20 Natural Remedies for People Dealing With Insomnia
What to do if You Experience Insomnia
There are two basic types of insomnia chronic and acute. Acute insomnia is typically temporary and will resolve itself without any intervention or treatment. Chronic insomnia, however, lasts for much longer and is characterized by having difficulty sleeping at least three nights a week for longer than a three month period of time. There are many lifestyle factors that can contribute to sleeplessness, but it can be different for each individual. This means there isn’t a solitary end-all treatment for insomnia. Some of the most common lifestyle factors that influence sleep patterns include:
- Frequent nighttime urination
- Hot flashes
- Sleep apnea
- Restless legs
- Digestive difficulties
- Shift work
- Use of drugs or alcohol
- Neurological conditions
- Some medications
20 Natural Remedies for Insomnia
- Temperature Control. Keep your sleeping area a bit chilly can decrease your body temperature a bit. This can initiate sleep and keep you comfortable all night.
- Alter the Mood. Try dimming your lights about half an hour prior to bedtime. Turn off noises, distractions, and lights. Use a fan, calming music, or a white noise machine. Or, use earplugs if that is most comfortable for you.
- Essential Oils. Many of the essential oils can be diffused to help encourage you to wind down and sleep. Lavender, Roman chamomile, and cedarwood essential oils are just a few of the most relaxing, sleep-inducing oils.
- Slow Your Mind. Try going to bed with a good book about 30 minutes before bedtime. This lets your mind unwind rather than trying to force sleep. You might want to read novels other than thrillers before bed, though!
- Skip Simple Carbs and Sugars. Avoid eating fruit or other sugars before bedtime as they can cause the blood sugar levels to spike. Sugars, even natural ones, boost energy and can fuel insomnia. If you are hungry before bed, eat a bit of protein or a complex carb to help boost melatonin.
- No Electronics in Bed. Watching television or working on the computer late at night can make your brain think the bed is good for getting some things done rather than sleeping. You may think it’s a way to settle down, but electronic devices can gear you up instead.
- Maintain a Sleep Pattern. Find a bedtime routine and sleep schedule that works for you and stick with it. This gets your body used to going to bed and waking up at the same time every day increasing your chances of getting better sleep.
- Limit Caffeine Intake After Noon. The effect of caffeine can last up to 12 hours. This can be disruptive to your sleep. Some studies looked at the effects of eliminating caffeine for one day. This helped improve the quality and length of sleep in subjects. Try natural, caffeine-free alternatives instead.
- Exercise in the Mornings. A solid workout provides you with a rush of endorphins. But it can also keep you awake at night. Shift your workout time to mornings so it’ll be easier to unwind at night.
- Journaling at Bedtime. Sometimes, your thoughts can keep you from falling asleep. By journaling just before bedtime, you can address some of the things troubling you. This can help you drift off to sleep more easily.
- Melatonin. One of the keys to natural sleep is melatonin. Eat foods that contain tryptophan to contribute to the production of melatonin. This might help you fall asleep and get better sleep. Some bedtime snacks eaten at dinner, or about an hour before bedtime can increase the production of melatonin. Try eating morello cherries, rice, bananas, radishes, red wine, ginger, or barely.
- Foods or Supplements with Magnesium. If you have a magnesium deficiency it can cause sleeplessness. Either eat foods rich in magnesium or take a supplement to offset it.
- No Counting Sheep. If you are having trouble going to sleep for longer than 20 minutes, try something else like reading a book or journaling. You may even get up and move around for a few minutes before trying again. But don’t try to force yourself to sleep.
- Vitamin D. Exposure to natural light resets the biological clock, balances melatonin and cortisol, and provides vitamin D. People deficient in vitamin D often have sleep problems.
- Detox Baths. Try a detox bath instead of a shower before bed. This can help eliminate toxins from the body while soothing the body and the brain.
- Chamomile Tea. A cup of chamomile tea can be soothing and induce drowsiness.
- Meditation and Prayer. Both prayer and meditation can reduce stress and create a positive mindset to improve your quality of sleep. Take a few deep breaths, rest and focus on relaxing your body.
- Natural Sleep Supplements. Valerian root, melatonin, and passion flower are three natural sleep supplements that can help induce sleep without leading to any ill side effects.
- Full-Body Exercises. During the daytime, work the larger muscle groups. All-body workouts can help you feel tired leading to falling asleep easier.
- Buy a Good Mattress. If you are sleeping on an uncomfortable mattress, these strategies are not going to work at all. Spend the money to get a good, comfortable mattress so you can get a good night’s sleep.