It’s three o’clock in the morning, and The Sandman is nowhere nearby. You’ve tried to count sheep but lose track after 100. It sounds like you could use some of the many natural insomnia cures that have been used successfully for years.
Good sleep hygiene is essential for the quality rest. You need to revitalize your body every night. While you sleep, your brain goes into energy-saving mode. As it stays busy filing information and monitoring vital systems, your body relaxes and produces millions of new cells.
If you don’t get enough sleep, this process is interrupted, and your health will be affected. It’s normal to have occasional bouts of sleeplessness. However, chronic insomnia is a severe condition that needs to be addressed before it causes damage.
Try These Fifteen Natural Insomnia Cures
Before you risk getting hooked on sleep medication, try some lifestyle changes to promote good sleep hygiene. Then, you can look for ways to get some rest naturally. Here are ten natural insomnia cures for you to consider.
1. Turn Down the Lights
Your brain is hardwired to awaken when stimulated with light. If your room isn’t dark at night, any light can mess with this function, and you will lose sleep. Consider using blackout shades in the windows and turning digital clocks away from your sight.
2. Stay Cool
Set your thermostat to keep your room between 60-67 degrees, which is the temperature that is comfortable for most people for sleeping. Temperatures above or below this point make sleeping difficult. Purchase a mattress that supports your body and use pillows that cradle your head and neck properly.
3. Create a Sacred Space
Your bedroom should be your personal space of refuge and tranquility. Avoid doing paperwork or any other chores in there. Reserve this sacred space for rest, romance, and for sleeping.
4. Try Using White Noise
Does the sound of silence sound like a foghorn in your head? Some people rest better when they sleep with the noise of a fan. If you don’t want the extra breeze, you can also purchase an inexpensive white noise machine to keep at your bedside.
This ancient practice goes back to the 6th century BCE in India. Ayurveda practitioners developed yoga as a philosophy that benefits the body, mind, and spirit. Modern scientific research suggests that yogic practice can not only strengthen and tone your muscles, but it can also encourage well-being, relaxation, and restful sleep.
Whether you are experienced or a newbie to yoga, it can help you get the sleep you crave. All you need is an inexpensive yoga mat and a comfortable, quiet place to practice. Try simple poses like Wide-Knee Child, Reclining Bound Angle, and Corpse Pose to encourage a good night’s sleep.
One of the reasons you may be staring at the ceiling all night is the constant chatter in your mind. All night, you replay the events of the day while worrying about things happening tomorrow. Does that sound familiar?
Meditation is an ideal way to reel your thoughts in and allow your mind to rest. While it doesn’t erase your thoughts, it will enable you to acknowledge them and allow them to pass. Before you get to bed each evening, sit in a comfortable place, close your eyes, and be fully aware as your body relaxes.
7. Warm Milk
Some of the old-fashioned natural insomnia cures can be backed by scientific research. Did your mother ever give you a warm glass of milk before bedtime, or if you were having trouble sleeping? Part of why it worked was probably your mother’s nurturing, but the other part was ingredients in the milk.
Tryptophan is a natural chemical in milk that can stimulate the sleep portion of your brain. Did you know that milk also contains melatonin, the brain chemical responsible for your sleep/awake process? As always, your Mom knew what she was doing when she recommended warm milk.
8. Valerian Root
No discussion about natural insomnia cures would be complete without mentioning valerian root. For centuries, the humble valerian plant has been recommended for everything from nausea, to epilepsy, to congestion. It was also valued for inducing restful sleep.
Today, valerian root is a common herbal sleep remedy that is used throughout the world. It comes in different dosages and is available in most pharmacies and health food stores.
9. Remove Electric Devices
Isn’t it ironic that the technology that is supposed to make your life easier can create different problems? For example, go into your bedroom at night, turn out the lights, and look around the room. Do you see total darkness or a multitude of small red and blue eyes blinking at you?
If you spend time watching television, chatting on a cellphone, or scrolling on a mobile device before retiring, they may be sabotaging your sleep. These electronic devices emit low-frequency blue rays that alter your brain’s sleep/wake cycle. Avoid technology at least an hour before bedtime and remove electronic devices from your bedroom.
10. Insist on a Consistent Bedtime
When you are juggling work, caring for your family, and other responsibilities, it’s often difficult to keep a consistent bedtime for yourself. Perhaps you wait until the kids are asleep to catch up on chores or finish a work project. It’s no wonder why so many Americans are sleep deprived these days.
Make a consistent bedtime part of your daily routine. Even when you’d rather sleep in on the weekends, a varied sleep schedule will do more harm than good. Do the math to see when you should go to bed to get 7-8 hours of sleep and make that time a constant.
11. Kick the Caffeine
Are you like many Americans who depend on caffeine to get through the day? Whether you sip a gallon of coffee or tank up on caffeinated sodas, the caffeine overload can keep you counting sheep instead of sleeping.
If you can’t give up caffeine entirely, compromise, and try to drink less. Try decaf coffee, herbal tea, and sodas without caffeine. Avoid drinking anything with caffeine a couple of hours before bedtime.
12. Herbal Tea
Like coffee, tea leaves have caffeine and can cause insomnia. What if you’re used to a hot cup of tea or frosty glasses of iced tea? Instead, why not switch to a delicious herbal tea?
Herbal teas have always been among the plethora of natural insomnia cures, plus they don’t have caffeine. Consider a comforting cup of chamomile, valerian, or passionflower tea to relax your nerves and encourage a good night’s sleep. Herbal teas can be enjoyed hot or iced with the same benefits.
13. Lavender Oil
Among the many essential oils used for natural insomnia cures, lavender remains the Queen of Calm. The lovely purple blossoms native to the Mediterranean region have been prized for food and medicine since recorded history. Great ancient societies such as Babylon, Egypt, Greece, and Rome used lavender oil as a nerve tonic and an essential sleep aid.
Purchase pure essential lavender oil and put a few drops in a diffuser to use at night. You can also spray a bit of diluted oil on your pillows and sheets so the delicate scent can drift you off to dreamland. Lavender promotes a sense of calm and tranquility as well as inducing sleep.
Do thoughts and ideas race through your mind and keep you up all night? Journaling is a great way to put your thoughts onto paper and leave them for later. Write about the topics that worry you or make a list of things you want to accomplish, so they aren’t cluttering your mind.
You can use a plain notebook or get creative and make a lovely journal that appeals to you. Set aside a time each evening to write in your journal. Write whatever is in your heart and mind, and nobody needs to read it unless you want.
15. Make Your Room Comfortable
Did you know that your bedroom may be the root cause of your sleepless nights? Is your mattress comfortable, or is it too soft or firm?
Do you fight with uncomfortable pillows that go flat and keep your neck in a pinch? Is your room too hot or too cold to sleep comfortably? Make your space a haven that encourages rest.
Before you take any herbal supplement to promote sleep, tell your primary healthcare provider about your medical history and any medications or supplements you are currently taking. Some herbal supplements are not safe for pregnant or nursing mothers, so get medical advice first.
Without sleep, your body can’t function. If you are tired of tossing and turning in bed every night, there’s hope. With a few adjustments in your lifestyle, like remove electronic devices from your room and practicing natural insomnia cures, you will be sleeping comfortably before you know it.