Natural Insomnia Cures and Solutions
A lot of people at some point or other have found themselves unable to sleep when they are supposed to. It is normal for this to happen now and again and is really no cause for concern. But, when lost sleep becomes a regular circumstance you could be suffering from a mild form of insomnia.
If this sounds like you, then you can choose from several different sleep-improving options. Many people prefer to search for a natural solution before using OTC or prescription sleeping pills. There are a wide variety of natural sleep aids, herbs, natural remedies, certain foods, and even relaxation techniques that can promote a better night’s sleep.
Some of the best natural sleeping remedies include:
Valerian – this herb has been applied for centuries and valerian does operate in a similar way to chemical sleeping pills. Valerian aids to increase your levels of GABA, which is a calming neurotransmitter in your brain. The valerian helps to make you feel more relaxed and tired.
It can be taken in many forms including capsules, extracts, or as an herbal tea. It is the roots of Valeriana officinalis that are used as a sedative.
This plant can grow to be over six feet tall with a strong odor. If you take valerian consistently for two weeks you will feel the full benefit.
Chamomile – this herb contains an antioxidant apigenin, which can result in muscle relaxation and sleep. Apigenin binds itself to the brain’s receptors to reduce anxiety and aid sleep. Chamomile takes about 45 minutes to kick in. Just like the valerian, chamomile can also be taken in the form of extracts or pills.
Black teas contain caffeine which can interfere with restful sleep as caffeine gives you energy. Herbal teas like chamomile tea do not contain caffeine which is another reason why they might help you relax and fall asleep. Some people can find the smell of herbal tea relaxing as well as the taste of it.
Chamomile tea was found to relieve period pain, especially when consumed as a hot beverage. It also proved to successfully treat gum disease and canker sores.
Natural Light – your body reacts differently depending upon the dosage of light it is exposed to. If you prefer to stay indoors in low lighting conditions your sleep cycle can actually become confused. Your body may not recognize when it is time to go to bed. This results in your sleep patterns becoming immensely irregular. You should aim to go outdoors during the day, a good way to achieve this is by taking a walk after dinner.
If going outside is not a good option due to health or mobility issues, there is a special treatment for insomnia and many other sleep disorders called light therapy. The objective is to reset your body clock so you feel the need for physical activity during the day and the need for relaxation or sleep in the evening. A light therapy lamp is a product that is recognized as an official medical device that is used for sleep regulation. You should use a light therapy lamp within the first hour of waking up with your eyes open while not looking directly at the light. As for the distance that should be kept from the light, it is usually found in the instructions from the manufacturer. As with every medical device, you should consult with a doctor before starting treatment. If you wish to learn more about light therapy products here is the best product for light therapy according to New York Times.
Aromatherapy – some scents like lavender and chamomile work exceptionally well in soothing your body and your mind. A pleasant way to use these scents is by taking a warm bath or by using small packets that fit inside your pillow.
Chamomile can be purchased as an herbal tea and should be consumed just before going to bed. Another way of using these scents is through essential oils which should definitely be tried prior to relying on harsh medications.
Lavender is obtained from northern Africa and the Mediterranean mountains where it is mostly used for extraction of essential oils. It was found to successfully help with anxiety, fungal infections, hair loss and wounds. It can also relieve pain from the stomach and headaches which in turn promotes better sleep.
Not a fan of herbal scents? Then check out the exotic fruity and floral scent called ylang ylang. This scent comes from the countries surrounding the Indian ocean like the Philippines, Malaysia, India, Indonesia, and some parts of Australia. The scent contains notes of jasmine, banana and neroli with creamy custard. This essential oil can be added to a diffuser in your bedroom and is best when blended with other essential oil smells. If you wish to find out more about other essential oils for insomnia click on the link in this paragraph which will lead you to our blog.
For even more informationis watch this short but informative video of a sleep specialist talking about how aromatherapy can help you sleep.
Relaxation Techniques – stress has a great deal to do with suffering from mild insomnia. By making the effort to learn and carry out relaxation techniques your potential to have greater quality sleep improves. Effortless relaxation techniques include deep breathing, yoga and muscle relaxation. These methods can be joined successfully with the aromatherapy uses above.
Certain yoga positions were proven to have a positive effect on sleep as they relax the muscles and decrease tension in the body. One great thing about yoga is that nowadays you do not even have to leave the comfort of your home to practice it. There are free videos on youtube that you can watch from home in a comfortable and private environment without disturbance. Every guided yoga video is made in a way that relaxes the mind and the body to induce sleep. The speaker would usually have a slow calming voice guiding you through each pose with appropriate music in the background to set the mood even better and prepare you for deep sleep. Check out this video for guided bedtime yoga.
