Everyone deserves to have a good night’s sleep, especially after a busy day. Ideally, a person should get at least seven to nine hours of sleep daily, allowing their body to be fully recharged for the next day. Unfortunately, for insomniacs, getting themselves to sleep even just for a short while can be challenging, making them stay up all night, even if they don’t want to.
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What Is Insomnia?
Insomnia is a disorder characterized by difficulty in falling or staying asleep. Thus, you can expect that an insomniac wouldn’t have enough energy to go through their day, and won’t even have control about how their mind functions. No matter how hard an insomniac tries to fall asleep quickly at night, they might not be able to do so, only ending up staying awake on their bed throughout the period they should’ve been dozing off.
If you’re an insomniac, there’s still hope for you to fall asleep at night. You can choose to resort to using some at-home remedies, like taking a natural sleep aid. Such remedies include the following:
Melatonin is one of the most popular natural sleep aids in the market today that if you’ll look for a natural sleep aid online, melatonin would most likely appear at the top of the search results.
Melatonin is a human hormone that your body releases at night, helping you fall asleep. If you’re an insomniac, you can anticipate a minimal amount of melatonin in your body, which won’t be helpful at all. A melatonin supplement could help address such issue.
2. Valerian Root
Another crowd favorite among natural sleep aids is valerian root as it’s as effective as melatonin when it comes to helping you fall asleep. Valerian root is an herb native to Asia and Europe. In most cases, people use valerian root to help with anxiety, depression, menstrual cramps, and falling asleep.
However, studies about valerian root’s efficacy to help a person sleep better and faster at night remain inconsistent, not making it a 100% reliable sleep aid for insomnias. But, if you’re looking for a natural way to help yourself sleep and melatonin isn’t available, giving valerian root a try won’t hurt.
Apart from melatonin and valerian root, ashwagandha is another great natural sleep aid ingredient that could help a person fall asleep better at night. This ancient medicinal herb has also been one of the favorites among natural sleep aids.
Ashwagandha is a therapeutic adaptogenic herb that can help reduce stress levels, putting a person in a relaxed and calm state, which is essential in helping them fall asleep. This way, you can ensure that you’ll be having a peaceful mind and remove worries away from your mind, allowing you to drift to sleep easier and faster. Additionally, ashwagandha may also help boost your body’s immunity as it can increase your body’s killer cells.
There are various ways you can take ashwagandha to help you fall asleep. You can choose to take it in capsule, tablet, or powder form. It could also be a star ingredient in some of the natural sleep aids you’re already using.
One popular natural sleep aid ingredient is the 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), a precursor of melatonin. 5-HTP works by manipulating your brain and increasing serotonin production, which helps you fall asleep as it stabilizes your mood, putting you in a calm state. With this powerful natural ingredient, you can ensure that you’ll be falling asleep at night.
Apart from helping a person fall asleep, 5-HTP may also help with depression as it increases the production of serotonin, which, as mentioned above, responsible for stabilizing your mood. When you’re constantly worried, you’ll only keep your mind running, not allowing yourself to relax and fall and stay asleep. With a calm mind, you can easily drift to sleep, allowing your body to recover from the day’s full of stress, and enabling yourself to wake up the next day feeling fully recharged.
If you’re the type of person who prefers to drink a cup of tea before going to sleep, you should consider drinking chamomile as it could help you sleep better at night. Apart from the relaxing aroma that chamomile provides, it has components that can help you be calm and relaxed, allowing you to drift to sleep faster.
Apart from using it in tea form, you can also enjoy chamomile’s scent, which could also help you to fall asleep. Using your chamomile essential oil, you can choose to inhale its scent and allow the aroma to calm and relax you. Alternatively, for maximum relaxation, you can apply a diluted chamomile essential oil on your skin, ideally on your wrists, temples, and bottom of your feet.
Lavender is highly popular for its calming and relaxing effects. While it’s helpful with easing any tension, it could also help you fall asleep at night if the cause of your insomnia is because you’re constantly stressing about the current circumstances you’re in.
To release any tension and free yourself from stress and anxiety, using lavender will help you be at peace, aiding you to sleep better at night. You can choose to diffuse lavender oil in your room diffuser or add a few drops when taking a long and warm relaxing bath. Also, you can massage a few drops of essential oil on your body and allow the aroma to relax you as you sleep at night.
7. Relaxation Techniques
Outside of natural ingredients that you can consume or apply on your skin, relaxation techniques can also help you sleep better at night. These are highly effective for those people who are always tensed and stressed out.
If you’re an insomniac, you should consider performing relaxation techniques right before hitting the hay. This will allow your mind and body to be calm, preparing your body to fall asleep.
