Advertising
Advertising

10 Recommended Meditation for Sleep Apps to Drastically Improve Sleep

10 Recommended Meditation for Sleep Apps to Drastically Improve Sleep

The benefits of meditation include improving focus and lowering stress levels. Meditation has so many benefits that it’s grown to become a popular practice that can greatly improve your health and wellness.

If you’re looking for the perfect app to help you meditate with the specific purpose to improve your sleep, you’ve come to the right article!

In this post, we’ll look into the basic criteria you should be using to review different meditation for sleep apps. I’ll also recommend 10 meditation for sleep apps to help improve your sleep.

Requirements of the meditation for sleep app

Before you search for every meditation for sleep app out there. You first have to look at the necessary requirements the app has to fulfill.

  • Accessibility: What is the price? And is the app available for your device? Can you access it without Wi-Fi to avoid distraction?
  • Meditation basics: Does it cover the basic principles of meditation?
    “Meditation is a precise technique for resting the mind and attaining a state of consciousness that is totally different from the normal waking state. It is the means for fathoming all the levels of ourselves and finally experiencing the center of consciousness within. Meditation is not a part of any religion; it is a science, which means that the process of meditation follows a particular order, has definite principles, and produces results that can be verified.” — Swami Rama[1]
  • Quality of sleep: Does it focus on improving your quality of sleep? Do you fall faster asleep?

10 Recommended meditation for sleep apps

These requirements will be covered in the following paragraphs for each individual meditation for sleep app. Besides the requirements, pros and cons will be listed too. And to top it off, there will be a 1-5 star rating.

1. Calm

    Calm is a bit different than most meditation for sleep apps. Most apps use a structural manner to present their meditations and have a sequence to follow. With Calm, you can go about it in any way you want.

    First, there are some (30+) basic white noise sounds which are all free to download. Then, you have a specific department dedicated to your focus (sleep in this case). What you will find there are stories; just simple relaxing stories that will talk you through a story.

    After that comes the meditation menu which includes all the specific meditations you need. They have over 100+ meditations with options from beginner to relationships.

    The fourth option in the app is music focused on a specific purpose which also includes sleep, 9 are free.

    Last but not least, there are masterclasses available for premium members which are taught by experts in their areas, from Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Eat Pray Love) to Dr. Judson Brewer (World-Renowned addiction expert).

    Requirements
    • Accessibility: There’s a lot available for free. The app is available for Android, IOS, and desktop. Everything is downloadable for offline use.
    • Meditation basics: There are multiple options for specific meditations all geared towards the goal of calming the mind. Listening to stories can work for some but may not be for everyone.
    • Quality of sleep: There are specific sleep meditations and music (+white noise) which helps a lot of people.[2]
    Pros:
    • The app offers a lot of options, not only guided meditations but also stories, music, and masterclasses which brings the complete experience.
    • There are a lot of free meditations available.
    • Low price to pay for the premium version ($40/year).
    Cons:
    • Not knowing where to start because there’s a lot to experiment with (which could also be fun).

    Rating: 4.9/5

    Availabe for iOS | Android

    2. Simple habit

    Advertising

      The app has 3 different menus; on the go, series, and teachers.

      There are free journeys available focused on learning to meditate, morning meditations, improving focus, finding happiness and sleep better (YES). There are precisely 23 meditations focused on sleeping better (and about 50 more with premium) plus on the go meditation for sleep of 5, 10 or 20 minutes.

      The upgrade is expensive, from $100 per year.

      Requirements
      • Accessibility: There is a lot available for free. You can download the app on IOS & Android, and everything is downloadable for on the road.
      • Meditation basics: The simple habit guided meditations are taught by professional teachers, some who were monks and scientists. Famous names include Matt Young and Catherine Cook-Cottone.
      • Quality of sleep: There are specific meditations available for improving sleep. The rest of the meditations focus all on the same; calming the mind (which also makes it easier to fall asleep).
      Pros
      • Covers everything you need to practice mindfulness thoroughly.
      • There are a lot of free meditations available.
      • With Simple Habit, you can meditate everywhere.
      • Their slogan is the best meditation app for busy people, and they really live up to it by making it easy to match your mood or situation to a specific meditation practice.
      Cons
      • The premium version is expensive which means you’ll have to listen the same over and over if you keep using the app for daily meditation for sleep.

