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You toss and turn all night but don’t like popping a pill for anything that ails you.  The lack of sleep is affecting every part of your life from your job to your marriage to your health and you really need to get a good night’s sleep tonight.   Your doctor offered you a prescription for sleeping pills.  You need to get some sleep, but would rather not rely on artificial means.  So, what can you do to promote sleep in a natural way?

There are supplements, natural cures, and remedies of all kinds offering relief from insomnia and promising to provide the sleep you seek.  But you have no guarantees that these options will be any better for you than the sleeping pills your doctor prescribed.  If you really want to get a good night sleep the old fashioned way, you have to go back to the basics.  Here are 3 natural ways to help you get to sleep tonight and every night.

1.       Food: The first place you should look, if you are finding it hard to sleep, is the food you are putting in your mouth.  Eating the right food and eating at the right times throughout the day can mean the difference between a good night sleep and tossing and turning all night long.   For a better night’s sleep, choose foods like walnuts and whole grains that are high in vitamin B throughout the day.  Instead of chips or chocolate as a bedtime snack, grab a banana or scramble an egg, both contain tryptophan which helps promote sleep.

Despite popular belief, drinking alcohol, including wine, can actually make it harder to get a good night’s sleep, even though you may feel drowsy and fall asleep faster.  Alcohol can lead to a restlessness night and rob you of a quality night sleep.  Try to eat dinner more than 2 hours before bed and avoid high fat snacks for the best night’s rest.

2.     Exercise: Exercise can often seem like the magic cure that promises to heal whatever is ailing you.  But when it comes to sleep, there research is clear, exercise equals better sleep.  Effective in treating insomnia and useful for relieving anxiety, even a daily walk can help turn sleepless nights into restful dreams.While all exercise is good, not all exercise is created equal.  You can use a daily yoga practice to help with flexibility, alleviate aches and pains, and promote relaxation.    Spend time winding down with a loved one on an after dinner walk or make a lunch date with your best friend to go jogging.  Both will get your heart pumping during the day and your body resting through the night.

3.      Relax: One of the most common things keeping people up at night is the stress and tension of their day.  To invite sleep, give your mind and body time to wind down and prepare for sleep by using a relaxation technique like deep breathing or writing in a journal.  For some people, meditation or a gentle yoga series can provide the right mood for sleep.  For others, time spent organizing tomorrow’s schedule or clearing away the remains of the day from each room of the house helps to set the stage and clear the way for a night of sound sleeping.

If meditation or journaling aren’t your thing, try something that is more physically relaxing like a warm bath or a lavender pillow.  Using a pre-recorded guided meditation or relaxation CD can also help put both your mind and body at ease and promote sleep.


About Valley Sleep Center:

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;

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