Treating yourself to a massage now and again can really induce muscle relaxation and aid not only your physical but also your mental health. A large number of people nowadays suffer from anxiety, depression and stress.
Massage therapy can work by elevating neurotransmitters associated with lowering anxiety. Similarly as with meditation or yoga, massages provide us with the feeling of relaxation possibly releasing serotonin. This makes us forget about our daily stress and worries helping us fall asleep quicker and easier. For more information read about the 5 pressure points for sleep.
Another relaxation technique that is found to be effective in helping you fall asleep is slowly breathing in a quiet place. You can be in a sitting position or lying down as you listen to a guided breathing meditation. A famous breathing technique that helps with falling asleep is called “The 4-7-8 Breathing Technique”. It is very easy to follow and helps you prevent yourself from replaying your daily worries in bed before sleep. The 4-7-8 breathing method is a process of inhaling, holding and exhaling. You inhale through your nose and count to four, hold your breath for seven seconds and then exhale for eight seconds through your mouth.
Your Diet – what you eat has a major impact on your sleeping patterns. Too much caffeine or sugary foods before bedtime can disrupt sleep for many people. This is why you should aim to consume these foods in the early afternoon or in the morning to ensure your energy levels drop by the time you are supposed to sleep. Be sure to include meals containing milk, fresh vegetables including dark green veggies, chicken and turkey in addition with nuts.
Avoid heavy foods like chocolate and drinks that contain alcohol and caffeine before bedtime. Caffeine can cause stomach irritation and irregular heartbeat. Another disadvantage of it is that it decreases absorption of calcium and iron. This is why it is not recommended to women on their periods as they need these nutrients when losing blood. Caffeine can also enhance period pains and then intensify insomnia in the process.
A little food in your stomach before bed may help you sleep. However you should keep the bedtime snack small as having a heavy meal could tax your digestive system and make you uncomfortable. This can cause disruptions such as waking up in the middle of the night to use the toilet or having a dry throat and interrupting sleep as the body is longing for liquids. Find out what Mayo Clinic Radio has to say about this topic watch video now!
Music –many studies have been executed that show that soft music can help your body relax. You can simply play some soft music while getting ready for bed. Attempt listening to music while having a cup of your Chamomile tea or relaxing in your lavender bath. Sometimes guided meditation videos can contain relaxing background music as well as a calming tone from the narrator which helps you fall asleep.
Some people dislike hearing people talking before bed but they might enjoy different relaxing sounds. These can include birds chirping, rain falling, sea waves or just wind brushing against the treetops. Luckily for you, these videos with soothing sounds are free and some of them are linked down below this paragraph:
According to a study from 2014, listening to classical music from composers like Beethoven and Mozart appeared to help people perform better on memory and processing tasks. This means that you could possibly be improving your memorization skills while you sleep as your brain is being stimulated by the music but your body is at rest.
Some studies have shown that music with a rhythm of about 60 beats a minute can help you fall asleep. It is said that once your heart reaches 60 beats per min it is almost like it hits its own snooze button. This means that slow music redirects your heart toward the sleeping zone. It is also said that music with only melody is better than music with text.
A product that can help you listen to music in bed while not damaging your ear canal like earphones could during the night is a pillow speaker. This device is a pillow with a speaker inside it that can play light music allowing you to fall asleep faster.
Exercise – adding exercise into your lifestyle is extremely important to encourage quality sleeping habits. Physical activity helps to boost your endorphins which make you feel positive! Exercise will also help with reducing muscle tension and stress. Once your body gets used to healthy habits it will follow the pattern and soon you will be able to see yourself focusing better and achieving your goals. This could include improvement at work or school or reaching personal goals like getting in shape and being able to run a marathon.
Setting a specific time frame for your daily exercise can benefit you in many ways. For example, if you set your moderate-intensity workout to be done at least 90 minutes before sleep you will feel tired and not energized for bed. You will be able to fall asleep quicker and if you stick to your routine your body will automatically recognize when the time for sleep is and you will begin to feel sleepy at the same time every day. Here are some unisex workouts to try as a beginner:
You undeniably have lots of choices of natural insomnia cures that work. From foods and herbs to yoga and exercises, there is definitely something for everybody. It is best to try out some of these solutions before you decide to head to your doctors for a prescription for sleeping pills. You might just be surprised at how a few small changes can make a world of difference to your nightly sleep.