Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Natural Remedies: Falling Asleep & Insomnia

First off, if you are wondering what happened to the essential oils topic...don't worry.  It will come back!  I just needed and break and I figured something different would be interesting for a few weeks.  Plus, I need some time to do some research so that I can write some better posts on essential oils.  :)

So this week, we're mixing it up and looking up natural remedies for (not) falling asleep and insomnia.  This one seems to be a little more personal...some things work for one person and others not so much.  So if you have any other ideas, feel free to share them!  Here are just a few things that help -- without taking sleeping pills. :)
  • Avoid sweets and caffeine after noon - the caffeine and sugar add to energy rushes and uneven blood sugar levels that will keep your mind racing and your body from relaxing.
  • Eat foods rich in magnesium - these foods include seeds, cashews and almonds, dark leafy green veggies, and whole grains. Magnesium is a natural sedative and a lack of magnesium can cause insomnia among other symptoms that can leave you sleepless.
  • Try the visualization relaxation technique - this involves imagining a relaxing scene.  You could also remember relaxing times in your life to lull you to sleep. 
  • If you are trying to train your body to fall asleep, melatonin can be an effective remedy.  Melatonin is a natural hormone within the body.  For a short-term period (usually thought to be 3 months or less), it is perfectly safe to take melatonin pills to help you fall asleep.  If used for longer, be sure to consult with a doctor.
  • Warm milk also has a soothing property that helps people fall asleep.  For a little extra sleepy power, add a splash of nutmeg to the milk.  
  • Prepare your body (and brain) to sleep - this means avoiding naps (if at all possible) and exposing yourself to as much natural light as possible during the day and then eliminating as much light as possible at night.  This will help your body naturally produce melatonin.
  • Don't stare at the clocks (if you can't avoid staring at them, move them) - if you stare at the clocks worrying about the insomnia, it is likely to make it worse.  
  • Get up and move around - if you can't fall asleep, move around, take a shower, get a new perspective.  Then try again.

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