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Creative Paths to a Restful Night's Sleep

Written by CBIZ



In a world filled with endless distractions and constant stimulation, achieving a restful night’s sleep can sometimes feel like an elusive dream. While the traditional advice of maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, creating a relaxing bedtime routine and optimizing your sleep environment remains invaluable, there are other methods worth exploring.


From ancient practices to modern innovations, here are some unique ways to help you get a good night’s sleep:


  • Acupressure & Reflexology: These ancient healing practices involve applying pressure to specific points on the body believed to promote relaxation and alleviate various ailments, including insomnia. Research published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine suggests that acupressure can indeed improve sleep quality by reducing stress and anxiety levels.


  • Aromatherapy: Harnessing the power of scent, aromatherapy utilizes essential oils derived from plants to induce relaxation and promote better sleep. Lavender, chamomile and valerian root are among the most popular choices for calming effects. According to a study in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, inhaling the aroma of lavender oil can significantly increase slow-wave sleep: the deep sleep phase essential for feeling rested.


  • Sound Therapy: White noise machines, nature sounds and binaural beats are examples of sound-based therapies that can help drown out disruptive noises and soothe the mind into a state of relaxation conducive to sleep. A study in the journal Sleep Medicine found that white noise improved sleep quality and duration in hospitalized patients.

  • Weighted Blankets: These blankets, filled with evenly distributed weight, are designed to mimic the sensation of being hugged or swaddled, promoting a sense of security and calmness. Research published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine suggests that using a weighted blanket can lead to deeper sleep and reduced nighttime movement.


  • Cold Exposure: Taking a cold shower or simply exposing yourself to cooler temperatures before bedtime can lower your core body temperature, which naturally declines as you sleep. This drop in temperature signals to your body that it’s time to rest. A study in the journal PLOS One found that wearing cooling caps improved sleep quality and reduced insomnia symptoms.


  • Color Therapy: Surrounding yourself with calming colors like soft blues, greens and neutrals in your bedroom décor can create a tranquil environment conducive to sleep. Color therapy, also known as chromotherapy, suggests that different colors can have profound effects on mood and wellbeing. According to a study in the Journal of Sleep Research, participants exposed to blue light experienced increased relaxation and decreased heart rates compared to those exposed to red light.


  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I): This evidence-based approach targets the underlying thoughts and behaviors that contribute to insomnia. Techniques may include relaxation training, sleep restriction therapy and cognitive restructuring. Numerous studies have demonstrated the efficacy of CBT-I in improving sleep quality and duration without medication. The Mindful Minute below uses CBT-I in the form of progressive muscle relaxation to calm the body prior to sleep.


While individual preferences and needs vary, incorporating these methods may lead you to the perfect recipe for a restful night’s sleep.

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