10 unusual ways to improve sleep patterns

We all need sleep, but sometimes that is easier said than done. Finding the right trick that works for you can be difficult, but sometimes the solutions lie in the most interesting places. Here are a few unusual ways that you, too, can achieve that perfect night’s rest.

Add a Little Plant Life

Plants are not just for the outdoors. Keeping certain types of plant life in your bedroom can help you sleep. Aloe Vera is said to produce oxygen at night which leads to better sleep. Both English Ivy and Snake plants purify the air. Lavender has been known to bring calmness to a space, and it is well-known that jasmine can not only improve sleep but improve your productivity the next day. Plus, your room will smell amazing.

Just Say No to Naps

It is tempting to nap during the day, but taking a siesta mid-afternoon can destroy your night’s sleep. You may find yourself going to bed not tired or waking up in the middle of the night. If napping is necessary, make sure you schedule it in earlier in the day. The later you wait, the less likely it is you will fall asleep quickly at night.

Slip on Some Socks

Warm hands and feet lead to better sleep. It is said that by warming your feet, you are dilating the blood vessels which signals to your brain that you are ready for a good night’s sleep. So slip on some fuzzy socks and get comfortable. If you are feeling extra adventurous, try a nice pair of gloves, too.

Sleep in the Buff

While warm feet can help you get comfortable, a cooler body temperature helps you fall asleep faster. There is no better way of cooling down than taking off those suffocating clothes. Sleeping in the nude can be an excellent way to soothe yourself to sleep. Take a nice relaxing shower or bubble bath and slip into the sheets naked. You will fall asleep before you know it, and you will have less laundry to do the next day.

Aromatherapy

Certain essential oils help relax your mind and calm your body, thus leading to better sleep. Lavender is always an excellent go-to for helping you go to sleep, but try mixing in some Roman chamomile, sandalwood or marjoram to create an even better concoction that will do just the trick. Spray some oil on your pillow or sheets or use aromatherapy lotion before you go to bed and simply breathe in the smells.

Say No to Caffeine

You need caffeine often to get through the day, but at some point, you have to stop consuming caffeine if you hope to fall asleep within a reasonable time. Keep your caffeine consumption at lunch or before, and make sure you stay away from anything caffeinated within four to six hours of when you would like to sleep.

Cut the Alcohol

It is a common misconception that a glass of wine will help put you to sleep. While it may seem to work initially, as your alcohol levels drop in your body a few hours into your sleep, you may find yourself awake in the middle of the night. It is best to abstain from alcohol after dinner to avoid facing this problem that night.

No Midnight Snack

Europeans have it right when they eat their big meals mid-day rather than in the evening. Going to bed with a full stomach can have negative effects on your sleep patterns, and certain foods can even lead to stomach issues or heartburn. Anything fatty, fried or spicy could easily lead to a rough night’s sleep. Eat light in the evening and no midnight snacking.

No Screen Time

We are all addicted to our tablets, smartphones and Kindles. It is so easy to get caught up in surfing the web, reading a good book or sending one more email that we find ourselves on our devices up until the very second we turn off the light. However, all of that screen time only stimulates our brains more. Many experts even say that television should be avoided at least a couple hours prior to going to bed. It is the best way to turn off your mind and relax.

Get Out of Bed

While this solution may seem counter-intuitive, experts say that staying in bed fretting over the fact that you are not falling asleep will only make it that much harder to eventually fall asleep. You can only count sheep for so long. If you find yourself tossing and turning and more than 30 minutes has passed, get out of bed, read a book in your easy chair and try again. That time away from the bed may be just what you need to finally get some rest when you lay down your head. It beats counting sheep, after all.

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