Blog,  Health

If a Restful Nights’ Sleep Seems Elusive, There ARE Natural Sleep Aids that Will Assist!

Insomnia is a real problem for many individuals.  Combatting it is not easy. 

While some individuals only experience intermittent insomnia, for others it becomes chronic, and does interfere tremendously with their functioning and daily life.  Chronic insomnia not only creates mental health issues such as anxiety and depression but also health issues such as high blood pressure, the inability to focus due to decrease in mental acuity and can even lead to heart problems if it persists for years.  It is hard to determine what causes chronic insomnia, as there are varieties.  These include the inability to fall asleep at night, the inability to stay asleep, waking up many times throughout each night, and waking up way too early each morning.  If the problem persists a sleep specialist or psychologist should be consulted, as depression itself can cause insomnia if left undiagnosed.  In this case it would be difficult to tell if the insomnia caused the depression or if the depression caused the insomnia.  Some individuals who experience insomnia even fall into a pattern of fearing NOT falling asleep which of course then exacerbates the syndrome. 

In some cases, a physician will prescribe sleeping pills.

Although some can be addictive, sedatives such as valium and others such as lorazepam can be prescribed.  They are not all that addictive if taken only once each day at bedtime, as going without sleep for too long is dangerous.  Sleep deprivation that is extended creates what is called “brain fog”.  This is the inability to think clearly and can cause vehicle accidents and other types of accidents to occur.  Chronic sleep deprivation also causes less work productivity and those that suffer from it can lose their source of employment.  Falling asleep while driving and daytime fatigue are two big issues also.  Moodiness also occurs, along with loss of appetite and other chronic problems.  Sleep is important as during sleep the cells in both the brain and body rejuvenate themselves.  A lack of rejuvenation that is chronic due to sleep deprivation causes both mental and physical imbalances. 

A physician may suggest a natural sleep aid first such as melatonin. 

Melatonin is a natural dietary supplement of the Vitamin B family and has been used by many to achieve peaceful, quicker, more thorough, and more restful sleep.  It comes in tablets, in liquid, and the most popular of all, chewable gummies.  It is not addictive and has very few if any side effects.  Many times, the side effects are caused by additives within the melatonin supplements that are used for shelf life stability and freshness.  The gummies are easy to take right before bed and seem safe some individuals do experience itchiness, dizziness, headaches, or stomach aches.  Some side effects include mood changes such as depression, but these are when others already have a mood disorder of which they are unaware.  Depression and anxiety in particularly can be exacerbated by melatonin and is listed on the side of all bottles of this supplement. 

A Cup of freshly brewed black tea,escaping steam,warm soft light, darker background.

Home remedies to help you sleep better are a good alternative to both melatonin and sleeping pills.

Insomnia is rampant and the reason why many individuals visit a physician every year.  If neither sleeping pills or melatonin appeals to an individual, there are many other ways to relax before sleep and induce longer sleep.  Lavender oil and a hot bath are one alternative.  Simply soaking in a hot bath with a few drops of lavender relaxes both the muscles and the mind. Valerian root is another superb alternative.  Another nutritional supplement, valerian root can take a few weeks before benefits are felt.  Patience is needed with this supplement.  Melatonin as mentioned remains more popular than valerian root.  Other helpful advice includes drinking warm milk before bed, and turning off the television, computer and even cell phone.  Looking at a vibrant screen only energizes one’s mind, the opposite of what is needed before bedtime.  Find time to put your feet up and enjoy a snack.  Doctors are not clear why this works but it does.  It should be a combination of a carbohydrate and protein like nuts and crackers, etc.  Above all else, do not exercise in the evenings, as this pumps adrenalin through the body.  As you can see there are many ways to combat insomnia and all are worth trying!