The American Academy of Sleep Medicine reports that millions of Americans suffer from insomnia. In fact, insomnia affects 30 to 35 percent of Americans at one time or another, 15 to 20 percent of American adults suffer from short-term insomnia, and 10 percent of American adults suffer from chronic insomnia. When insomnia becomes chronic, it increases your risk of a number of health issues, including heart disease, hypertension, and depression. Luckily, there are many natural remedies that can help you overcome insomnia.
1.Physical activity – Increasing your physical activity can promote a more restful night’s sleep, increase energy through the day and improve your mood. Getting at least 30 minutes of sleep each day is recommended. To help relieve insomnia, exercise first thing in the morning or before six o’clock at night as exercising later than this can boost energy levels and keep you awake later.
2.Serotonin – A serotonin supplement helps with sleep. The body synthesizes serotonin and turns it into melatonin which is fundamental in regulating the sleep/wake cycle. Serotonin levels decrease while you sleep; however, if serotonin levels become low, sleep can become disrupted and fatigue can be experienced in the brain. Increasing serotonin levels with a supplement improves mood and helps to promote sleep.
3.Electronics – Electronics, including cellular phones, televisions, tablets, and computer screens emit blue light that can affect your circadian rhythm and trick your body into believing it is daytime. When this occurs, your body will not produce melatonin which helps you relax and reach the deep sleep state. To help you get to sleep quicker, turn off electronics two hours before bedtime. There are also apps for your smartphone and computer that block blue light as well as glasses that are designed to block blue light.
4.Stress reduction techniques – Stress relief techniques, including journaling, meditation, and yoga helps to decrease stress levels and promote a good night’s sleep. The published a study that proves meditation can effectively relieve insomnia naturally. For best results, practice stress reduction techniques after dinner to promote relaxation and prepare your body and your mind for bedtime.
5.Stimulants – Caffeine is great at increasing energy levels, focus and performance because it stimulates your nervous system. Unfortunately, these same benefits can prevent you from relaxing in the evening and getting a good night’s sleep. Caffeine remains in your body for up to 8 hours. To help prevent insomnia, avoid drinking caffeinated beverages after 3:00 pm if you suffer from insomnia or are sensitive to the effects of caffeine.
6.Massage – Massage can benefit those who suffer from insomnia. Massage therapy uses the healing power of touch to relieve insomnia. Massage helps to relieve anxiety and pain. Massage promotes relaxation and promotes hormone production, including serotonin. To help promote sleep, gently rub the center of the forehead and work out towards the temples. Then massage the crown of your head and work downward to the base of your neck. Finally, if you have any sore muscles, use a gentle touch and massage the soreness away to promote relaxation and sleep.
7.Good sleep hygiene practices - Practicing good sleep hygiene that includes going to bed and getting up at the same time each day, using room darkening blinds or curtains, lowering the temperature in your bedroom and only using the bedroom for sleep and sex. If you go to bed and cannot go to sleep, it is best to get up rather than stay in bed because your mind will begin associating the bed with being awake rather than asleep. If you get up, participate in quiet, relaxing activities like reading or meditating and keep the lights dim to promote sleepiness.
8.Avoid alcohol – Many people reach for an alcoholic beverage to help them get to sleep; however, alcohol actually prevents you from getting a good night’s sleep. First alcohol increases snoring and the symptoms of sleep apnea which can disrupt sleep. It also alters the production of melatonin, which the body uses to regulate sleep. Finally, alcohol decreases human growth hormone levels at night, which can alter the circadian rhythm and lead to insomnia.
Insomnia affects millions of American each year. Luckily there are many natural ways to promote relaxation and help you get a good night’s sleep. Practice good sleep hygiene, avoid alcohol and stimulants in the evening and practice stress relief technique to help prepare your body and mind for sleep.