A good night’s sleep is important. Dealing with insomnia can be quite frustrating. Lack of adequate sleep can lead to weight gain, reduced immunity and increase your chances of diabetes and heart conditions. Before you try OTC medication, consider using the following natural cures for insomnia.
1. Treat Yourself!
Eat a banana, a slice of turkey or chicken before bedtime. Such foods are packed with an amino acid known as tryptophan, used in the manufacture of serotonin. Serotonin is a brain chemical that induces sleep. Carbohydrates are good for helping tryptophan penetrate the brain. That said take a glass of warm milk with a cookie or a spoonful of honey before getting into bed. Avoid consuming heavy meals immediately before bedtime. Spicy or sugary foods such as chocolates should be avoided at all costs.
2. Create a sleep-friendly environment
Create a mood of tranquility around your bedroom. Get rid of any clutter and piles of unfolded laundry that will disorient you emotionally and make it harder to fall asleep. Your bedroom should be like a sanctuary. Make it a habit to wear pajamas before getting into bed.
Maintain the proper temperature in your bedroom. It should not be too cold nor too hot in there. Sleep can be disrupted at temperatures above 72 F or below 54 F. Also make your room dark. If this isn’t possible, you can wear eye covers to block any street lights. Get rid of any unwanted sounds. Remember the brain can still hear sounds when you are dead asleep.
Invest in a good mattress. A comfortable mattress is the key to a good night’s sleep. While at it, buy a good pillow as well. Go for one that offers support to both your head and neck. Don’t forget to get a pair of breathable linens. These will reduce any skin irritation, body odor and sweat.
3. Essential Oils
Lavender is well known for its reputation as a mild tranquilizer. Its aroma can help send you off to slumber land. Dab a little bit of it on your forehead and temples before bedtime. You can also add a few drops of the oil in a warm water bath and enjoy a long relaxing soak.
Jasmine is also another essential oil known for inducing sleep. Research done in Wheeling Jesuit University showed that people who slept in rooms scented with jasmine oil slept more peacefully as compared to those who slept in non0scented rooms.
4. Exercise your way to better sleep
A study was conducted in 2010 in Northwestern University. Women aged 55 years and above suffering from insomnia were put into two groups. The first group participated in regular aerobic exercises while the second group only indulged in recreational activities such as baking. The first group recorded an improvement in sleep quality, more energy, less daytime naps and few symptoms of depression. This just goes to show that exercise is not only important for your figure but also for your sleep.
5. Take some cherry juice
Need a nightcap? Why not take a glass of cherry juice? Chery juice contains an insane amount of melatonin; a hormone that helps in the regulation of the body’s sleep cycles. A study published by the Journal of Medicinal Food in 2010 stated that participants who drank cherry juice twice a day fell asleep faster than when they took a placebo drink.