It is fairly common knowledge that turning off your phone, dimming the lights, and a comfortable mattress are effective assistants to help you get a better sleep. But, did you know that gardens and gardening experiences have also proven to be sleep aids? Gardenuity is here to help. The best part: you don’t have to have a big yard to experience the benefits that come from getting your hands a little dirty.
Gardening to Sleep
The movement of your body that is required in gardening points you in the right direction to a night of better sleep, but more than that, starting your day nurturing your garden can also be a benefactor for getting a better night’s rest. Furthermore, if you have a garden that is full of fresh herbs like Lavender, Jasmine, Holy Basil, Mint, Lemon Balm, and Chamomile, you have sleep-inducing elixirs at your fingertips.
How do herbs help you sleep?
Herbs can alleviate anxiety and mental blocks that cause many of the thought circles that make falling asleep difficult within itself. Stress and anxiety are major contributors to sleep deprivation, but there is a light at the end of that tunnel. Herbs can be the hero for a deeper sleep as they can increase the levels of serotonin in your body, which can cause a more stable, calming, and overall happier state of mind.
Morning Light Benefits Plants AND People
As any good gardener knows, plants grow better and live longer if they are watered and hydrated in the morning. Therefore, getting outside early in the morning to garden will be beneficial for the health and wellbeing of your plants, but science shows that that same morning light will also be good for you.
Morning sunshine delivers the message to your body that the night is over, it is time to wake up, and that it should begin to suppress melatonin production and implement higher levels of serotonin. When you have a garden to nurture, it is easy to instill the habit of watering your garden in the mornings into your daily routine.
As we expose our eyes to sunlight, the entire brain lights up – this morning light is a guide for the trillions of cells in our body through a process called photobiomodulation. The sun can really work wonders – photosynthesis, and photobiomodulation, who knew?
Not a morning person?
Incorporating gardening into your morning is just one example of many to incorporate into your life in order to get a better night’s sleep. At Gardenuity, we are passionate about making gardening accessible to everyone, everywhere. We are also big believers in spreading healthy lifestyle choices to support your mental health and increase your overall well-being. Here are some additional tips to get you getting those Zzzzzz’s.
- Start your day with soft morning light. This is a powerful supplement that requires little effort and no money at all. Morning sunlight has the power to set your circadian rhythm, enhance your mood and focus, help calm anxiety, and improve brain health. Plus, it is simply a beautiful time of day to enjoy all for yourself before the rest of the world wakes up.
- Drink lots of water. Dehydration can deplete many of the body’s important functions, including your sleep quality. According to The Sleep Foundation, “people who are suffering from significant dehydration often find that they feel extremely tired, lethargic, or fatigue.” Furthermore, your body loses a large amount of water during sleep, so if you have not been hydrating throughout the day, it may be more of a challenge to get a proper rest. Drink up!
- Do something to move your body. For many people, the most prevalent barriers to a good night’s sleep is the time it takes to fall asleep along with the amount of time that is spent lying awake at night. Researchers have found that “exercise [and moving your body during the day] can increase sleep quality for adults by reducing sleep onset – or the time it takes to fall asleep – and decrease the amount of time they lie awake in bed during the night.” May we suggest gardening?
- Decrease your screen time. The blue light that radiates off of screens stimulates the part of our brain that suppresses the creation of melatonin and makes it difficult to turn off your brain in order to sleep. If you often get the feeling that your brain is most active at night and you cannot stop thinking in spirals, consider turning your phone off at least an hour before bed. Instead, read a book, go on a walk, tend to your garden, or enjoy time with family and friends.
- End your day with the sun. On the flip side of morning sunshine, evening sunlight is just as important. Dr. Cooper, a sleep specialist and neurologist at Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation explains that “the timing of sleep and wakefulness is controlled by two areas in the brain. One is highly sensitive to light and drives wakefulness, while the other secretes the sleep hormone melatonin when the light dims in the evening.” Therefore, as the sun goes down, your brain is reminded that it is time for sleep and begins to increase your melatonin levels to prepare your body for sleep. The perfect excuse to go catch the sunset!
We all need sufficient sleep in order to be properly nourished mentally and physically.
So get outside, get a little dirty, get a little bit of sun and let nature nurture you.