50 to 70 million Americans Have Sleep disorders
Fall Asleep Naturally
According to a SleepFoundation survey, 55.8% of adults have consumed a sleep aid in the last month. Insomnia is a huge problem! Lost sleep costs the US economy $44.6 billion each year.
Sleep Medications Aren’t a Great Solution
Insomnia is one of the most common reasons why people visit a doctor. Regular use of sleep medications can have serious side effects including: constipation, grogginess, headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and hallucinations.
Tackling the Underlying Cause
Insomnia is a symptom of a bigger issue. Sleep aids typically don’t address the underlying cause of insomnia. So, the problem doesn’t go away. It’s just disguised. A minor problem can then grow into a much bigger issue. Going natural can help the body heal itself.
Natural Treatments for Insomnia
Improve Your Sleep Hygiene
Many sleep issues can be resolved by improving sleep hygiene. “Sleep hygiene” is environmental and habitual things we do that impact sleep. Here are some quick tips to improve your sleep hygiene.
Have a routine. Go to sleep and wake up at the same time – even on weekends.Turn off electronic devices an hour before bed – including your phone. Limit caffeine. This includes all forms of caffeine, like tea and chocolate.Get regular exercise. This can help your body regulate energy so you have it when you need it and wind down when you don’t.Get comfy. Most people sleep better in a cool, dark room. If you’re super light sensitive, turn off all electrical lights an hour before bed and use candles. Limit the use of your bed for sleep and sex only. This creates muscle memory. When you get into bed, your body knows it’s time to sleep.Do things that help you wind down like journal, meditate, stretch, or take a hot bath or shower.Don’t let your pets sleep in the bed with you. When they move, they may wake you up.Eat clean. Processed foods, chemical preservatives, sugar (natural and artificial), artificial colors and flavors can disrupt the body. Clean up your diet and see if it impacts your sleep.
Products to Enhance Sleep
Sleep mask. Sleep masks block out light. Light tells your brain it’s time to wake up. Darkness says it’s time to go to sleep. There are sleep masks for side sleepers, cushioned ones for comfort, and even weighted lavender.
Black out curtains. Black out curtains darken the room to make it more likely that you will go to sleep and stay asleep.
White noise machine. Some people sleep better with noise. A constant soothing noise can drown out any unpleasant sounds like the tv, the toilet flushing, the neighbors, etc.
Sound & Light machine – These aren’t used exclusively for sleep. They are mind enhancing devices that train your brain to focus, relax, be more creative, enter altered states, learn, and attain a more desirable mood.
Other Natural Sleep Aids
Binaural beats – When you listen to binaural beats with headphones, your brain harmonizes the sound on the right and left side of the brain and changes your brainwaves to increase the likelihood that you will sleep.
Melatonin – Melatonin is naturally produced in the brain as light wanes. It signals the body that it’s time to sleep. Melatonin production decreases as we age. Taking more can help you sleep, but it will also signal the body to stop producing it as you have enough.
Valerian – Valerian root has been used since ancient times to help people sleep. If it doesn’t smell bad, it may not be pure or strong enough. Valerian can also be taken as a tea. It may be more more effective over time rather than “as needed.”
Epsom Salts– Epsom salt baths give you the double whammy of a warm bath and epsom salts, which contain magnesium. If the reason for your insomnia is low magnesium, this is a great fix. Just know that doing this regularly can lead to an overabundance of magnesium. Since calcium, magnesium, and Vitamin D work together in ratios, adding only one can lead to an imbalance in the others.
Essential oils – Diffusing essential oils can help with sleep! Who knew? The most popular are lavender, chamomile, and cedarwood. Since your body gets acclimated to them, it’s best to rotate them. If you don’t have a diffuser, you can also use a pillow spray.
Dirty electricity filters – If you think your insomnia is coming from dirty electricity, these can help. You will need a meter to get “before” and “after” readings. I am sensitive to electromagnetic pollution and would not be without this.
Bamboo Vinegar Foot Pads – I do not know how or why these work, but they provide relief of insomnia for a lot of people. It may take some time before you achieve any positive benefit, so don’t give up too soon.
Hemp oil– Hemp is not the same as CBD. It is a whole food vs. isolated compounds. This works better and more holistically for your system. Hemp oil can help to calm your nervous system and heal the gut. This can help you sleep naturally. Hemp works quickly and improves with time.
Sleep Enhancing Practices
Vagus nerve reset – If your sleeplessness is due to anxiety and overthinking, the vagus nerve reset can help your mind calm down very quickly.
4-7-8 Breath – This is a simple breathwork practice that takes only minutes. It can relax your nervous system so you can go to sleep.
Qigong healing sounds – Did you know that you can promote sleep with sound? Try this and see if it works for you.
Acupressure points – By hitting specific acupressure points before you go to bed, you could get to sleep faster and stay asleep. Try it.
Hydrate – We all lose water as we sleep through respiration. If we go into sleep in a dehydrated state, the body may need to go into water conservation mode. This can lead to awakening. To counteract this, it’s best to hydrate during the day (so you don’t have to wake up during the night to use the bathroom).
Castor Oil Packs – Castor oil packs have been around forever. They are a safe way to address a wide variety of health concerns, including insomnia. All you have to do is apply high quality, cold-pressed castor oil onto some folded flannel. (It should be thoroughly wet).
Lie down and place the soil soaked fabric on your skin on your right side. Place some plastic wrap or cut a garbage bag down to size so it fits atop the fabric. Now place a hot water bottle on top of that and rest for an hour.
If you prefer, you can use an elastic pack holder to sleep with the pack next to your skin and allow it to do its magic. It may take a month to see results, but you will be healing from the inside, not just treating symptoms. Don’t give up too soon.
Viparita Karani – this yoga pose is one where you sit up against the wall, then bring with your legs up to rest on the wall for five to twenty minutes. Now relax. This helps with relaxation, blood circulation, and lymphatic movement. It works immediately, so try it tonight.
What did I miss? Do you have a natural sleep hack to share? Let us know in the comments!
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