6 Natural Tips For Better Sleep
by Aaron Kiegaldie
We’ve all been there, mind running wild; thinking about everything and anything! From our current hardships, to the most random topics we could possibly imagine, sometimes it just feels impossible to get a good nights sleep. I would feel safe saying that up to 75% of people I come across in the clinic would suffer from some form of sleep troubles. A figure that is shocking considering how important sleep is for humans on a physiological level.
Us humans have forgotten what it’s really like to ‘rest’. We have evolved to consume and fill voids with activity and materialistic ‘crap’! The thought of having nothing to do is scary for some. We live such ‘busy’ and ‘frantic’ lives, yet when it comes time to recuperate and sleep, why do so many people struggle?
In my opinion, we have completely lost touch with our human evolutionary and biological traits. This lost connection has led us to the mental and physiological problems we face so regularly today, lack of sleep being one of the most prevalent.
Today I want to offer you 6 natural, practical, and very easy tips that you can implement into your daily routine to assist with achieving greater sleeping potential. I’ve ensured these tips are super simple to implement. They might sound quite strange to you at first, but try them – test them for yourself 🙂 These tips have helped me to significantly improve my own sleep!
1. 30 Minutes of Grounding/Earthing Per Day (Minimum!)
Our earth is an untapped source of incredible energy and power. We used to utilise this on a daily basis, however with advancements in technology and industry – we have completely lost connection with our own physical earth. In short, earthing/grounding is the process of placing our skin, feet, hands, BODY in uninterrupted contact with grass, dirt, sand, water, or a conductive surface that is in contact with the earth.
The earth has a mild negative charge. Over time, exposure to harmful radiation, wifi, mobile phone use etc can cause a build up of positive charge through the human body. Grounding/earthing can bring down this positive charge and allow the body to return to a more neutral state. We wear rubber shoes, live indoors, and very rarely venture outside – especially in the cooler months. Some people probably can’t remember the last time they last had contact with the earth! Some experts believe that this is one of the reasons behind the rise of many health problems.
One recent study examined 60 people with chronic pain and sleep troubles. 30 of the participants slept on a grounding sheet to simulate earthing, the other 30 slept on a placebo sheet. The report found that over the time of the study, the 30 people sleeping on the grounding reported significant improvements in sleeping patterns, chronic pain, inflammation, respiratory problems, sleep apnea, arthritis and hypertension. The placebo 30 reported no change.
There has also been some amazing findings on the effect grounding/earthing has on short term inflammation control. Thermal imaging found that after just 30 minutes of grounding inflammation within the human body significantly decreases. Considering every dysfunction within the human body comes from inflammation – these findings are incredible.
Personally, grounding has had an amazing effect on my own body. My sleep has improved, and I definitely notice changes in pain and inflammation even just after 15-30 minutes of earthing. Another amazing benefit I noticed was a decrease in general stress and anxiety immediately after grounding. Those that know me know that I am barefoot whenever I get the chance!
Give it a try for yourself. Try to sneak in 30 minutes per day, whether it’s in the morning before work, during the day or in the evening as you get home. Don’t use the weather as an excuse. Just get out there, back into your natural human state and stand on the earth! Dig your toes into the mud, sprint on grass, bury yourself in sand. It feels incredible, and I can assure, you will feel physiological change! Try it for a day, a week, a month, a life time!
For those wanting to take it to the next level. There are amazing earthing products out on the market. You can purchase earthing massage mats, radiation phone protectors, earthing bed sheets, and heaps more incredible earthing products. See links below!
2. Morning Sunlight Exposure
Another super easy tip that can have significant benefits! Morning sunlight exposure in Australia might be easy in summer, however can be quite challenging in the cooler months. Got any idea where the term ‘winter depression’ comes from? Lack of exposure to sunlight! Even though exposure may be easier in summer, for the office workers out there – you’re probably still lacking.
Like plants, our body feeds off the power of our mighty sun. We need direct sunlight onto our skin and into our eyes, especially in the morning hours. This 2013 report Entrainment of the Human Circadian Clock to the Natural Light-Dark Cycle – noted a significant connection between morning sunlight exposure and regulation of the human circadian rhythm and sleep cycle. It noted that participants that were exposed to morning sunlight reported improvements in their natural ability to develop feelings of sleepiness and wakefulness at the correct times. Participants noted it was much easier to fall asleep at night, and found they were waking with far more energy in the morning.
Exposure to morning sunlight will also assist with regulating feelings of stress and anxiety – I can vouch for this!!