      Rating: 4.8/5

      Available for iOS | Android

      3. Insight Timer

        Insight Timer is much more than just a meditation app, it’s a whole community of teachers and meditators. When you open the app, you see immediately how many meditations people did on that day and how many people are meditating at the moment. You can even see it on the world map.

        Besides that, there are meditations, timers, and courses available. And the best thing yet all meditations are free. You only pay for the 10-day courses of the best teachers. There are 10,000+ meditations, and there are a lot of meditations focused on sleeping better. There’s also a meditation for sleep course available in the app.

        Requirements
        • Accessibility: There are enough meditations for free to pick a different meditation every day for 10+ years, the premium version is $3 a month for offline use and higher quality audio. The courses cost $5 for single use or $20 for lifetime access, which is quite expensive. The app is available for Android and IOS.
        • Meditation basics: There are focused meditations for specific purposes like having a peaceful sleep session. The courses are taught by real professionals, so those offer a lot of value. There’s even a 7-day introduction course to meditation to teach you all the basics of meditation.
        • Quality of sleep: There are lots of meditations focused on increasing the quality of your sleep through deep sleep techniques, breathing techniques, and healing meditations.
        Pros
        • Insight Timer consists of the biggest meditation library of over 10,000+ meditations for FREE!
        • The community part of Insight Timer gives an entirely new spin to the ‘usual’ meditation for sleep app.
        Cons
        • The valuable courses are costly.

        Rating: 4.7/5

        Available for iOS | Android

        4. Smiling Mind

          The unique thing about Smiling Mind is that it’s all free and focused on specific age groups. They even offer meditation programs for 3-year-olds! It is a 100% non-profit organization that wants to make mindfulness available for everyone. Their goal is to have a preventive solution to a possible mental health condition.

          They have programs for sports, commuting, workplace and more!

          Requirements
          • Accessibility: Everything is free, and their app can be downloaded on Android and IOS. You can also download every meditation for offline use.
          • Meditation basics: All the meditations are based off scientific research so you’ll see results very quickly.
          • Quality of sleep: They do not have specific programs dedicated to improving sleep, but in most programs, some meditations focus on improving sleep.
          Pros
          • Everything is free, literally everything.
          • The app is not only for adults but even for 3-year-olds. They really try to cover as many people as possible so everyone can benefit from mindfulness.
          • It has specific programs geared towards improving education (schooling) or work.
          Cons
          • None

          Rating: 4.6/5

          Advertising

          Available for iOS | Android

          5. Headspace

            Headspace is an app based on science with a lot of opportunities. It focuses on making it as simple as possible to do meditations. They have meditations for literally everything, from walking in the city to gardening.

            A unique thing they have is their department dedicated to kids. They also have animations which some of them are free.

            Requirements
            • Accessibility: They don’t have free meditations focused on sleep and not a lot of free meditations at all which means you would have to upgrade immediately to really benefit. The premium feature is often discounted to about $50 per year which is doable. Headspace is available for both IOS and Android. You can download meditations for offline use.
            • Meditation basics: Yes, it focuses on making the mind still and being entirely conscious. They also have a separate in-house team of researchers who researched a lot of the results and best practices.
            • Quality of sleep: There are specific meditations focused on improving the quality of your sleep, from guided meditation for sleep to sounds and unguided meditations. They even have a meditation for sleep for kids as well.
            Pros:
            • Very short meditations (some of1 min).
            • A wide variety of topics and 30 sessions specifically dedicated to sleep.
            Cons:
            • You have to pay for almost everything before you can listen to most of it, except for the first basics pack of 10 sessions of 5-10 min and some first tries for individual packages.

            Rating: 4.5/5

            Available for iOS | Android

            6. Sattva

              Sattva is an app based on the ancient Vedic teaching.[3] With this teaching in mind, you need a spiritual teacher with this specific knowledge. One of those spiritual teachers they acquired for the app is Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.

