With products, pills, and regimens that promise a "good night's sleep," the health industry booms, and it's no wonder we're up all night. We pine. We research. We seek solid advice from the guy at the gym who always seems to be oddly energized.
But what if we eliminated all the clutter from our bedside tables and gave natural sleep a natural shot? Here are five tips for getting back to the basics of better sleep.
1. Take a walk.
Whether you're sitting behind a desk all day or running errands behind the wheel, it's easy to neglect cardiovascular health. The cardiovascular system is composed of a network of arteries, veins, and capillaries that transport blood throughout the body.
Regular physical activity can keep your blood flowing smoothly and help you blow off some steam after a stressful day. After all, anyone can nod off in a board of directors meeting only to be awakened by the sound of their own snoring...
You need to let it go. Better yet, you need to get some sleep.
2. Slip into something cozy.
Sure, it may feel like it's been epochs since you were swaddled and pressed against the warmth of your mother's bosom, but wouldn't you like to revisit those days of childhood bliss?
Adult onesies are now becoming more and more common amongst retailers, bringing those reminiscent, carefree nights of childhood slumber back within reach. Yes, the ads are rather goofy, but go on and try it. You know you want to.
3. Drink a cup of chamomile tea.
Not only will you naturally replenish your daily water reserves, but your body will also relax with this herb's natural healing properties. For centuries, the herb has been used to soothe upset stomachs and menstrual cramps. The cure-all of ancient Egypt, chamomile is said to be Cleopatra's drink of choice for its beautifying and calming effects.
4. Turn off your electronics.
Apps that simulate the sound of the ocean may help lull you to sleep; however, getting a text about tomorrow's bagel basket certainly will not. This is the time for your mind and body to recoup, not be alerted, liked, poked, swiped, pinged, favorited, or followed. Give yourself and your overworked contacts a break. You can always give those emails a fresh check in the morning.
5. Avoid eating late.
Remember when Grandma said eating too late would give you nightmares? By nightmares, we think Grandma meant indigestion. From your esophagus, to a pool of digestive juices in your stomach, and finally through your intestines, the digestive process is quite lengthy. In fact, if you rolled out all these organs, they'd be about 9 meters long!
Indigestion or upset stomach is a mild discomfort in the upper belly or abdomen and it occurs typically after eating. Some meats take two or even three days to digest while fruits and veggies are out of your system in less than 12 hours. Either way, you don't want to be up all night trying to figure out your digestive transit time.
Lace up those sneakers, pull out the Snuggie, dust off your box of teas, tell Siri to take a hike, and push that cold pizza back into the fridge. You've got an appointment with your bed. Happy sleeping!