Natural Remedies for Treating Insomnia
According to the Sleep Health Foundation, around one in three people have at least mild insomnia. That means an astonishing 2.56 billion people are going without sufficient sleep each night.
Getting inadequate sleep can lead to increased risk for many diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even depression. It’s not surprising that most adults aren’t getting enough sleep, but why is sleep so hard to come by?
How much sleep is enough?
Everyone is different, and that holds true for how much sleep we need to feel well rested each night. While the rare person can get by with only 3 hours of sleep, most of us need 7-9 hours to survive our jobs the next day.
With work, family, and financial stress, it’s no wonder people are having a hard time falling asleep. In fact, most adults only average 6 hours of shut-eye each night. People often turn towards prescription medicine to fall asleep, but we suggest trying natural techniques first.
According to a study done in 2012, prescription sleep pills may be associated with over 500,000 deaths per year. That’s why it’s important to always maintain good sleep hygiene.
What is sleep hygiene?
Sleep hygiene is effectively developing your sleeping habits in a way that prepares you to fall asleep.
- You should stick to the same schedule each day so your body can maintain its own natural sleeping rhythm.
- Engage in relaxing pre-bed activities. Take a bath or hot shower, use essential oils, play some soft music, or whatever else helps you wind down at the end of the day.
- Don’t use electronics within an hour before bedtime. You may want to try reading a book or keeping the lights dim at night, so your body produces melatonin.
- Save the bedroom for all activities pertinent to sleep. Never watch TV, read, or use phone apps in the bed. And if having sex energizes you, reserve this for earlier in the day so you can fall asleep faster.
What are some natural supplements for sleep?
There are many natural supplements available on the market that aren’t habit-forming. Try each supplement one at a time to see what works best for you.
1. Cherry Juice/Melatonin
Believe it or not, cherry juice can actually help you fall asleep. It’s naturally high in melatonin, a chemical made by the body to regulate wakefulness. It’s very safe, and only poses problems for people who suffer from type 2 diabetes because of the sugar content.
You can also try more concentrated melatonin as well. These supplements are sold most at the pharmacy or grocery stores. Melatonin is non-addictive and uses your own body’s hormones to regulate sleep.
Magnesium is a natural muscle relaxant. If you have restless leg syndrome and it keeps you up at night, magnesium helps calm your muscles. Magnesium also increases the bioavailability of melatonin. 300mg of magnesium a day is recommended for most people.
3. Valerian Root
Valerian is an herbal remedy that many people find helpful for falling asleep. It’s a mild sedative without any addictive properties. It can even resolve problems related to stress, anxiety, and depression because of its profoundly calming effect.
Sleepless nights may have been getting you down, but they don’t have too any longer. Simply practicing good sleep hygiene and introducing natural supplements into your life can have an enormous impact on your quality of sleep.
It’s always better to try natural solutions before jumping into substances that can harm your body. We suggest trying one or a combination of the techniques mentioned in this article so you can finally have a good night’s sleep.