Unlocking the Secrets to a Blissful Night’s Sleep

Our recent Gracenotes newsletter on sound sleep received a huge response from our readers—apparently, we aren’t the only ones tossing, turning, and chasing after a good night’s sleep. 

Sleep is the unsung hero of our health and daily well-being, yet many struggle with it. As a dual-certified life and health coach, I believe in a simple, actionable, natural approach to better sleep. 

In this article, I explore some practical tips for enhancing sleep quality and boosting energy and mood for each day ahead.

Sound Sleep Starts With a Few Simple Steps 

Getting restful sleep should be a given, but these days– with all that screams for our attention– we have to take a few steps toward making it happen.  

You can do many easy things to achieve the sleep hygiene you’ve been dreaming of, from changing your surroundings to taking supplements. I have several sound suggestions – let’s dive in. 

Establish An Evening Sleep Routine 

Maintaining a consistent evening sleep routine is more than just a beneficial habit; it’s a powerful tool that can better your sleep quality and overall health. Going to bed and getting up at a set time each day helps balance your internal clock, also known as the circadian rhythm. This rhythm is a natural, internal system that regulates feelings of sleepiness and wakefulness over 24 hours.

Why Consistency Matters

The circadian rhythm depends on regularity to function correctly. This is because your body begins to anticipate your bedtime and prepares itself in advance. About an hour before you usually sleep, your body releases the hormone melatonin, lowers your body temperature, and helps your muscles relax.

Conversely, inconsistency in your sleep schedule can throw off your circadian rhythm. If you go to bed at wildly different times each night, your body won’t know when to start winding down, leading to difficulties falling asleep. Similarly, irregular wake-up times can make you feel groggy when you get out of bed. This inconsistency can impair your ability to function during the day, leading to long-term sleep deficits and associated health problems.

Benefits of a Regular Sleep Schedule

A consistent sleep schedule results in higher-quality sleep. This improved sleep is directly linked to several benefits: 

  • Enhanced mood and reduced anxiety 
  • Improved cognitive functions, such as memory and decision-making, 
  • Regulated hormones help control appetite and metabolism.  
  • Strengthened immune system

Tips for Maintaining a Consistent Sleep Routine

  • Set Realistic Times: Choose a bedtime and wake-up time that you can use daily, including weekends. Adjust these times gradually if needed.
  • Limit Stimulants: Avoid caffeine and heavy meals close to bedtime, as they can disrupt your ability to fall asleep.
  • Use Technology: Use apps to remind you when it’s time to start getting ready for bed and track your sleep patterns to help you stay on schedule.

When you stick to a sleep schedule, you will harness the power of your body’s natural rhythms, which can lead to a healthier, more energetic life.

Take a Screen Break, Starting at Least an Hour Before Bedtime

Electronic devices have become integral to our lives, often extending their use into our bedrooms. However, cell phones, televisions, and computers can significantly disrupt sleep. The main culprit behind this disruption is the blue light that comes from our device screens.

Blue light is a type of high-energy visible light that resembles midday light. During daylight hours, blue light can be beneficial—it boosts attention, reaction times, and mood. However, exposure to blue light in the evening can have the opposite effect by inhibiting melatonin production, the hormone that regulates sleep-wake cycles. 

Melatonin production naturally increases in the evening as it becomes dark, signaling your body that it is time to sleep. When you use screens emitting blue light, your brain receives conflicting signals about the time of day, reducing melatonin levels and making it harder to fall and stay asleep. This disruption can also affect your REM cycle, the stage of sleep necessary for cognitive functions like memory and learning.

The impact of blue light is particularly significant because of the proximity and duration of exposure. Many people use their devices up close and for extended periods in the evening, which maximizes the disruptive effect on their sleep cycle. 

Establish a screen-free routine starting at least an hour before bedtime to combat these issues. This practice gives your body time to increase melatonin production and wind down naturally, enhancing overall sleep quality. 

Instead of watching TV or scrolling on your device, engage in relaxing activities like reading, journaling, making love, meditating, or doing gentle stretches; these activities will reduce blue light exposure and help prepare your mind and body for sleep.

Wind Down with Mindfulness

A relaxed mind fosters better sleep. If your busy brain is anything like mine, it doesn’t give you a moment’s peace – especially at bedtime. 

Achieving calm can feel like a battle, especially when the day’s stresses refuse to quiet down at bedtime. Here’s how you can cultivate mindfulness to ease into a restful night:

Take a Breather 

Spend a few dedicated minutes each evening practicing breathing exercises or meditation. This can be as simple as focusing on your breathing. Meditation apps or guided sessions can help structure this time, especially if you’re new to the practice. Regular meditation helps decrease the stress hormone cortisol, making it easier for your mind to settle down and slip into sleep.

Bedtime Yoga 

Yoga is a fantastic tool for synchronizing body and mind. Before bed, engage in gentle stretching or simple yoga poses to relieve physical tension. Poses like Child’s Pose, Legs-Up-The-Wall, or gentle spinal twists can help release tightness in your body and signal to your brain that it’s time to wind down. You don’t need an entire session; even 10 to 15 minutes can profoundly affect your readiness for sleep.

Write it Down 

If your mind races with thoughts of the day or tasks for tomorrow, try journaling before bed. Jotting down functions for the next day can declutter your mind and reduce the anxiety of remembering everything, clearing the path to a more serene sleep. Gratitude journals are also a great way to shift your mind away from stress and towards positivity.

