Tap in to Your Senses for Better Sleep
Soothing your senses can actually help you slip into deep sleep faster. Here's how to play to your sense of sight, smell, taste, and more when it's time to rest.
To lull an infant or toddler to sleep, you appeal to their senses. They're soothed by the sound of lullabies, the touch or smell of a favorite stuffed animal or blanket, the taste of warm milk. So why do we give up those comforts when we "grow up"? To ease into sleep, tune in to your senses before turning in. These ideas will get you started.
Sight: Make like a movie star.
Even a small amount of light can suppress production of melatonin, the hormone that promotes sleep. If you're bothered by the glare of streetlights outside your bedroom window or by your partner's reading light, slip into a satin sleep mask. To sleep even more soundly, invest in an "eye pillow" infused with the sleep-inducing scent of lavender (keep reading!).
Sound: Create an aural oasis.
Lull yourself to sleep with a mini fountain small enough to place on your nightstand, or a "sound conditioner" that generates white noise or re-creates the soothing sounds of nature, including rain, chirping crickets, and ocean waves.
Smell: Treat yourself to lavender.
Sprinkle a few drops of pure lavender essential oil on a tissue and tuck it under your pillow. Researchers have found that the scent of lavender increases slow-wave sleep, the deepest, most restorative stage.
Touch: Go for cool threads and a warm bath.
Wildbleu's pajamas and sheets wick away moisture to help ease night sweats and hot flashes, while a body pillow will let you snuggle if you sleep solo. Or simply ease yourself into the comforting "touch" of a warm bath before bed.
Taste: Nibble a sleepy-time snack.
There's evidence that people trying to lose weight wake up frequently, and that carbohydrates and dairy products consumed just before bed can reduce the time needed to nod off. Sip a mug of warm, low-fat milk or hot, creamy sugar-free cocoa, or spread a piece of whole grain toast with a tablespoon of all-natural peanut butter. (Just keep the crumbs out of your bed!)
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