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Things to help you fall asleep: do these home remedies for good sleep actually work?

“If sleep comes easy, consider yourself one of the lucky ones. Many of us struggle with sleepless nights from time to time, or find that we can’t get to sleep even if we go to bed on time. If that sounds like you, it might be worth trying one of our home remedies for good sleep – simple, and often easy, tips and tricks designed to help you sleep better and for longer at night”. Dr Ranj, Furniture Village sleep ambassador
Guides Lifestyle Hints & Tips

Does lavender help you sleep?

Lavender has long been regarded as a potential home remedy for good sleep, and studies do suggest that it helps aid relaxation and improve both the length and quality of sleep. However, it doesn’t always work for everyone.

If you want to try lavender essential oil to help you fall asleep, you can apply it directly to your skin – be sure to dilute it with a carrier oil like extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil, and do a patch test first. You can also add it to a diffuser or sprinkle a few drops on your pillow.

Remember to always be careful when using essentials oils around children and pregnant women.


Does alcohol help you sleep better?

Drinking alcohol before bed can actually reduce the amount of restorative REM – rapid eye movement – sleep that you get. This is important as the REM sleep stage is believed to benefit memory, mood and learning. So while one or two drinks may make you feel more relaxed and ready for bed, any more than that on a regular basis could be the reason why you wake up feeling groggy and lacking in concentration. Learn what else might be keeping you awake.

Does counting sheep work?

Counting sheep is perhaps one of the most famous home remedies for good sleep. And it can work well for some people, although it’s actually the counting – not the sheep – that may help you get to sleep. In fact, any kind of repetitive visualisation that focuses the mind can help push away worrisome thoughts so that you feel more relaxed and sleepy.

If counting sheep (or kittens or woolly mammoths or llamas) doesn’t work for you, try visualising a tranquil scene like a favourite landscape or beach. Couple that with some calming sounds or comforting music and it might just do the trick.

Whatever technique works for you, your chances of a great night’s sleep can be helped even further with the right mattress. Take a look at our mattress buying guide if you need help deciding.


Can melatonin help you stay asleep?

Melatonin is the hormone that helps regulate our sleep/wake cycles. As our bodies produce it at night-time, too much daylight – including the blue light from our digital devices – can inhibit melatonin levels and keep us awake.

So, if you struggle to fall asleep at night or stay asleep, insufficient melatonin might be the culprit. Consider minimising the level of light in your bedroom, and try a diet that’s richer in foods that contain melatonin like eggs, fish, rice, mushrooms and tart cherries. Take a look at our suggestions for foods and drinks that support better sleep.

Can drinking warm milk help you fall asleep?

Many people find that a warm drink in the hour before bed helps them relax, and milk is always a popular choice. Malted milk might be a better bet, though, as it contains melatonin, the hormone that helps regulate your sleep/wake cycles. This hormone is naturally produced by the body, but including foods rich in melatonin might help you sleep better. So, if you’re wondering what drinks help you sleep, try malted milk or even a calming herbal tea but stay away from anything containing caffeine.


Can yoga help you sleep?

Yoga is a fantastic form of exercise and a great way to improve your core strength and flexibility. But can yoga help you sleep better? Some studies show that doing yoga, or any other exercise, on a daily basis can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep for longer. Yoga can also reduce stress – so if you tend to lie awake worrying about the next day’s tasks, yoga might help calm your mind.

That being said, any form of exercise undertaken too close to bedtime can actually make it harder to get to sleep. Exercise raises body temperature and stimulates the brain which may cause disturbed sleep. See what other activities might be keeping you awake.

Do baths help you sleep?

It seems intuitive that a warm bath or shower would help you sleep better simply by making you feel more relaxed and ready for bed. However, the science is a little more complicated than that. A warm bath an hour or two before bed not only helps you wind down at the end of a long day, but actually helps you cool down too as it lowers your body’s core temperature. And a lower core body temperature is conducive to better and more restful sleep. That’s also why sleep experts recommend keeping bedrooms on the cooler side.


Good-quality sleep can help us be more productive, feel happier, and even recover faster from ill health. For all kinds of reasons, making sure you get plenty of sleep every night can make a real difference to your days. That’s why it might be worth trying our home remedies for good sleep. You never know – one of them might make all the difference to you. If your sleep problems persist, however, do talk to your doctor.

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