Effective and Natural Sleep Aids

A good night's sleep can help you feel refreshed and raring to handle the issues that life and work throws up every day. However many people are deprived of their sleep because of their hectic work life, stress factors and numerous other reasons. Effective and natural sleep aids can help you resolve your problem of insomnia and this article will guide you about these natural sleep remedies.
| Monday, December 22, 2008
Deep and relaxing sleep is crucial not only for a healthy body but also a healthy mind. The hectic pace of modern life has however resulted in people experiencing sleepless nights. The condition of insomnia or lack of sleep has become only too prevalent because of the increasing stress levels among people. Consistent lack of sleep or chronic insomnia is a condition that needs medical support. Such a condition can also be a symptom of some other health issues like heart disease, lung problems, depression etc. It is therefore advisable for people experiencing chronic insomnia to consult a doctor. While there are a number of prescription sleep aids that can cure insomnia, effective and natural sleep aids can help deal with the problem in a better way. Following are some effective natural sleep aids that would help you get rid of all your sleep worried:

Valerian is a herb that has been used to cure insomnia for many years. It is one of the most readily available and popular herbal sleep aids. Some studies indicate that this herb works like a normal sleeping pill by calming the neurotransmitter GABA. However the popularity of this herb can be attributed to the fact that this is a completely harmless and non addictive remedy for insomnia. However this remedy does not work for everybody. This medicine can be taken one hour before the bedtime and it takes around two to three weeks for this medicine to work. The side effects of this medication include headache, indigestion, dizziness and palpitations. This medication should also not be taken for more than three months continuously and it should not be taken with other medication. This medication should not be taken with alcohol or during surgery.

Melatonin is used by people to cure problems of insomnia and is particularly popular with people working in shifts or those who experience jet lag. Melatonin is a hormone that is usually found within the human body. This medicine should be taken around 30 minutes before bedtime. This medicine should not be used by people experiencing schizophrenia, depression and other problems.

Kava is a herb that is known to work effectively for insomnia that is anxiety related. However dietary supplements’ with kava are known to cause liver problems and so this should not be taken without medical guidance.

Relaxation Techniques
Relaxation techniques are effective in allowing people to fall asleep easily and faster. These techniques should be practised 20 minutes before sleeping. Visualization is one of the most effective and popular natural sleep aids. Visualization is done by imagining a calming or relaxing scene. It involves the person’s senses and requires him to think of a preferred scene that would be relaxing. So a person can imagine lying on a beach on a tropical island and feel the breeze against the skin. The more vividly a person can imagine, the more relaxed the person would feel. Meditation can also help people deal with insomnia problem. Meditation is also completely safe for pregnancy and can be used by pregnant women to resolve the problem of insomnia. It can also be one of the most effective sleep aids for children. Mindfulness can also be an effective remedy for insomnia as it allows people to focus on the present moment. Yoga can also help resolve insomnia problems since the breathing exercises together with stretching and meditation can improve the quality of sleep and the sleep time as well.

Lifestyle and Diet Changes
Some changes in lifestyle and diet are also important to deal with the problem of insomnia. Changes in diet include reducing and eliminating consumption of caffeine because caffeine is known to cause restlessness and insomnia. Likewise tea and soft drinks should also be avoided. Certain other food items such as sweets can cause disruption in sleep and so these should be avoided. Some food items such as whole grain crackers can be consumed since they promote sleep. Magnesium is an entirely natural sedative and food items such as green leafy vegetables, almonds, cashews and whole grains can be consumed to resolve problems of insomnia.

Aromatherapy and Alternative Medicine
Aromatherapy can also be used to cure insomnia. English lavender essence and oil can be used because of its sedative qualities. Lavender helps to increase the length of sleep time and also helps to increase deep sleep. A lavender sachet can be put under the pillow or a few drops of the oil can be applied on a handkerchief for deep sleep. Gentle music is also known to improve sleep and its quality. It also helps to increase the length of sleep and its satisfaction. Acupuncture treatment can also help in improving sleep and can effectively treat insomnia. Traditional Chinese medicine traces insomnia problems to kidney energy weakness and so herbal Chinese medicine can help deal with this problem. Ayurvedic medicine considers insomnia to be related with vata imbalance. Ayurvedic treatment for this problem includes application of oil on the head and the feet. Moderate exercise is essential for proper sleep at night.

Other Natural Herbal Concoctions
Some other natural remedies include herbs such as chamomile, lemon balm, hops and passion flower that can help people reduce or resolve problem of insomnia. Chamomile tea can also help people get a good night’s sleep if it is taken before bedtime. Chamomile tea proves to be effective since it can help in reducing anxiety and muscle tension. Some effective herbal concoctions and teas that can help you fall asleep include:
  • Valerian tea: Get 2 teaspoons valerian root and pour boiling water over it. Let the root soak in the water for 15 minutes. You can add a little bit of honey to sweeten this liquid and then drink it. It might not taste good but it can be very effective.
  • Hops tea: Add 1 oz of hops to one pint of boiling water and this liquid can be taken up to 3 times a day.
  • Catnip tea: This is a common garden plant and has a mint taste to it. To make this liquid add around 1 teaspoon of dried catnip to a cup of boiling water and strain and drink it before bedtime.
Feng Shui
Feng shui is based on the belief that arranging furniture and other items in the room can help in maximizing the positive energy and its flow through the house. For relaxed sleep some important arrangements that can be effected include ensuring that the bed is not arranged in any corner of the room. This is because the energy in corners tends to get stagnant. The bed should not be put near the window. Also when a person lies in bed then his feet should be pointed towards the doorway and he should be able to have a complete view of anybody coming through the door.

Some other wonderful natural sleep aids include drinking a glass of warm milk at bedtime. Siberian Ginseng is another supplement that can be taken for a good night’s sleep. This is easily available in all stores. Good sheets and pillows are also crucial to ensure that you enjoy a restful sleep. Lastly worrying can be the number one reason for not getting enough sleep so it is important that you don’t take your problems to bed with you.
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