Natural Remedies for Insomnia

Natural Remedies for Insomnia

Natural remedies for insomnia can help restore your sleep schedule without the intervention of medication. There are many natural alternatives that can help aid sleep without the nasty side effects of sleeping pills. 

Please note that these natural remedies cannot cure insomnia and if you are suffering from prolonged periods of sleeplessness you should contact your doctor.

Alternative therapies cover a wide variety of disciplines that include everything from diet and exercise to meditation and lifestyle changes. Some alternative therapies include acupuncture, guided meditation, yoga, hypnosis, aromatherapy, relaxation, herbal remedies, massage, and many others.

Valerian Root

Some studies have suggested that the root of valerian (Valeriana officinalis) may help with sleep. Valerian root can sometimes interfere with some medications. It also has side effects and is not safe in small children or during pregnancy. Before taking this supplement check with your doctor.

Lavender

Lavender is a calming herb that is a natural relaxant. According to a study at Southampton University, lavender can increase your sleep quality by 20%. In this study of 10 people, 5 were exposed to lavender during sleep and the other people were exposed to a placebo. The 5 people exposed to lavender reported a 20% overall better sleep experience1.

Accupuncture

Acupuncture involves the insertion of very fine needles into the skin at specific acupuncture points in the body. The results of recent studies have shown acupuncture improved sleep quality in people with insomnia2.

Chamomile Tea

Chamomile has been used as a sleep aid for thousands of years. It is a natural relaxant, like lavendar. This can help your mind to relax and unwind for bed.

Meditation

Meditation can be an effective way to treat insomnia. There is a growing body of evidence that supports the value of meditation in treating insomnia. There are many types of meditation to choose from. Learn more about meditation for sleep in our article here.

Exercise

Regular exercise has been shown to help improve sleep. However, most experts advise exercising at least three to four hours before bedtime to avoid interference with sleep.

A Noise Machine

Listening to soothing background sounds can help cover up manmade sounds like voices or traffic. Noise machines offer a variety of sounds from white noise to sounds from nature.

Natural Remedies for Insomnia

Natural remedies for insomnia can help restore your sleep schedule without the intervention of medication. There are many natural alternatives that can help aid sleep without the nasty side effects of sleeping pills.  Please note that these natural remedies cannot...

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How Do You Practice Good Sleep Hygiene?

How Do You Practice Good Sleep Hygiene?

Have you ever heard of the term sleep hygiene? It’s often used to refer to your nighttime habits and whether you practice good or bad sleep hygiene can have an effect on your sleep pattern. If you want to get a better night’s sleep, the answer often begins with improving this, but how do you practice good sleep hygiene?

What is sleep hygiene?

Our sleep behaviours and patterns are referred to as our sleep hygiene, similar to body hygiene. If you are often pulling all-nighters, or sleeping in on the weekends so you can “make up” for lost sleep this is an example of poor sleep hygiene. If you follow a regular sleep schedule and avoid caffeine late at night this is an example of good sleep hygiene.

Sleep hygiene education is an essential part of the cognitive-behavioural therapy used to treat insomnia.

Why is sleep hygiene important?

Sleep hygiene is important to ensure you enjoy a restful sleep. Enjoying good sleep on a regular basis is critical to maintaining good mental, emotional, and physical health. Making sure you get enough quality sleep helps you stay focused during the day, regulates your mood, and helps you function on a daily basis.

What’s bad sleep hygiene?

If you’re waking up unrested each morning, wake frequently during the night, feel tired during the day or have trouble falling asleep at night, there’s a very good chance that you have bad sleep hygiene that’s messing with your sleep1.

What’s good sleep hygiene?

