5 Natural Remedies For Insomnia You Can't Afford To Miss3 minute
We have all heard about counting sheep till you fall asleep, but are you the one who is counting the number of likes on your Instagram posts instead, just because you don’t fall asleep easily? Worry not, as we have compiled a number of natural ways to deal with your Insomnia.
Insomnia is a common issue nowadays and as many as one in four adults have been reported to be suffering from one or another form of sleep issues. A chronic lack of sleep may be linked to a number of health problems such as Diabetes, High blood pressure or Depression. Thus, instead of popping over-the-counter sleeping pills, it is always recommended to consult your physician to avoid any major health hazards. But first, we should understand why Insomnia occurs so that we can arrive at a solution accordingly.
Whether it is for a temporary period or for a longer period of time, you would definitely agree that Insomnia is unpleasant. The cause of Insomnia could be stress or any major change in your life (e.g. getting married, a new job, having a baby, etc). These factors can be temporarily causing Insomnia and you can easily revert back to your normal sleep cycle once you address the issue.
No matter how long your Insomnia lasts it is always advisable to find out the root cause to get the right solution(s).
Being physically active is a major solution to temporary sleep issues. So instead of binge-watching your favorite show on Netflix why not spend 30 minutes daily on basic exercises like squats and burpees.
2. Light to promote Melatonin Production:
Since prehistoric times humans have synced their sleep cycle with sunlight. Studies have shown that exposure to sunlight has a major role in telling our body when to go to sleep by producing melatonin which is a naturally occurring hormone that regulates our sleep cycle. Hence an outdoor walk during the day for a couple of hours may help you get a deep sleep.
3. Managing Stress:
If you consistently find yourself lying on the bed shrouded by thoughts, stress might be the cause behind your insomnia- resulting in an irritable mood when you wake up the next day. In fact, this irritable mood may again lead to further random thoughts- finally leading to a vicious cycle. Hence it is important to manage your stress levels.
So you can start by sitting at one place and focussing on your breath, but if your mind starts to wander we can recommend a few other relaxation techniques to manage your stress, as suggested below:
a)Keep a journal:
Why not write down all your thoughts that have clouded your mind in a diary. Not only it will help you to release any negative thoughts but you might be able to track any irrelevant thoughts and deal with them.
Imagine yourself on a sea-shore enjoying a scenic view, a warm breeze gushes against your skin. Feels great right? This is visualization. It involves a detailed imagination of a sanctuary of your own. Involve all your senses to get a more effective result, like trying to smell the flowers or feel the breeze.
There is a common misconception that yoga is very difficult and you need to have an athletic built to practice it. But this is not true. In fact, there are simple yoga poses that can help you to relieve stress. Yoga combines the techniques of breathing, relaxation & exercise to bring about holistic healing.
4. Eating the right food:
The things that you eat and drink has a major role to play in terms of your sleep cycle. Many food items contain chemical properties that aid you in your sleep.
So you should incorporate those food items in your diet to get better sleep.
a)Foods that help you sleep:
Tryptophan is an amino acid that helps in the production of the hormone- serotonin, which your body needs in order to feel relaxed and sleepy. Cheese is something that you can consider. But avoid consuming a double cheese pizza or it may end up giving you heartburn.
You can also include food rich in Vitamin B6, found in bananas & wheatgerm. Bananas are also rich in sleep prompting tryptophan. Consume milk before bedtime, as milk is a high source of calcium which helps in your body’s melatonin production.
b)Food that disrupts your sleep:
There are certain foods that you should avoid to save yourself from Insomnia & heartburn. Caffeine rich food can disrupt your sleep cycle and coffee can stay in your system for as long as six hours.
It means that if you have a cup of coffee in the evening, you will eventually end up feeling more energetic rather than drowsy at the time of your sleep. The golden rule is to avoid any high caffeine food after 5 PM to get a good sleep.
It’s a good idea to spice up your monotonous life but too much spicy food can backfire especially if you consume spicy foods before going to bed. Apart from Insomnia, you can also suffer from stomach discomfort due to spicy food.
Although alcohol can make you feel drowsy initially and help you fall asleep early, but it can also lead to disturbed sleep patterns including midnight wakefulness.
5. Lifestyle Changes:
So by lifestyle change, we do not intend to tell you to change your entire wardrobe collections, though it might help you in terms of retail therapy than sleep therapy.
There are a few lifestyle changes you can incorporate in your day to day life to help you to sleep better.
1. Reduce screen time:
The blue light emitted from your phone or laptop is a major deterrent to your sleep.
It leaves your mind feeling revved up instead of relaxed. Consider shutting off your laptop, one hour before you sleep. Try listening to relaxing music instead, like nature sounds that create a peaceful atmosphere too.
2. Warm showers at night:
A pre-bedtime shower not only relaxes your nervous system but gives a signal to the brain that it is time to slow down. You can also have a relaxing bath with Epsom salt and relaxing herbs to relax your muscles.
3. Chamomile Tea:
Substitute your cup of hot chocolate with a cup of refreshing chamomile tea after dinner. Chamomile tea reduces muscle tension, soothes digestion and even reduces anxiety.
4. Make your bedroom “sleep ready”:
If you do not have a comfortable bedroom, you might end up tossing and turning all night and you might end up doubting all the remedies discussed so far.
To make you your bedroom more sleep ready consider making the following changes-
i) Turn down the temperature to around 21 °C to ensure that you do not spend the night sweating. It is recommended to have a slightly lower temperature for better sleep.
ii) Dim the lights in your bedroom as the presence of too much light may reduce your body’s production of Melatonin. You can also try putting on an eye mask while sleeping if you cannot switch off the lights.
iii) Ensure that the noise levels are low in your bedroom. You can also use ear-plugs to reduce noise from outside.
iv) Also, ensure you have a clean and comfortable bed as you do might not want to wake up with a sore back in the morning.
Think of Insomnia as a ‘wake-up call’ to any potentially serious illness, hence it is always advisable to consult a physician in case of chronic sleep disturbance.