According to a study done by the National Sleep Foundation, 45% of Americans say lack of sleep affects their productivity and daily activities. In fact, 50 to 70 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders or deprivation. When faced with a restless night, many Americans turn to sleeping pills rather than natural remedies.
We have all faced restless nights of tossing and turning. Rather than turning to an unnatural sleeping aid, check out these five holistic methods to fighting insomnia. By doing so you will have the ability to sleep better too.
Sleep Better With These 5 Natural Remedies
Practicing meditation before bed helps relax your mind and body after facing a busy day. Getting in the routine of winding down an hour before your bedtime will help prep your body to sleep better.
Meditation is known for improving breathing and reducing stress. It is also known for calming anxieties. If you lay awake, wide-eyed and restless for more than 20 minutes, climb out of bed and try a few deep breathing exercises. This practice will quiet your mind by refocusing racing thoughts, while simultaneously, releasing tension you carry throughout your body. All in all, it will put you in a more peaceful state to be able to fall asleep.
Flexibility stretches, when done correctly, have a calming effect on your body. This, again, will help you sleep better. Not only does light stretching before bed improve blood flow, release tension and help your muscles relax, the practice of stretching also helps prepare your mind and body for bed.
The purpose of sleep is to regenerate and restore cells and tissue. Light stretching helps prepare your body for the recovery it experiences during sleep.
Another benefit? Stretching at night will help you wake up with fewer aches and pains in the morning. Check out these stretches to do before bed.
Draw yourself a warm bath
Temperature is the number one factor that impacts sleep. That’s because, in order to fall asleep, our core body temperature must drop a few degrees. This happens naturally each night before going to bed.
Soaking in a warm bath for 30 minutes a couple of hours before bed will cause your core body temperature to rise and then drop rapidly. This rapid drop in body temperature will help relax you and is said to put you in a deeper sleep. Thus, you sleep better.
For extra relaxation, add Epsom salts or a splash of lavender essential oil to the bathtub.
Speaking of essential oils, aromatherapy has been proven to put your body in a state of relaxation. The use of essential oils such as lavender, frankincense, and Roman chamomile, to name a few, are known for their calming effect. In particular, lavender has been proven to increase the amount of deep, restorative, REM sleep we all need. This again allows us to sleep better.
Roman chamomile has been proven to promote calmness and drowsiness, helping you feel ready for sleep. It also packs a number of other health benefits, like promoting heart health, fighting anxiety and depression and relieving allergy symptoms.
Frankincense helps lower stress and anxiety levels, which can oftentimes be the main culprits of your sleepless nights. It can also help your body reach an ideal temperature for sleeping and can be a natural aid in pain relief.
Some popular ways to use essential oils are to use two to three drops in an essential oil diffuser or to apply them directly to the skin, depending on the oil.
A hot cup of tea
Speaking of chamomile, try a cup of hot tea. Certain teas have great calming effects that help your mind and body wind down.
Some of the best sleepy time teas contain herbs like peppermint, lavender, chamomile, and valerian. Just make sure the tea you are drinking is caffeine-free. You may even consider growing, harvesting and preserving your own herbs for making tea.
If you are struggling with insomnia on a regular basis, you may need to address the problem from a holistic point of view. Are you experiencing low back pain that is keeping you from getting comfortable?
You may need to take a look at your sleeping structure. Is it time for a new mattress? After all, the average lifespan of a traditional innerspring mattress is seven to ten years. It may be time for an upgrade.
Are there other disturbances to your sleep such as light, noise, and temperature. Assess your sleeping environment for possible disturbances and make adjustments accordingly.
Sleep is an integral part of overall health and wellness. It’s important you take the appropriate steps to protect it. By applying some of the techniques above you will sleep better and feel better in the morning.