Insomnia is one of the common sleep disorders among people around the world. On an average every adult needs about 7 to 9 hours of sleep. However, the disorder can keep them away from sleep. Some people may just have 1 or 2 bad nights per week, while others spend numerous sleepless nighttimes tossing, turning and feeling miserable. Insomnia can cause a lot of health problems such as depression, heart disease etc. Sleep experts have now come up with several tried and tested methods to relieve insomnia.
Natural Cure for Insomnia
Sleeplessness can be caused if the person is repeatedly awakened by loud noises and in most of the cases the sleeper will not be aware about what awakened him/her. Also, sleep might elude you, if the pillows are not right or the bed is too soft or too hard. Therefore, it is recommended to sleep in a quiet room or with earplugs.
The environment to sleep would be one that is cool, quiet, dark and comfortable. Also, you need to strictly use the bedroom only for sex and sleep. No television, no eating, no working and most of all no squabbling with your partner in the bed.
Maintain a Regular Schedule
It is very important for people suffering from insomnia to maintain a strict sleep-wake pattern, which has to be followed even on weekends.
Even if you cannot sleep at night, wake up at the usual time in the morning. Avoid taking a nap during the day, as you may have more trouble sleeping at night, thus compounding your problem of insomnia. It is best to allow yourself to feel drowsy, as it is easier to sleep at night.
Follow a Meticulous Bed Time Ritual
Usually, parents read bedtime stories or bathe their children every night. This is an indicator that tells you, it is time to prepare yourself for sleep. Creating such a ritual might be helpful even in adults. A warm shower taken at least 2 hours prior to bedtime is a great way to calm your body and prime yourself for sleep.
However, taking a bath just before sleeping may perhaps be stimulating and might delay sleep in few people. There are exceptions to this, so it is best to experiment with the timing. Naturopathic practitioners suggest using 1- 2 cups of Epsom salt to the warm bath. Soak yourself for about 15 – 20 minutes and then hit the sack.
Limit Alcohol and Caffeine
You may feel drowsy after taking alcohol and it might in fact put you to deep sleep, but one of its unpleasant side effects is that you may wake up at night with a full bladder, stomach ache or a headache. Also, the sleeper may experience a rebound effect once the sedative outcome of alcohol wears off, which actually makes it more difficult for a person to fall back to sleep.
Conversely, caffeine stimulates your brain. Therefore, it is suggested to reduce the intake of coffee to about 2 cups a day. Also, stop consuming beverages or foods that contain caffeine after noontime
You must finish your dinner at least 2 – 3 hours prior to bedtime. However, the comforting nighttime nibble of cookies and milk is perfect to get you into bed. Sugary foods that are consumed about thirty minutes before the bedtime could in fact be sleep-inducing and unlike synthetic sleeping pills they do not cause any morning fuzziness either.
As honey has similar soporific effect as sugar, it can be used before bedtime. Honey can be used in warm milk or in decaffeinated herbal tea, which can be a soothing pre-sleep drink.
Low-protein and high carbohydrate snacks make sleeping easier. Foods like toast are rich in carbohydrates and are easy on the stomach and the person can have blissful slumber. Another age-old cure for sleeping trouble is drinking warm milk (a glass) before bedtime. According to scientists the presence of the chemical tryptophan in the milk does the trick, as it eases the brain into sleep mode.
Moreover, warm milk relaxes the body and the mind. Tuna, turkey, chicken, and cottage cheese are the other foods that are high in tryptophan. It is believed that a deficiency in tryptophan could cause sleeping problems. 5-HTP can help in the production of serotonin by the body. The low level of serotonin is one of the factors for sleepless nights.
Taking this supplement of 5-HTP is beneficial. Tryptophan is found in low levels among people, who suffer from depression. A study suggests that sleep can be longer and better if 100 mg of the 5-HTP supplement is taken by the patient.
This hormone is the body’s timekeeper, as it regulates the biological clock. The body makes less melatonin as a person grows old and according to experts, this is perhaps the reason why elder folks have trouble sleeping. Various studies show that it is helpful to take melatonin supplement. The usual recommended dosage is about 1 – 3 mg of the supplement, which has to be taken 11/2 – 2 hours before sleeping. However, consult your doctor about the exact dosage you require.
This is one of the staple medicinal herbs commonly used in Europe. Unlike benzodiazepines, intake of valerian increases the time spent in REM (Rapid Eye Movement). It contains chemicals that have sedative and strong muscle-relaxant properties known as valepotriates.
Although, the entire plant consists of this chemical, it is concentrated more in the roots. Strangely, the preparation made from valerian without these valepotriates also helps people with insomnia, which raises the possibility of the presence of some other unidentified chemical in the plant or a reaction in the roots among different compounds might produce a soothing effect that is sleep-inducing.
A Sleep Journal
Although there is no magic formula to get perfect sleep, one must understand that different things work well for different people. Hence, it is important to try and give every remedy a persistent trial (at least one or two weeks and not just a night) to know the best one that works for you.
Maintain a sleep log to note down things that work and those that doesn’t. As mentioned earlier, there is no magic trick available for insomnia. However, one of the remedies outlined in the article may be the perfect recipe for you.
Caution: Please use Home Remedies after Proper Research and Guidance. You accept that you are following any advice at your own risk and will properly research or consult healthcare professional.