Is there anything worse than tossing and turning when all you want to do is sleep? Sleep is one of the cornerstones of health and too little or too much can have poor effects on your health. There are so many factors that can interfere with a good night’s sleep—from work pressure, family responsibilities, or illnesses, our minds can be cluttered with thoughts to make us restless even during slumber.
If you discover that you are lacking in sleep, relax—answers are everywhere. Sleep deprivation is a common ailment but one that can easily overcome with the help of natural sleep remedies. Before you rush to the drugstore to buy an over-the-counter sleep medication, try one of these natural sleep remedies:
- Melatonin– Melatonin is the hormone found naturally in the body and is a popular remedy to help people fall asleep when the sleep/wake cycle has been disturbed.
- Yoga and Meditation-choose gentle yoga or stretching followed by simple meditation. Close your eyes for ten minutes and pay attention to nothing but your breathing.
- Valerian Root– Valerian Root is one of the most common sleep remedies for insomnia. Valerian improves deep sleep, the speed of falling asleep, and overall quality of sleep.
- Chamomile Tea-chamomile is a healing herb that activates the back of your brain that tells your body to go to sleep.
- Cut out Caffeine-Caffeine can have a negative effect on sleep, causing insomnia and restlessness. Caffeine stays in your system for up to 12 hours so having your last cup of coffee or tea at lunchtime may be a smart idea if you are having trouble sleeping at night.
- Lay off the Liquor-at first, drinking makes you sleepy, but alcohol increases slow-wave deep sleep in the first half of the night, but increased sleep disruptions in the second half.
- Watch the salt-processed foods contain a lot of sodium which can interrupt sleep by raising your blood pressure and dehydrating you.
- Keep sleep to a schedule– go to bed every night at the same time and get up at the same time-even on the weekends, setting your biological sleep clock.
- Make your room a dream palace -the body is trained to wake up when there is light, even when your eyes are closed. The darker your room can be, the sounder you will sleep. Keep your room cool—your body temperature naturally drops as you drift off to sleep so lowering the thermostat can jump start the process and make it easier to fall asleep. Keep your room quiet using a white noise machine or soothing CD to drown out disruptions. Your room should be clear of any stimulating items such as a TV or computer. Doing these things will make your bedroom a more inviting place to rest and relax.
- Start relaxing-about an hour before bed, start to relax your mind and body by listening to some soft music, meditating, taking a warm bath and unwinding. A quick spritz of lavender water on your pillows before bed will often calm your exhausted mind.
- Sleep Aid Apps– there are a wide variety of apps for your smart phone that can help you catch some shut eye each night. SleepBot uses motion and sound sensing telling you when you fell asleep, how many times you woke up throughout the night, and whether there were any disturbances. Sleepbot can analyze this data to provide deeper insights about your sleep habits.
Having healthy sleep habits can make a big difference in your quality of life. You’re not doomed to toss and turn every night. Consider these simple tips for making the sleep of your dreams a nightly reality.
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