You know the ones, working through med school, in an exciting, but stressful new job, or maybe your adult child, niece, or nephew who needs to get those REM cycles.
The single best way to improve your health and quality of life is to improve your sleep. Improved sleeping may take some trial and error, but usually involves a function of two factors: habit and environment. Here are a few of the best gifts for your favorite insomniac:
- The Wake Up Light helps prevent the anxiety of an upcoming raucous alarm clock. It mimics the gradual lighting of day. For those who need a gentler entry into the morning, and for those who count the hours until the alarm, it can help with barriers to proper sleep. This is a top of the line model and also dims to help you fall asleep, but there are wake up lights at many different price points. To save a little money, check out Certified Refurbished on Amazon for deals.
- Shut out shades bring the darkness your room needs. Pitch blackness helps prevent our minds from being tricked into thinking it is morning. Great sleepers don’t allow any light into their sleeping space. You may also consider a super soft eye mask.
- Aromatherapy Essential oils like lavender oil or cedarwood oil bring calm when it’s time for bed. A sachet on your pillow and a bit of oil on your forehead (let’s be honest, I put mine literally inside my nose) reminds your mind to slow down. Add aromatherapy and soothing sounds to a bedtime meditation routine for a HUGE healthful benefit.
- Sheets that you love. These best rated sheets may be the ticket to a full night’s sleep for you. Choose a quality pillow (best rated for most sleepers) and a lovely cotton quilt to encourage sleepiness. You can even wash your bedding each week in laundry detergent with a soothing scent to help encourage the aromatherapy.
- Smudging is a spiritual tradition from some Native American tribes including the Cherokee people from which my husband and son are both tribe members. Along with aromatherapy and a meditation routine, using smoke to feather over your feet all the way to your head is a great way to close out this day and invite peaceful slumber.
- Magnesium supplements before bed are used by some to encourage the body to calm down and enter into a restful state.
- A Day Planner Human behavior experts recommend allowing a particular time of the day for worry and banishing it from all other times of your day – especially bedtime. Adopting this practice along with using your day planner to document the stray scheduling and tasks that float into your mind will give you a chance to put it on paper and forget it for the night.
- Earplugs take some getting used to, but sound reduction is another way to promote a calm sleep-filled night.
- Herbal tea with no caffeine. Caffeine is frequently cited as a barrier to good sleep. You may have to cut it out altogether!
- A luxurious shower gel that you only use at night. A nightly hot shower with an aromatherapy shower gel can trigger your brain that your bedtime routine has begun.
Let’s not give up the good fight for great sleep! Let me know your tips, tricks, and truly helpful sleep aids in the comments.