleep is important so your mind makes the association between your bed and sleep. Try to avoid working, eating, or watching TV in bed and instead have designated areas for these activities to help your mind separate them.
Optimize Your Bedroom Environment
A quiet, dark and cool environment can help promote restful sleep.* Optimize your sleep environment by reducing noise with earplugs or a “white noise” appliance. Shut out excess light with a sleep mask or heavy curtains, and keep the room comfortably cool (between 60 - 72 degrees) and well-ventilated.
Increase Daytime Exposure to Sunlight
With all of us spending more time indoors, we may be getting less exposure to sunlight than usual. Natural light is an important factor in managing circadian rhythms. Try to spend time outdoors, particularly in the morning, to get some sunlight and vitamin D. In addition to boosting immune health, mood and bone and joint health, vitamin D3 may also play a role in restful sleep.* Try Nature’s Lab Vitamin D3 to help supplement this important nutrient.*
Reduce Blue Light Exposure at Night
Exposure to light, particularly blue light (a color in the visible light spectrum that can be seen by the human eyes) may affect our ability to get restful sleep.* Increased time on our phones, virtual meetings with friends and family and increased TV watching may expose us to more sleep-impacting stimuli and blue light than normal. Additionally, increased exposure to artificial light after dusk may affect sleep quality by impacting melatonin production, a hormone that signals the body that it’s time for sleep. Keep your sleeping area dark, minimize electronic use after dusk, and try to shut down completely at least an hour before bedtime to promote restful sleep.*
Reduce Caffeine after 2pm
The stimulating effects of caffeine may last up to 10 hours in some individuals. As a general rule of thumb, try to avoid caffeine 4-6 hours before bed if you have trouble sleeping, and even earlier (as early as 2 p.m.) if you are caffeine sensitive. Other chemicals that have stimulating and potentially negative effects on sleep can include nicotine and alcohol, so try reducing intake if these may be sleep disruptors for you, too.
Take the hour, or several hours, before bedtime as “me” time. Establish a relaxing pre-sleep ritual, such as taking a warm bath with Epsom salts and lavender. Find time to unwind and de-stress with healthy self-care habits, such as relaxing meditation, yoga, or settle down and relax with your favorite book. Disconnect from social media, phones, and conversation during your “me” time, and find what activities are best suited to your relaxation needs. Try Paradise Springs Essential Oils to find relaxing aromatherapy options for your self-care routine.
Get Enough Vitamins & Minerals
There are several vitamins and minerals that can help play a role in restful sleep.* Vitamin D deficiency, as discussed earlier, may negatively impact sleep* Low calcium levels, insufficient magnesium levels, and even certain B-vitamins can also impact restful sleep.* These vitamins may help regulate the amino acid tryptophan, which may help the body produce sleep-inducing melatonin naturally.* Try supplementing with Nature’s Lab Vitamin D3 to support healthy D3 levels, or check out Nature’s Lab Magnesium Glycinate to promote calcium absorption, restful sleep and healthy energy metabolism.* Nature’s Lab Six Daily also contains a full scope of vitamins, minerals, and over 90 powerful nutrients to support general wellness and help fill any nutritional gaps.*
Try These Herbal Vitamins and Amino Acids
Proper nutrition and dietary supplementation can help support restful sleep, but there are also herbal vitamins to help support restful sleep. Here are a few with a long history of use for relaxation:
Ashwagandha is an herb from India. Its long, tuberous roots have been used for centuries as a supplement to general wellness.* It is considered an adaptogenic herb, or one that adjusts the body's response to stress.* Adaptogens help the body cope with external stressors such as toxins in the environment or poor diet, as well internal stresses such as anxiety or emotional turmoil.* Because it acts as a natural adaptogen, ashwagandha can help promote relaxation and restful sleep. Checkout Nature's Lab Ashwagandha to supplement your routine!
Similar to ashwagandha, valerian root isn’t an adaptogen, but rather a nervine. Nervines are herbs that help support the nervous system in various ways.* Valerian is classified as a relaxing nervine in traditional medicines, and is well-regarded for promoting restful sleep.* If sleep seems impossible due to excess energy or an inability to shut down mentally, valerian root can help relax the body and mind for restful sleep.* Try Nature’s Lab Valerian Root, made with 400 mg of organic valerian root extract and 100 mg of organic valerian root powder.
L-theanine is an important amino acid that can help promote restful sleep.* Originally discovered in tea leaves in 1949, L-theanine is often included in supplements to allow for higher dosages than usual amounts found in black tea. L-theanine can help lower anxiety relax the mind without causing drowsiness.* Try Nature’s Lab L-theanine for 200 mg of this relaxing amino acid, or Nature’s Lab Magnesium Soothe to combine the benefits of magnesium and 50 mg of L-theanine.
Interested in other vitamins and supplements to promote restful sleep Click here to shop our Sleep & Relaxation products.
Essential Oils for Relaxation, Sleep & Anxiety Relief
Essential oils are concentrated compounds extracted from plants. Often used in aromatherapy, they have many therapeutic benefits ranging from calming to energizing and everything in-between. Check out a few of our favorite relaxing essential oils from Paradise Springs, and easy ways you can incorporate them into your self-care routine.
Lavender Essential Oil
One of the most common and popular oils for relaxation, Lavender Essential Oil is a soothing floral scent that has long been associated with relaxation and sleep. Lavender contains anxiolytic – or anxiety-reducing – effects to promote relaxation naturally. Try adding a few drops of this calming oil with water into a spray bottle and spray pillow and sheets before bedtime, or try or relaxing lavender oil lotion bars.
Calming Blend Essential Oil
Paradise Springs Calming Blend incorporates six essential oils known for their calming and therapeutic properties, including lavender, chamomile, ylang ylang, vanilla and even sandalwood. The soothing floral tones and scent of soft vanilla blend together to make a truly relaxing aromatherapy addition to any self-care routine. Try adding a few drops of Calming Blend into your nighttime bath, or incorporate it with a carrier oil to make a relaxing, hydrating body oil.
Ylang Ylang Essential Oil
Ylang ylang Essential Oil comes from the flowers of the Cananga odorata tree. This floral essential oil is often used in aromatherapy to reduce stress and anxiety. Try diffusing this floral scent with a diffuser before bedtime to ease stress and promote restful sleep. If you’re looking for ways to incorporate this essential oil into your nighttime self-care routine, try our ylang ylang hair serum.
Sage Essential Oil
Sage Essential Oil is an earthy, herbaceous essential oil that can help calm the mind by reducing stress and anxiety in therapeutic applications. Sage can help lift mood by promoting clarity and balance. Try diffusing this essential oil throughout the day to promote feelings of calm, or try our sage and blackberry sugar scrub as a part of your nighttime self-care routine.