If you're struggling to sleep at night, you aren't alone. According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), approximately 70 million American adults suffer from chronic sleep problems.
A big part of the problem is that we are all exposed to too much stress in our daily lives, which makes it hard to wind down when bedtime rolls around. Luckily, adaptogens can help relieve your stress and promote relaxation, helping you nod off faster at night and wake up feeling rested.
Here are nine powerful solutions, tips, and tricks that can aid you in your quest for better sleep.
#1 Try an Adaptogen Blend
Stress is a common underlying factor causing restless nights. An adaptogen is a medicinal herb that enhances the body's natural ability to deal with stress. They enable your body to adjust to outside factors and function appropriately for the circumstance, boosting these efforts or easing the tension.
Our bodies and minds need structure and balance at all hours of the day, and adaptogens help to make this balance possible. They help balance the mood-swinging stress hormones that cause you to be awake all night. And in doing so, adaptogens allow your mind and body to achieve the deepest possible state of relaxation. In that state, healing and restoration can happen.
Some of the most popular adaptogens are ashwagandha, Rhodiola rosea, cordyceps, and ginseng. These herbs will not "knock you out" or induce unconsciousness—they make it easier for you to relax at bedtime and have a healthier night's sleep.
#2 Add Ashwagandha To Your Sleep Routine
Ashwagandha has been used for centuries in India for various health conditions. Some research shows it helps fight anxiety and stress. Ashwagandha also lowers cortisol levels (known as the stress hormone), which can help promote restful sleep.
According to one study published in Alternative Medicine Review, it may also improve the quality of life in people with cancer and type 2 diabetes. The study concluded that ashwagandha extract helped lower glucose and cholesterol levels while improving fatigue-related symptoms and perceived quality of life among participants who received it compared with those who received a placebo.
Early evidence has indicated that the natural sleep aid, ashwagandha, may help individuals fall asleep more quickly, sleep for more extended periods, and achieve better quality sleep. The National Sleep Foundation found that six weeks of ashwagandha use improved participants' sleep quality by 72%.
#3 Stress Relief Promotes Relaxation
When you're stressed, your body produces a powerful stress hormone called cortisol. Not only does it cause physical effects like an elevated heart rate and muscle tension, but it also affects your mental state of mind.
A stressed-out person is much more likely to have sleep problems than someone at ease. Stress relief can make a big difference in helping you fall asleep faster. Try relaxing activities like yoga or meditation, known for their ability to induce a relaxed state of mind.
Yoga and meditation may not be for everyone. The good news? There are numerous ways to seek stress relief. Connect with those you love, turn off the cell phone for a few hours, spend time outdoors, exercise, and the list goes on!
Participating in activities that elicit peace and joy is at the core of obtaining relief from life's daily stressors.
#4 Stop Checking Technology After Dinner
Modern life is fraught with distractions. Staring at screens late at night before bedtime can be problematic, adding more stressful distractions to an already hectic life.
No matter what time you go to bed, if you put yourself in a tech-free zone for an hour or two before bed, you'll fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Additionally, the blue light coming from modern devices can disrupt the body's natural sleep cycle or circadian rhythm.
For some people, turning off tech is as simple as unplugging from their phone; for others, it involves powering down technology for an hour or two at night and stowing their device away so they won't be tempted to reach for it.
If you find yourself looking into your phone's screen after dinner every night instead of winding down or logging off for a bit, make sleep a priority by taking yourself out of the loop so your brain can rest up properly.
#5 Add Cordyceps To Your Sleep Supplement List
Cordyceps is a Chinese herb known for curing everything from immune deficiencies and respiratory ailments, but it also has potential effects on sleep quality.
Cordyceps is another adaptogen that may lower cortisol levels in times of stress and improve insomnia. Again, adaptogens can up or down-regulate the body's internal stress hormones to restore balance.
If you want quality sleep but don't want to try melatonin (more on that later), a cordyceps supplement may be worth looking into.
#6 Sleep In A Dark Room
Light interferes with your body's natural release of melatonin, an essential hormone for controlling sleep cycles. Falling asleep in a bright room isn't going to help you feel rested and refreshed; it could make you feel groggy and tired upon waking (if you manage to get any rest at all).
Make sure your bedroom is completely dark before falling asleep—even a crack of light from a closet or under the door can disrupt your slumber.
An excellent go-to tip? Consider installing blackout curtains! These curtains ensure absolute darkness in your room and act as an energy-efficient way to keep heating or cooling within your space. You can obtain better rest by sleeping in a dark room with a consistent, comfortable temperature with blackout curtains.
#7 Use Earplugs Or White Noise To Block Sound
Sometimes getting sleep is a simple matter of blocking out noise, and earplugs are one way to do so. They're also inexpensive and comfortable, so they're a great option if you want a simple fix.
But here's another tip: If you really can't fall asleep because you live in a noisy environment, try using white noise instead of earplugs. White noise (like static on an old TV) equalizes sound, making you feel less stressed about not being able to hear what might be going on outside your door at night.
Using either earplugs or white noise can help your brain relax and drift off faster.
#8 Get Enough Exercise During the Day
It can be immensely challenging to prioritize exercise and implement it into our hectic schedules—especially after a long day at work. But regular physical activity will help you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly at night, according to data from Penn State College of Medicine.
The key is to make exercise a regular part of your day. Even if you can only squeeze in 30 minutes a few times a week, it can positively affect your sleeping habits.
#9 Melatonin Is Not Always The Answer
While melatonin supplements may help you fall asleep faster, relying on it is not a positive long-term solution.
Melatonin is a hormone your body naturally produces, so when a person overuses it, their body may entirely stop making it on its own. This problematic side effect is why you will not find melatonin in Revvl's sleep product.
Adaptogens are safer, healthier, and more productive for positive sleep health across long-term use.
The Bottom Line Of Restful Sleep
Sleep is a critical component of maintaining health, and it's essential to not just how much you sleep, but when.
Make sure you spend enough time in bed asleep at night (7–8 hours are best), ensure your bedtime routine signals to your body that it's time for sleep, and use safe supplements to promote restful sleep.
Keep a consistent wake-up time as well. Studies show that making even small changes in these areas can make an enormous difference in your overall sleep quality.