5 Natural Sleep Aids To Improve Your Recovery
Sleep is something we’re all looking to improve and enhance. Not only is it one of the most important factors in improving physical performance because of the way it helps your body recover and adapt, but it’s also incredibly important for feeling your best and being your best self.
Unfortunately, good quality and good duration of sleep is something that’s often ignored by many of us with some reports claiming we sleep one hour less each night on average than we did in the 1950s.
If you’re looking to improve your shut-eye so you can perform at your best, there are some simple things you can do, including taking natural supplements and forming basic habits to give yourself the best chance at high-quality sleep.
Magnesium is an essential part of the diet and helps with brain function. In some cases, it can help quieten your mind making it easier to fall asleep at night. That’s because it helps regulate levels of melatonin, sometimes known as the sleep hormone.
It’s easy to find a magnesium supplement. A popular one is ZMA, which combines zinc with magnesium.
Lavender has long been linked with sleep, partly due to its soothing fragrance. Many people use a lavender-scented spray on their pillow to help them get into a deep sleep, but you can also buy herbal teas with lavender in them. Studies have also shown that smelling lavender oil before bed can improve sleep.
Valerian root is perhaps less well known in the UK, but it is one of the most commonly used sleep aids in the United States and Europe. It’s a herb that can be used either as tea or in tablet form. Results of studies into whether valerian root actually aids sleep are inconsistent, but it’s worth experimenting with to see if it works for you.
Low Light Exposure
Over the last few decades, exposure to light in the evening hours has become known as one of the most important factors determining whether you fall asleep quickly and get good quality sleep. Try to put yourself in a dimly lit environment and limit the use of your phone directly before bed.
High Light Exposure
As well as limiting your light exposure late at night, you can expose yourself to bright light earlier in the morning to help set your circadian rhythm so your body knows when it’s time to go to sleep and when it’s time to wake up. Either sit next to a window or go outside as soon as you can after waking up. If you’re up before sunrise, you can mimic it by putting the lights on bright indoors.