Are you chasing the ever elusive 8 hours of sleep every night? There are a number natural sleep aids to assist with insomnia in hopes of restful nights of sleep. As we know sleep is required for all individuals as it helps us to repair our bodies, fight off sickness and disease and remain more cognitively alert through our days. However if you have ever struggles with insomnia then you know the difficulty in finding aids to help you consistently achieve hours of restful sleep.
Foods To Help Insomnia And Foods To Avoid
Some common foods that you can use to help with insomnia include crackers, or a small light snack such as fruit before bedtime. Although many experts don’t recommend eating before bedtime sometimes having just a small meal can help you to relax and avoid any feelings of hunger which can keep you awake. Eating carbohydrates before you sleep can help to prepare your body for sleep as well though it is important to note that you should never eat a large meal before going to bed as this can lead to uncomfortable sleep and insomnia. Foods to avoid include alcohol, caffeine and sugar especially right before going to bed.
Popular Natural Remedies For Insomnia
L theanine: This is a substance that you can use in tea or as a regular supplement. This all-natural supplement helps to give you more energy throughout the day as well as balance energy at night. It works to balance our brain and provide us with better liver function which can help us with the effects of caffeine which can stay in our system for up to 10 hours after consumed.
Melatonin: An all natural sleep aid is melatonin which is a hormone which naturally occurs in the body. It regulates our natural clock and causes drowsiness. Melatonin is readily available over the counter and is suggested by many doctors as a sleep aid. However research has been mixed as to its’ effectiveness and in what amounts will help induce sleep. If you take a quick survey of people you know with long term insomnia you will find most have tried melatonin. The results will be mixed; some find it helpful or helpful at first, some find it does not help and some find it actually exaggerates insomnia.
Magnesium has been shown to affect sleep if your body is lacking in magnesium. Magnesium can be found in green leafy vegetables, almonds and wheat germ. It is also available as a supplement; however caution and a doctors’ evaluation should be used as magnesium can interact poorly with many medications.
Valerian root is a herb which can have sedative effects. Results are again mixed and a doctor should be consulted before trying the herb and to advise quantities.
Lifestyle Changes As A Natural Sleep Aid
One of the key offenders is the computer and smartphone which promote insomnia. The stimulation of the light and brain activity in turn can spur on insomnia. Sleeping with the television on can be soothing as background noise but for some individuals will aggravate insomnia. Doctors suggest powering down at least one half hour before going to bed. No computers, no smart phones, no social media. Quiet preparation such a reading a book or journaling is suggested.
Regular exercise has many health benefits, one of which is helping aid sleep. Long term insomnia is indeed difficult to tame for many and it can be trial and error to find a routine which aids insomnia instead of aggravating the condition.
As always, a doctor should be consulted before trying any natural remedies.