You are very much aware that you need regular sleep to be able to function effectively and productively every day. But if you happen to be among the majority of busy individuals today, then you are either not getting enough sleep or you are waking up too often in the middle of the night. This is actually a very common problem among adults. In most cases, being too busy at work is the culprit. Anxiety and depression are common causes as well.
One of the most common solutions used by people suffering from insomnia is taking sleeping pills. But, it is a known fact that taking synthetic products may not be good for the body in the long run. For one thing, the body gets immune with the effects of drugs after a while. Not to mention the possibility of damaging the liver if it has to constantly filter chemically-induced products.
A Glass of Warm Milk at Night
Rather than take sleeping pills, why not take a warm glass of milk before bed time. It is an old practice that really works. This may be an old wives’ tale but believe it or not, it is the truth. The elders were right when they say that drinking a glass of warm milk before bed time can really help you feel sleepy. It is the tryptophan component in milk that helps. This component is a form of amino acid that has been proven to induce sleep. Tryptophan can also be found on tuna and turkey; so you may want to try a tuna salad or a turkey sandwich for dinner. For people who have been doing the ritual of drinking warm milk every night, they say that the calming effect of the drink helps them relax and wind down. So, why not take a dose of warm milk at night and see if this will work for you too.
No Caffeine After Lunch and Forward
If milk can help you go to sleep, coffee can keep you awake. Another old wives’ tale? Probably. But one that also stays true. A morning coffee can really get your day going, but guzzling coffee or caffeine-filled drinks – like soda – all day is not really that good at all. Caffeine is believed to have a half-life of five hours, which simply means that when you take a cup at around three to four o’clock in the afternoon, its effects will be out of your system by the time you need to sleep. Unfortunately, that is not true at all. It actually takes seven hours before majority part of the stimulant is out of your system. In most cases, around 25% percent of caffeine stimulant will remain in your body by the time you are lying in bed and trying hard to sleep. Aside from coffee and sodas, other drinks and food products that contain caffeine are chocolates, energy drinks, root beer, and even your decaffeinated coffee. It is best if you can stay away from these products if you want to get a good shut-eye every night for the rest of your life.
This may sound like a stupid advice as the objective here after all is to get some sleep. Some people though, are very much unaware that even if they are trying so hard to fall asleep, their mind may not be ready. The most common reason is that the body may be ready to rest, but the mind is still working overtime. The best thing to do is to try to relax and keep the troubles at bay for the night. This may not be an easy thing to do at first, but as always, practice makes perfect. So, just keep on repeating this practice and soon it will come automatically to you. You want to sleep, so concentrate on that objective.
Sweat it Out
Some people may not advice exercising in the evenings, as they believe that the adrenaline rush will keep you awake till late hours of night. There is no solid evidence of that claim though. But there have been studies proving that working out at night actually improves sleep. There was one study conducted that discovered that insomniacs who tried to do regular exercises slept better after a while. These people also started feeling less anxious and depressed, and they are also more energetic at day. Exercising at night though, does not mean to say that you need to really go for it like you are at a gym. Some simple stretching is enough and do not touch those weights.
The bed is made not just for sleeping, it is for making love as well. So, why not make love if sleep is not coming. It has been proven that after intercourse, a hormone called prolactin is released by both the male and female bodies. This kind of hormone is released during orgasm and it is really a good ingredient for a good night’s sleep. So, get some good old fashioned sex if you are finding it hard to sleep. Use your bed a little more productively; you never know this could be the one remedy that will work out for you, and for good.
