No one enjoys laying down for a nice nights rest and then realizing that they are unable to fall asleep. Some people have a hard time falling asleep due to anxiety or thoughts that just will not stop running through their head. Whether it’s a bill that needs paid, something work related, a speech the next day or the never ending task list that you feel needs to get accomplished, you cannot shut your mind down long enough to relax and fall asleep.
Even though you may think of turning to sleep medications, there are a few things that you may be able to do that can help you fall asleep without having to turn to prescription or over-the-counter drugs. One thing you can do to promote better sleep is to start an exercise routine. If you are not currently exercising, you may find that it can help solve several problems that you may be dealing with and sleep is just one of them. Exercising for just 30 minutes at the beginning of the day can help encourage you to feel energized throughout the day, but can cause your body to rest more once you go to bed.
Try to avoid drinking caffeinated beverages, eating chocolate, or eating foods containing sugar late in the day since all of these can rev up your energy level. If you are a coffee drinker or love teas with caffeine then try to switch to a decaffeinated version of your favorite beverage. Actually, drinking a hot cup of decaffeinated tea before bed can help relax you and cause you to sleep better. Look for teas that contain herbs that promote relaxation and sleep. Herbs such as chamomile, lavender, hops, and passionflower have all been used as natural sedatives. In fact, lavender and chamomile can be used as aromatics to help soothe the mind and relax the body. Not only can the herbs be found in teas, but you can also find them in essential oils or bath salts. Taking a nice warm bath an hour before bed can often do the trick since raising your body temperature above normal then allowing it to drop back down afterwards will induce sleep.
Drinking a warm glass of milk may sound like something that is enjoyed by young children but it also has its use for adults that cannot sleep. The warmth is settling and the protein in the milk will fill you up and help keep you full throughout the sleeping hours. Try reading a book while sipping on your warm milk or hot tea. Reading a book and avoiding watching TV. or working on a computer before bed will ease the transition into sleep mode.
Other things that you may not think of that can have an impact on your sleeping habits are sound and lighting. If you have a barking dog outside or live in an area where there is a lot of noise you may benefit from playing some soothing music in your room or getting a soundtrack of sounds such as the ocean, rainforest or rain. Blocking out outside noise and using visualization is a good way to put your mind in a more relaxing place. Lighting can play an important role as well. You may want to try black out curtains to make your room completely black. The darker the room is the better sleep you are able to get. Your brain actually rests better in complete darkness. At the same time, the brain is most awake when in a well lit area. In the morning and throughout the day, try to open the curtains or spend some time outdoors. This will help set your internal clock. A lot of light in the day and complete darkness at bedtime can make a big difference.
If all else fails and insomnia becomes a real problem you should see a medical professional for some advice. Insomnia is a serious condition and shouldn’t be ignored.
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