Natural Treatments for Insomnia
Insomnia can be a very difficult and frustrating problem. It can have a significant impact on your health and well being. Many people believe that prescription medications or over-the-counter sleep aids are the only methods available to manage insomnia. You’ll be happy to know there are several natural treatments that may be able to help.
Is Insomnia Really a Problem?
Is it really that big a deal when you can’t get to sleep? Experts say that if it’s a chronic problem it can be a big deal. For one thing, insomnia can be a symptom of a serious disorder known as sleep apnea. Left untreated, insomnia is implicated in many disorders, including:
- Impaired cognitive function (particularly decision making)
- Cardiovascular disease (high blood pressure, heart disease)
- Stress-related disorders
- Impaired immune function
What Are The Natural Options?
Quite a few natural methods can help you deal with insomnia. If one of the natural methods works for you it may prevent you needing to resort to prescription or over the counter medications. Many people find relief in herbal remedies, lifestyle adjustments, and/or exercise. You should always check with your health care provider about possible medical causes for your insomnia. If no medical cause is found you might try some of these natural treatments for insomnia.
- Herbal Remedies
Herbal teas and supplements are said to be a gentle and effective way of bringing on sleep. Herbs with a reputation for promoting sleep include the following:
- Chamomile – This is a long-held remedy for sleeplessness that is exacerbated by nervousness and anxiety. Drinking a cup of chamomile tea in the evenings before bed may be all you need – but it can have a slight diuretic effect, so drinking a cup an hour or so before bed might work better. You may also find it beneficial to drink it throughout the day, hot or cold, or mixed with other beverages.
- Valerian Root – It makes an unpleasant tea, but many people have had significant success in taking valerian root capsules. Valerian is a natural sedative.
- Lemon Balm – In contrast to valerian, lemon balm tastes very good and makes a lemony tea. Like chamomile, drinking a cup in the evenings may help promote sleep. You could mix it with chamomile tea as well.
- Magnesium supplements- magnesium supplements support muscle and nerve function. In addition many people report that they also help with relaxation and sleep when taken 30 minutes to 1 hour before bedtime.
- Lifestyle Changes
Insomnia can sometimes be managed by making adjustments to your lifestyle. Here are some ideas.
- Exercise regularly. This is one of the best ways to get your body into balance and help you relax at night.
- Cut out caffeine, even if you think you need it every day.
- If you smoke, quit – smokers tend to have more sleep problems than non-smokers, sources report.
- Cut back on sugar, artificial colors, preservatives, and artificial flavors. These substances have been implicated in hyperactivity and other mood and mental imbalances.
- Don’t eat a large meal before bed. This can cause acid reflux worsening when you lie down.
- Meditation- meditation and relaxation techniques have been used by some to fall asleep when stress is a factor in insomnia.
If you know of natural techniques that have worked for you, please share them in the comments section below.