If you struggle to get a good night’s sleep, you’ll be glad to know that there are a few natural sleep remedies for insomnia that work very well without the adverse side effects of harsh medications.
Many of us underestimate the importance of sleep for our overall health and wellness. Sleep is incredibly important for boosting energy, restoring tired systems and healing the body.
Several studies show that the healing you experience while sleeping is much more effective than anything you experience while awake.
There’s no arguing that getting a good night’s sleep can be refreshing and rejuvenating. For millions, though, a good night’s sleep seems just out of reach.
As life gets busier it seems that there is no time to sleep. Even when you do grab a few hours, they usually aren’t very restful and leave you feeling just as fatigued as you were before.
People of all ages across the globe suffer from occasional to chronic insomnia. The sleep crisis facing many children and adults has caused them to become irritable, chronically tired and even sick due to a compromised immune system.
Take a look at why restful sleep is so very important.
The Importance of Restful Sleep
Restful sleep is deep sleep that may include dreaming, also known as REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. When restful sleep is achieved, you wake up feeling refreshed and energized rather than tired and groggy, and can go about your day with renewed enthusiasm.
Restful sleep is one of the most important parts of life for a number of reasons. Children, teenagers and young adults under twenty-five require restful sleep to aid in their physical and mental development as well to keep their bodies working properly.
For older adults, sleep is important to keep up the immune system as well as help the body to age gracefully and heal when sick or injured.
People often sleep after a trauma or ordeal because it is the body’s way of repairing itself after it has been stretched beyond its limits.
Good sleep is crucial for boosting your energy and stamina and maintaining a strong immune system to fight all types of diseases and illnesses.
Here are a few natural sleep remedies for insomnia that work very well.
Eliminate Caffeine Before Bedtime
We all love our morning cup of coffee. In fact my mornings are marked by ‘Wake up and smell the coffee!’
While a caffeine boost in the morning may be a great way to start the day on a high note, you do not need that high energy when the aim is to slow your body down.
When trying to avoid caffeine, many people make the mistake of cutting out only coffee. But caffeine is not just available in coffee only.
Caffeine can be hiding in the cola you drink, black tea, and coffee flavored cookies and cakes. While eliminating caffeine out of your diet 100% may not be possible, try to limit your consumption of caffeine to the mornings only.
Prevention Magazine tells us that ingesting caffeine, even 6 hours before bedtime, can disrupt sleep.
Drink a Glass of Warm Milk Instead
Drinking warm milk before bed is a gentle yet effective way to fall sleep.
Milk contains tryptophan, which is a sleep-inducing amino acid. Warm milk gives you that lovely warm comfort feeling, which acts together with tryptophan to lull you to sleep.
Exercise Regularly But Not Too Close to Bedtime
Not only does regular exercise help you maintain a healthy body weight and better mental outlook but a Sleep Foundation study found that those who exercised regularly were less sleepy during the day and slept better at night.
It is important not to engage in any vigorous physical activity too close to bedtime as exercise keeps the heart rate up and re-energizes you, which can interfere with your sleep. If exercising during the first half of the day is not possible, try and exercise at least 4 hours before you plan on turning in.
While a new exercise routine may leave you a little tired at first, regular exercise during the day will give you more energy and help you fall asleep at bedtime. This may have to do with the chemicals released by the body when you exercise. The neurotransmitters released by the brain during exercise have all sorts of beneficial properties and improved sleep is one of them.
Meditation has a restorative effect on the brain. There are all sorts of benefits that meditation provides, the most important of which are reduced stress and a better ability to cope with difficult issues in one’s life.
Meditation is also great for insomnia. A Harvard study found that mindful meditation was very effective at combating insomnia.
Mindful meditation invokes a relaxation response, helping you relax enough to fall asleep quickly and stay asleep through the night.
If you are not familiar with how to meditate there are many guided meditation audio programs that you can buy or check out from your library.
Use Aromatherapy Oils for Sleep
Lavender oil is one of the best-known essential oils for sleep. It works by helping the body wind down and relax so you can get a good night’s rest.
Other essential oils that are good for sleep include ylang ylang, Roman chamomile, sandalwood, sweet marjoram and bergamot.
You can get the benefits of aromatherapy for sleep by soaking in a warm bath to which a few drops of essential oil are added. The warm water and the aroma of the oil will help you to calm you down so you fall asleep more easily.
Alternatively, you can also burn scented candles in your bedroom or put a few drops of the oil onto your pillow before you lie down.
Another fantastic way to use essential oils for better sleep is by using an aromatherapy sleep mask.
Check Your Sleep Hygiene
Sleep hygiene is more than just maintaining a clean bedroom. It refers to a number of things that you can do to help you sleep better at night, including being mindful of environmental cues.
Here are a few things you can do to maintain good sleep hygiene:
- Use the bedroom for sex and sleep only
- Do not keep any electronics in the bedroom
- Keep the room dark and quiet
- Keep your room cool
- Use a good mattress
- Set your alarm clock away from your bed
Avoid Technology Before Bedtime
Watching too much television, surfing the web for hours or using your smartphone excessively before bedtime, can stimulate the brain and make it harder for it to wind down and relax.
When you watch screens for too long, your mind tends to stay alert and the brain cannot produce the amount of melatonin you need to fall asleep.
When you turn the television off or put your phone away just before bed, you won’t have enough time to wind down and fall asleep.
Studies show that it is best to avoid using technology for at least an hour before bed to help your body get sleepy naturally.
Wake Up At the Same Time Every Morning
Getting up at the same time every day and avoiding naps helps your body follow a circadian rhythm. Research shows that we need to do this to sleep well at night.
There are two really important elements to this step.
- Stop hitting the snooze in the morning and force yourself to get up at the same time every day. If you hit the snooze button once or twice (or 6 times), you are not really training yourself to get up at the same time every day. If you know you do not need to get up until a7:30, stop setting your alarm for 7. Save yourself the 30 minutes of interrupted sleep and set the alarm for 7:30, get up the first time it rings.
- NO NAPS during the day. If you are not used to getting up in the morning, then this may be the hard part for you. Napping can throw you off for sleeping at night because you simply are not tired enough to get to bed on time. Skip the nap (and the caffeine), and stay up so that you can get a good nights sleep.
These natural sleep remedies are very effective for promoting better sleep and treating insomnia and have been used successfully by many people over the years. If you are suffering the effects of serious lack of restful sleep, it’s time to give these natural remedies a try.
Remember, finding what works well for you may take some playing around. So, if you don’t get it right the first night or two don’t give up.
These natural sleep remedies for insomnia are proven to work. They just take time. Give them a few weeks and you should be sleeping soundly.
Have you used any of the above natural sleep remedies for insomnia? Or perhaps you use some other sleep strategies that work wonderfully for you? Tell us your experience with using sleep remedies in the comments below.