If you have problems sleeping it can affect your whole life. It is very frustrating to not be able to sleep easily at night and the problem can go on for years. Sadly, insomnia is a very common disorder these days and may be a symptom of our modern lives. Even if you do get to sleep, you may get disturbed by noises and then find it hard to drop off again. Sleeping tablets are one option, but they can have some side effects. Here are some natural remedies for insomnia.
What is the cause of your insomnia?
Several scientific studies have shown that insomnia is a very common disorder amongst adults. It can be caused by many different factors and several are connected to stress, anxiety and depression. Lifestyle factors are also very important: working shifts and travelling to another country especially cause people issues. Eating a big meal before bed does not help!
We have all had trouble getting to sleep after a hectic day at work or an argument with a partner. On the other hand, if your sleepless nights now outnumber the nights when you get a good rest, you may want to try some natural remedies.
Natural remedies for insomnia
Here are some home remedies for you to try:
- Warm milk: this contains a hormone called melatonin, which encourages deep sleep. Drink a cup of warm or hot milk before you go to bed each night.
- Valerian: this plant root has sedative properties which helps you to get to sleep. Drink an infusion or tea just before you retire to bed. Do not overdo it though, or you may have trouble getting up the next morning.
- Lime blossom: is sedative and a wonderful tranquiliser. Drink an infusion before going to bed. It will improve your sleep quality. It is also useful for people with anxiety and those that get spasms, as it counteracts muscle tension.
- Lettuce: this is traditional remedy to help people get to sleep. Lettuce tea has a greater effect than eating a salad at dinner. It contains various substances that have analgesic and sedative effects. For children you could soak lettuce in the bathtub and splash the water over your child’s head.
- Lavender: the classic aromatherapy answer to insomnia. The smell of this plant relaxes the nervous system, helping you get to sleep. Simply sprinkle lavender essential oil around the room or massage into the skin.
- Orange blossom: orange flowers have a tranquilising effect, which is relaxing at the same time. You can ingest it as a tea made with the flower. Alternatively, inhale some essential orange blossom oil before going to bed.
Tips to prevent insomnia
As well as trying the natural remedies you could try changing your routine and daily activities:
- Use your bed for sleeping only! Do not work or study in bed. Avoid watching TV, eating and using your phone in bed. Your body will get used to relating the bed to sleeping only if you do this.
- Do not eat too late. If you eat a lot of food late at night, it is quite possible that you won’t be able to sleep afterward for at least a few hours. The same is true if you eat foods high in fat, flour or sugar. However, avoid swinging to the other extreme and not eating anything at all because an empty stomach will keep you awake. Eat something light and easy to digest for dinner.
- Meditate: insomnia causes the body and brain to stay awake and alert for too long. Use mediation and relaxation techniques to turn your brain off!
- Take advantage of the benefits of music therapy: certain melodies will help you sleep better, especially if listening to classical music or nature sounds, like a waterfall, ocean waves or birds. Focus on the music and relax. Your body will slowly go to sleep. Vigorous music may have the opposite effect!
- Avoid consuming coffee, alcohol, tobacco and tea: You should leave at least 4 hours between these things and going to bed. If not, your nervous system will be highly stimulated and you won’t be able to relax or get to sleep. You may fall asleep initially after drinking alcohol, but this is not good quality sleep.