You know the feeling—you’re rolling around in bed and can’t seem to quiet your mind and fall asleep. And with quarantine and work from home living, it’s hard to keep track of time and go to bed right when you want to. (Hello Netflix binging!) Yet, if you don’t get those needed 7-8 hours of nightly shut-eye, you could put your health at risk, and yes, wake up feeling groggy, fatigued, hungry and irritable.
Of course, one night of less sleep is not a big deal, but you don’t want to make it a habit in the week, since that lack of sleep can surely add up. And not sleeping may increase cravings and affect your appetite regulation, as well as lower your immunity and decrease your performance during workouts. Yikes.
It can be a struggle though, especially if you’re feeling stressed out or are in a pattern of going to bed at a later hour than usual now. Here are the best tips to fall asleep so you can get back on track with sounder, deeper sleep each night.
Set an Alarm to Wind Out
If you want to be in bed by 11 or 12, set an alarm an hour to 30 minutes before you want to go to bed to tell yourself to start to get ready. That means, no electronics, brush your teeth, and prepare the bed. You can even do something relaxing in those 30 minutes—meditate, read a book, try light stretching or yoga to relax your body, or journal. These are all relaxing practices that can help make you sleepier and settle the mind and body. Plus, they won’t stimulate you, as would television or social media.
Some research shows that CBD can help decrease anxiety, so if you’re going to bed with racing thoughts and worries about the next day, taking a capsule or a few droplets of CBD oil may help reduce that stress and help your mind power down. You can also try a CBD gummy, too—who said adults can’t have gummies, right?
Lavender is known to help relax the body and promote sleep, so integrate it into your bedroom routine. You can light a lavender candle and keep it in your bedroom as you settle into bed, or you can use an essential oil to keep the scent in your room or on your pillow. You can also use a lotion or massage oil that has the lavender scent, as well, or find an eye mask that smells of it.
The bonus perk for the eye mask? You can make sure your room is as dark as possible, as darkness and lack of light will help you snooze better. Try getting black out curtains if you see light popping through the window—then you won’t wake up too early in the morning from the sun!
Keep the Room Cooler
Turn the thermostat down before getting into bed, and give yourself enough time for the room to cool off. A good setting might be between 65 and 70 degrees F, where anything higher might make your body temperature too hot and impair your ability to fall asleep. Heat can make it harder to fall asleep, and you might get all sweaty and uncomfortable in the sheets too. You can always grab a blanket if you end up getting a bit too cold.
Drink Tart Cherry Juice
Whether you grab a cup of juice or eat a few fresh cherries, tart cherries have been shown to increase drowsiness. Plus, they can also improve muscle recovery post-workout, so you’ll not only get those zzz’s but also you will help speed muscle repair so you can build stronger muscles and have better performance in the gym.