Self meditation is a good practice that may help you get that much elusive sleep. It could be a tough sell, but meditation is proven to be a powerful tool that can be useful for insomniacs. When you meditate you send out signals directly to your body’s nervous system to relax. Of course trying to relax when you can’t sleep may be easier said than done. But you can give it a try through meditation. It should be done right though, if you want to achieve the best results. This means doing it in a calming, quiet environment and when you are really ready for bed. Meditation is a good method that can help you control your stress levels, which is instrumental in helping you sleep better every night. Abdominal breathing is a good form of meditation that you can practice. Breathe easy from your abdomen and keep your attention on these breaths in order to help relax your mind and body. Eventually, you will be able to stay away from distractions and sleep will surely be a good companion. You can also meditate in a dimly lit room filled with soft music. Guided imagery is also a good meditation tool. You can simply focus your mind on an image that you really love to see during your waking hours. For instance, the view from your office window could be your stimulating factor for being productive at day. Use the same image to keep your mind relaxed at night. You can also pick one place where you always feel safe and happy. Keep the picture of the place in mind while lying in bed and invite your senses to explore that safe haven. Have you tried counting sheep? That is actually a form of meditation that you can also practice. If sheep seems to be too traditional for you, you can simply gaze upward and start counting. Eye strain can be relaxing, as long as you are not staring too hard. Rather, just stare out at nothing. Count one and then take a calming breath – inhale and exhale – and then continue counting. Imagine yourself climbing a hill and you are counting every step, there is a big chance that by the time you reach ten, your eyes will be half-closed.
Unwind at Home
As much as possible, avoid taking work home. Home is the place where you should be able to relax and unwind after a tiring and stressful day at work. If you are in the habit of taking your work home with you, it is about time to stop that practice. Walk through your door without the worries of work with you. In case you are a work-at-home person, your best option is to set a time to stop working. Unwinding is a good way to go. Do it early in the evening; make that transition from stressful day to relaxing evening. If you have to deal with issues at home, focus on it as soon as you are home and make sure that they have been resolved before you enter your bedroom. In simple words, keep your worries where they should be. A little you-time is essential to your unwinding time.
Smell the Roses
This doesn’t mean that you should explore your garden at night – though it could be a good idea on a good weather. This means making use of aroma therapy with aromatherapy or essential oils. Lavender is a good choice and so is sandalwood. Do not mistake aroma therapy though, as a cure for insomnia. But the relaxing and calming effects of essential oils can potentially induce sleep and keep you asleep until the time when you do need to wake up. Make sure though that you are going to use essential oils that stimulate sleep, and not scare it away. You need to know that there are essential oils than can actually keep you awake such as; rosemary, sage, basil and peppermint. You can use these oils to keep you going all day, but keep them at bay during the night if you want to sleep.
Take a Good Shower
Let the calming effects of the shower wash away the worries of the day. It would also be a good practice to bathe in your tub sprinkled with lavender or chamomile, at least an hour before your bed time.
Turn Out the Lights
When you were a kid, your parents will always turn out the lights at night. The main objective is to encourage you to sleep. You may not have liked that though while you were growing up, so when you became an adult you only turn out the light when you want to. Some people are in the habit of watching TV or reading in bed. Reading will of course require lights and that will surely keep you awake. Watching TV can be done without the lights on, but the light coming from the TV is what will keep you awake. The bottom line here is to try to avoid watching TV or reading at night. Better yet, turn out that light and give your eyes that much needed rest.
There are other things and practices that you can do that will help you sleep and stay asleep for the night. These top 10 sleep remedies though should be enough to keep those sleepless nights away. The important thing here is your willingness to try something different or to change your lifestyle. If you will keep on drinking coffee before bed time, do not wonder why sleep is so elusive. The same thing goes if you take your office work – along with its problems and worries – to bed.
The main idea for these natural sleep remedies is to help you sleep better at night. When you sleep better, you can only expect your mind and body to be completely prepared for the next day’s activities. If you have been wondering why you feel more tired when you wake up in the morning than when you came home the other night, then you are suffering from sleep deprivation. In some cases, you may think that you have slept long but actually, your eyes were just shut but your brain cells were working over time. When your brain stays active at night, your body is affected as well. This is where “tossing and turning” occurs.
You need to keep your mind relaxed in order for your body to receive its much needed rest. Do not invite negative thoughts. Keep thinking of positive things. Eventually, the sleep you have been inviting all along is going to accept the invitation.