There are times you have trouble falling asleep, right? Maybe those times aren’t all that frequent but when they happen you don’t really want to resort to sleeping pills because you just aren’t sure how they will affect you the next day.

We’ve put together five natural sleep remedies you can attempt before you decide to take those pills.

  1.  Controlled breathing techniques: If your mind races with thoughts and you replay the day’s activities you can be fueling your insomnia. Try to calm your mind by focusing on your breathing. This type of conscious awareness of your breathing will help you get to sleep faster. Also, by focusing your mind on your breath as it travels through your body means your thoughts are otherwise occupied, thus helping you fall asleep.
  2. Natural hormone treatment: As with any type of medicine you’ll be ingesting you want to check with your doctor first but melatonin is a natural hormone that is produced by your body. Individuals take a dose of melatonin occasionally to help them sleep.
  3. Turn off the lights: You probably turn off the lights before you go to bed but check to see if your room is bathed in total darkness. Sometimes even if you have a hint of ambient light it can disturb your sleep patterns – light from outside, a clock radio, light from the hallway – all of it can lead to wakefulness.
  4. Meditation and yoga: Studies have shown a correlation between yoga and decreased symptoms of insomnia. Harvard Medical School researchers found that that a 30-45 minute yoga session can improve symptoms for those who suffer chronic insomnia. Meditation has a similar impact that controlled breathing does but it’s more about focusing on a calming thought or image along with controlled breathing.
  5. A warm bath: If nothing else works and you find that you’re still unable to fall asleep it might be time to get out of bed and draw yourself a warm bath. A bath causes your muscles to relax and your mind will likely follow. When you’re soaking in the tub you might want to also try a little aromatherapy because essential oils can help you fall asleep and even induce a higher quality of sleep. Scents to try: floral notes of geranium and lavender, Roman chamomile and clary sage – all of which are inexpensive and available at health food stores.

Experiencing a sleepless night now and then might be normal, but if your sleepless nights go on for an extended period of time, you might want to ask your doctor if a sleep test might be right for you.

Since 2002, Valley Sleep Center, accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, has provided Arizona with diagnostic sleep disorder testing in a home-like atmosphere, ensuring a comfortable, relaxing experience for patients.  Their Board Certified Sleep Medicine Specialists consist of experienced and knowledgeable physicians who provide expert advice across a multitude of sleep related disorders including insomnia, sleep apnea, snoring, excessive daytime sleepiness, hypertension, sleepwalking, and pediatric sleep problems.  They accept most insurance plans as well as Medicare.  For more information contact Lauri Leadley at 480-830-3900;