Many people these days seem to have forgotten about the vital role that a good night’s sleep has on our bodies and minds.These sleep habits will change your life and make you sleep better, and feel better. Really.

A good night’s sleep also means a deep, healthy R.E.M. cycle, during which our heads can truly relax by fully entering into the world of dreams. Not only people need sleep and dreams; just about all animals have been proven to enter into deep dream-filled sleep. This type of rest and relaxation is just a part of our DNA and our natural biological cycle.

So, what happens if we skip over the deepest, most satisfying part of our sleep cycle? Well, lots of not so pleasant things, actually. Our brains can feel foggy, we may have trouble with concentration, reflexes, physical energy levels, and even with our emotions – which we often process through during dreams.

A special substance called cerebral spinal fluid is produced during deep stages of sleep, which basically cleans out all of the toxins in your brain and helps heal your mind from the gunk that it accumulated during the day. Good, healthy sleep is also key to maintaining the proper production of hormones which are directly connected not only with our sexual lives, but also with our physical health and mental well-being.

Tired cat

List of healthy seep habits to adopt today

We did a bit of research to figure out several ways to help bring a fulfilling, deep R.E.M. sleep into your night.

1. Choose the right diet

Eating processed, fried, or high-sugar foods work negatively on the proper functioning of brain chemicals. Focus on eating foods like fresh vegetables, fruits, and particularly nuts (Those foods are good for dreams too). Avoid meat when possible, due to their high amounts of fats and foreign hormones that may interfere with your healthy hormone balance.

Your body does need fat, there’s no doubt about that. We can choose to opt for healthy options though, that are filled with brain-positive nutrients like omega rich fatty acids or natural plant oils. Nuts are a wonderful source of healthy fats that boost your brain’s functions and can greatly improve your quality of sleep.

Fruits and vegetables, on the other hand are filled with vital nutrients and vitamins that are necessary for overall physical health, and help maintain your energy levels balanced. When your body is healthy, it can more easily relax and thus enter into a solid R.E.M. sleep cycle. Fruits and vegetables are also key in harmonizing emotions and just including more of them in your diet can help off the effects of anxiety or depression. Make sure that you drink plenty of water during your day to stay hydrated, as well.

2. Read a book before going to sleep

Reading has been shown to have similar effects on the brain as deep meditation. This is ideal for entering into a healthy, deep sleep. Reading not only relaxes you, but it also helps you practice concentration and focus. It helps create the perfect mental state to enter the dream world – especially if you’re looking to lucid dream while you sleep.

Your dreams will probably include some motives or even scenes from the reading material that you’re immersed in. This can actually be quite fun, and you can experiment with different books or genres to see how they affect your dreams.

Check out these interesting fiction books to help you relax before bed. I find that reading fiction before bed makes my dreams more vivid and interesting as well!

reading a book

3. Keep a stable sleep cycle

Having a regular sleep schedule is perhaps one of the surest way to make sure that you get a full, deep sleep. Your body will learn to regulate itself naturally and your mind will surely follow. This is because when you create patterns in your life, your subconscious begins to act like a sponge and will automatically begin to create mechanisms that want to create predictability.

This can, of course, be kind of annoying at times, like if you get bitten by a dog once and then your subconscious tells you that you should fear all dogs. When applied mindfully, however, it can help you create healthy habits and behaviors that can greatly enhance your life.

Try it out. Go to sleep at the same exact hour every night, and try to wake up at the same time as well. You’ll soon see how natural it will be for you to enter into that great, deep relaxing sleep each night.

4. Keep up with your dreams in a journal

Keeping a dream journal is a great way to be more conscious of what’s going on during your dreams, and to see how they change and develop over the course of time.

You may even be able to see some common situations or themes coming up, which will help you understand yourself better and maybe even discover areas in your life that you need to work on.

Bringing a greater sense of awareness to your dreams will help you create a more comfortable relationship between your waking life and sleep time. This will hopefully help you enter into the world of dreams much more easily.

5. Avoid brights lights and computer and phone screens before bed

Our biology has only recently been introduced to the existence of LCD lights, screens, computers, and television into the wee hours of the night. If you think about it, this has never been a natural part of any human or animal daily cycle. This means that screens and electronic distractions can deeply interfere with what our body and mind perceives as “normal”.

You can probably imagine the kind of effects that this can have on our sleep. To help maintain a healthy cycle that will allow you to have balanced melatonin levels, and enter deep R.E.M. sleep, make sure to turn off all computers and put away your cell phone at least half an hour before hitting the sack.

And that’s it guys. If you genuinely can’t sleep because of something like Insomnia, there is a very effective natural cure for that. You might also want to check out our list of ways to fall asleep faster.