Many people are plagued with insomnia: an inability to easily fall asleep or stay asleep. There are prescription drugs to help people fall asleep, but these can often be habit-forming, result in sleepiness during the day, or provide a lower-quality night’s rest than a person would have if he or she fell asleep on his or her own. Over the counter sleep remedies often suffer from the same problems. In fact, even herbal supplements can have many of the same side effects as prescription drugs, because the chemicals in drugs are extracted from the same plants that are used in the supplements! Is there a natural way to get a good night’s sleep?
Establish a Routine
If you go to bed and wake up at a different time each day, it’s no wonder your body is confused about when to fall asleep! The chemicals produced by your body that make you sleepy are produced in cyclical intervals, and you could be throwing yourself off. Weekend bedtime and waking times should be different from weekday times by no more than two hours if you are having sleep problems. If your problems are severe, you should consider keeping the same bed and waking times every single day until you find it easier to fall asleep.
Insomnia sufferers should create a bedtime routine that lets your body know that it is time to sleep. A half-hour of reading, or doing a hobby like putting together puzzles, before bed, followed by washing your face, changing into pyjamas, and crawling into bed (always in the same order) will help your body realize that it is time to sleep.
Avoid Too Much Stimulation
Surfing the internet or playing video games before bedtime gets many people’s brains racing: not a good state for sleep! Try to unplug for at least a half-hour before you want to go to bed, and your brain should be moving at a slower, and sleepier, pace.
A drop in body temperature makes most people feel sleepy. It signals to your body that it is night time, and therefore sleep time. A warm shower or bath, or a cup of non-caffinated tea, will raise your body temperature, resulting in a drop when you get out of the shower or finish the tea. This drop in body temperature will have you seeking the covers, and dreamland.
Notepad Beside the Bed
Anxious people often find that when they lay down to go to sleep, their brains fill with all the things they have to remember to do the next day. Keep a pen and paper handy, and write these things down if they occur to you and you can’t stop thinking about them. Writing them down is giving yourself permission to forget about them for the moment-you’ll get to them tomorrow. Once your brain empties a little, you should find sleep easier to come by!