Natural Sleep Remedies To Look After Your Mental And Physical Health

COVID-19 has affected every aspect of life around the globe including public health, society, and the economy at large. During this coronavirus outbreak, many people have been struggling to sleep well at night and are feeling tired during the day. Now that the world is slowly opening up again after a long lockdown period, it is important to take care of yourself and get the most from life.

Below are 10 natural sleep remedies to focus on in order to look after your mental and physical health:

  • Maintain a regular sleep-wake routine: If you keep a regular sleep-wake schedule, you’ll feel much more refreshed and energized than if you sleep the same number of hours at different times. If you need to make up for a late night, opt for a daytime nap rather than sleeping in, so that you don’t disturb your natural sleep-wake rhythm. 

  • Practice good personal hygiene: Practicing good personal hygiene is important for helping keep the body healthy and clean. This includes bathing, washing your hands, brushing your teeth, trimming your nails, and more. People still have to be mindful of their health and other people’s health in this time in order to fight all types of respiratory illnesses - especially those that are transmitted by direct contact. Just remember what worked for you during lockdown, and take that with you as we move out of it. 

  • Exercise in the morning: People who exercise regularly sleep better at night and feel less sleepy during the day. However, exercise in the morning  rather than close to bedtime to boost the effect of natural sleep hormones by the end of the day. Staying active releases chemicals in your brain that make you feel physically and mentally good. Exercising doesn’t just mean doing sport or going to the gym. Walks in the park, gentle stretching, gardening, or running house chores can also keep you active. 

  • Eat a healthy diet: Your brain and body need a mix of nutrients to stay healthy and function well. So make sure you eat a balanced diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables, wholegrains, healthy fats, and dairy products. Keep in mind that your eating habits can also play a role in how well you feel. Try to eat at similar times every day, without eating caffeine and sugar too close to your bedtime. Don’t skip breakfast because skipping breakfast can delay your blood sugar rhythms, lower your energy, and increase your stress level.

  • Drink sensibly: Occasional light drinking is perfectly healthy and enjoyable for most people. However, drinking alcohol is not a good way to manage difficult feelings, as it can leave you feeling down when the drink wears off. Also, avoid caffeine in the late afternoon and evening, as it can also affect your brain and the rest of your body. Stick to drinking plenty of water to carry nutrients and oxygen to your organs, maintain blood pressure, to cushion the brain, the spinal cord, and other sensitive tissues, and to enhance your energy levels.  

  • Take a Break: Starting to get out of the pandemic is not easy. So treat everyday as a new environment. You don’t have to do what everyone else is doing; do what’s comfortable for you. Take it slowly and at your own pace. A change of scenery is good for your mental health. It could be a weekend exploring somewhere new, a brisk walk during the day, a half-hour lunch break at work, or anything that can soothe your body and mind. Listen to your body, and if you feel really tired, give yourself time to unwind and sleep.

  • Surround yourself with positive people: Surround yourself with positive people who are there for you when you need them most. Being part of a network of people who all help one another is uplifting and can be all the comfort you need at times. So give your time or attention to other people in a personal, professional or voluntary role and it can make you feel better about yourself as well as feel less isolated. But if you think being around someone is damaging your mental health, it may be best to end the relationship with them. 

  • Call a friend: You don't need to sit your loved ones down for a big conversation about your wellbeing. Sometimes, a simple phone call can help you feel supported and less alone. Calling a friend before bedtime can be a way to cope with a problem you’ve been carrying around in your head for a while. Talking to people virtually will help calm your nerves, diminish fears, induce sleep, and help you stay in good mental health. 

  • Practice mindfulness: Ruminating over the past or worrying about the future is a constant drain on energy levels. Therefore, it is important to live in the moment and to stay present and relaxed with mindfulness meditation. Feeling good about yourself can boost your confidence and help you cope when life takes a difficult turn. 

  • Seek professional help: No matter how hard you try to live a healthy and self-compassionate life there will often be a time when you might seek professional help. Unhealthy daytime habits and lifestyle choices can adversely affect your mood, immune system, productivity, and the quality of your sleep. Talking things through with a therapist can hence help to keep your mind clear and your outlook positive.