Using Natural Remedies to Fall Asleep
Whether because you've found that conventional sleeping aids do not work for you or you have made the conscious decision to avoid them, you may be interested in alternative methods for helping you get your nightly rest. Here is a list of natural remedies and methods for falling asleep if you are having trouble doing so:
Reduce your consumption of both alcohol and caffeine if you want an easier time falling asleep and a more restful sleep. Alcohol can contribute to you waking up in the middle of the night while caffeine can have a detrimental effect on your sleeping patterns even long hours after consumption. Similarly, avoid eating lots of sugar before you go to sleep because changes in glucose levels can be disruptive. You'll also want to avoid eating anything that requires a great deal of effort to digest before going to sleep, particularly if it contributes towards heartburn.
On a related note, you should also quit smoking because nicotine is a stimulant, although the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal can make it difficult for you to sleep at night during the quitting process.
A number of herbs have been cited as natural remedies for difficulty falling asleep. Valerian is one popular herb that is commonly taken as a capsule, although it is also available as a tea. Another popular herbal remedy is chamomile tea, which is useful to help you relax.
Magnesium is a natural sedative that you can either take as a nutritional supplement or simply by consuming it in your food. You'll take in a lot of magnesium if you eat seeds and nuts. Almonds, cashews, and Brazil nuts are all popular foods rich in magnesium, as are flax, sesame, and sunflower seeds. If you are looking for something sweeter, then dark chocolate and molasses also contain large quantities of magnesium.
Your brain produces a hormone called melatonin that causes you to feel sleepy if there are high concentrations of the hormone in your body. Its production is regulated by the amount of natural light that you are receiving. The more light that you get, the less melatonin that your body produces, and vice versa. As a result, you should take care to limit your exposure to light at night. Make sure that your room is pitch black, use a flashlight instead of turning on the lights if you have to get to up during the middle of the night, and don't use either the TV or the computer before you go to sleep. Not only can these devices shine a great deal of light on you if you forget to turn them off, but they are also stimulating for the mind which makes it harder for you to sleep.
Alternatively, you can also take melatonin in either capsule, tablet, liquid or a number of other forms. Although taking melatonin about half a hour before going to sleep is not harmful to most adults, you should still consult your doctor about taking it to fall asleep.
High stress can make it hard for you to sleep. If possible, try eliminating sources of stress in your life. If not, set aside some time each day to do something such as dancing, meditating, or listening to music that you find relaxing and enjoyable.
Guest post written by Victoria. Victoria is a freelance writer, finance and insurance expert. She writes on various subjects and contributes to a number of websites, covering health insurance related topics such as unemployed health insurance.