              The app doesn’t only focus on meditations but also chants and mantras. These are also good ways to clear the mind.

              With its tracking system, you’ll know exactly how much you have meditated and from where. One thing they do differently than the other apps is that Sattva has a one-time payment (costly) for the premium version.

              Requirements
              • Accessibility: A lot of the meditations, chants, and mantras are free. It looks like you can get access to a community and other meditations, chants, and mantras for a one-time payment of $249.99 (expensive). The app is available for Android and IOS. Everything is downloadable for offline use.
              • Meditation basics: The meditations, chants and mantras in this app all have their roots in the ancient Vedic religion. It is taught by multiple spiritual teachers who have been practicing these methods for years.
              • Quality of sleep: It seems like there is at least 1 meditation for sleep and multiple on deep relaxation which could also be used as a meditation for sleep.
              Pros:
              • There’s a lot available for free
              • There’s a wide variety of methods of meditation available such as guided meditation for sleep, self-taught meditation with a timer, chants, mantras, and music.
              • Themed collections are available for specific days, like Wellness Wednesday, Strengthening Saturday and Gratitude Thursday.
              Cons:
              • The premium version is costly (but you don’t necessarily need it)

              Rating: 4.3/5

              Available for iOS | Android

              7. 10% Happier

                10% happier is not only an app, but it is also a story. An idea expressed in multiple books, a podcast, and a blog.

                Advertising

                Dan Harris is the mind behind the brand, he wrote the book 10% happier which became a #1 New York Times bestseller.

                The app is made for ‘Fidgety Skeptics’ as they state on their website. In the app, you will find meditations by spiritual teachers and practitioners all over the world.

                From Joseph Goldstein to Sebene Selassie. You can try the app for free for 7 days and after that upgrade to premium or only have access to the limited free content.

                Requirements
                • Accessibility: The app doesn’t only have 100+ meditations but also 20+ courses available. About 20% is free, and for a price of $99.99 per year, you can get access to everything else. The app is available for Android and IOS. It doesn’t look like you can download meditations or courses for offline use.
                • Meditation basics: The meditations and courses in the app are taught by people who have a lot of experience in the meditation industry themselves. For example, Joseph Goldstein is one of the first American Vipassana teachers.
                • Quality of sleep: There’s a specific category dedicated to sleep in the app which consists of 11 kinds of meditation for sleep of which 3 are free. They all focus on a different part of sleep, from relaxing into sleep to when you can’t sleep.
                Pros
                • A lot of work was put into the concept of 10% happier which not only makes it an app but a story/method of calming the mind which is taught by a lot of well-known teachers.
                Cons
                • If you really want something out of the app, you’ll have to buy the premium version which is pretty expensive.

                Rating: 4.1/5

                Available for iOS | Android

                8. Stop, Breathe & Think

                  Stop, Breathe & Think is a very well structured app that has a unique feature: the check-in. This option allows you to express yourself and based on that expression it will recommend meditation sessions to you.

                  It has a lot of free meditations but even more premium ones for a price of $59.88 per year. 10% of that money goes to helping kids learn mindfulness practice, isn’t that lovely?

                  Their meditations are available in English and Spanish which is a nice differentiator of their competitors.

                  Requirements
                  • Accessibility: The app doesn’t have such an extensive library like Insight Timer, but it does have 100+ meditations available with about the half of that for free. You could upgrade to get access to more meditations for $59.88 while contributing to the knowledge of mindfulness for children. The app is available for Android, IOS, and even computer! It doesn’t seem like you can download the meditations for offline use.
                  • Meditation basics: The name of the app says it all, it’s all about taking a moment to focus the mind on the breath and thoughts. This way you’ll have a clear mind for the rest of the day.
                  • Quality of sleep: There’s a particular category dedicated to improving your sleep through meditation for sleep. There are in total 22 sessions of which 4 are free. They all focus on improving the quality of your sleep.
                  Pros
                  • It’s easy to have an overview of the app because it is well structured.
                  • If you buy premium, you not only do it for yourself but also for children who can benefit from the mindfulness practice.
                  Cons
                  • There are not a lot of meditations available at this date, let alone free meditations.

