Sleep refreshes our bodies and minds, leaving us prepared to face another day. For the approximately one in ten adults who suffer from persistent insomnia, however, laying down and trying to go to sleep can be a stressful and trying experience. Some find it impossible to turn off their thoughts so they can drift off and get the seven to eight hours of slumber we all need. If you suffer from insomnia, you don’t have to resign yourself to a life of chronic exhaustion. There are simple lifestyle changes and treatment options that can help you address this issue.
Whether or not you choose to try a medication or a natural aid to help alleviate your sleep problems, there are several changes you can make to your daily routine that may help. Going to bed and getting up at the same time every night can help you establish a regular sleep schedule that can make it easier to actually drift off and stay asleep. Those with insomnia are often tempted to nap during the day, but this will only disrupt your schedule even more. Try to refrain from taking naps, and sleep during the nighttime hours—the time when our bodies naturally crave sleep—whenever possible. Caffeine and nicotine should be avoided, particularly in the hours leading up to your bedtime. These stimulants can make it much harder to fall asleep. Drinking alcohol isn’t a good idea either. It might put you to sleep, but it interferes with the natural sleep cycle, which is why you rarely feel refreshed after a night of alcohol-induced slumber. Exercising regularly can also make it easier to sleep, but try to take a walk or bike ride during the day as opposed to shortly before bed. Finally, establish a relaxing bedtime routine that will help you wind down and prepare for sleep.
If none of the above strategies are effective at relieving your insomnia, medication is another option. The main problem with pharmaceuticals is that they tend to induce unnatural sleep. This means that, even after a full eight hours, many individuals still feel drowsy and sluggish when they wake up in the morning. These meds also carry a risk for dependency and have a number of side effects. For many, using these treatments is a less desirable alternative than continuing to deal with insomnia.*
A less risky and increasingly popular option is using a natural sleep aid. There are currently more than 150 on the market, so figuring out which ones are effective can be a challenge. We examined many naturopathic sleep aids and found that the best ones had a few things in common:
- They promote natural sleep.* Natural sleep is what makes us feel refreshed and rejuvenated.* The unnatural sleep induced by pharmaceuticals can leave users feeling hung over and drugged.*
- They may alleviate the major symptoms of stress.* Stress is a primary cause of insomnia, which is why individuals should look for natural aids that can calm the nervous system, help relax muscles, and reduce anxiety.*
- They can assist in stabilizing sleep patterns.*
- They contain clinically studied ingredients. Manufacturers of quality natural sleep aids will disclose their ingredients and direct you to clinical studies or scientific research supporting alleges about the effectiveness of these extracts. You should also make sure all extracts are present in sufficient quantities and are of the highest quality.
Making use of the information above will help you analyze products so you can choose a natural sleep aid that will be capable of effectively addressing your sleep issues.* With these products, you don’t need to worry about side effects, and you will wake up feeling refreshed and alert.* The best natural sleep aids will help you return to a normal sleep schedule, which can dramatically affect your health, mood, and well-being in a positive way.*