Health

Natural Solutions for Better Sleep

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Do you often lie awake in your bed for hours and wake up in the morning totally exhausted? Is insomnia disturbing your day-to-day life? Well, it’s time to do something about your sleep issues. While many people automatically reach for sleep medication, there are other, natural and equally-effective solutions that will allow you to catch some extra Zs.

Why avoid sleep medication?

While effective, sleeping pills are only a short-term solution to your insomnia. Additionally, often prescription meds come with a long list of negative side effects that range from headaches and muscle soreness to dizziness, fatigue and focus issues. If you add all of these up, you’ll realize that sleep medication makes things worse instead of better. Even if you don’t experience any side effects, sleeping pills can make you build up a tolerance and even cause addiction.

Try exercising

So, instead of reaching for sleep medication, try natural remedies like physical activity. There’s a bunch of scientific evidence that people who exercise five times a week have better quality sleep and healthier sleeping habits than those who choose to spend their time in front of the TV. Even if you don’t have the time to hit the gym five times a week, thirty minutes of exercise three times a week often results in one full hour of more sleep and less frequent sleep interruptions.

Fix your circadian rhythm

Photo by Drew Tilk on Unsplash

While it’s greatly responsible for getting you up in the morning, the sun is an essential sleep aid that allows you to get a firm and restful sleep at night. Your body is programmed to respond to natural light to figure out whether it’s time to pump the body with energizing hormones or those that make you sleepy and relaxed. Spending time outdoors helps your natural clock (dictated by the 24-hour cycle of day and night) keep you awake and get you to sleep. When your brain notices the change in natural light, your body will react by producing melatonin that puts you to sleep or other energizing hormones that will make you perky and ready for the day. So, if you notice your body doesn’t produce enough melatonin in the evening, make sure to spend more time outside so that your inner clock can reset. Plus, spending time outside will fill your body and brain with fresh oxygen and new stimuli which can make you feel tired and satisfied at the end of the day.

Eat better

This might come as a surprise, but the foods that you eat can have an impact on your sleep quality. In fact, many foods have properties that will make you feel drowsy and relaxed. Foods rich in tryptophan like cheese, turkey,  and almonds will induce that pleasant groggy state that will put you to sleep in no time. Omega-3 fatty acids can also improve your sleep, so make sure to eat plenty of fish, nuts, and seeds or take some supplements. Other supplements like magnesium tablets can also improve your sleep. This essential mineral is responsible for slowing your thinking down and helping those with restless leg syndrome calm down and log more sleep.

Ditch your electronics

Changing your habits can also help with your sleep pattern. For instance, if you’re used to staring at your phone before bed, the blue light from your screen is definitely not helping you fall asleep. So, instead, grab a book or play some relaxing music that will lull you to sleep.

Take a nice shower

Photo by Chandler Cruttenden on Unsplash

A warm shower before bed can message your nervous system that it’s time to slow down, relax and start getting ready for bed. So, if you’re a morning shower person, make sure to also grab a quick wash before bed as well.

Try guided imagery

Don’t hesitate to let your imagination fly high—it can help you doze off faster. When you hit the bed, picture yourself in a relaxing and peaceful place and your mind will relax faster and put you to sleep.

Retire early

People who stay up late are statistically more likely to overthink and get overwhelmed with negative thoughts which is not a good bed routine. Instead, try to retire earlier and your mind will naturally let go of all the worries.

You don’t have to pump yourself full of meds in order to fall asleep faster. You can beat insomnia with these natural remedies and improve your quality and duration of sleep in a way that won’t hurt your overall health and wellbeing.

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Lauren is a health and wellness writer with a passion for natural solutions and sustainable living.

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