Sleeping is crucial for our health. It allows us to recharge and also perform maintenance on our bodies. Plus everybody loves a restful sleep! When we don’t get enough quality sleep our bodies suffer the consequences and don’t perform at their best. There are many reasons why we might not be getting enough sleep; stress, anxiety and other mental factors. The good news is that there’s still a lot that we can manage in our day to day lives that will improve our sleeping patterns. Here are 6 remedies that will have you sleeping like a baby again.
1 of 6 – WARM BATH
A warm bath in a low light is a great way to relax the body and mind. Taking a warm bath before bed time raises your body temperature. Once you get out of the bath and into bed your body temperature begins to drop which helps put your body to sleep. This process also helps the body to produce more natural melatonin (for more information on melatonin see page 2.) A warm bath can also help ease muscle and joint pains associated with arthritis or other ailments.
Alternatives: WARM SHOWER IN DIM LIGHT
2 of 6 – MELATONIN
Melatonin is a natural hormone made in the brain. Melatonin is used to control the body’s sleep and wake cycles. Melatonin can occur naturally in some foods such as cherries, meats, grains and vegetables. It is also available in supplement form from your local drug store or online retailers. Later in the day your body starts to increase melatonin production in an effort to prepare the body for sleep. A few hours before you wake up melatonin production will slow down to prepare your body for the day. Generally melatonin is viewed as a safe supplement in low short term doses, but with taking any supplement please ask your doctor before starting any supplement/drug regime.
Alternatives: SLEEP AIDS
3 of 6 – STICK TO A SLEEP SCHEDULE THAT MATCHES THE SUN CYCLE
It may not be easy to always stick to a regular sleep schedule, but training your body to wake and sleep at the same times each day makes a big difference. Routine sleep schedules have been shown to improve memory, mood, energy levels, concentration, immunity, assists in avoiding weight gain, and even increasing your life span. Your natural melatonin levels are also affected by the sun, once the sun goes down the body starts to produce more melatonin. If you happen to work a graveyard shift the daily sun cycle can be though to adapt to.
Alternatives: NATURAL LIGHT ALARM CLOCKS
4 of 6 – WARM MILK
Milk naturally contains tryptophan the amino acid that helps to induce sleep, and the one you always hear about when you over eat turkey at Thanksgiving. Studies have shown that tryptophan has its biggest impact on helping you fall asleep or feel tired. It does not provide any long term sleep assistance. To enhance tryptophan delivery to the brain you should also consume some carbohydrates. When starting any supplement regime consult your health professional first.
Alternatives: TRYPTOPHAN SUPPLEMENTS
5 of 6 – REGULAR EXERCISE
Some studies show that exercise greatly improves the sleep of individuals suffering from chronic insomnia. The single best daily exercise for improving insomnia is walking. Walking has shown greater benefits towards treating insomnia vs weight lifting and heavy aerobic exercise. After about four weeks of regular exercise your body will start to see the benefits of regular exercise.
Alternatives: YARD WORK AND SIMPLE CHORES
6 of 6 – LAVENDER OIL
Placing lavender oil on your pillow before bed is a trick that many people swear by. Research has shown that the scent of lavender helps alleviate anxiety, and insomnia. It also has been shown to be able to slow down heart rate and lower blood pressure in humans. Most of the recent studies of lavender oils vs placebo groups have shown that it is actually effective in easing insomnia.