Do you wake up in the morning feeling as though you tossed and turned, and aren’t quite ready to wake up? This restlessness could be a form of insomnia, a common plague to people’s lives. It is estimated that about 50 to 70 million Americans have some form of diagnosable sleep disorder or suffer from chronic sleep loss. While insomnia is often thought of as being a complete inability to sleep, it is not measured by how many or few hours of sleep you get, but as restlessness or unfulfilling sleep. Stress, medication and the body lacking its ability to cool itself are some causes of insomnia, all of which can lead to physical and psychological issues if prolonged. Here are five natural ways to help you get a better night sleep.
One of the common causes of chronic insomnia is the body’s inability to go through its natural cooling, sending heat to the hands and feet to be released. Stretching can help the body with this process, allowing the heat to flow properly and be released. It will also give a more relaxed sleep because the muscles will lose their tension.
Make a List
Some people have a very active mind at night, stressing and thinking about all of the tasks that went unfinished or worrying about having time to finish things the following day. Making a list of all the unfinished projects and scheduling time to finish them may help put your mind at ease. If you do this each day before bed, it will help to quiet the mind and keep the stress of unfinished tasks from keeping you awake.
Also avoid any caffeine within six hours before bed, your body may still be on a caffeine high. If you have a post-dinner coffee at 7pm and are not falling asleep until midnight or 1am, this may be the cause. It is also a common misconception that consuming alcohol will help you sleep while it may help you to fall asleep; it can lead to a restless night.
Listen to Your Internal Clock
Not everyone needs the same amount of sleep or has the same sleep schedule. It may help to make changes by going to bed later and getting up earlier. While this will give you a shorter time for sleep, it may promote a deeper more relaxing sleep. Listen to your body and figure out what your body’s natural sleep patterns are.
Try Herbal Supplements
A great alternative to prescription medications is herbal supplements such as passionflower and valerian root. Both of these herbs act as a natural muscle relaxant and have helped in many sleep deprivation and insomnia cases. They help to relax the body and mind to allow yourself to drift off to sleep.
Whether it’s quieting your mind with a list or changing your sleep schedule, it’s important to get the rest your body requires. Restful nights will lead to more energetic days and a stronger immune system. Get your rest!