Not everyone that struggles to get the sleep they need is comfortable turning to over-the-counter or prescription sleep aids for relief. For those that are dedicated to a natural approach to medicine may be able to get relief from their sleep struggle with one of these home remedies.
Of the home remedies, one simple one is watching your diet. The food you eat can have a bigger impact on your sleep than you likely realize. Our eating habits and the foods we choose can help or hinder our ability to sleep. Start by looking at the food you are eating and eliminate any sleep stealers like alcohol and caffeine. Avoid big meals close to bed time and skip late-night snacks that are high in fat. Look for foods with tryptophan, like dairy products, oats, bananas, honey, eggs, and beans.
Another of the home remedies you can try is exercise. Getting adequate exercise is one of the best things you can do to safeguard your ability to sleep, but only if you do it at the right time. When you workout, your body temperature rises, which only causes a problem if you are looking to get to sleep shortly thereafter. As our body temperature dips down when it’s time for bed, exercising too close to bedtime can make it hard to get to sleep. Additionally, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine regular exercise can improve insomnia by helping to alleviate anxiety and stress.
While the stress levels of this generation may not actually be any higher than those of previous generations, our lifestyle lacks much of the physical activity that can help to alleviate the negative effects of stress on our bodies and our ability to sleep. Successfully putting one of these home remedies into place means we need to actively seek out activities that promote relaxation. If you are thinking that your nightly veg-out session in front of the TV with a bowl of chips and a couple of beers constitutes this kind of relaxing activity, you need to think again as these activities can actually keep you from getting the sleep you need. Sleep promoting relaxation techniques like yoga, guided meditation, and deep breathing are much more likely to help you get the sleep you need.
4. Sleep Hygiene
Another one of the most effective home remedies to ensure you are able to get the sleep you need is to practice good sleep hygiene every night. This means going to bed and getting up at the same time every day, even holidays, even weekends. It means creating a bedtime routine that is free from computer screens, televisions, electronics, and other gadgets that emit light. It also means keeping everything but sleep and sex out of the bedroom and taking other steps to create a sleep environment that will actually help you sleep.
While the jury is still officially out on most supplements and natural sleep aids that claim to help alleviate sleep struggles, melatonin and tryptophan have both shown to be somewhat effective in some people. Before using any supplements or other over-the-counter remedies to help address your sleep problems, consult your doctor.
- Get a Good Night’s Sleep, Naturally (valleysleepcenter.com)
- Self-Treating Sleep Disorders: When the Pros Act Like Rookies (valleysleepcenter.com)
- Which is Worse: Sleep Deprivation or Sleep Restriction? (valleysleepcenter.com)