By Leta Shy
After a stressful day of to-dos, it can be hard to wind down and get a good night's rest. Skip the sleeping pills and try one of these easy, natural ways to drift off to sleep instead.
1. Have a healthy snack: Choose your late-night snack wisely. Fatty, greasy, or spicy foods can cause digestive discomfort, which can disrupt sleep. Instead, stick to sleep-inducing foods that will help your body zen out. Dairy, nuts, bananas, and other foods contain tryptophan, which can help you drift off to sleep, while whole grains, cherries, and grapes have high levels of the sleep-regulating hormone melatonin.
2. Take a warm shower: Switch your morning shower to a pre-bedtime ritual; it can help you relax and soothe muscles to get primed for bedtime.
3. Put away the phone: And the iPad and the laptop. Unnaturally bright, blue lights from electronics can trick your body into thinking it's daytime, which messes with melatonin levels. Cut yourself off at least 20 minutes before you'd like to be asleep to help prepare yourself for catching zzz's.
4. Stretch: Sometimes, nothing feels as good or as relaxing as a good stretch. These easy, in-bed stretches can energize in the morning and help you unwind at night. Take two minutes to relax tense muscles and joints so you can drift asleep faster.
5. Make a sleep-friendly environment: Cool, dark bedrooms are what your tired body craves; aim for 65 to 72 degrees on your thermostat and remove any light-emitting devices. Adding a few drops of lavender or tea tree essential oils to your sheets can help further calm body and mind.
This article was originally published at PopSugar Fitness. Reprinted with permission from the author.