If you’re having trouble sleeping, popping a pill may seem like the quickest fix to get some shut eye. Large pharmaceutical companies have made a fortune selling sleeping pills to weary-eyed consumers who struggle with bouts of insomnia. But according to the conclusion of a medical study published in the British Medical Journal in February 2012, sleeping pills “may have been associated with 320,000 to 507,000 excess sudden deaths in the USA alone.” The study results suggested that sleeping pills put adults at a 530% greater risk of early death and a 35% greater risk of cancer.
If you suffer to mild-to-moderate insomnia, consider trying one of the following all-natural remedies to ensure a better night’s sleep.
Natural Sleep Inducers
Many people with chronic insomnia find that traditional Chinese medicine helps to curb their sleeplessness. If you’ve reached the point of frustration with your sleep habits, consider trying an acupuncture treatment that focuses on the outer ear meridians. Other insomniacs have found relief using melatonin supplements, which have proven effective for both falling asleep and staying asleep. These supplements can be purchased at health food stores and should be consumed in small doses immediately before bed. Valerian is another natural sleep inducer, which is generally safe for regular use and can be purchased as a tincture.
Some natural herbs have relaxation powers as well. Chamomile is the most popular relaxation herb, which is often mixed in tea. Olive leaf mint tea may also providing soothing relief to help you relax at the end of the day. You can also try mixing magnesium and calcium powders with hot water and sip once the drink has cooled and stopped fizzing. Magnesium is known to boost muscle relaxation, which may help your body settle into sleep.
Regular exercise is a key component to restful sleep. However, make sure that you’re exercising in the morning or mid-day so your body has enough time to return to a restful state before bed. Pretty much any type of exercise will raise your heart rate and boost stress hormones, helping your biological clock fall into sync. However, consider picking up a naturally relaxing exercise like yoga, tai chi, or chi gong. Meditation practice can help physically relax you muscles and allow you to enter a more blissful mental state as well.
Although the pathway to better sleep involves a lot of common sense, most of us can benefit from a friendly reminder to take better care of ourselves. These are a few basic tips for beating insomnia and waking up feeling refreshed.
- Invest in a comfortable mattress that isn’t too hard or too soft
- Drink less caffeine throughout the day
- Don’t over indulge in food or alcohol, which can help you fall asleep at first but disrupt your sleep later in the night
- Don’t eat dinner within 3 hours of your planned time for going to sleep.
- Engage in relaxing activities before bed like reading, listening to music, or taking a bath
- Avoid watching TV, working on a computer, or playing on your phone at least an hour before bed
- If your mind is too preoccupied to sleep, keep a journal to vent your anxieties instead of holding them inside