Give it a go – test for yourself. Remember to not wear sunglasses. Try to get as much skin exposed as possible too!
3. Limit Blue Light & Artificial Light Exposure
As good as natural light can be for the human body……artificial light is just as bad! Artificial light is all around us. In our LED down-lights, car lights, street lamps, neon signs, computer screens, mobile phones, office lights……it’s all around us and it completely f*#$% with our sleep patterns and circadian rhythms. Many of us can relate to letting artificial light pierce through our eyes from the moment we wake to the moment we put our heads back on the pillow. For me, this is one of the major reasons there are so many issues with sleep patterns these days.
Andy Mant Founder of BluBlock Eyewear Australia states
“…Digital technology is awesome. Where would we be today without our smart phones, tablets, laptop computers and UHD televisions? The down side to these devices is they give out intense pulses of dangerous artificial blue light which interferes with our sleep by blocking sleep hormones. In order to regain control of our sleep we need to block this dangerous blue light before bedtime. This is true whether it be day time or night time ”
Once it hits 7pm, I would highly suggest minimising as much artificial light as possible. Turn off all down-lights (use lamps), limit mobile phone and computer use, and if you need to – ensure your computer and mobile phone are equipped with night-mode and blue block capabilities. A brilliant application for Mac and PC is ‘F.Lux’ – I highly recommend using these if you are to be using technology at night time. You can also restrict all blue light on your IPhone by going to colour settings and changing the colours and tints available. A simple trick that could be very beneficial!
Blue Block eyewear is a brilliant way to regulate the amount of blue light you are permitting into your eyes. Their range consists of day-time glasses, night-time glasses, and computer glasses. Day-time Ultra450 yellow lenses block all blue light from 400-450nm during day time hours. Their signature night-time Ultra550 Red lenses block all blue and green light that you may encounter before bed. Lastly, their clear computer lens block high energy blue light, which can assist in easing digital eye strain.
For more information visit www.blublox.com
4. Valerian Root Sleep Tea 30-45 Minutes Before Bed
This is one I can once again strongly vouch for. I started taking Valerian Root and Camomile Sleep Tea prior to bed around 2 years ago, and I can honestly say it works wonders for me. I generally have 1-2 sometimes 3 cups of this tea with two teabags 30-60 minutes before ‘hitting the hay’. After 30 minutes, I notice significant effects of drowsiness and it usually doesn’t take long from when my head hits the pillow to when I’m passed out. I don’t recommend starting with my dosage (you may not make it to bed HAHA), but test it for yourself and see how you go.
The other amazing benefit of these teas for me was the effect it had on decreasing feelings of stress and anxiety. It has such a nice calming effect on the body, and another reason why I strongly advocate for taking these teas prior to sleeping.
5. Ensure Bedroom Is Pitch Black
Another really simple trick that most people don’t know about. Hundreds and Thousands of years ago there was no light after the sun left the sky, so sleep and waking would occur naturally with the sun setting and rising. Therefore our bodies sleep cycle responds and reacts to darkness. There wouldn’t be too much light in a cave or wherever humans used to sleep so your bedroom should be no different. Street lamps, hallway lights, and even moonlight peeping through curtains can effect sleep. After reading this blog, I would suggest testing how dark your bedroom gets when it’s time to sleep. If it is not pitch black, I suggest investing in some new blinds or door strips to ensure your room is as dark as possible!
6. Household Diffusers (Lavender, Peppermint, Clove) Indoor Plants
This is a tip I have only recently been experimenting with. I’ve always liked having indoor plants, however since filling my house with them and introducing a diffuser, I have noticed a much calmer energy and feeling around my house. Both indoor plants and diffusers do wonders for improving air quality, minimising respiratory problems, enhancing productivity, all in turn will assist sleeping patterns!
I recently heard on the grapevine, that a big company in India literally filled their entire building with indoor plants. Over the course of 6 months they noticed a ridiculously significant boost in morale, productivity and overall positivity of their employees. I thought this was incredible!
My suggestion would be to turn your house into a nature sanctuary! Fill it with indoor plants, especially the bedroom!
Also some essential oils to put in your diffuser: Lavender, Peppermint, Clove, Ylang Ylang, Sandalwood, Rose, Camomile! Thanks FP LOU!
Get back to basics guys! Get in touch with nature! Play in the dirt, embrace the sun, drink lots of water, surround yourself with plants, exercise daily, eat a balanced predominantly plant based diet, and be grateful for life! I really hope these tips are helpful and they do wonders for you!