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4 Natural Remedies for Insomnia You Probably Haven’t Tried

October 8, 2013

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Chances are we’ve all suffered from insomnia at some point in our lives – sleepless nights spent staring at the ceiling fan or watching the minutes tick by on the clock. The harder you try to fall asleep, the harder it is to actually fall asleep. If you’re anything like me, you might even start to calculate the hours left until your alarm goes off, which inevitably leads to more stress and less sleep.

Insomnia can occur for many reasons. For someone with otherwise regular sleep patterns, occasional insomnia may be the result of a particularly stressful event, job issue, or rocky relationship in your life. For those who suffer from frequent insomnia, it could be indicative of a bigger problem like chronic anxiety.

Just like we have all suffered from insomnia at some point , we’ve probably also heard the common cures – don’t drink water before bed, stop drinking caffeine at noon, or make sure your bed room is quiet and the temperature is comfortable before you go to bed. These are all great tips, but more often than not they just don’t do the trick.

Next time you find yourself counting sheep, try some of these lesser-know insomnia cures that might just have you sleeping like a baby:

  1. Invest in a new pillow. This may seem obvious, which is exactly why I’m sharing it. Sometimes the most obvious answers are the ones we overlook. I can say from personal experience that a good pillow and a good mattress make all the difference. I have recently been having some trouble sleeping, and realized that it was taking me at least an hour to get comfortable in bed. I finally bit the bullet and bought a good pillow – one specifically designed for side sleepers like me, no less! While we are on the topic of pillows, sprinkling a small amount of lavender essential oil on your pillow could help you get some ZZZs, too. The soothing scent will help calm your mind.
  2. Limit your alcohol consumption. It’s a common misconception that one glass of wine will put you right to sleep. While it is true that you might start to feel drowsy, when the alcohol starts to wear off, your brain is more alert and buzzing than it was before the wine. And don’t think that’s an excuse to drink more than one glass! Sleep after a few too many drinks is restless and inconsistent. You definitely won’t wake up refreshed in the morning. If you need a drink to calm down and unwind at night, turn to a glass of warm milk or even some “sleepy time” tea.
  3. Establish a time to unwind. Recent studies suggest that electronic usage too close to bedtime can keep you awake at night. Establish a designated time each night to turn off your laptop, phone, and TV at least 30 minutes to an hour before you go to bed. Instead, use this time to talk to family, read a book or take a relaxing bath. Anything that will calm you down and reduce the amount of information that your brain needs to process before bed.
  4. When all else fails, turn to herbal supplements. There are several natural sleep aids that you could try when all other options seem not to work. The first is an ancient Ayurvedic herb called brahmi oil. It is thought to balance your doshas, clear your mind and control restlessness. Rub it into your scalp at night to promote restful sleep. Another Ayurvedic herb to try is ashwagandha, which is known for its ability to help the body cope with stress and rest more soundly. A more commonly known supplement for sleep is melatonin. This sleep aid is actually the hormone that your body releases to regulate sleep. It is important to be careful with melatonin because it can be habit forming. Finally, increasing magnesium in your diet could regulate fatigue and create a regular waking and sleeping schedule for your body.

 These techniques can help those with occasional insomnia. If you have persistent insomnia, it might be a good idea to talk to your doctor or visit a natural healer like an acupuncturist who can help you take care of a more serious problem.

Do you have occasional insomnia? How do you cure it naturally?