Falling asleep isn’t always as easy as we would like. Fortunately, there are many natural ways to improve the quality of your sleep. Anyone that knows me knows that I have had trouble falling asleep for quite a few years. I would like to share some things that have worked for me.
First and foremost for me, it is an issue of reducing stress on my adrenal glands. I am what is defined as a Type A personality. I have trouble relaxing. I like to be moving at 100mph every day. I have learned, however, that that is not a good way to attain and maintain healthy adrenal glands. Stressed adrenal glands will many times over produce Cortisol which can contribute to insomnia…so my #1 recommended insomnia remedy is to learn to take time off and relax. A good book can do wonders for insomnia.
It is important to determine the root cause of your insomnia by a qualified practitioner, however, as you are seeking to do that there are some natural substances that may ease your discomfort. Some are fairly well known…melatonin is one. Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland that induces sleep but it has numerous other health benefits as a powerful antioxidant and free radical scavenger and helps to combat inflammation. Melatonin has also proven to have anti-cancer benefits.
Another easy sleep aid is warm raw milk. Milk contains tryptophan, a substance known to induce drowsiness. It is released when the raw milk is gently heated. Put the milk in a sauce pan and warm it up, but make sure it doesn’t get too close to boiling as this will kill off the sleep inducing properties.
Lavender is known for its relaxing aroma effect. You can buy a spray for your pillow or use an essential oil (Young Living or DoTerra are two good brands) in your bath.
You can make a cup of tea about an hour before bedtime. Chamomile is probably the most well known sleep aid tea, but you can also use valerian, ginger or peppermint. I purchase Fast Asleep tea from BulkHerbStore.com. You may find making a “double or triple bagger” helpful. Use liquid Sweet Leaf Stevia to sweeten rather than sugar.
One trick that has worked wonders for me is the addition of a small fan. If outside noises (or your husband’s snoring) keep you up, the humming noise of a small fan shuts out those and other distracting noises and can help you fall asleep more quickly. Ear plugs can also be helpful, but be sure you check yours out with your primary care provider to make sure you have a good fit that still allows your ears to “breathe”. A sleep mask can be used to remove window light and shadows. The darker the room the better.
I have also purchased a sleep CD from The Relaxation Company (therelaxationcompany.com). This calming CD induces your brainwaves toward their natural pattern of deep Delta sleep using sound frequency patterns that are built into musical soundtracks. I found this CD very calming.
My most recent discovery is the use of California Poppy and Skullcap. Both of these tinctures are made by Herb Pharm. I take them right before bed. The results have been amazing.
Most people are deficient in Magnesium… in fact, you probably are too. Magnesium is the second most abundant element in our bodies, and is used in regulating over 300 enzymes and reactions in the body. Magnesium is a calming mineral. Getting magnesium sufficiency in your body will help with your sleep and so much more. Many forms of magnesium are difficult to absorb when taken orally, especially for those with a damaged gut (that is most of us too). If you are someone that enjoys a nice hot bath, I would recommend Magnesium Bath Salts from ancient-minerals.com or you may want to purchase liquid ReMag from drcarolyndean.com. ReMag is 100% absorbed at the cellular level and has no laxative effect.
Another recent discovery of mine is a technique called tapping. Tapping or EFT (emotional freedom technique) utilizes the body’s energy meridian points by stimulating them with your fingertips – literally tapping into your body’s own energy and healing power. Your body is more powerful than you can imagine… filled with life, energy, and a compelling ability for self-healing. There are numerous websites and videos on youtube demonstrating the subject that will guide you through the techniques for your unique challenges and experiences.
And…last on my list of sleep aids is hops, a main ingredient in beer (I do not recommend drinking beer to get the effect). Hops improves sleep and aids in sleep onset. It works well with valerian extract and the combination may help increase alpha brain waves. I purchased dried hops and made a tea right before bed.
I hope you find something here to assist YOU to a good night’s sleep! Sweet dreams to you!