Many people around the world suffer from sleepless nights. Even when you disregard those who can’t sleep due to illnesses or medication, one in three people still suffer from insomnia.
If you are struggling with insomnia, you may have tried a variety of treatments to promote sleep. Unfortunately, while prescription medication may help, it might not completely cure you of your sleeplessness. Read on to learn about natural sleep aids that actually treat the cause of insomnia.
If you believe that you are struggling with a bout of insomnia, assess your nightly habits and see if you are prone to sleep disruptors. Drinks containing high levels of caffeine or alcohol can cause sleeplessness, while the glow from electronic devices, such as the televisions, computers, and smartphones, can keep your brain active and awake.
By altering your nightly habits and reducing your exposure to sleep disruptors a few hours before bedtime, you can increase the likelihood of a deeper sleep throughout the night.
Although it may seem counterintuitive to listen to music before bed, soothing music can enhance sleep. Studies have found that sleep is a complex rhythmic state that can be often affected. To reintroduce the body’s natural rhythm—especially for those who drink coffee or are on medication—relaxing music reintroduces a tempo to your body, making it easier to fall asleep.
Eating cherries or drinking tart cherry juice may aid in natural sleep, as cherries contain high levels of phytochemicals, including melatonin. It has long been known that melatonin, produced by the pineal gland, is essential to control the body’s natural sleep and wake cycles.
For some, stress can often stifle melatonin production. In those cases, consuming foods that contain high levels of melatonin—such as pineapples, bananas, and oranges—can help regulate your body’s levels of the hormone, improving your ability to fall asleep.
Acupuncture is one of the oldest forms of medicine; commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine specifically. Originating over 3,000 years ago, the process has been used to relieve pain, aid in digestion, decrease sleeplessness, and generally improve the body’s functions.
By carefully puncturing the skin at various pressure points along the body, acupuncture stimulates specific areas that correspond with the inherent energy in the body, which is known as chi. With acupuncture, the energy in the body can become balanced and realigned, allowing neuroendocrine hormones to repopulate your system. Acupuncture is commonly used to treat insomnia and has shown many positive effects.
Valerian and chamomile are the most commonly used herbs for soothing teas. The roots of a Valerian plant are used as a sedative and antispasmodic, as well as for pain relief, migraines, and anxiety. On the other hand, chamomile is used for many medicinal purposes, ranging from an anti-coagulant to an anti-inflammatory aid.
Valerian aids sleep and decreases restlessness by increasing the amount of gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the body. GABA is an amino acid naturally produced by the body that helps regulate the actions of nerve cells by inhibiting the transmission of nerve impulses in the central nervous system. Valerian can be brewed into a tea, but the odor and flavor often dissuade people from drinking it. It’s also available as an herbal supplement in capsule form.
Chamomile tea is known to increase glycine in the body, which is a chemical that relaxes the nerves and muscles. Glycine acts as a natural sedative, binding itself to GABA receptors and modulating its neuroendocrine effects. Both herbs are excellent in treating sleeplessness.
A Good Night’s Sleep
If you miss sleep for only one night, it may not make a noticeable difference with regard to how you feel the next day, but you should exercise caution if you suffer from insomnia for more than one week. Lack of sleep has many negative effects on your body and can lead to chronic physical maladies, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. It can also contribute to issues with mental acuity, like impaired attention, alertness, and concentration.
Discussing natural remedies with your doctor and including these methods into your routine will help you get the sleep you need. Rediscover what it feels like to get a full night’s sleep and live your life to the fullest today.