You can begin by practicing meditation, wherein you place yourself inside a quiet room, free from any distraction, and allowing your full attention to focus on your breathing. Alternatively, you can also try to do breathing exercises, such as by slowly breathe in and out, releasing any negativities away from your body. You can repeat this process as long as necessary. Just ensure that you try to shift your attention away from your problems while doing the said relaxation techniques.
One of the most effective ways to fall asleep quickly and better at night is by doing basic cardio exercises for at least 90 minutes before going to bed. This way, you can allow the adrenaline to calm down and let exhaustion take over your body.
First, try to do basic and light cardio work outs before gradually increasing the difficulty. You can experiment about which time of the day an exercise can provide a maximum positive impact on your sleep.
9. Warm Milk
Drinking warm milk before going to bed is a popular and traditional way to help a person fall asleep at night, especially during their intense insomnia episodes. As you drink warm milk, it may help stimulate the production of serotonin, which is responsible for sending sleep signals to your body.
Another reason why warm milk could help you fall asleep is because it contains plenty of the amino acid called tryptophan, which helps increase serotonin and melatonin production in your body, enabling you to experience a deep and relaxing sleep.
With the power of serotonin and melatonin in your body, not only will you feel relaxed before hitting the hay, but you can also sleep faster and better. What’s more, these can also help you improve your bone health, which is great for young children and the elderly.
10. Limit Screen Time
It may be tempting to watch your favorite movie or browse through your phone before ending the night. While such activities can provide you with the relaxation and entertainment you need, too much screen time might be the cause why you’re having difficulty sleeping at night.
When you look at your TV or phone screen for too long, the blue light can block the hormone in your body that prepares you to sleep at night.
Ideally, you shouldn’t use your phone, tv, computer, or tablet two hours before your bedtime. However, if you can’t avoid using your computer dues to school or work tasks, you should consider wearing glasses that have blue light protection. This way, you can continue working on some unavoidable tasks without interrupting your sleep.
11. Avoid Caffeine In The Afternoon
While it may sound amazing to drink coffee any time of the day, it might not benefit you, especially if you’re an insomniac. If you must drink coffee or tea, you should avoid doing it in the afternoon as it can disrupt your sleep pattern. However, if you miss their taste, you should consider drinking decaffeinated variants instead, which can allow you to savor the flavor of your favorite tea or coffee, without causing trouble to your sleep schedule.
Apart from the obvious high-caffeine sources, you should also be aware of other foods and beverages that contain caffeine, which you might not be aware of. These include soda, energy drinks, and chocolate.
12. Listen To Soothing Music
Sometimes, all you need is music therapy to soothe yourself to sleep. If you’re the type of person whose music greatly influences their body, listening to calming and soothing music might help you to drift into sleep.
You can begin by listening to with jazz, classical, and blues. However, if they’re too poppy for you, you should consider switching to nature sounds that’ll help you imagine that you’re outside of your home. You can play rain, waterfall, stream, wave, cricket, or even fan sounds. For your last option, playing white noise can also be effective.
Moreover, if your room isn’t tranquil, you should consider purchasing a sleep sound machine as it can effectively block out any outside noise.
13. Bring The Spa To Your Home
While visiting the spa right before hitting the hay to help you fall asleep peacefully at night might sound amazing, it can be expensive, as well as risky in this time of pandemic. Instead, why not bring the spa to your home?
You can begin by taking a relaxing warm bath with Epsom bath salts. You may also choose to sprinkle a few rose petals. Additionally, you can choose to use the power of aromatherapy as you do your favorite relaxing activities at home. You can also put on a soothing face mask that’ll make your skin feel refreshed before hitting the hay.
14. Black Out The Room
If you’re having trouble sleeping at night because a small dot of light keeps on popping through your windows, you should consider switching to blackout curtains, allowing your bedroom to be pitch dark. Some people can get easily distracted even with the smallest hint of light inside their room, keeping them awake the whole night, even if they choose to close their eyes as tight as they could.
To keep your room dark, you should consider switching your window treatments to blackout curtains, especially if the light usually passes through your windows. However, if the light is peeping through your doors and you can’t turn off outdoor lights, you should consider installing a door gap seal that can keep the light away from your room.
Alternatively, if you’re sharing the room with someone and they’re not comfortable with an extremely dark bedroom, you should consider wearing a blackout sleep mask that can effectively eliminate any light. Just ensure that they can cover up to your nose area; otherwise, some hint of light could still peep through.
Insomnia is an awful condition that can happen to anyone. While seeking professional help could aid you in getting restful sleep, you should consider resorting to some home remedies first. Apart from using a natural sleep aid, performing relaxing activities and doing light exercises before bedtime can also help.