Getting a regular good night's sleep is one of the most important things you need to do to be healthy. What are the Natural Sleep Alternatives to Sleeping Pills? Read on...
Lack of regular, deep, restful sleep leads to irritability, depression, obesity, heart disease, lower mental acuity, poor sex drive, a host of immune system issues, a reduced sense of joy and it makes you generally feel like crap.
While pharmaceutical sleep aids can work temporarily, they also come with a host of frightening side effects.
If you haven't read about pharmaceutical sleep aids in depth yet, be sure you do before considering them. Don't just read the bottle or blindly take any doctor's advice. Perform multiple web searches, read the stories of real people who report success, failures and disasters with these drugs. This is one of those cases where the manufacturer's disclosures about risks and side effects of rapid addiction, tendencies towards self-harm, and severe memory loss are appallingly common.
Here's a list of the 10 best natural sleep remedies worth trying:
First, trust in your nature - you were meant to sleep. If you're not sleeping well, your sleep IQ needs a few points to get that good night's sleep we all need so badly. It's not reasonable or healthy to ask a pill to knock you out when you're not doing the basics first. Here's the checklist of common mistakes to avoid, good habits to develop and some quick tips you can try before you look to popping pills.
The overwhelming majority of those who stretch and exercise report better sleep than those who don't. While moderate exercise has shown to have the greatest benefits, some people are able to do vigorous workouts at night and sleep long and hard; others report difficulty. The smart move--exercise early.
2. Hydrate early
Hydration is a double-edged sword when it comes to sleep. We need to be well hydrated to sleep soundly and support the body's repairability; however, too much water and we're waking up to pee. The solution is to thoroughly hydrate about an hour before bed. That will ensure you're well hydrated with time to empty your bladder.
3. Turn the lights down early
Artificial light is one of the leading disruptions to our natural circadian rhythm. Your circadian rhythm is your body clock. It winds up in the morning and down at night. Levels of light is one of the primary natural indications to your body that it should find a second-wind or go into sleep-mode. Keeping too many bright artificial lights on too late into the evening often triggers that “second wind" at night, which is exactly when you don't want it coming on.
4. Wind it down and set the mood
While it sounds easy, it can be especially difficult to wind it down at home at night 1-2 hours before you want to fall asleep. Especially with active children in the home, both parents and children often suffer terrible consequences of allowing noisy active behavior just before bed. Try conditioning the entire family that when the lights go down, its time for quiet, peaceful activities, conversation, reading, writing and reflection.
5. Turn off electronic devices or put them in another room
Electronics emit frequencies that can be disruptive to your natural and ideal circadian rhythm. Keep them away from your bed. Actual usage of smart phones, tablets and laptops revs up the same mental muscle you need to wind down. If you need your phone nearby for emergencies, try plugging it in further away from the bed where you can still hear it if needed.
6. Read something educational
Remember school nights when you had homework to do but all you wanted to do was sleep? Reading something educational has only positive side-effects. Either you'll learn something new and eventually get tired or just get tired right away and fall asleep perhaps not much smarter--but better rested.
7. Read something positive
If you can't find something positive to read--write down your own blessings. Write down all the good things that have happened in your life, write down your epic moments, write what you're thankful for, write down your goals, write down your dreams, keep it by the bed and read it again and again until you fall asleep.
8. Learn to meditate the easy way
If you've ever tried meditation and given up in failure, you just didn't do it right. Meditation can be easy, it can be done anywhere and it has a dramatic and immediate calming effect. Where do you start? Try reading the book Practicing the Power of Now. One of the most notable techniques endorsed by celebrities, super stars and educators worldwide is called “Transcendental Meditation" with more than 350 published studies reporting benefits that include reduced cortisol (known as the “stress hormone"), normalized blood pressure, lower risk of heart attack and stroke, reduced anxiety and depression, improved learning ability and memory and reduced insomnia. Learn more at: http://tm.org.
9. What foods or nutritional supplements might help?
You can search on the sleep benefits of calcium & magnesium, pure L-theanine, natural melatonin, valerian, almonds, cherries, bananas, oatmeal, wild lettuce, hops (yes beer fans) and Aromatherapy (especially lavender).
10. Still waking up to pee in the middle of the night?
If you're not over-hydrating too late in the evening--it could be a sign of enlarged prostate or inflammation. Before you sound the alarm bells, try the all natural plant extract “Beta Sitosterol." If an enlarged prostate or swelling is creating an unnatural urge to relieve yourself, a few days of taking Beta Sitosterol can have a noticeable beneficial effect to late night bladder discomfort as well as lower inflammation. Look it up.
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Resources From This Article:
- Learn Transcendental Meditation: http://www.tm.org
- Book reference on Amazon: Practicing the Power of Now