Millions of people suffer from insomnia every day. They experience sleeplessness, wakefulness, restlessness and the inability to sleep throughout the night. Insomnia can be debilitating. Endless nights without sleep can disrupt many things in your life: relationships, work and everyday wellbeing. Although insomnia seems like a disorder that could be treated or cured easily, it has a number of underlying factors that makes it very difficult to treat. If you currently suffer from insomnia, below are four natural and effective ways help support a restful night of sleep.
Get into a routine
One of the common causes of insomnia is developing an inconsistent sleep routine that involves going to bed and getting up in the morning at different times. Your body has a natural circadian rhythm, a 24-hour cycle that responds and reacts to light and darkness. To keep your circadian rhythm balanced, it is important to establish a balanced bedtime routine. Try to go to bed within the same hour every single night. If you can manage to wind down at least an hour before you plan to go to sleep that will also help to support a regular bedtime routine.
Exercise is one of the best things you can do for your health in general. Studies show that people who get enough exercise, at least thirty minutes a day of moderate activity, will be happier, healthier and less stressed overall. One study concluded that a session of moderately intense aerobic exercise decreased the amount of time it took to fall asleep and increased the amount of sleep of people with insomnia compared to a night in which they did not exercise. Exercise also plays an important role in treating insomnia because it improves your quality of mood. When you are less stressed overall, you can achieve a more restful sleep.
Prepare your bedroom
Your bedroom should be a sanctuary for relaxation and sleep. Preparing your bedroom for a restful night of sleep is easy but it takes a conscious effort. First thing is turn your thermostat down a few degrees. Studies have shown that most people sleep better in cooler environments. With that said, make sure you have enough blankets to keep you warm. Another trick is to turn your clock so it is not facing you. Many people who suffer from insomnia tend to count down the hours until they have to wake up in the morning. For this reason, it is good to get in the habit of either turning your clock away from you or covering it up with a scarf or a piece of clothing. Another important bedroom preparing is to make sure you have clean sheets, blankets and pillowcases. Dirty linens can cause your skin to itch during the night, which can lead to disrupted sleep. If you practise these healthy bedroom preparing tips, you may start to notice a significant improvement in your sleep.
Foods that improve sleep
If you are suffering from insomnia there are a few foods that you can incorporate into your diet to help you achieve a more restful night of sleep. One ingredient that is contained in foods such as turkey, chicken and bananas is tryptophan an amino acid that’s used to make serotonin. Try eating a slice of turkey or a banana 45 minutes before you plan on sleeping. Other foods that are beneficial for providing a good night of rest are certain carbohydrates. Experiment with having a glass of milk before bedtime with a piece of bread or a cookie. Milk also contains tryptophan and combining it with a simple carbohydrate will help tryptophan enter the brain.
Other natural remedies for sleep
- Lavender has been known to act as a mild tranquiliser.
- Valerian root has been shown to improve sleep without the nasty side effects of other over-the-counter meds.
- Passion flower is used worldwide as a natural sleep remedy.
- Jasmine oil can be rubbed into the temples and wrists to aid in a good night of rest.
- Melatonin is a hormone that helps support and regulate the sleep/wake cycle.
- A soothing bath can create a temperature drop that will help drop your body into a natural relaxed state.