                  Rating: 4/5

                  Available for iOS | Android

                  9. Omvana

                    Omvana is the #1 app for meditation, focus, sleep and inspiration tracks in 30+ countries.

                    Instead of meditations, everything is called a track and can be put in the categories; guided meditation for sleep, music, poetry, brainwave entertainment, relaxation sounds and sleep-inducing tracks.

                    Advertising

                    Instead of offering a premium version, you have to buy some of the tracks for prices between $0.99 and $7.99.

                    Requirements
                    • Accessibility: The app has 100+ free tracks available, and for different prices, you can buy different tracks depending on your preference. The app is available for Android, IOS, and desktop. Instead of the option to download the tracks for offline use, you have to download a track before you are able to use it at all. It’s sort of like with music.
                    • Meditation basics: There are a lot of tracks made by teachers like Gabrielle Bernstein, but there are also pure sounds from nature. It all focuses on one goal; calming the mind.
                    • Quality of sleep: As with all the meditation for sleep apps on this list, Omvana also includes a separate category dedicated to better sleep. This consists of 20 tracks of which 4 are free to use. From sleep hypnosis to lucid dreaming, it’s all possible here.
                    Pros
                    • Instead of buying an all-inclusive premium version, this app is the first app (besides Insight Timer which uses a combination) to let you choose exactly what you want to buy.
                    • Omvana is made by Mindvalley which has a massive community. If you like Omvana, you could become part of the Mindvalley community and get more out of it than just meditation for sleep.
                    Cons
                    • There’s a limited amount of meditations dedicated to sleep available.
                    • You have to download every track you want to listen to which can take up a lot of memory space of your phone.

                    Rating: 4/5

                    Available for iOS | Android

                    10. The Mindfulness App

                      The mindfulness app is a very well structured app. Everything is divided into different categories, and there’s also a category for sleep which consists of 10 sleep meditations (all premium) and 1 sleep course (also premium).

                      There are 11 regular meditations for free, you can unlock the rest for a yearly subscription of $59.99 or a monthly subscription of $9.99 per month.

                      Requirements
                      • Accessibility: There are not a lot of meditations for free, but if you unlock the premium version (for a doable price), you’ll have access to 200+ meditations. The app is available for Android and IOS. It doesn’t show an option to download meditations for on the road, but maybe that’s only a premium option.
                      • Meditation basics: There are programs available by Eckhart Tolle, Jon Kabat-Zinn, and Jack Kornfield. So yes, the basics of meditation are covered by these teachers.
                      • Quality of sleep: There are few sleep meditations, and they are not necessarily focused on enhancing deep sleep or falling to sleep quickly.
                      Pros
                      • The meditations that are available in this app are all taught by well-known teachers in the industry.
                      • They have specific programs focused on an outcome like becoming more focused. There’s not a particular order in which the meditations are supposed to be listened to, but they all have the same goal.
                      Cons
                      • There are almost no meditations available in the free version.
                      • There aren’t a lot of meditations focused towards sleep.

                      Star rating: 3.6/5

                      Available for iOS | Android

                      The bottom line

                      Meditation for sleep can indeed increase your chances of sleeping better. The only thing you need to figure out is the best resource to help you with it.

                      With all these 10 recommended meditation for sleep apps, you should be able to find the one that fits your needs most.

                      If you need help implementing meditation into your daily life, check out this article:

                      6 Ways to Include Meditation in Your Daily Routine

                      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                      Reference

                      More by this author

                      Marnix Buijs

                      Marnix is a health and fitness blogger. While he walks his own journey, he shares his experiences and knowledge to help others.

