It’s not just more sleep, but better sleep that makes the difference.

If there is one thing that all of us could use, it’s better sleep.  While I’d like to say more sleep, the truth is, that just can’t happen for most of us.  Unless somehow someone is going to slip a few more hours into each day, that isn’t happening.

Luckily for us, there are simple steps that we can take to sleep better at night. These aren’t going to take up a lot of time, or require you to drastically change your lifestyle.  But they will pay off in the end with better sleep.

Take a warm shower

Taking a shower in the evening will help your body relax and you’ll be able to fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly.  According to this Time article:

Time your shower so you’re done about an hour and a half before you want to hit the sack, Harris recommends. That way, by the time you lay down in bed, your body will be cool, dry and ready for sleep.

Put the cell phone away

Cell phones, iPads and other electronic devices trick your body into thinking that it’s still daytime. That makes it harder for you to fall asleep and stay asleep. So make sure to unplug 30 minutes or so before bedtime.

Go to bed at the same time

Pick a bedtime and stick with it.  This is the fastest way to get results and achieve better sleep. Your body relies on routines, so setting one up for the time you sleep (and wake) will help the quality of your sleep immensely.  Your body will start to recognize and adjust when bedtime is close, getting you ready for quality zzz’s that much sooner.

Try meditation

Meditation will not only help you clear out your mind but focusing on your breathing will naturally make you sleepier. Fighting fatigue, insomnia and stress levels are also benefits of meditation.
If you practice mindfulness meditation, you focus on your body, which includes breathing. You can lengthen your breaths both in and out and feel calm take over your body. This will help you get the better sleep you need.

Exercise for better sleep

You probably knew this was coming, but it’s true. Even just 30 minutes of exercise during the day can burn enough energy to help you sleep better at night.
If you plan your exercise in the afternoon or evening, it will promote better sleep even more.  Exercise increases your body temperature naturally and after, your body cools naturally, making it primed for sleep.

Use essential oils

I’ll be honest, I used to think essential oils were all hype. What could they really do?  But let me tell you, I finally broke down and purchased them because my two very young children were getting congested at night. They either couldn’t fall asleep, or couldn’t stay asleep. I was at my wit’s end, I was desperate. I purchased two blends.  One that promised better sleep and another that promised to ease congestion. The result?  The very first night they both fell asleep quickly and stayed asleep the entire night. I couldn’t believe it.
So if essential oils can do this for my kids, they can certainly help you sleep better.

The blends I purchased:  Good Sleep Essential Oil and Breathe Essential Oil Blend Oh and the diffuser if you’re interested (changes colors, it’s awesome).

Natural Supplements

Use in moderation, but melatonin supplements will help you fall asleep. The body naturally produces melatonin, but sometimes we just need a little help falling asleep. However, melatonin supplements should only be used when needed. If overused, or too much is used, you can have a hangover the next day.  Not good.  But if you’re traveling, have an odd schedule or switching shifts at work, it could be just what you need for a good nights sleep.

Try out these ideas for better sleep, plus, did you know that getting better sleep can help you lose weight? Oh, and let us know what works for you in the comments.

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