The four most important elements of good sleep hygiene are;

  1. Temperature – your bedroom shouldn’t be too hot nor too cold
  2. Darkness – the darker, the better
  3. Quiet – peace perfect peace makes the ideal sleeping environment
  4. Comfort – you need to have a comfortable place to lie down and stretch out

Top 10 tips to practice good sleep hygiene

  1. Say no thank you to caffeine later in the day & in the evening time.
  2. Steer clear of alcohol at night time as this is known to disturb sleep.
  3. Avoid heavy meals late at night, midnight feasts will not help you sleep.
  4. Stick to a regular routine to go to bed and get up.
  5. Use thick curtains, blinds or an eye mask to stop you being woken up by light.
  6. Try earplugs if noise is disturbing your slumber.
  7. Take a warm bath or shower an hour before you go to bed.
  8. Listen to calming music or read a book before bed.
  9. Avoid watching TV or using mobile devices in the bedroom.
  10. Exercise several hours before bedtime.
If your sleep problems are affecting your daily life, it’s time to see your GP. You could take the results of this test to discuss with your GP or, even better, keep a sleep diary for two weeks before you go2.

Natural Remedies for Insomnia

Natural remedies for insomnia can help restore your sleep schedule without the intervention of medication. There are many natural alternatives that can help aid sleep without the nasty side effects of sleeping pills.  Please note that these natural remedies cannot...

How Do You Practice Good Sleep Hygiene?

Have you ever heard of the term sleep hygiene? It's often used to refer to your nighttime habits and whether you practice good or bad sleep hygiene can have an effect on your sleep pattern. If you want to get a better night’s sleep, the answer often begins with...

How Can I Get Rid Of My Insomnia?

When you suffer from insomnia it can affect every aspect of your life. It can be hard to imagine how you will overcome this condition and finally get some sleep but be reassured to know that insomnia can be overcome,  but how can you get rid of...

Meditation to Help You Sleep

Sleep is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and when we lose out on sleep it can have lasting effects on our physical and mental health. When you are finding it hard to sleep due to outside influences such as stress, illness or chronic pain you can use...

The Best Sleep Apps To Help You Drift Off

The Best Sleep Apps To Help You Drift Off

There is so much going on now in the modern world it’s hard to catch your breath. You eat right, exercise and watch your waistline but do you look after your sleep? In this article we cover the best sleep apps out there at the moment.

Apps that monitor rest

These apps can break down your daily night’s rest into several sleep cycles. They can help you track your sleep cycles to make sure you’re getting the best sleep you can, and wak up every morning refreshed.

1. Sleep Cycle

Image: iMore

Sleep Cycle tracks your sleep patterns using your microphone. It wakes you in the lightest phase of sleep so you’re not groggy. You set a window during which to be woken (for example, between 7 and 7:30 a.m.) and it figures the best time to raise you from your slumber. It even lets you tap your phone twice to snooze.

2. Sleep Time

Sleep Time is available on both Android and iOS. It tracks your sleep quality without requiring an Apple Watch or Fitbit.

All you need to do to record your sleep with Sleep Time is place your smartphone on your bed’s mattress while you sleep. The app will use your device’s sensors to monitor your movement during sleep. It presents the data in an easy to read chart which can be used to compare your sleep quality over weekly, monthly, or even yearly periods.

Sleep Time also comes with an alarm clock feature to wake you up when you’re in a light sleep cycle.

3. Pillow

Image: Pillow

Pillow is a sleep tracking app but it is only compatible with Apple Watch, iPhone or iPad. Users can link the apps up to their Apple Watch or another wearable, to keep track of their heart rate during sleep.

The app monitors your movements and sounds while you sleep, and uses the information to keep a detailed history of how well you’ve slept, and when is the best time to wake you.

It will give you a full overview of how you’ve slept, along with mood tracking, sleep notes, audio recordings and heart rate analysis.

Apps for relaxation

Mindfulness and meditation have been proven to help people who struggle with insomnia. The apps below focus on meditation through various techniques like music, nature sounds, and voice commands. All are aimed to help you reach the state of relaxation you need to go to bed.

1. Pzizz

Image: Pzizz

Pzizz is available on both iOS and Android. This sleep app places an emphasis on getting to sleep quickly and easily. The app uses a combination of sound effects, music, and spoken word to help lull you to sleep. Users can specify if they’re ready for a long sleep session or a quick power nap. So you can catnap guilt free!

