Did you know that close to 48 percent of Americans have in the recent past reported occasional lack of sleep with a further 22 percent reporting chronic insomnia?
This widespread insomnia has turned most of these individuals into sleeping pill poppers as they struggle to catch at least seven hours of sleep at night. In most cases, poor sleep patterns, poor health, and age have been cited as potential causes for both occasional and long-term sleeplessness.
For instance, as you age, the body will most likely reduce the secretion of melatonin, a hormone responsible for regulating your sleep/wake cycle.
You, however, don’t have to turn to pills to fall asleep. There are several natural and practical ways you can explore to combat sleeplessness. Here are four of them to get you started.
1. Create a Foolproof Sleeping Routine
At what time do you go to bed? Do you sleep with the lights on and do you have electronics like TV and phones in the bedroom? These seemingly innocent engagements with electronics in the bedroom ultimately determine whether you fall asleep immediately you get to bed or not.
Sleeping hygiene calls for maintaining a regular sleeping schedule as well minimizing distraction during bedtime. Renee Zellweger, the acclaimed producer, and actress follows a bedtime routine that involves reducing “screen time” before bedtime. This means no phone or T.V well before going to bed.
Another crucial factor that influences your sleep quality is the type of bedding you tend to use. Soft and cozy mattresses might be ideal for a movie night or for chilling during the day, but not exactly healthy for your back.
In addition to the type of bedding, you must consider the hygiene factor. Washing your beddings regularly can come with all manners of positive health effects.
To find out more about how to wash your type of bedding to promote good sleep habits, you can check various online resources.
If you often have trouble sleeping, try switching off the lights just before getting into bed and riding the bedroom of all electronic devices. You can also try sliding into bed at the same time every day, even when you’re not going to work the following day.
Ideally, bedtime should be preceded by one hour of winding up that usually involves ditching every gadget. Other sleeping practices that you might try to include:
- Keeping a ‘sleep’ diary.
- Maintaining an adequate temperature in the bedroom.
- Practicing breathing exercises before bed.
In time, these practices will gradually turn into a full-fledged routine.
One of the primary causes of sleeplessness is undue anxiety that gradually transforms itself into stress and depression. Since the dawn of time, these mental conditions have been treated through alternative remedies like aromatherapy.
Essential oils such as lavender and Myrrh have been found to ease psychological tensions and feelings of anxiety that often keep the mind engaged and awake, thus inhibiting your ability to fall asleep. The sweet and musky smell of these oils shifts your mind’s attention, allowing it to relax. Jennifer Anniston and Richard Branson are some celebrities who have used aromatherapy to get a restful sleep.
So how do you practice aromatherapy at home, especially if you don’t have an oil diffuser or burner? Add a few drops of the oil into a spray and use it an air freshener around the house or oil your pillow.
Alternatively, add several drops of your favorite essential oil to your warm bath water. You can also consider oiling a handkerchief and inhaling in several deep and concentrated breaths.
3. Eat healthy
Did you know that you can also eat your way into sleep? Start consuming foods rich in minerals and vitamins in order to supplement their dwindling production within the body, chiefly due to advanced age.
Most importantly, ensure that your foods are rich in calcium, magnesium, Vitamins B, and Tryptophan. Though each in its own way, they all contribute significantly in the fight against insomnia.
Calcium, for instance, helps your body increase the production of the sleep hormone and promotes the conduction of sleep signals. On the other hand, tryptophan contains melatonin as well as serotonin, a neurotransmitter responsible for mood enhancement.
Most of Vitamin B’s derivatives such as B1, B3, B6, and B12 have been found to play various roles in reducing sleeplessness frequency. The organic derivatives in Vitamin B help trigger the production of anxiety-relieving and sleep hormones such as dopamine and melatonin as well as the enrichment of the Gaba neurotransmitter.
4. Avoid daytime stress and toxic habits
Where does your mind flee to when it’s time for bed? Are you usually overwhelmed by what you didn’t accomplish during the day or what tomorrow might bring?
While some daytime habits might not be harmful to any other individual, they may prove toxic to you especially if you regularly struggle with sleep.
These include any stimulating activities like taking in caffeine and exercising in the evenings, any arguments during the day or talking about work during bedtime. Avoid any these and any other activity that sends strong stimulating signals to the brain before bed.
These methods may turn out to be just what you needed to fight back against insomnia and the. Start implementing on them until you find one or a combination of several methods that work best for you. They all are wholly natural and straightforward to apply regardless of your age or gender.
Nonetheless, if you choose a particular method, expect to wait for a little while before you can start enjoying its sleep-inducing capabilities.