Sleepless nights or sleep that is interrupted throughout the night are a real horror.
The more someone stresses about not being able to sleep, the less likely they become to fall asleep or stay asleep. This is the paradox! The worst part of sleepless nights is that they seem to go on forever, and as soon as it is time to wake up, voila, many individuals do fall asleep. Medications such as sedatives exist but these can be addictive. Supplements exist also such as melatonin, but these also can have side effects and should not be used in excess or for too long a time. So, to overcome sleep disorders naturally, (and insomnia is a sleep disorder), here are some home remedies to help you or a loved one or friend to sleep better. Share these hints and tricks and you will not only help yourself but possibly someone else. You have nothing to lose.
Let us get right down to it then. What home remedies are out there, and should you try them?
Natural home remedies can all be tried. Unlike sedatives and supplements, these are techniques and natural foods, or substances found in most homes or at supermarkets. At least one in every ten adults experiences some type of insomnia at least once in their lifetime, so having an arsenal of natural home remedies at hand should be considered.
Now for the list:
Epsom Salt Baths: Epsom salts have been around for centuries and are known for their muscle relaxing and emotionally soothing effects. Pour a generous amount into a warm tub of water and soak right before bedtime. Towel off gently, slip on your pajamas and go right to bed. Staying up will only rejuvenate the body again.
Lavender Oil: This can be poured into a bath same as Epsom salts and has the same calming, soothing effects on the mind and body.
Lavender Oil and Olive Oil Mixture: As odd as this sounds, mixing both oils creates a soothing combination that some individuals rub on the soles of their feet for relaxation and calming. Asian cultures have long considered the soles of the feet to be an important part of well-being, both in the removal of toxins from the body and to achieve relaxation.
Go bananas with bananas! This might sound crazy, but bananas contain potassium, magnesium, serotonin, and melatonin, all of which lead to less anxiety and a relaxed approach to life. Plus, they are delicious for most people and of course a child safe way to better slumber. A fussy, colicky baby who will not sleep will benefit from mashed banana during the day. Eating at least two is a good recommendation for adults.
The oldest known recipe is warm milk. No one knows why it works, but protein mixed with carbohydrates can induce sleep, so milk contains both. Warming it up can make it more soothing, and of course, good for children too. Add some cinnamon which also can be relaxing, and the effect is enhanced. Do not add cocoa or cocoa powder or chocolate. Nothing with sugar in it as sugar is a stimulant and anything with cocoa does have caffeine.
Change your lifestyle. Stop working earlier, turn off the television, cell phone and other mobile and tech devices. Read a relaxing book while sitting quietly in a chair. Dim the lights and allow yourself the peace and calm that surrounds this experience. Any technology recharges the mind, it does not calm it down. Also do not exercise a few hours before bed. This only speeds up metabolism and releases adrenalin. Set up a schedule of going to bed at a certain time and awakening at the same time even on the weekends. A person’s body adjusts to routine and sleep will come easier with a set routine. Do not nap during the day, even for a brief while. Napping even for short periods will lessen a tired feeling but will in the end exacerbate insomnia.
Drink a cup of chamomile tea or one made with valerian root. These natural products contain acids that decrease anxiety and enhance well-being. Valerian root also comes in capsules, but the tea is soothing, as is chamomile tea. Honey can be added to either, but again, not sugar. Put your feet up and drink one or the other an hour before bedtime.
Eat a handful of almonds. Almonds contain magnesium which promotes sleep and enhances more restful sleep. Almonds can help those with chronic reawakening or early morning awakening as they stay in the stomach and the magnesium is released slowly throughout the night.
Learn to love cherries if you do not already. Cherries contain tryptophan which is a muscle relaxant and stress reliever. Eating a handful an hour before bed can lead to a glorious night’s rest.
Try Lemon Balm. This is not as commonly used as the others as it can cause anxiety and agitation in a few individuals. Speak to a doctor about this ingredient. It is used like Valerian Root and Chamomile and steeped into a tea, but it also can be hard to find and again, can have some side effects.
Look into St. John’s Wort. This also is a centuries’ old home remedy to help you sleep better. It can be steeped into a tea or purchased in any pharmacy or store usually in either powder or capsule. Tea is always the best alternative for the soothing mechanism. St. John’s Wort is said to combat anxiety and depression.
If home remedies do not help you sleep better, see a doctor.
Although most insomnia is caused by overwork and too much worry, some medical conditions such as hypertension and diabetes can also cause insomnia. Insomnia that goes on for too long can lead to heart attacks, stroke, and other diseases as well as cause accidents. Take care of your health!