2. Headspace: Meditation

Image: Brian De Los Santos/Mashable

The Headspace: Meditation app helps you to learn meditation based on your individual goals. It’ll send you push notifications reminding you to meditate throughout the day. Each session only takes a few minutes so it can be fitted around a busy schedule.

3. White Noise

The White Noise app allows you to relax to a variety of noise. Not only does this app have white noise, but it also has pink noise, brown noise (low-frequency sound masking) and many more soothing sounds.

Plus, it gives you great flexibility to create your own soundscape, mixing up to five sounds at once. Among the 40 sounds are a vacuum cleaner, a rainstorm, an air condition, a babbling brook and many more.

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How Can I Get Rid Of My Insomnia?

How Can I Get Rid Of My Insomnia?

When you suffer from insomnia it can affect every aspect of your life. It can be hard to imagine how you will overcome this condition and finally get some sleep but be reassured to know that insomnia can be overcome,  but how can you get rid of insomnia?

We all have the potential to develop insomnia at some point in our life. Certain factors can provoke sleepless nights such as an uncomfortable bed, a noisy street, a crying baby or stress. Each person will experience sleeplessness different and something that may trigger you mightn’t trigger your partner or family member.

When some typical triggers are removed your sleeping can return to as it was before. However, if your insomnia is caused by changes you have made it can become chronic insomnia1.

Tips to get you sleeping again

  1. Write it down

    When you have a worry or your mind is racing with tomorrow’s to-do list then it can be good to write it all down. Putting these worries out there is a good way to clear your mind before bed.

  2. Put the pet to bed

    When a pet shares your bed your sleep can suffer.  The Mayo Clinic Sleep Disorders Center found that 53% of pet owners report sleep disturbance from a pet every night.

  3. Get up

    I know it sounds like it won’t help, but if you’ve been tossing and turning for a while it might help to get up and not associate your bed with sleeplessness.

  4. Environmental distractions

    We can’t help environmental distractions. Whether your neighbours have just brought home a newborn or there’s an overly sensitive car alarm down the street, there’s only so much you can do to stop these environmental factors interfering with your sleep. Run a fan to create white noise, wear earplugs or use an eye mask to block or a blackout blind to keep out the glare of street lights.

  5. Forget the clock

    Repeated clock-checking will only make you anxious and exasperated.  Turn your alarm clock to face the wall.

  6. Don’t lose sleep over lost sleep

    Losing sleep over losing sleep is something we have all encountered. Don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself. It’s okay to be tired tomorrow.

  7. Do something non-stimulating.

    Do something relaxing. Read a book, do a crossword puzzle or Sudoku.  As long as it’s soothing you’re on the right track. Don’t check your work email, pay bills, or do anything that will make you anxious before bed.

  8. Say no to screens

    Your laptop, TV, tablet and smartphone all emit blue light that suppresses melatonin, the hormone that influences circadian rhythms and facilitates sleep. Avoid using these devices before bedtime or check to see if your device has a nighttime mode. 2.

 

Natural Remedies for Insomnia

Natural remedies for insomnia can help restore your sleep schedule without the intervention of medication. There are many natural alternatives that can help aid sleep without the nasty side effects of sleeping pills.  Please note that these natural remedies cannot...

How Do You Practice Good Sleep Hygiene?

Have you ever heard of the term sleep hygiene? It's often used to refer to your nighttime habits and whether you practice good or bad sleep hygiene can have an effect on your sleep pattern. If you want to get a better night’s sleep, the answer often begins with...

How Can I Get Rid Of My Insomnia?

When you suffer from insomnia it can affect every aspect of your life. It can be hard to imagine how you will overcome this condition and finally get some sleep but be reassured to know that insomnia can be overcome,  but how can you get rid of...

Meditation to Help You Sleep

Sleep is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and when we lose out on sleep it can have lasting effects on our physical and mental health. When you are finding it hard to sleep due to outside influences such as stress, illness or chronic pain you can use...

What Causes Insomnia?

Insomnia is a common sleep condition that can make it hard to fall asleep, stay asleep and can disrupt your sleeping pattern. Many people will experience this condition at some point in their life, but what are the causes of insomnia?What are the causes of...

