It is actually common for people to have occasional sleepless nights. However, if you’re suffering from the inability to sleep or excessive wakening in the night that impairs your daily functioning, then you might be suffering from insomnia. Since people with insomnia may have difficulty in falling asleep or staying asleep as long as they desire, it is typically followed by daytime sleepiness, irritability, low energy, and sometimes a depressed mood.
If you’re one of the people who often find it difficult to sleep at night, you don’t have to worry. It’s because there are natural remedies you can try that are useful in treating sleeplessness. For a good night’s sleep, here are some of the natural ways to treat sleeplessness.
1. Implement a Bedtime Ritual
If you always get a poor night’s sleep, maybe it is because you don’t have a bedtime ritual to follow. This is actually one of the easiest natural ways to have a good sleep at night. You simply need to make it a priority to go to be and wake up at the same time every day.
You can try different nightly habits such as reading a book or listening to music which will help you to quiet your brain for the day and prepare it for sleep. You can also set your phone on a timer and nod off to your favorite soothing music. In fact, based on a study conducted in Taiwan, there were 60 problem-sleepers that were helped by music to fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly.
2. Make Your Bedroom a Sleep-Friendly Environment
For people who are suffering from insomnia, a calm, relaxing sleep environment is needed for uninterrupted sleep. One of the most effective natural sleep remedies is to remove digital clocks and other electronics that glow like laptops and cell phones. Even if their lights don’t wake you up in the middle of the night, their sounds can disrupt your sleep cycle.
You can also make your room darker by making sure that your shades are tightly drawn against any outdoor lights. It is also great if you can set the temperature of your room between 60 to 67 degrees because that is the maximum comfortable temperature according to the National Sleep Foundation.
3. Take a Hot Bath
No one is too old for a bubble bath, especially when it comes to natural treatments for sleeplessness. There was a study published in the journal called Sleep which found out that women who suffered from insomnia who took a hot bath for 90 to 120 minutes were able to sleep much better at night compared to those who did not. If you’re going to take a hot bath, the ideal temperature of bath water should be between 98 to 100 degrees F.
4. Drink Warm Milk and Honey
When you’re winding down the day, a glass of wine is not what you need but a warm mug of milk and honey instead to help you sleep better. Milk and honey are one of the better natural sleep remedies you can try. Milk is known to contain tryptophan which is the sleep-inducing amino acid. It can increase the amount of serotonin which is a natural sedative in the brain. On the other hand, honey can help transmit serotonin to your brain faster. Therefore, mixing milk and honey will definitely help you get a good night’s sleep.
5. Drink Brewed Herbal Tea
Brewed herbal teas are one of the common drinks to help you sleep. But if you’re looking for a really effective one, you can try drinking valerian tea. Valerian is an herb that you can buy in health food stores, pharmacies, and from a qualified herbalist. When you brew this herb into tea, it will be able to reduce the time it takes for you to fall asleep. Aside from that, it can also produce a deep and satisfying rest for you.
Aside from valerian tea, a cup of passionflower tea or chamomile tea before bed is also effective. It’s because both of them have a calming effect on the brain.
Melatonin is a hormone produced in the brain that can also help us fall asleep faster when it’s taken as a supplement. Based on some studies, melatonin improved sleep quality and reduced nighttime disturbances in healthy subjects. There were also some experts from Israel who discovered that melatonin supplements were able to increase sleep time by 13 minutes. However, you need to consult with your doctor first before taking melatonin supplements for safety.
7. Try Bright Light Therapy Sessions
Natural light is very important for people’s health and well-being. A bright light therapy session which is usually provided by dermatologist or reputable light box manufacturers online can help in resetting your body clock. It can shift your sleep patterns gradually either earlier or later which can lead to better sleep. There was a study conducted in 2004 which found out that the daily use of light-therapy lamps was able to help insomniacs fall asleep faster and longer.
Aside from visiting dermatologists or buying lightboxes, you can simply try going outdoors around noon. This can help retune your circadian rhythm even if you spend most of the day inside.
8. Manage Your Stress by Exercising
Stress and anxiety are some of the major reasons why people find it difficult to sleep or stay asleep at night. But you can manage your stress through exercise. You can try yoga and meditation to calm your mind before you sleep. Another powerful sleep-inducing and stress-reducing exercise is tai chi. There was a study done in 2004 which proved that people were able to fall asleep 18 minutes faster and get 48 minutes more nightly sleep after doing a tai chi routine before bed.
9. Avoid Sleeping Pills and Practice CBT
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT is a way to discover and change the thoughts and feelings that can trigger stress and depression. It is an effective cure for insomnia as well. Based on research, CBT can retrain your body and mind, making you sleep faster and deeper. In fact, according to a study done in Harvard University, CBT was more effective compared to prescription sleeping pills because it was able to cut the time it took for participants to fall asleep and it improved sleep quality by 17%. Therefore, it’s better to practice CBT than to take sleeping pills to achieve a good night’s sleep.
Aromatherapy is one of the most relaxing and natural ways that you can try to treat sleeplessness. Even though there are no studies found that are rigorous enough to provide evidence that aromatherapy can contribute to better sleep, it has long been used as a fold remedy in helping people fall asleep. Lavender is one of the most soothing essential oils. You can put a sachet under your pillow or put two drops of it on your handkerchief. Aside from that, you can also add several drops of lavender essential oil to your bath. You can also try other aromatherapy oils other than lavender such as chamomile, patchouli, and ylang-ylang.
There are indeed lots of natural ways to treat sleeplessness. What’s great about these ways is they are very safe to try. You can also check out our post on “What are the Different Types of Relief Aids for Insomnia?” for more tips.