Eight hours of sleep has become a luxury to many people in this fast-paced world. The most significant problem when it comes to sleep nowadays is actually falling asleep when it’s time to, so we can wake up refreshed and energized. But you don’t want to fall into the black hole of becoming dependant on sleep medication- so check out these 10 natural remedies to help you get your sleep cycle back on track!
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1. Stay away from the light!
Your eyes are the windows to your… body clock! When your eyes see light, your brain associates it with the sun and takes it as a signal that you’re still running on day time. Ensure that you start dimming the lights before you head to bed, lower the brightness on your TV and other digital devices so that your brain knows to release Melatonin (the sleep hormone) to make you sleepy and lets your body know it’s almost time for bed! This is called light therapy.
To add on to this, when it’s time to wake up, make sure there’s light in your room to signify to your body that it’s now day time. If your bedroom has a window, investing in curtains that allow the sunlight to seep through will definitely help, otherwise there is technology out there that links your lights to your smartphone and turns on the lights for you. Since this stuff can be pretty expensive, you can always try my personal method for body clock resetting; a 2 to 3 night camping/hammock session outdoors!
2. Melatonin Supplements
This is a hormone that is already naturally produced in your body and induces sleepiness. If you’re lacking in melatonin production, or the timing of your melatonin production is whacked out, chances are you have a hard time sleeping at the right time. Light, as mentioned above, is usually responsible for the production of melatonin in your body. Understand more about insomnia by checking out this article.
If you don’t have time to camp, money to buy the technology, and don’t have a window in your bedroom to try out light therapy, lucky for you, you can grab some melatonin supplements, these are not the same as melatonin pills, which is synthetic melatonin made in labs. When you take these melatonin supplements at the right time, it will boost your body’s production of melatonin, rather than replacing it with synthetic melatonin.
Here's more information on Melatonin:
3. Say goodbye to Caffeine!
You probably already know that drinking coffee before going to sleep isn't the best idea in the world, but keep in mind coffee after lunch can still affect you all the way up to the evening, and remember that coffee is not the only beverage that contains caffeine!
Beware of sodas and other drinks that contain caffeine, it’s useful to check out the labels before consuming anything ready to eat. People say tea is a great way to get you sleepy, but be careful because some teas are a little higher in caffeine content than other teas.
4. Inhale Lavender, Exhale Insomnia
You’ve probably heard of the awesome effects of Aromatherapy on sleep, Lavender is a natural relaxant. It helps to go as natural as possible, you want to actually be inhaling lavender and not chemicals that smell like it.
Some dried lavender in a pillow should work, as well as organic lavender oil and natural incense sticks, candles, and cones. There are even some organic lavender sprays out in the market that you can spray on your pillow!
Here is a good video on essential oils for sleep:
5. Calcium and Magnesium
If you’ve tried drinking milk to help you sleep and it hasn’t worked, it’s probably because you’ve left out the magnesium! You can try accumulating the right dosage through food, which is a little out of the way for most people, so you may also opt for getting natural supplements for these two minerals!
600 mg of Calcium and 200 mg of Magnesium should do the trick, but if you get the tummy runs, make sure you lower your dosage of Magnesium to 100-150 mg instead. These two, when together, will make you want to hit the hay and fast!
Green Tea doesn’t quite have enough of this, so take a look at other products that have at least around 150 grams of L-theanine to boost the REM phase of your sleep cycle. You can find more information here.
L-theanine is basically an amino acid and boosts production of calming substances while reduces brain chemicals that get you excited, AND it enhances alpha waves in the brain which helps with relaxation and creativity!
7. Chamomile Tea
I know, I know. I just told you to stay away from caffeine. But some teas don’t have merely enough caffeine to make the slightest effect. The properties of chamomile that make you snooze are much more powerful.
Drink 1 cup, thrice a day, with your last cup being 30 minutes before you head to sleep. The sedative effects of chamomile will have you smiling as you fall asleep! For more information about other herbal teas and natural supplements check out this list.
45 minutes of aerobic exercise daily will do so much good to your body! In terms of sleep, it helps boosts your natural hormones to get your body functioning the way it should, and will straighten out your body clock when done daily.
You’ll have better blood circulation to get the hormones around and as well as deliver oxygen better throughout your body! Plus, it’ll help get you tired and slightly sore, which will knock you out at bedtime! Exercise is great any time of the day, but I’d recommend a few hours before bedtime and not immediately before, just so that you’re not totally pumped when you go to bed.
Take a look at these 3 simple exercises that will help you fall asleep:
9. Bedtime Bath
Taking a warm bath before you head off to bed will help relax your body and mind, similar to how meditation can help you sleep, but with the perks of being fresh and smelling amazing!
This is also a great time to light up some lavender incense or bathe in an organic lavender wash, and you know what? Have that chamomile tea while you’re in the tub, and you might not make it to your bed for a snoozefest.
Here is a good explanation from Priyanka Yadav, DO , a Sleep Medicine Specialist:
10. Wild Lettuce Supplements
Not only is this a great natural cure for anxiety and sore muscles, but since it cures those things it means it’s a relaxant and it’ll help you fall asleep. I’m not saying to go out and harvest actual wild lettuce, which would be cool if you could, but grab some wild lettuce supplements and take 30 mg to 120 mg before bedtime.