Meditation to Help You Sleep

Meditation to Help You Sleep

Sleep is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and when we lose out on sleep it can have lasting effects on our physical and mental health. When you are finding it hard to sleep due to outside influences such as stress, illness or chronic pain you can use meditation to help you sleep. Sleep meditations can settle a restless mind and body and help us drift off. They are a much more healthy alternative to sleeping tablets or repeated restless nights of tossing and turning.

What is meditation?

Meditation is a way to train your mind to be more aware of the present moment. We tend to get caught up in our thoughts the most at bedtime when we finally have the time and space to reflect on our day.

Meditation helps lower your heart rate which encourages slower breathing. It is a natural sleep aid as when we meditate we let go of the stresses of our day, allowing us to rest and prepare the mind for relaxation. As a result, this may increase the chance of a peaceful night’s sleep.

What is keeping us up at night?

Sleep is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. Being exhausted and overworked should not be a sign of success if you snooze you definitely do not lose.

We’ve all experienced nights when as soon as our head hits the pillow your mind kicks into overdrive. There are many things that keep us up at night, stress, worries, anxiety and technology all play a role in disrupting our sleep habits.

Regularly sleeping fewer than seven hours a night increases the risk of developing heart disease and diabetes. Sleep deprivation can cause impairments in short and long-term memory, decision making, attention and reaction time.

Why might you choose to meditate before bed?

If you have insomnia or difficulty falling asleep, meditation has been shown to improve the time it takes you to fall asleep and the quality of sleep you will enjoy.

Meditation for sleep should be approached the same way we approach meditation in the daytime with a relaxed gentle, focus. When we allow the body to relax we are not trying to force sleep but to aid relaxation. You want to stay away from encouraging more thoughts or tension within your body.

Types of meditation

Breathing exercises

This involves regulating your breath, such as counting breaths, alternating breaths and holding and letting go of your breath.

Mindful body scanning

This is often a guided meditation. As you lie on your bed, you will be asked to notice the breath and any areas of tension in your body. Then, starting from the head, you can think of releasing any tensions held in each part of your body, part by part.

Visualizations

A visualization asks you to imagine an image or scene to help release the stress or tension from within.

Counting

To slow the mind down you may be invited to count slowly: starting at 10 and counting backwards to one, then starting at 10 again.

A simple meditation exercise for bedtime

Before you begin a sleep meditation there are a few steps to take.

  1. Lie in your bed flat on your back, take a few deep breaths and close your eyes.
  2. Allow your body to be still and rested
  3. If you’re using a guided meditation, follow the instructions.
  4. If practising an unguided meditation do so at a pace that feels natural to you.

Shall we begin?

Start by scanning through your body, looking for areas of tension

Start counting your breaths, in and out.  If your mind wanders, keep bringing it back to counting your breath, one to ten. The idea is to step away from the worried thinking and give your mind a different object to concentrate on for a while so you can drift back off.

Focus on these areas of tension and imagine letting go of it, releasing it with your breath.

Begin with your head, moving slowly through your body scanning for areas of tension and releasing this tension with your outward breath. Move all the way down to your toes. This process can take as long or as short as you like ideally, you could dedicate 10 minutes to this relaxation technique.

It can be hard to do this yourself, so if you are looking for help you can find a guided meditation in a variety of places including YouTube, Podcasts, CDs & even on Spotify.

Remember to dedicate this time to yourself, your sleep is important and so is your health. Self-care is important and you deserve a peaceful, restful sleep1.

 

 

Natural Remedies for Insomnia

Natural remedies for insomnia can help restore your sleep schedule without the intervention of medication. There are many natural alternatives that can help aid sleep without the nasty side effects of sleeping pills.  Please note that these natural remedies cannot...

How Do You Practice Good Sleep Hygiene?

Have you ever heard of the term sleep hygiene? It's often used to refer to your nighttime habits and whether you practice good or bad sleep hygiene can have an effect on your sleep pattern. If you want to get a better night’s sleep, the answer often begins with...

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