7 Steps for Better Sleep Naturally

7 Steps For A Better Sleep Starting Tonight

As someone that has suffered with insomnia, I know how exhausting life can be when you're dead tired at the end of the day, crawl into bed and then stare at the ceiling for hours. No matter how tired you are, your mind just won't shut off to allow sleep to come. It's a miserable state to be in. When I studied naturopathy I learned about how sleep is governed by the sympathetic nervous system, and in order to get deeply restful sleep, we need to be able to feel completely relaxed and safe, which is easier said than done.

I found the key to turning around my own sleep, was creating a bedtime ritual for myself, which included herbs traditionally used for relaxation and sleep (which I formulated into our best-selling Sleep Balm), as well as following some important sleep hygiene steps to set me up for a better bedtime.

Let's start with some sleep hygiene...

1. Set your body clock

Maintaining a consistent bedtime and wake time (and not getting sucked into the social media rabbit hole until 1am), means your circadian rhythm will be set up for the best possible sleep. Be sure to allow your body enough time for restorative sleep, for most people that's around 8 hours.

2. Turn the lights down at least 1 hour before bed.

This includes TV, computers, laptops and phones. Why? Because the light they produce mimics sunlight, and suppresses our production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Melatonin is actually an incredible hormone, which is responsible for putting us to sleep. During the day, it is important to get enough sunlight to suppress melatonin and keep us alert. You know the feeling if you've been in a dimly lit workspace and by about 3pm, you have to try to keep your eyes from closing. That's melatonin at work. So before bedtime, turning off all screens and dimming the lights signals to your body that it's time for sleep. And if you do find yourself having trouble getting to sleep, don't touch that phone, it will only make things worse.

3. Avoid stimulating food and drink before bed

Caffeinated drinks and sugary foods are designed to give our body an artificial energy rush, exactly the opposite effect we should be looking for before bed. Avoid caffeine completely if you can otherwise try to aim to only drinking it in the morning. Aim to eat dinner a few hours before bed to allow enough time for digestion, and eat plenty of whole foods such as grains and vegetables. They will keep you full, and release a sustained energy, that won't cause blood sugar induced energy spikes and moody crashes.

4. Create a comfortable sleeping environment

Make your bedroom a safe sanctuary, somewhere you can let yourself fully relax. Clear up clutter and include some things that help you feel relaxed such as soothing artwork, colours and soft-lit lamps. Ensure your mattress and pillow are supportive, and not leaving you with a sore back or neck to disturb you sleep.

5. If you're a worrier or over-thinker

Before you start your bedtime ritual, use ten minutes to write out your worries, concerns and to do lists on a notepad. That way, you can give yourself the opportunity to empty your mind, and know that you won't forget anything important on your list. Now you can let yourself rest.

If you find you wake during the night with a busy mind, you may wish to take a moment to scribble down your thoughts on the note pad so you can deal with it tomorrow, and re-apply a little more sleep balm to your wrists and neck.

Then add some sleepy herbs...

6. Use herbal helpers to soothe the nervous system

For generations, we have used plant medicine as natural sleep aids to help soothe our nervous systems before bed. Our Sleep Balm is full of soothing herbs including Chamomile, Lemon Balm and Lavender to help calm your body and mind in preparation for sleep. 

Sleep Balm works in two ways, first with Lavender and Lemon Myrtle as aromatherapy, with the sweet scent creating a positive, relaxing feeling which will become associated with bedtime if used consistently. Then as the balm is absorbed by the skin, the Chamomile and Lemon Balm can work their sleepy magic during the night.

  • Chamomile is well known for it's calming properties. It soothes both the nervous system and digestive systems, and it's sweet scent brightens the spirit. Learn More >
  • Lemon Balm helps to relieve anxieties, racing thoughts and especially works on a nervous stomach, think anxious butterflies or knots in the belly. Learn More >
  • Lavender can help reduce mental stress and headaches. It is also an anti-spasmodic, helping to relax muscles which makes it an ideal sleep remedy. Learn More >

7. Create a bedtime ritual 

A bedtime is a series of activities that your mind and body associate with sleep, and can help your nervous system power-down for the night. Choose a few activities that help you to feel happy or calm, and can be done in the same order each evening as you prepare for sleep.

  • Take a relaxing herbal bath
  • Give yourself a foot little massage with some Sleep Balm or apply it to your pulse points
  • Read a book that transports you somewhere you love
  • Listen to music that calms your mind
  • Practice meditation
  • Say a mantra or positive quote to go to sleep with

It can be anything really that is meaningful to you and helps you relax, signalling to your brain that it's time to rest.

Xx Charelle

Naturopath & Founder - The Physic Garden



Our advice is given generally, and can help your family settle to allow for better sleep. If however, you are experiencing ongoing sleep issues for which you can't pinpoint the problem or ongoing insomnia or anxiety, we recommend booking a visit with your healthcare practitioner to look deeper into the cause of the cause and best treatment.