                      15 Brain Foods That Will Super Boost Your Brain Power 10 Recommended Meditation for Sleep Apps to Drastically Improve Sleep How Guided Meditation for Kids Can Boost Learning and Social Skills 22 Tips to Help You Lead the Healthy Lifestyle Your Body Deserves

                      Trending in Restore Energy

                      1 Reasons of Insomnia and How to Combat It (The Complete Guide) 2 20 Best Guided Meditations for Sleep and Insomnia 3 13 Essential Self-Care Tips for Busy People 4 How to Achieve a Realistic Work Life Balance 5 How to Relax, Unwind and Reduce Stress

                      Read Next

                      Advertising
                      Advertising
                      Advertising

                      Last Updated on March 30, 2020

                      Why You’re Feeling Tired All the Time (And What to Do About It)

                      Why You’re Feeling Tired All the Time (And What to Do About It)

                      Feeling tired all the time?

                      Have you ever caught yourself nodding off when you’re watching TV, listening to someone drone on during a meeting or even driving a car?

                      I know I have, especially when I worked 70 hours per week as a High-Tech Executive.

                      Feeling tired all the time may be more widespread than you think. In fact, two-fifths of Americans are tired most of the week.[1]

                      If you’re tired of feeling tired, then I’ve got some great news for you. New research is helping us gain critical insights into the underlying causes of feeling tired all the time.

                      In this article, we’ll discuss the latest reasons why you’re feeling tired all the time and practical steps you can take to finally get to the bottom of your fatigue and feel rested.

                      What Happens When You’re Too Tired

                      If you sleep just two hours less than the normal eight hours, you could be as impaired as someone who has consumed up to three beers.[2] And you’ve probably experienced the impact yourself.

                      Here are some common examples of what happens when you’re feeling tired:[3]

                      • You may have trouble focusing because memory and learning functions may be impaired within your brain.
                      • You may experience mood swings and an inability to differentiate between what’s important and what’s not because your brain’s neurotransmitters are misfiring.
                      • You may get dark circles under your eyes and/or your skin make look dull and lackluster in the short term and over time your skin may get wrinkles and show signs of aging because your body didn’t have time to remove toxins during sleep.
                      • You may find it more difficult to exercise or to perform any type of athletic activity.
                      • Your immune system may weaken causing you to pick up infections more easily.
                      • You may overeat because not getting enough sleep activates the body’s endocannabinoids even when you’re not hungry.
                      • Your metabolism slows down so what you eat is more likely to be stored as belly fat.

                      Are you saying that feeling tired can make me overweight?

                      Unfortunately, yes!

                      Feeling tired all the time can cause you to put on the pounds especially around your waist. But it is a classic chicken and egg situation, too.

                      Heavier people are more likely to feel fatigued during the day than lighter ones. And that’s even true for overweight people who don’t have sleep apnea (source: National Institutes of Health).

                      Speaking of sleep apnea, you may be wondering if that or something else is causing you to feel tired all the time.

                      Why Are you Feeling Tired All the Time?

                      Leading experts are starting to recognize that there are three primary reasons people feel tired on a regular basis: sleep deprivation, fatigue and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).

                      Here’s a quick overview of each root cause of feeling tired all of the time:

                      1. Tiredness occurs from sleep deprivation when you don’t get high-quality sleep consistently. It typically can be solved by changing your routine and getting enough deep restorative sleep.
                      2. Fatigue occurs from prolonged sleeplessness which could be triggered by numerous issues such as mental health issues, long-term illness, fibromyalgia, obesity, sleep apnea or stress. It typically can be improved by changing your lifestyle and using sleep aids or treatments, if recommended by your physician.
                      3. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a medical condition also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis that occurs from persistent exhaustion that doesn’t go away with sleep.

                      The exact cause of CFS is not known, but it may be due to problems with the immune system, a bacterial infection, a hormone imbalance or emotional trauma.

                      It typically involves working with a doctor to rule out other illnesses before diagnosing and treating CFS.[4]

                      Always consult a physician to get a personal diagnosis about why you are feeling tired, especially if it is a severe condition.

                      Feeling Tired vs Being Fatigued

                      If lack of quality sleep doesn’t seem to be the root cause for you, then it’s time to explore fatigue as the reason you are frequently feeling tired.

