This post is sponsored by Natrol®, but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.
I’m the first to admit that I’m not a joy to be around the next day if I don’t get a good night’s sleep. Not getting enough sleep multiple nights in a row leads me to feeling physically ill and completely non-productive, so I have to be extra cautious. And let’s be real – the older I get, the more my sleep quality (or lack of it) affects my physical appearance, too.
Knowing the importance of getting enough rest makes it extra frustrating when I have a sleep problem. For me, that usually looks like laying awake for hours on end, getting increasingly frustrated that I want to be sleeping, and yet I’m awake… a bit like Gus glaring at me in this photo.
Many things can help improve your quality of sleep and how quickly you can fall asleep. I’ve wanted to share a list of simple sleep tips for a bedtime routine for quite a while, but I didn’t want it to be inauthentic (since every time I thought I had it figured out, I’d end up spending hours awake in the middle of the night again!).
After remembering some great success a friend of mine had using Kids Melatonin for her son, I knew it was next on my list of things to test. Melatonin helps trigger your circadian rhythm so you can fall asleep faster and support occasional sleeplessness.†
As quickly as I decided to try Melatonin, I was overwhelmed with the available options and brands. I took a few bottles in and out of my online grocery order before deciding to do more research on the quality of different brands and options.
Sometimes you get lucky, and life helps you out.
Later the very same week, I got an email from my favorite PR agency asking if I’d be interested in trying a very highly rated brand of Melatonin, Natrol®, the #1 drug-free sleep aid brand in America^, who was launching their new Natrol Sleep+ line. It was exactly what I had been looking for!
The Natrol Sleep+ line comes in three different formulas, each designed to plus up your sleep in different ways. All three options are great-tasting, non-habit forming, 100% drug-free, non-GMO, vegetarian & gelatin free, and free of synthetic dyes, artificial flavors, sweeteners, or preservatives.
Natrol Sleep+ Calm is a powerful sleep blend of Melatonin + L-Theanine + botanicals Chamomile, Lavender, and Lemon Balm designed to calm an active mind and body.†
Natrol Sleep+ Immune Health includes a powerful sleep blend of Melatonin + Elderberry + Zinc + Vitamins C & D to help support a healthy immune system.†
Natrol Sleep+ Beauty includes a powerful sleep blend of Melatonin + Biotin + Vitamin E to help you wake up feeling refreshed and renewed.†
The Immune Health & Calm formulas also come in a Kids version, which is safe and effective for kids over 4 years old!
I received all the formulas, and they arrived at the perfect time, after three nights in a row of laying awake for no apparent reason. I tried the Sleep+ Calm and wasn’t sure what to expect.
Great news – it worked!
Within 20 minutes, I noticed I felt completely relaxed and ready to fall asleep. The best part was that it wasn’t a drowsy, medicated feeling. Instead, true to the name, I felt calm and relaxed.
For the first time that week, I fell right into a deep sleep. The next two nights, I tested out the Natrol Sleep+ Immune Health and Natrol Sleep+ Beauty formulas for you since they’re each a different flavor and come with different ingredients and health benefits. Both were tasty, and I had the same positive experience and restful sleep with each version.
My only remaining question is how I’ll rotate the three Natrol Sleep+ options to get the added benefits of each formula whenever I experience occasional sleeplessness!†
So now that I’ve figured out the solution to help with all the times my body’s internal clock needs some help falling asleep faster, I wanted to share my other sleep hygiene tips that have also helped me have a better night’s sleep+:
Developing a consistent bedtime routine, done in the same order each night, helps you remember everything on autopilot and takes your brain out of decision-making mode. This allows your mind to move into a more relaxed state.
As part of your routine, consider using lotions or pillow sprays designed to help with sleep. Both can have a calming effect and put you in a peaceful, pampered place. Turning off any bright lights and taking a warm bath can also help prepare your body and mind for bed. You can take your Natrol Sleep+ melatonin toward the end of your bath since it’s recommended to take it 30 minutes before bed.
If you find yourself thinking about all the things you need to do or what you need to buy at the grocery store the next day, make sure you’ve incorporated time to write things down before bed into your routine. Offload everything you can out of your head, and if you start thinking about the list anyways, pause and remind yourself that you’ve written it down and can go to sleep.
If you find yourself thinking about all the things you need to do or what you need to buy at the grocery store the next day, make sure you’ve incorporated time to write things down before bed. Offload everything you can out of your head, and if you start thinking about the list anyway, pause and remind yourself that you’ve written everything down and can go to sleep.
You can also get creative with your alarm clock. Since I work from home, I don’t have morning appointments outside the house most days. However, when I do, I’m always concerned that I’ll forget. So, instead of lying awake constantly reminding myself, I stopped using a generic alarm clock noise and starting setting Alexa to wake me up with a song specific to whatever I need to do.
For example, when I needed to pick up my mother-in-law a few weeks ago, I set the alarm to her favorite singer. She’s toured the world to see him, so there was no question I’d associate her with the song. On days with hair appointments, I usually pick the Hairspray soundtrack. It’s a lot of fun choosing a song, and such a better way to wake up!
Once you’ve completed your routine and made it into bed, it’s recommended to choose books over TV and avoid electronic devices. I like to read on a Kindle because it doesn’t have blue light, which can disrupt sleep patterns. However, choosing a book can backfire if you’re a big reader. I’ve started a new book at bedtime and finished the whole thing. Whoops!
If you like to watch TV before bed, one of my non-traditional tips is only to watch shows you’ve seen before. You can “see” the show in your head with your eyes closed, and you aren’t tempted to stay awake to find out what happens. Most experts will tell you to avoid TV before sleep, but we’ve tried that and it didn’t work for us. Instead, watching on a small tablet that emits less light helps me fall asleep after reading and distracts me from picking up my phone to start the endless social media scroll.
Knowing your own body and testing out different approaches to figure out what works for you might be my most important sleep tip, though.
If you are still lying awake, take a moment to think about your day. Is there anything contributing to your sleeplessness, like having a heavy meal later than you usually eat? Or an extra caffeinated beverage at dinner? Do you have a comfortable mattress? Are you getting regular exercise?
While you shouldn’t spend every night overanalyzing your days, if you’re wide awake anyway, try to identify small changes you can make in the future. For example, it’s helped me realize that grabbing a coffee late in the afternoon while out running errands is not worth the temporary joy because I end up without a good night’s sleep. Hopefully, these tips will help you sleep as soundly as Gus!
If you’re still struggling, consider consulting a sleep specialist to talk about other things that could be impacting your sleep, like any potential medical issues. Everyone deserves better sleep and I’m so thankful to have found the Natrol Sleep+ line to help me fall asleep faster and calm my mind!+
This post is sponsored by Natrol, but the content and opinions here are my own.
*Melatonin is a solution for occasional sleeplessness †
^Nielsen, xAOC, 52 weeks ending 3/27/2021