You aren’t alone in your struggles for better quality sleep at night. According to a CDC study, about 9 million adults use prescriptions for sleeping pills in the United States. Experts caution that while effective in the short-term, they may not always be effective in the long-term. Here are some natural ways to get your body ready for bed.
Think About Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT-CBT is considered to be one of the best ways to cure insomnia. It is the method with the most scientific evidence supporting it according to Kelly Glazer Baron, Ph.D, M.P.H, a sleep researcher and a neurology instructor at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. CBT-I involves meeting regularly with a therapist for various sleep assessments. You may be asked to keep a sleep journal and change some of your sleep habits.
Get Out of Bed. People often report that not being able to stop their brain from thinking about everything is one of the reasons they cannot go to sleep. If you are not sleep after 20, 30, or 40 minutes after laying in bed, get up and perform an activity for 30 or 60 minutes until you feel tired. Make sure its not too stimulating or involves bright light. This is will help your re-associate your bed with sleep.
Try Progressive Muscle Relaxation. Developed in 1915, this is a relaxation exercise in which you tense and then relax all of your muscles systematically, promoting overall physical relaxation. It has been shown to reduce fatigue and improve sleep quality for a lot of women participating in breast cancer treatment.
Meditate. A study in 2009 showed that meditation can help you fight insomnia. Those who often used meditation slept longer and better at night. If you are not interested in doing this style of natural sleep aid, just take some deep breaths, which have also been shown to clear your mind and better prepare you for sleep.
Take A Warm Bath. A nice warm bath can trick the brain into sleeping. Once you exit the tub, the body performs a rapid cool down very similar to the natural temperature drop the brain performs as it prepares to rest. A study from 1985 found that people who had a warm bath before bed not only went to sleep faster, but had better quality of sleep as well.
Get Active. Regular exercisers sleep better than those that do not. It does have to be an extreme workout, as it can very mild. Just do something to get active.
Yoga. Yoga is known for its ability to calm the mind and relax the body. It’s the activity to perform before bed when you are unable to relax.
Aromatherapy. Lavender is the smell you want if you are looking to get more rest. In a 2005 study it was concluded that a small whiff of lavender can help you get better sleep. Try lavender essential oils, a bath scrub, a sachet in an eye mask, or even in a pillow to help you wind down and get into a deeper sleep.
Make the Bedroom A Sleep Success. A new set of comfy sheets, dimming the lights, or even decorations like flowers or posters can help you feel better about going to sleep in your bed. Remember to keep your room cool and leave your cell phones in a another room or turn them off. Consider investing in a white noise machine if you need a background noise.
Supplements. A majority of sleep supplements probably will not cause any harm, but there is just not enough information out there on them and they are not regulated by the FDA.
Melatonin is the most common, but it is mainly used to for disorders affecting the body’s clock, like jet lag. It also does not induce sleepiness like many seem to think. Take it a few hours before bed when the body is just starting to produce the hormone naturally.
Valerian, is another option that is made from the root of the herb. Some people may find that it has a relaxation effect. It could help people with mild sleep problems, but probably won’t solve major insomnia issues.
L-theanine is an amino acid found naturally in green tea that seems to promote deep sleep. Since drinking enough tea to really reap the benefits would have you running to the bathroom all night long, some people opt for a pure L-theanine supplement.
Quit Caffeine Fixes Earlier. Caffeine has a half-life of 5 hours, which means that five hours after your last cup of coffee, half of its contents are still in your system. To avoid situations in which you are still up at night, it is recommended that you stop drinking it at lunch.
Drink Herbal Tea. Free of caffeine, herbal tea may actually help you go to sleep. Many of its contents are used in supplements that are supposed to induce sleep. “Sleepy Time” Teas are a great way to go, try valerian or chamomile.
Stop Smoking. Nicotine is a stimulant and can disturb you at night when you are trying to sleep. Researchers at John Hopkins University found that smokers were 4 times as likely to say they felt tired when waking up in the mornings when compared to non-smokers.
Remember that sleep is a unique experience for each person. If you are experiencing insomnia problems, seek out a licensed physician who specializes in insomnia. In the meantime, it’s always worth it to do what you can to sleep better every night. Check out more natural sleep remedies here, Gallery Furniture is determined to see you make sleep a success!