                      Advertising

                      Until recently, tiredness and fatigue were thought to be interchangeable. Leading experts now realize that tiredness and fatigue are different.

                      Tiredness is primarily about lack of sleep.

                      But fatigue is a perceived feeling of being tired that is much more likely to occur in people who have depression, anxiety or emotional stress and/or are overweight and physically inactive (source: Science Direct).

                      Symptoms of fatigue include:

                      • Difficulty concentrating
                      • Low stamina
                      • Difficulty sleeping
                      • Anxiety
                      • Low motivation

                      These symptoms may sound similar to those of tiredness but they usually last longer and are more intense.

                      Unfortunately, there is no definitive reason why fatigue occurs because it can be a symptom of an emotional or physical illness. But there are still a number of steps you can take to reduce difficult symptoms by making a few simple lifestyle changes.

                      How Much Sleep Is Enough?

                      The number one reason you may feel tired is because of sleep deprivation which means you are not getting enough high-quality sleep.

                      Most adults need 7 to 9 hours of high-quality, uninterrupted sleep per night. If you’re sleep deprived, the amount of sleep you need increases.

                      So, quantity and quality do matter when it comes to sleep.

                      The key to quality sleep is being able to get long, uninterrupted sleep cycles throughout the night. It typically takes 90 minutes for you to reach a state of deep REM sleep where your body’s healing crew goes to work.

                      Ideally, you want to get at least 3 to 4 deep REM sleep cycles in per night. That’s why it’s so important to stay asleep for 7 or more hours.

                      Research also shows that people who think they can get by on less sleep don’t perform as well as people who get at least seven hours of sleep a night[5] So, you should definitely plan on getting seven hours of deep restorative sleep every night.

                      If you are not getting 7 hours of high-quality sleep regularly, then sleep deprivation is most likely reason you feel tired all the time.

                      And that is good news because sleep deprivation is much simpler and easier to address than the other root causes.

                      It’s also a good idea to rule out sleep deprivation as the reason why you are tired before moving on to the other possibilities such as fatigue or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which may require a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

                      4 Simple Changes to Reduce Fatigue

                      Personally, I’m a big believer in upgrading your lifestyle to uplift your life. I overcame chronic stress and exhaustion by making these four changes to my lifestyle:

                      1. Eating healthy, home-cooked meals versus microwaving processed foods or eating out
                      2. Exercising regularly
                      3. Using stressbusters
                      4. Creating a bedtime routine to sleep better

                      So, I know it is possible to change your lifestyle even when you’re working crazy hours and have lots of family responsibilities.

                      After I made the 4 simple changes in my lifestyle, I no longer felt exhausted all of the time.

                      In addition, I lost two inches off my waist and looked and felt better than ever.

                      Advertising

                      I was so excited that I wanted to help others replace stress and exhaustion with rest and well-being, too. That’s why I became a Certified Holistic Wellness Coach through the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute.

                      Interestingly enough, I discovered that Dr. Sears recommends a somewhat similar L.E.A.N. lifestyle:

                      • L is for Lifestyle and means living healthy including getting enough sleep.
                      • E is for Exercise and means getting at least 20 minutes of exercise a day ideally for six days a week.
                      • A is for Attitude and means thinking positive and reducing stress whenever possible.
                      • N is for Nutrition and means emphasizing a right-fat diet, not a low-fat diet.

                      The L.E.A.N. lifestyle is a scientifically-proven way to reduce fatigue, get to the optimal weight and to achieve overall wellness.[6]

                      And yes, there does seem to be an important correlation between being lean and feeling rested.

                      But overall based on my personal experience and Dr. Sear’s scientific proof, the key to not feeling tired all of the time does seem to be 4 simple changes to your lifestyle.

                      L — Living Healthy

                      Getting enough high-quality sleep every day is the surefire way to help you feel less fatigued, more rested and better overall.

                      So, whether you’re sleep deprived or potentially suffering from fatigue or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, you probably want to find a way to sleep better.

