Wow, remember sleep? Have any of us had a good one since the stress and anxiety of life in the age of Covid? Yeah, nah didn’t think so.
While I wish I could purely blame the pandemic — and let’s be honest, it certainly hasn’t helped — there are a whole bunch of factors that can contribute to your crappy sleep like electronics, lack of exercise, a busy brain and nutritional factors.
We’ve rounded up some of the best natural sleep remedies to help you grab some Zs even when the world around you is a crazy mess.
1. Natural sleep remedies
Founded by Jessica Sepel, JSHealth focuses on natural remedies to help your body perform at its best.
Their PM+ Sleep Formula (60 tabs for $59.99) is formulated with a special blend of herbs and minerals to help calm your mind and relieve symptoms of mild anxiety, which helps you get a more restful sleep. They’re loaded with things like lavender and passionflower to lull you into a deep sleep and magnesium to support muscle relaxation, function and more.
If the anxiety is really getting to you (and mate, same), you might also want to try their Anxiety + Stress formula (60 tabs for $49.99). Formulated with “rejuvenating adaptogens, herbs, antioxidants and vitamins traditionally used in Western herbal medicine and Ayurvedic medicine” — these bad bois will help reduce symptoms of mild anxiety and relieve symptoms of stress.
Both of these are vegan, gluten-free and GMO-free, so that’s another weight off your tired mind.
2. Work it out
The best natural way to ensure your body chills out come bedtime? Get your heart rate up earlier in the day.
According to The Sleep Foundation, “in as little as four weeks, individuals with chronic insomnia who begin regular exercise can fall asleep up to 13 minutes faster”. Just make sure you’re done working out at least two hours before you hit the hay, or you may find yourself too hyped to snooze. You could even get yourself a Fitbit Charge 5 ($265) if you need a little extra motivation.
3. Make your blankets do more
It might be the perfect time to find out why everyone is going mental over weighted-blankets. It’s not just a craze. They’re designed to reduce stress and anxiety by using deep touch pressure therapy — basically, they simulate being hugged or swaddled.
4. Get a little zen
Nope, mediation isn’t just for hippies, and it’s something we should all be doing. This 2015 study compared the sleep results from middle-aged adults learning meditation to help them focus on “moment-by-moment experiences, thoughts, and emotions” to those going through a sleep education class to learn better habits.
Yup, you guessed it, the meditation group wound up reporting less insomnia, fatigue, and depression than the other participants. If you’re not sure where or how to start meditating, try giving this best-selling book a read The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living.
5. Get a better mattress
If you’re waking up with aching body parts, it’s time to get a better mattress, my friend. Buying a mattress is very personal, depending on your sleep position and other factors, but there’s a bed for everyone.
Aussie brand Macoda doesn’t keep winning “most comfortable mattress” awards for nothing, and they’re highly recommended if you like a softer mattress ($1,100 for Queen size).
The Eva Mattress ($900 for Queen size) is another one people rave about, combining memory foam and box springs for the ultimate support.
6. Put your damn phone down
I’m fairly confident that by now, you’ve heard that electronic screens mess with your sleep patterns, but if you haven’t taken it into account yet, consider this your sign.
We have a 24-hour sleep-wake cycle that produces cortisol (to wake us up) and melatonin (to make us sleepy), depending on the amount of natural light around us. You know what screws up the messages to your body to start pumping out the melatonin? Electronic screens, fluorescent lights and LEDs. Turn them off, mate. Invest in an Echo Show 10 with Alexa, then she can do all the things for you — control lights, adjust thermostats, set alarms etc. — all you have to do is ask!
7. Block it all out
One of the biggest disturbances to our sleep can be light, and one of the easiest (and cheapest) ways to fix that is by using a sleep mask.
As they’ll be on your face for quite some time, I recommend going for silk, like this one from Ivy’s Selection ($30.94). If you want to listen to something soothing while you doze off, you could always go for MUSICOZY eye mask ($36.99) with Bluetooth headphones sewn in.
8. Get your air right
It’s hard to sleep when the air around you is dusty, and that’s where air purifiers come in. They improve indoor air quality, which can reduce lung, eye and skin irritation — all things that can make relaxing into slumber much more difficult.
The size of purifier you’ll need differ, depending on the size of your space, but this RENPHO Air Purifier ($199.99) is a good place to start.
9. Try out a sleep app
If you haven’t heard, you can download a whole bunch of sleep apps to help track your patterns — like your sleep movements and recording any sounds you make — but they also track your sleep cycle and wake you up with an alarm at the right time for your body.
While these apps are still relatively new compared to the other natural sleep remedies, and their full efficiency isn’t known yet, it can never hurt to gain more insight into your sleeping patterns, am I right? Especially if you use one combined with the other methods. Our pick: Headspace! Not only is it good for sleep, but it’s good for meditation, stress and mindfulness, too.