As we age, deep sleep may be harder to come by. Not only does there seem to be more daily life worries to think about at the wrong time, but our bodies have a harder time relaxing and producing just the right amount of sleep hormones at the ideal time. The more stressful your days are, the higher chance that your body doesn’t seem to want to wind down when it’s supposed to…bedtime. The good news is that there are natural, practical ways to relax effectively and get better sleep. The first step is recognizing that you may not be getting enough sleep. 

Are you… 

Still tired when you wake up? 

Unable to remember dreams? 

Tired in the afternoon? 

Experiencing brain fog or inability to focus? 

Having trouble getting to sleep? 

Waking up in the middle of the night, unable to get back to sleep? 

You may not be getting into REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, or staying in it long enough.

REM sleep is a critical part of the sleep cycle which provides the deepest, most restful sleep. It also happens to be when your eyes are rapidly moving and you are dreaming. If you wake someone up during REM, it probably takes them a few minutes to fully wake up, and they remember their dream vividly. 

But before you even get into REM sleep, there are 4 stages of sleep before that:

4 Stages of Sleep

Stage 1 is a light sleep with slower eye and muscle movements. This is the stage when you may twitch or feel like you are falling if you wake up quickly.

Stage 2 is also a light sleep.  Brain waves slow and body temperature drops.

Stage 3 is a deep sleep that can cause sleep walking or talking.

Stage 4 is a deeper sleep, but not REM yet.

Getting past these 4 stages, and then getting into REM sleep (dream sleep) is critical to feeling more rested and having better energy during the day.

10 Ways to Get Better Sleep

Here are 10 ways to get better sleep so you can get into REM sleep more often:

1. Be more active during the day. Get at least 10,000 steps and you will likely sleep better. Sometimes our issue getting to sleep is that we actually have additional nervous energy to work off. Once we help our body use it up, the body and mind can relax better. 

2. Dr. Hotzes Sleep Formula is a quick, easy way to get into a deeper sleep faster and feel more rested when you wake up. It has melatonin, l-tryptophan and valerian for deeper sleep, so you get into REM sleep faster and stay there longer. It’s top rated for effectiveness and one of our top selling products. Valerian has been shown to be safe and effective in studies. It increases the percentage of REM sleep time. (1) L-tryptophan also increases the percentage of REM sleep time. (2)

3. Make a new rule: no screens 1 hour before bedtime. The back light on screens can activate our brains and trigger daytime activity rather than helping the brain relax.

4. Drink warm chamomile tea. Chamomile helps promote the GABA neurotransmitter, which is calming and helps slow brain waves. 

5. Check your mattress.  Do you need a new one? It’s suggested to replace your mattress every 8 years. 

6. Keep the room cool but not cold. Optimal sleep temperature is 65 degrees. 

7. Make sure your room is super dark. Wear an eye mask if you need to. Any light will stop production of sleep hormones and could cause you to wake up. 

8. Get to bed earlier so that you can get 30 minutes or an hour more of sleep time. If you need to, set a bedtime alarm. 

9. If you still have trouble sleeping, take additional items to help you relax at bed time. You can take inositol to help reduce stress and brain chatter, or take L-Theanine to help you relax more. 

10. Read or write in your journal. Reading helps slow brain waves and can help you relax. Writing can help relieve anxiety, especially if it’s in a personal journal. Keeping a prayer journal for all of life’s worries can be especially encouraging.

 Once you incorporate a few of these tips to get better sleep, you will be feeling more like yourself in no time. Some people can even feel like they are going into depression or “losing it” from not getting enough sleep. Getting better sleep can literally be a quality-of-life saver.

4 Benefits of Better Sleep: 

1. More energy. With better sleep, you will wake up feeling great about the day and excited to get it started. Why not go to the gym? 

2. Better moods. The cup will be half full, and you’ll notice it’s easier to have a positive attitude. You may even find yourself boosting or encouraging others, as well! 

3. Ant-aging effects. Our bodies renew cells and heal during sleep time. Your skin, joints and even your eyes, will look and feel healthier after a few weeks of better sleep.

4. Focus. When you are tired, it’s hard to focus, because you don’t have any brain energy. When you are rested, your brain is naturally focused and sharp.

So there you have it. Better sleep is worth the effort and it could be just the thing to help you feel healthier and have more energy. If you feel like you have already tried it all, but haven’t tried Dr. Hotze’s Sleep Formula, then you are missing out! Get a bottle and just test it out. It’s typical to experience better sleep within 2-3 days of starting to take it. Let us know what you think!