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10 Natural Methods that Can Help with Insomnia
If you have ever had insomnia, or even trouble falling asleep, then you are well aware of the frustration it brings. When you’ve had one of those nights where you’ve been awake most of the night and you start to wonder how on earth you are going to function at work? How are you going to make it through the day on such little sleep? What happens if you can’t fall asleep again tonight?
Insomnia can have a huge impact on your health, too. Those with insomnia are up to 4 times more likely to have depression, have a higher risk of heart disease, much more likely to have an accident on the road or at home, and are more likely to miss work.
You need at least 7 hours of sleep every night but insomnia can interrupt this much needed down time for the body. More than one third of Americans say that they can’t get enough sleep in order to function well during the day.
Although insomnia is one of the least understood sleep disorders, there are some tried and true ways to help break insomnias grip on your life. Check out the top 10 all natural remedies that can have you sleeping like a baby.
1. Keep a regular schedule
One of the best ways to handle insomnia is to train your body to sleep. To do this, you need to keep a strict schedule of when you got to bed and when you wake up, even on the weekends. If you find you can’t sleep one night, make yourself get up at your regular time and don’t nap during the day. That night, go to bed at a set time, even if you don’t feel sleepy. Infants are often trained to sleep through the night this way. If it works for them, it can work for you!
2. Try 5-HTP supplements
Some sleep experts believe that a lack of tryptophan is what causes sleep problems. 5-HTP is made from tryptophan and it helps your body to make serotonin.
This is a vital compound for helping you to sleep. Low levels of tryptophan are very common in people who depressed. If you believe your insomnia is linked to your depression, then you might want to try taking this supplement to improve your body’s production of serotonin.
SEE ALSO: Sleep Deprivation 101: How do you Grade?
In one study, subject too just 100mg of 5-HTP and found that they not only fell asleep, but they slept longer and better than they ever had before.
3. Try the old glass of milk trick
This is a really old time remedy for sleeping troubles but it might work due to the presence of tryptophan in milk.
Warm milk seems to relax both the body and mind.
Other foods that are high in tryptophan are cashew nuts, chicken, tuna, cottage cheese, chicken, and turkey. Try eating more of these items in your diet to see if they can help with your insomnia.
4. Soak in a hot bath
Think about when you were a child. Many mothers give their children a bath and then read to them a bit just before bedtime. This teaches the body that a bath and a story are signals that it’s time for sleep.
Establishing a similar ritual might just work for you as well. Take a hot bath about 2 hours before bedtime. This is a ritual that will relax your body and teach it that this means bedtime is near.
You can adjust the time, if you need to, in order to suit your own preference, but this trick works for many people.
5. Try valerian root
There are many herbs that are well known for inducing sleep.
Valerian is a great herb to try because it doesn’t give you that morning hangover type of side effect. A 300 to 400mg supplement can be taken about 30 minutes before bedtime.
Other herbs that work well are chamomile, passion flower, catnip, and lemon balm. Many of these are sold as teas that you can drink about an hour before bedtime.
6. Don’t eat before bed
Stop eating about 2 hours before you plan to go to sleep.
Digestion increases the metabolism and can possibly keep you awake.
Drink if you like, but be sure you finish all meals or snacks at least 2 hours before you plan to hit the hay.
7. Try melatonin
Your body naturally makes melatonin. This hormone is what regulates your body’s biological clock. Usually, the body produces melatonin for several hours every night in order to keep you sleeping soundly.
Research studies show that using time released melatonin works well for most people.
Try taking a time released supplement that contains 1 to 3mgs of melatonin about two hours before you go to bed.
8. Drink some water
Since water cools down your body while strengthening the kidneys, this helps to calm your mind.
When you slow down your thinking, you will fall asleep faster.
Try a glass of cool water about 30 minutes before you go to sleep. Read more about reasons why you should load up on water.
9. Try one of the 6 healing sounds
Ancient Chinese medicine has some noises that they call “The Six Healing Sounds”.
One of these sounds is called “The Triple Burner”. It’s believed to calm the mind as well as slow the heart rate. Very softly, make a heeeeeeee sound. It’s exactly like the word “he” but with a long E. This can be one of the most successful means of beating insomnia.
Don’t feel silly, just try it for one week and see if it helps. Find out magical benefits of music.
10. Try reflexology
When doing acupuncture, there is a certain spot on the bottom of the feet that, when stimulated, can help you fall asleep.
You can find it on the bottom of each foot, directly on the centerline, about one inch to the north of the center. Press on this point using moderate pressure for 1 minute.
This is another way of falling asleep faster that works for many people.