No one should go through life being a sleepy cranky person, but so many of us do. Thirty to forty percent(!) of adults claim to experience insomnia on occasion, according to the National Sleep Foundation, and ten to fifteen percent of Americans cop to having trouble sleeping all the time. Lack of sleep and unhealthy sleep/wake cycles at night can lead to a whole slew of issues the following day, including low energy, high stress levels and crankiness (to name a few). The good news is that there are several natural cures for insomnia—elements that have nothing to do with over-the-counter sleeping aids and everything to do with attempting to regulate sleep patterns using a few key tricks. Try one or two of the below, and find out what works for you.
1. Lavender oil. This fragrant essential oil has long been proven to relieve anxiety and insomnia by encouraging ‘slow-wave sleep’, which is when we’re in deep slumber and the heart slows and our muscles relax. Even better: Many people find that lavender oil helps them sleep better, yes, but also that they wake up more energized, too. Place a few drops of on a cloth under your pillow or in your bath before bed—or try a lavender sleep mask. Chamomile also works well, too.
2. Yoga nidra. Known as “yogic sleep”, yoga nidra can help you fall asleep—and stay asleep through the night. While listening to a guided meditation that encourages the body to fully relax, you’ll find yourself in a sleep-like state (or fully asleep). While you may not fall completely asleep during a yoga nidra session, you’ll be incredibly relaxed and ready for bed. Sometimes it is necessary to wind down after a long day before hopping into bed.
3. Disconnection. Sometimes retraining the brain can ease our sleep cycle and help us create healthier habits. Disconnect from all electronics one hour before bedtime, and allow yourself a little quiet time before putting your head to the pillow. Read a book, write in your journal, sit outside under the stars, take a bath, or do a little yoga before bed.
4. Acupuncture. One of the oldest forms of healing practices, this traditional Chinese medicine works with the meridians of the body to create energetic balance. It is said that acupuncture can remove blockages so the brain “knows” it is time for sleep. The practice also helps release sleepy chemicals to the brain.
5. Milk and cookies. Exciting, eh? The carbohydrates in the cookie will help produce tryptophan, an amino acid that produces serotonin, which, in turn, is used to make melatonin (the sleep/wake cycle controller). The warm glass of milk also contributes to the tryptophan-producing while also warming the tummy, and preparing the body for a wonderful nights sleep.
Like us on Facebook!