Some people are incredibly fortunate. They fall asleep within minutes of turning out the lights, sleep peacefully throughout the night, and wake feeling rested, refreshed, and ready to take on the challenges and triumphs of the day ahead. The rest of us, nearly 40 percent of the population, have trouble sleeping, losing precious hours each week, tossing, turning, and trying to get comfortable.
Whether you have occasional difficulties getting a good night’s rest or are stuck in a pattern of getting a lack of sleep than your body requires, you might naturally wonder if you’ll ever find a way to solve your sleep problems. Don’t give up yet! While there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for every sleep concern, we’ve got a few suggestions you may not have considered.
Sleep Deprivation is a Growing National Concern
During deep sleep, your muscles relax, your breathing slows, and your body has the time it needs to rejuvenate and repair. Although researchers still don’t understand every process that occurs while you slumber, it’s clear that a good night’s sleep is just as important as a balanced diet and exercise for overall health and wellness.1
While occasional bouts of sleeplessness are unlikely to cause significant harm, nearly 30% of adults in our country sleep six hours or less each night, far less than the 7-9 hours most people require. Some have difficulty falling asleep, while others lose precious hours waking during the night. The problem has increased so dramatically over the past 30 years that the CDC considers sleep deprivation a “public health epidemic”.2
Finding A Sleep Aid That’s Right for You
Once stress, changes in your daily routine, or the demands of a hectic lifestyle start interfering with your natural sleep cycles, it can be difficult to get back on track. If some of the more common sleep solutions like caffeine restrictions, meditation, or establishing a nightly routine haven’t been delivering the results you were hoping for, consider supplementing your efforts with one (or more) of the following suggestions:
Download a Filter for Your Digital Devices
Sleep and sleep cycles are regulated by your circadian rhythms, the internal mechanism that governs alertness and sleepiness through exposure to light and darkness. Daylight signals your brain that it’s time to be awake. As the sun sets, a small gland in your brain releases melatonin so you start feeling tired around the same time each night.
The blue light and bright light radiating from your computer screen, cell phone, tablet, or television, triggers the same response as sunlight, throwing off sleep habits, and sleep patterns. The high-intensity emissions suppress melatonin production. If you’ve been catching up with work or browsing the internet before turning in for the night, you could lie awake in the dark for hours before there’s enough melatonin in your system to help you drift off to sleep.3
You can help curb the effects of blue light exposure by activating the “night light” feature on your digital devices or downloading a blue light filtering program. Some of these applications work by adjusting the color drawn to your screen; others adjust the color temperature with a transparent overlay of color that blocks blue light rays.4
Experiment with White Noise
Your brain actually continues to process sound while you sleep. Not only can the sound of clanging pipes, howling wind, or the neighbor’s barking dog keep you from drifting off to dreamland, those pesky noises in your environment can also affect sleep quality, throwing off your sleep schedule. To mask the noises that keep you from getting the restorative sleep you deserve without the need for uncomfortable earplugs, consider experimenting with white noise.5
True white noise delivers a uniform sound by blending multiple frequencies. When those sounds combine, your brain interprets the input as a buzzing sound quite similar to a television that’s not receiving a signal. The gentle, uniform sound could help level out late-night sounds so you can fall asleep faster and sleep in blissful peace. Consider purchasing a white noise/sound machine or downloading a file to play on your computer or smartphone. Running a fan or humidifier in your bedroom can also be effective for experiencing healthy sleep.6
Consider Replacing Your Mattress
Sleep hygiene is more important than you may think. If you’ve been sleeping on the same mattress since your teen was in diapers, you may want to consider a replacement. While you may have been planning to hold out until the manufacturer’s warranty expires, the Sleep Foundation suggests that most mattresses need replacing within 6-8 years. If you notice sagging, sloping, or you wake with joint or muscle pain, your mattress is likely ready to be retired.
You might also want to consider shopping for a new mattress if you’re over 40, your partner’s movements disturb your sleep, you discover that you sleep better at a hotel, or your body shape has changed. Whether you’ve gained weight or lost, even subtle changes in body composition can trigger sleep disorders or alter the level of support you might need to sleep comfortably through the night.7
Invest in a Weighted Blanket
Once only available in clinical settings, weighted blankets have gone mainstream as a natural way to alleviate stress, ease anxiety, and improve sleep quality. Weighted blanket users compare the soothing sensation to a calming embrace, and experience many find quite comforting.
The gentle pressure of a weighted blanket promotes deep touch pressure (DTP). That pressure is shown to help stimulate the production of serotonin and dopamine, two influential neurotransmitters involved in emotional regulation, relaxation, and restful sleep. Serotonin is also essential for melatonin production. Once you try a weighted blanket, we’re betting you’ll sleep better with it than without it.
As the benefits of deep touch pressure make their way to the national spotlight, weighted blankets are much easier to find. However, they’re not all the same. Some are filled with plastic pellets that can feel bumpy or uncomfortable. Others are weighted with metal beads, sand, or organic materials that can absorb moisture and degrade over time. Layla® Weighted Blankets have small glass beads sown between layers of poly-fill batting. The hexagon quilting keeps the weight distribution even across the entire blanket.
Try a CBD Product Formulated Specifically for Sleep
CBD is a safe, natural plant element found most abundantly in the flowers, stalks, and stems of industrial hemp plants. Based on the feedback of 2000 survey participants, 9 out of 10 CBD users report falling asleep easier, getting the amount of sleep they desire, and sleeping more comfortably after using hemp-derived CBD products.
CBD works by mimicking the effects of important chemical messengers produced in your body to relay urgent signals to the receptors of its largest regulatory system, your endocannabinoid system (ECS). Since your ECS regulates nearly every essential function in your body, from your moods, emotions, and sleep cycles, to organ function and muscle movement, the effects of using CBD depends on which essential functions might be restored to balance through ECS support.
Although any high-quality CBD product has the potential to help you sleep better, CBDistillery™ offers two unique CBD products specifically formulated for nighttime use. CBDistillery™ Broad Spectrum CBD Sleep Gummies deliver 30mg of CBD, 2mg of melatonin, and 0% THC*. For a full-spectrum CBD experience enhanced with the calming, relaxing effects of pure CBN (cannabinol) isolate, try CBDistillery™ CBN+CBD Oil Sleep Tincture.
*Third-party tested to ensure non-detectable levels of THC (less than .01%)
Embracing Natural Solutions for Better Sleep
Sleep deprivation can cloud your mental health, impair your judgment, and compromise immune system function. Although there are pharmaceutical treatments and sleep medicine (sleeping pills) available, they’re not right for everyone. More people than ever before are solving their sleep issues naturally. To fall asleep easier or improve sleep quality, consider a blue light filter for your digital devices, soothing white noise, the calming embrace of a weighted blanket, or a pure, potent CBD product specifically formulated for restful sleep.
- Healthline. S Watson, K Cherney. (2020 May 15) The Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Your Body.
- AAAS.org (2014 March 14) Sleep Deprivation Described as Serious Health Problem.
- Harvard Health Publishing. (2020 July 07) Blue Light Has a Dark Side.
- Digital Trends. E Rawes. (2020 October 07) How to Use a Blue Light Filter on Your PC or Mac.
- TreeHugger. J Savedge. (2019 November 14) Will Pink Noise Help You Sleep Better?
- SleepFoundation.org. L Foley. (2020 September 11) When Should You Replace Your Mattress?