Follow the 25 natural sleep remedies to ensure that you sleep about seven to nine hours of good quality sleep at night and cure insomnia. An occasional sleepless night can happen with anybody. But if you are having frequent troubles in getting a good quality night’s sleep, it can be insomnia that is a chronic lack of sleep on a regular basis.
Natural Insomnia Fixes
Causes of Insomnia: The most common causes of insomnia are stress, anxiety, medication side effects, extreme temperature fluctuations, noise, hormones changes, depression, heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, lung disease, chronic pain, sleep apnea, alcohol / caffeine intake and smoking before bedtime, excessive napping in the afternoon or evening.
In many cases, the sleep problems can be treated with natural sleep remedies like lifestyle changes and proper nutrition to cure insomnia. But in case of acute sleep problems, consult your doctor, so as to rule out or to treat any underlying conditions, such as depression, sleep apnea, heart disease, lung disease, hot flashes, or diabetes.
25 Best natural sleep remedies to have sound sleep:
1. Mattress & Bed-sheets: Is your mattress too soft or too hard. Go for a comfortable mattress. Use clean bed-sheets nicely spread out on your bed.
2. Pillow: Is your pillow un-comfortable. If yes consider changing your pillow.
3. Bed: Your bed should be comfortable and not make noise when you turnover during sleep.
4. Bedroom: Your bedroom should be noise-less or with least possible noise. Use “white noise” devices to block out surrounding environmental noise.
5. Environment: Ensure that your sleeping environment is dark and adequately cool.
6. Urination at night: If you frequently feel urge to urinate at night, avoid caffeine and alcohol especially before bedtime, as they tend to increase your urination urge at night time which lead to sleep disturbances.
7. Whirling thoughts in your head: Sometimes some thoughts actively whirl in your head. Try to relax your mind with calm breathing. Think of some sweet memories, it will help you to put aside the thoughts that are disturbing your sleep.
8. Consistent Bedtime routine: Have a consistent bedtime routine, like taking a bath with suitable water temperature keeping in view weather conditions, going for a relaxing stroll, or do meditation/relaxation exercises as part of your regular night time routine.
9. Avoid late-night exposure to bright electronic screens: Using iPads, smartphones, TVs, computers, etc., just before sleeping or late night can disturb circadian rhythms.
10. Regular sleeping times: Adjust your sleeping times according to your working schedule. Make it a habit to go to bed at the same time every night, and get up at the same time each morning, including the weekends.
11. Alcohol, Caffeine and Nicotine intake: Cut down on your intake of caffeine (especially in the form of coffee or soft drinks), alcohol and nicotine, particularly in the evening.
12. Evening Meals: Cultivate habit to have light meals in the evenings / nights at least two hours before sleeping time. Follow the saying, have breakfast like kings, lunch like queens and dinner like beggars.
13. Be active during day time: A major culprit for poor sleep is lack of physical activity. We are getting sedentary, spending most of the day sitting in a chair at work, sitting in the car while commuting, and sitting in front of the TV when we get home. It is a known fact that people who are physically active sleep well than those who are physically in active or less active. Your mind may be exhausted at night but your body may not be tired enough to fall asleep. So go for adequate exercises during the day time.
14. Avoid doing intense exercise before sleeping time: Intense exercising too close to bed time can increase adrenaline levels, leading to insomnia.
15. Keep your naps short: Get into the habit of having short afternoon naps. Preferably use a darkened room for this purpose.
16. Drowsing in the Afternoon: Do not drowse for long hours in the afternoon. As soon as you begin to feel the afternoon slump, get it off by moving your body. To sleep well at night keep your afternoon naps short.
17. Relaxation techniques: Practice relaxation techniques regularly, like breathing exercises, yoga or meditation.
18. Don’t obsess: Do not worry too much about not getting sound sleep otherwise you will aggravate your condition. While sleeplessness is not a healthy condition, but it is not life-threatening.
19. Natural day sun light: Spend time in the open air as often as you can to get exposure to bright, natural sun light. The bright sun light can actually help you sleep. Getting enough natural light during the day is important for maintaining circadian rhythms that control your sleep-wake cycles. If you are concerned about harmful effects of solar radiation, do it in the morning or after the afternoon when sun is not too bright or use sunscreen.
20. Avoid sweets: Sweets give you a burst of energy; it’s short-lived and can cause uneven blood sugar levels. This can disrupt sleep in the middle of the night as blood sugar levels fall.
21. Aromatherapy: Studies have shown that Lavender helps you in sleeping. It has been found to lengthen total sleep time, increase deep sleep, and make people feel refreshed. Use a spray with real lavender to spray on your pillow before bedtime or put a lavender sachet under your pillow. It seems to work better for women, as women are known to have more acute sense of smell.
22. Mantram, an old time natural sleep remedy: Mantram is the practice of repeating over and over in the mind certain syllables, words or phrases that help counteract negative mental states. It helps you, if your mind is restless and full of aggressive thoughts that keep you away from relaxing and falling asleep. You can choose a word, sound or phrase of your choice that is pleasing to you, and repeat it over and over in your mind. If your mind strays, simply focus back on the word.
Dietary Natural Sleep Remedies to cure insomnia:
23. Vitamin D: Vitamin D is an essential nutrient in helping you to sleep. This you can get from certain foods and from exposure to ultraviolet light. This has wide-ranging health benefits, and that a lack of it may cause insomnia and other serious health problems.
24. Magnesium and calcium: Magnesium is a natural sedative. Its deficiency can cause difficulty in sleeping, anxiety, irritability, pain, cramps, and constipation. Calcium is a sleep booster. Eat magnesium and calcium rich foods. Foods rich in magnesium are legumes and seeds, leafy green vegetables, wheat bran, cashews, and whole grains.
25. B-Vitamins: B-Vitamins are essential nutrients for you to have good quality sleep. Especially B-6 is a source for production of serotonin, a hormone which helps you sleep and tend to combats restlessness and anxiety that can keep you awake. People diagnosed with insomnia and depression has been found to be lacking in Folic acid (B-9). Vitamin B-12 is also needed for good sleep and mental health. Some people, like seniors and vegans, are more likely to be deficient in Vitamin B-12. Additionally, niacin, or B-3, has been shown to increase REM sleep and help with depression. For good sources of B vitamins you can consume animal products such as fish and dairy, and whole, unprocessed foods such as whole grains, beans, and green, leafy vegetables.