Sleep Stories by Calm 

Incorporate listening to sleep stories, like those offered by the Calm app, into your bedtime routine. These stories combine soothing narratives with gentle voice and tone to help your brain disconnect from the day’s worries and transition into sleep. It’s an effective way to engage a busy mind that might otherwise keep you up.

Make Your Sleep Surroundings Quiet and Comfy 

Creating a quiet and comfortable sleeping space is essential to improving the quality of your sleep. Here are some suggestions to help you transform your space into the ideal sleep environment:

Optimize Your Room Temperature

A cool room, typically between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit, is ideal for sleeping because it helps lower the body’s core temperature, signaling that it’s time for sleep. Experiment with your thermostat to find the temperature that works best for you.

Invest in Quality Bedding

The right mattress and pillows can significantly improve your sleep quality. Choose a mattress that supports your body type and sleeping position. Memory foam or hybrid mattresses are popular for their ability to contour to your body’s shape. Similarly, the pillow should align with your neck and spine. Whether you prefer soft or firm pillows, make sure they support your head and neck properly to avoid discomfort.

Use Blackout Curtains or Heavy Drapes

To achieve a pitch-dark room, consider investing in blackout curtains. They block out light and help insulate your room from outside noise and temperature changes. If blackout curtains aren’t an option, a good sleep mask can also be effective.

Minimize Noise Pollution

If noise is an issue, white noise machines can be very effective. They mask disruptive sounds with soothing, consistent noises. Alternatively, consider earplugs to block out unwanted noise. If you prefer some background noise, apps that play continuous soothing sounds like rain or ocean waves can also be beneficial.

Choose Comfortable Sleepwear– or Sleep Naked

What you wear to bed can affect how well you sleep. Choose pajamas made of materials that suit the climate and feel good against your skin. Breathable fabrics like cotton are ideal for warm weather, while softer, warmer materials like fleece are better for cold nights.

Alternatively, sleeping nude can help promote better sleep because it helps regulate body temperature, facilitating a drop in core body temperature that signals the body it’s time for sleep. This can enhance the production of melatonin, improving sleep quality and duration. 

Sleeping naked can also aid muscle recovery and growth by ensuring deeper sleep stages, where most growth hormones are released.

Finally, sleeping in the buff offers physical freedom, potentially increasing comfort during sleep and fostering intimacy through skin-on-skin contact, which can release oxytocin, enhancing emotional bonds and reducing stress. 

Overall, sleeping naked can be a zero-cost strategy for optimizing sleep quality and improving physical health and fitness outcomes.

Reduce Clutter

A cluttered room can lead to a cluttered mind, inhibiting sleep. Try to keep your sleeping area tidy and free of stress-inducing messiness. Simple decor that evokes peace and calm, like soothing artwork or minimalistic designs, can enhance the tranquility of the space. 

Adjust Lighting

Use soft, warm light bulbs in your bedroom to create a relaxing ambiance before bedtime. Avoid bright overhead lights. A bedside lamp with a soft glow is ideal if you read before sleeping, as it won’t interfere significantly with your sleep hormone production.

Aromatherapy

Consider incorporating calming scents such as lavender, chamomile, or sandalwood. These can be introduced through essential oil diffusers and aromatherapy sprays.

Natural Sleep Support: Supplements and CBD

In the quest for better sleep, natural sleep aids can be invaluable. These supplements and herbal solutions are gentle on the body and can effectively support your efforts to relax and drift off more easily at night. Here’s a closer look at some options that can complement your nightly routine:

Natural Sleep Supplements

Magnesium is a mineral involved in hundreds of processes in the human body and is essential for brain function and heart health. It also plays a crucial role in regulating neurotransmitters, which send signals throughout the nervous system. Adding magnesium to your nightly routine can increase your body’s ability to relax and settle down before bed. 

Magnesium activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for calming and relaxing you. It also regulates the hormone melatonin, which guides your sleep-wake cycles. Consider taking a magnesium supplement an hour before bed to help prepare your body for rest.

Saving Grace CBD’s Sleep Formula

CBD, or cannabidiol, has emerged as a popular natural remedy for various ailments, including sleep difficulties. Our Saving Grace CBD’s Sleep Formula is designed to harness the relaxing effects of CBD, helping to calm both mind and body. Unlike its cousin THC, CBD does not produce a high, making it an appealing option for those looking for a gentle aid in managing anxiety and sleeplessness. Our formula combines CBD with other natural ingredients known for their calming properties, enhancing your body’s natural ability to wind down and find peace at bedtime without restlessness.

Tea Time With Sleepy Herbal Blends

Herbal teas are another excellent way to support your sleep efforts naturally. Non-caffeinated herbal teas like chamomile and mint are known for their calming properties. Chamomile, for example, contains apigenin, an antioxidant that binds to specific receptors in your brain that may promote sleepiness and reduce insomnia. Mint, on the other hand, has muscle-relaxing properties. Drinking a warm cup of herbal tea before bed can signal your body that it’s time to slow down and prepare for sleep. The warmth of the tea can also be soothing on its own, adding to the overall relaxation experience.

Incorporating these natural sleep supports into your evening routine can help establish a calming bedtime ritual that eases the transition into sleep. Each option offers unique benefits, but when combined, they can significantly enhance the quality and duration of your sleep. This holistic approach to sleep hygiene can pave the way for more restful nights and energized mornings.

Sleep Well to Be Well 

Improving your sleep is a tiny journey that leads to significant changes. By adjusting your environment, embracing natural aids, and practicing mindfulness, you’re setting the stage for better sleep every night. 

Remember, a well-rested you is a happier, more productive you. Sleep well and wake up ready to take on the world with Saving Grace CBD.

author avatar
Lynette Garet