Some people fall asleep the minute their head hits the pillow at night. For others, it’s not that easy. Insomnia affects everyone once in a while, but if you persistently can’t fall asleep or stay asleep, you should address it before it affects your health and mental/ functional capacity during the day. Instead of relying on sleeping pills or sedatives that often come with side effects (dependence being a major one), why not try some natural ways to cure insomnia?
- Go to bed and get up at the same time every day. Establishing a regular routine will help your body learn when to wind down in the evening to prepare for sleep. Our bodies run on a 24-hour cycle called the circadian rhythm, and going to bed and getting up at the same time every day will help to establish a proper sleep-wake cycle.
- Limit your drinks and foods before bedtime. Are you constantly getting up for bathroom breaks at night? Have your last beverage 1-2 hours before bedtime. Are you consuming caffeinated beverages or foods such as coffee, caffeinated tea, chocolate, chocolate chip cookies, etc. too close to bedtime? These may be keeping you awake at night.
- Is it your medication? Check your medications to make sure that they don’t cause insomnia.
- Tension-reducing techniques. While you lie in bed, take a few deep breaths using your nostrils. Exhale slowly and fully before taking the next deep breath. Another stress-reducing technique: clench your fists for 3 seconds, then slowly release them. Gently shake loose your hands. Repeat these steps several times while relaxing your mind.
- Soak your feet in warm water for 10-15 minutes before bedtime. You can also add a few drops of lavender essential oil into the water for an added relaxation boost.
- Prayer, meditation and relaxing music can also help you wind down.
- Address the underlying cause. Are you worried or anxious about something in particular? Is there something that’s bothering you of which you can’t keep your mind off? If the situation can be resolved, try to resolve it sooner rather than later. If it’s something you cannot control or change, then find ways to accept or deal with it.
- Try natural medicines that work gently and aren’t addictive. A licensed naturopathic doctor, herbalist or homeopathic doctor would be able to prescribe appropriate natural remedies safely and effectively.