We’ve covered minerals that can boost energy, but now let’s look at ways you can fall asleep at night and truly get a good night’s sleep. Your quality and quantity of sleep will contribute greatly to your overall energy throughout the day. In this article, we will cover some ways you can take a more active role in getting enough sleep.
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Here are some ways that you can take control over your sleep.
Set a Routine
Have you ever heard of circadian rhythms? These are the cycles your body goes through each day and can influence your physical, mental, and emotional health. For example, your body knows that when the sun is up, it’s time to be awake. And when the sun goes down, your body will release the hormones responsible for putting it to sleep. When you’re off your rhythms, you could suffer from insomnia, fatigue, and overall crankiness and fogginess. This is why setting a routine—and sticking with it!—is important. Here is an example of what your day could look like:
- 6:00am: wake up and start your morning routine to get ready for work or school
- 7:00am: eat breakfast
- 8:00am: go to work
- 12:00pm: eat lunch and take a brisk walk afterward
- 5:00pm: go home, wind down, and relax
- 6:00pm: eat dinner
- 8:00pm: turn off the TVs, put away your phone, and turn off all screens
- 8:15pm: in bed, reading a book or magazine before falling asleep
- 10:00pm: sleep until 6:00am
At first, this routine could feel abnormal and forced, and you might feel even more thrown off your schedule than usual. However, just like every other lifestyle change, this new routine will become something that your body adjusts to over time. After a few weeks, your body will start to “tell time” and you’ll naturally feel hungry or tired or awake at certain times of the day.
Watch Your Nutrition
It should come as no surprise that the things you eat and drink can disrupt—or support—the quality of sleep you get. If you drink coffee, soda, or chocolate after lunchtime, you might become too jittery to fall asleep. Some foods, such as dairy, wheat, spicy foods, and fried foods, can make you feel gassy or experience indigestion, which can both affect your ability to fall asleep. Even a big meal not long before bed can make you stay awake. Try eating a smaller portion for dinner, and avoid foods that make the body work overtime to digest.
Watch Your Alcohol Intake
Alcohol might make you sleepy, but it also interferes with your circadian rhythms. Studies have shown that the best time to have that glass of wine is right after work, and before dinnertime. Your body is primed to process alcohol the best at this time, and health professionals recommend no more than 2-3 times each week. When you drink alcohol right before bed, it will disrupt your REM cycles, so the quality of REM sleep you get will be decreased. REM sleep is critical to memory, restoring mental clarity, dreaming, and emotional processing—you need as much of this as you can get! More than that, in the hours before waking, you’ll be more likely to experience light sleep, sleep disruptions, and possibly even wake up without being able to get back to sleep. And, of course, consuming fluids before bed makes you more likely to have to get up in the middle of the night to relieve yourself.
Shut off the Screens
The blue light emitted from TV screens, your phone, computers, etc. can negatively affect your body’s ability to fall asleep. In fact, this blue light can actually disrupt your circadian rhythm, interfering with your body’s release of melatonin (the sleep hormone). Yes, you can install apps that block the blue light, but if you really want a good quality rest, it’s best to shut off the screens altogether. Not only that, but the information you’re taking in can cause stress and anxiety, which are the last things you need right before bed! Instead of reaching for a screen, reach for a book to read instead.
Try White Noise
White noise can block all the sound pollution leaking into your bedroom, allowing you to sleep better. You don’t have to buy a dedicated white noise machine to get the same effect, either! Invest in a box fan with various settings. These are great because they’re relatively inexpensive, and you can use them to cool down a warm-ish room simultaneously. Another option is to install one of the sleep apps available on your smartphone. We love them because you can try various types of noises, such as pink noise, brown noise, white noise, etc., as well as ambient sounds.
Stress can be a huge contributor to insomnia, and calming the mind with meditation can help. The good news is that you don’t have to make a field trip to your local yoga or meditation studio to do it! There are some fantastic options that can be purchased from your phone’s app store, on Spotify, or from other sources. You can start small and work up to longer forms of meditation, and there is truly something for every type of person out there. Experiment with different types, different voices, and different messages to get the sleep you deserve.
Again, we don’t want you to run to your nearest gym to pump some iron before getting your shut-eye. In fact, we don’t recommend exercise at all right before bed (except for gentle, relaxing yoga, perhaps). Exercising regularly in the morning, at lunch, or after work has been clinically proven to help people reduce anxiety, depression, fatigue, and insomnia.
We know this is a lot to take in and start to implement all at once, and we don’t want you to become overwhelmed. Start by establishing your routine for a few weeks, and once you’ve settled into that, you can start implementing one or two others from the list at a time. Keep a sleep journal to track the quality of sleep you’re getting, the quantity of sleep, and to take note of anything that might’ve interfered with your rest. You can check out some of the sleep tracking apps out there to make it foolproof.
A good night’s sleep depends a lot on your nutrition throughout the day. Talk to your doctor about taking an all-in-one vitamin and mineral supplement to augment your nutritional intake, such as Liquenergy by Natures Energy. This all-in-one vitamin supplement comes in liquid form, and it’s packed with the nutrients you need to keep going throughout the day. You might also be interested in our oxygen supplement, Liquid Oxygen, which promotes energy and alertness throughout the day and can help with faster muscle recovery after working out.
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