Sleeping is a natural experience. So, why do so many people say, “How can I get to sleep without taking sleeping pills?”
My goal is to support people in relaxing and better self care. Here are natural sleeping tips for anyone wanting to figure out what sleep strategies work for them.
People come in to me in coaching and hypnotherapy and say that they need to get more sleep, first I ask if they have seen their doctor. If the answer is yes, then I ask how manage their sleep now. Sleep is about self management. Coaching helps a person define a goal and find strategies to reach that goal. One way is to be aware of what you are doing now. Also, what you choose to do with your time before activities, like sleeping, makes a difference. I can help a person with hypnotherapy to get to a place of rest, but first we need to uncover what is getting in the way. Some ways people try to sleep are actually not productive.
Unproductive Sleep Strategies
- Alcohol – Kick back on the couch with a a few beers or glasses of wine or alcohol
- Screen browsing – Watch videos on Youtube, Browse Social Media
- Eat carbs – Munch on chips, cookies, cereal, or leftovers
The above unproductive strategies are places people go to cover up for something else. Become aware. Know why you are reaching for something, whether it be alcohol, screen browsing, or carbs. Is this being used to forget, cover up a problem on your mind, or fill an empty space inside your mind?
- Alcohol knocks out decision making. People think it helps, but it takes you away from something you may need to take care of.
- Screen browsing steals time and energy. Getting on social media can suck your energy by reading about what others are chatting about and overload you with cute videos.
- Eating carbs can relax you, but you can’t eat just one chip. Eating before you go to sleep isn’t productive for your body, as food is an energy fuel. If you are eating cookies because you feel lonely, then turn it around and figure out how you can resolve the real issue.
So how can you manage your sleep?
Each person is different and different days can call for different strategies. So, how would you like a helpful list of many ways you can manage sleep self care, relax, and prepare for sleep?
Tea can relax you one day and walking in nature before sunset can work nicely another day. I encourage you to go through this list and use these tips to support you when you are open to trying new ways to sleep. Discover more relaxation and joy and sleep well all night long.
Natural Sleeping Tips and Strategies
- Comfortable sleeping environment – this means clean room, supportive bed, textures of sheets and blankets, pillow, room temperature, maybe without animals (or if you like animals sleeping on the bed)
- Breathing deep and slow– breathing is naturally relaxing when done slowly in a relaxing mode
- Think about what brings you joy and get to the sweet spot.
- Walking – Take a walk in the day or evening to unwind. Especially nice with pets or partners.
- Nature – Get in touch with nature by stepping into your garden and appreciating the plants or wander in a forest or park
- Meditation and Self-hypnosis – the mind and body benefit from meditation and you can give yourself a “safe place” in your imagination
- Massage will give a release from toxins and stress and is good all around
- No electronics in room (TV, computers, etc.)
- Dark room or eye mask – covering eyes and making dark rests the eye
- Chamomile tea – a calm tea that relaxes the nervous system
- Warm milk with a few drops vanilla and a touch of honey – vanilla is the smell closest to mother’s milk and a deep memory recognizes the smell
- Melatonin – a natural hormone which your body in the pineal gland produces, and which you can get in pill form to slip under your tongue before bed.
- Valerian Root – this herb has wonderful sedative properties and is best to take only at night
- Lavender – so nice as an oil, little lavender pillow, or mist
- Lemon balm tea – this is a tea that releases stress and helps reduce overproduction of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH)
- Coffee if hyperactive – people who are hyper or have ADD relax with caffeine
- Magnesium – a naturally good experience for relaxing the body via the muscles and is good to take a bath in or take as a supplement
- Shower or bath – step into the shower before you go to sleep to release the stress of the day in the form of toxins around you or stress hormones you may have experienced. Lathering your body with a creamy soap you can also massage your skin, muscles, and it feels good. It’s a nice clean experience to lay in bed feeling clean.
- Read a children’s story book – enjoy the fun of a story and let the inner child relax
- Avoid scary news or programs – your mind takes it all in to your dreams
- Lucid dream – pick out a dream and start your imagination
- Journal – write a few words about your day and share your innermost thoughts with the personal journal who will listen to anything you write and love you
- Gratitude Partner – Find someone to share three or more things you are grateful in your day. This could be your life partner, a good friend that you text, or family member. Sharing what you appreciate prior to sleep is helpful for dreams
- Open window – fresh air for cool sleeping
- Musical chimes – place soft chimes outside window if you like the sound
- Good neighbors – communicate with neighbors about sounds, animals, or noisy machines next to your sleeping areas
- Don’t run noisy machines – dishwasher, washers, dryers, etc.
- Clean sheets – Use sensitive laundry detergent and dry with wool dryer balls instead of fragrance sheets
- Limit bright screens – no computer right before bed
- Socks on feed – winter or summer socks feel nice on toes
- Talk to yourself – Say positive things like, “I love myself.”
- Hug your pillow – If you feel lonely, cuddle your pillow
- Hug yourself – rub your shoulders, smile, and feel hugged
- Comfortable sleepwear – whatever that is for you
- Running fan – the sound of fans provides white noise
- Play music – if you play an instrument
- Pick out tomorrow’s outfit – you’ll rest knowing it’s done
- Make a list of actions for next day – writing it down releases your mind
- Prepare a meal for next day – preparation is relaxation, no need to worry
- Shaman blessing – Imagine a rainbow above you and repeat this phrase until drifting to sleep: Be aware, be free, be focused, be here, be loved, be strong, be healed. Hug yourself as you drift to sleep and smile. Good Night.