                      In fact, if you aren’t getting enough sleep, your body isn’t getting the time it needs to repair itself; meaning that if you are suffering from an illness, it’s far more likely to linger.

                      As unlikely as it sounds, though, fatigue can sometimes make it difficult to sleep. That’s why I’d recommend taking a look at your bedtime routine before you go to bed and optimize it based on sleep best practices.

                      Here are 3 quick and easy tips for creating a pro-sleep bedtime routine:

                      1. Unplug

                      Many of us try to unwind by watching TV or doing something on an iPhone or tablet. But tech can affect your melatonin production due to the blue light that they emit, fooling your body into thinking it’s still daytime.

                      So turn off all tech one hour before bed and create a tech-free zone in your bedroom.

                      2. Unwind

                      Do something to relax.

                      Use the time before bed to do something you find relaxing such as reading a book, listening to soothing music, meditating or taking an Epsom salt bath.

                      3. Get Comfortable

                      Ensure your bed is comfortable and your room is set up for sleep.

                      Make sure you room is cool. 60-68 degrees is the ideal temperature for most people to sleep.

                      Also, it’s ideal if your bedroom is dark and there is no noise.

                      Finally, make sure everything is handled (e.g., laying out tomorrow’s clothes) before you get into your nice, comfy bed.

                      If your mind is still active, write a to-do list to help you fall asleep faster.[7]

                      Advertising

                      Above all, be gentle with yourself and count your blessings, some sheep or whatever helps.

                      This article also offers practical tips to build a bedtime routine: How to Build a Good Bedtime Routine That Makes Your Morning Easier

                      E — Exercise

                      Many people know that exercise is good for them, but just can’t figure out how to fit it into their busy schedules.

                      That’s what happened in my case.

                      But when my chronic stress and exhaustion turned into systemic inflammation (which can lead to major diseases like Alzheimer’s), I realized it was time to change my lifestyle.

                      As part of my lifestyle upgrade, I knew I needed to move more.

                      My friends who exercise all gave me the same advice: find an exercise you like to do and find a specific time in your schedule when you can consistently do it.

                      That made sense to me.

                      So, I decided to swim.

                      I used to love to swim when I was young, but I hadn’t done it for years. The best time for me to do it was immediately after work, since I could easily get an open swim lane at my local fitness club then.

                      Also, swimming became a nice reason for me to leave work on time. And I got to enjoy a nice workout before eating dinner.

                      Swimming is a good way to get your cardio or endurance training. But, walking, running and dancing are nice alternatives.

                      So find an exercise you love and stick to it. Ideally, get a combination of endurance training, strength training and flexibility training in during your daily 20-minute workout.

                      If you haven’t exercised in a while and have a lot of stress in your life, you may want to give yoga a try because you will increase your flexibility and lower your stress.

                      A — Attitude

                      Stress may be a major reason why you aren’t feeling well all of the time. At least that was the case with me.

                      When I worked 70 hours per week as a High-Tech Executive, I felt chronically stressed and exhausted. But there was one thing that always worked to help me feel calmer and less fatigued.

                      Do you want to know what that master stress-busting technique was?

                      Breathing.

                      But not just any old breathing. It was a special form of deep Yogic breathing called the “Long-Exhale Breathing” or “4-7-8 breathing” or “Pranayama” in Sanskrit).

                      Advertising

                      Here’s how you do “Long-Exhale Breathing”:

                      1. Sit in a comfortable position with your spine straight and your hand on your tummy (so you know you are breathing deeply from your diaphragm and not shallowly from your chest)
                      2. Breathe in deeply and slowly from your diaphragm with your mouth closed while you count to 4 (ideally until your stomach feels full of air)
                      3. Hold your breath while you count to 7 mentally and enjoy the stillness
                      4. Breathe out through your mouth with a “ha” sound while you count to 8 (or until your stomach has no more air in it)
                      5. Pause after you finish your exhale while you notice the sense of wholeness and relaxation from completing one conscious, deep, long exhale breath
                      6. Repeat 3 times ensuring your exhale is longer than your inhale so you relax your nervous system

                      This type of “long-exhale breathing” is scientifically proven to reduce stress.

                      When your exhale is twice as long as your inhale, it soothes your parasympathetic nervous system, which regulates the relaxation response.[8]

                      Plus, this is a great technique for helping you get to sleep, too.

                      N — Nutrition

                      Diet is vital for beating fatigue – after all, food is your main source of energy.

                      If your diet is poor, then it implies you’re not getting the nutrients you need to sustain healthy energy levels.

                      Eating a diet for fatigue doesn’t need to be complicated, time-consuming though.

                      For most people, it’s just a case of swapping a few unhealthy foods for a few healthier ones, like switching from low-fiber, processed foods to whole, high-fiber foods.

                      Unless your current diet is solely made up of fast food and ready meals, adjusting to a fatigue-fighting diet shouldn’t be too much of a shock to the system.

                      Here’re 9 simple diet swaps you can make today:

                      1. Replace your morning coffee with Matcha green tea and drink only herbal tea within six hours of bedtime.
                      2. Add a healthy fat or protein to your any carb you eat, especially if you eat before bed. Please note that carb-only snacks lead to blood-sugar crashes that can make you eat more and they can keep you from sleeping.
                      3. Fill up with fiber especially green leafy vegetables. Strive to get at least 25g per day with at least 5 servings (a serving is the size of your fist) of green vegetables.
                      4. Replace refined, processed, low-fiber pastas and grains with zucchini noodles and whole grains such as buckwheat, quinoa, sorghum, oats, amaranth, millet, teff, brown rice and corn.
                      5. Swap natural sweeteners for refined sugars and try to ensure you don’t get more than 25g of sugar a day if you are a woman and 30g of sugar a day if you are a man.
                      6. Replace ice cream with low-sugar alternatives such as So Delicious Dairy-Free Vanilla Bean Coconut Ice Cream.
                      7. Swap omega-6, partially-hydrogenated oils such as corn, palm, sunflower, safflower, cotton, canola and soybean oil for omega-3 oils such as flax, olive and nut oils.
                      8. Replace high-sugar yoghurts with low-sugar, dairy-free yoghurts such as Kite Hill Plain Yoghurt with 1g sugar or Lifeway Farmer Cheese with 0g sugar.
                      9. Swap your sugar-laden soda for sparkling water with a splash of low-sugar juice

                      Also, ensure your diet is giving you enough of the daily essential vitamins and minerals. Most of us don’t get enough Vitamin D, Vitamin B-12, Calcium, Iron and Magnesium. If you are low on any of the above vitamins and minerals, you may experience fatigue and low energy.

                      That’s why it’s always worth having your doctor check your levels. If you find any of them are low, then try to eat foods rich in them.

                      Alternatively, you might consider a high-quality multi-vitamin or specific supplement.

                      The Bottom Line

                      If you are tired of feeling tired, then there is tremendous hope.

                      If you are tired because you are not getting enough high-quality sleep, then the best remedy is a bedtime routine based on sleep best practices.

                      If you are tired because you have stress and fatigue, then the best remedy are four simple lifestyle changes including:

                      • Enough High-Quality Sleep with Bedtime Routine
                      • Regular Exercise You Love
                      • Stress Reduction with Long-Exhale Breathing
                      • Fatigue-Reducing Diet

                      Overall, adopting a healthier lifestyle Is the ideal remedy for feeling more rested and energized.

                      More Tips to Help You Rest Better

                      Featured photo credit: Cris Saur via unsplash.com

                      Reference

                      [1] YouGov: Two-fifths of Americans are tired most of the week
                      [2] National Safety Council: Is Your Company Confronting Workplace Fatigue?
                      [3] The New York Times: Why Are We So Freaking Tired?
                      [4] Mayo Clinic: Chronic fatigue syndrome
                      [5] Mayo Clinic: Lack of sleep: Can it make you sick?
                      [6] Ask Dr. Sears: The L.E.A.N. Lifestyle
                      [7] American Psychological Association: Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
                      [8] Yoga International: Learning to Exhale: 2-to-1 Breathing

                      Read Next