Insomnia doesn’t have to be permanent and it can be improved. Finding a viable solution and restoring a natural balance back to life is possible. The first step is acknowledging that you have a problem and start consulting a health professional.
There are 50 to 70 million Americans suffering from insomnia at any one time according to the American Sleep Association.
Many more suffer from other chronic conditions such as; snoring (48%), falling asleep during the day (37.9%) and nodding off whilst driving (4.7%). There are also 25 million people that suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, which contributes to insomnia. Sleep apnea is often caused by obesity which affects 3–5% of the total population.
Insomnia is a debilitating symptom to have. Tossing and turning and staring at a clock all night is frustrating. A lack of sleep can leave you tired and stressed. Waking up and getting ready for work the next day is almost impossible when you have a sleep disorder.
Insomnia can exacerbate existing mental health issues and trigger anxiety or depression.
Sleeplessness can be caused by a variety of reasons such as poor sleep hygiene and anxiety. These days a common cause is tech devices, including mobile phones and tablets. The blue light that emanates from the devices causes the brain to think it is still day time.
The light interferes with the body’s natural production of melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone which makes the body feel tired and ready for sleep. The suppression of melatonin causes the mind and body to be alert, causing insomnia.
A lack of sleep can be treated if you are persistent. Plant-based sleep aids are helpful if you are looking for a natural remedy.
Although sleep aids can help to ease symptoms, combining these aids with other strategies will bring about the best resolution. Relaxation strategies such as exercise, meditation and yoga can prove beneficial. These strategies help by reducing cortisol (stress) levels and work to ease any anxious tension.
Below are 5 of the best natural sleep aids which are easily available on the market. They can be used separately or in some cases combined for a stronger effect:
Melatonin is naturally produced in the brain and is often depleted in those that suffer from insomnia. A melatonin supplement will restore the natural balance in the brain which helps to reinstate the body’s natural sleep, wake cycle. For those with chronic insomnia 10 mg is an optimal dose.
Valerian is a natural sedative and is very effective at easing anxiety and restlessness. Used since the early century AD, the herb works by calming the nervous system. It reduces stress, improves the heart rate and is even known to help ADHD sufferers.
Chamomile is a mild tranquilliser and works to induce sleep. The dried flowers are usually drunk in a tea. It soothes the mind and body giving it a sense of calm and peace. Chamomile is high in antioxidants and is known to be anti-inflammatory. It is also good for the skin.
4. Lemon Balm
Lemon balm is a member of the mint family. Often it is combined with chamomile and hops to make a sleep blend. It works on reducing stress and anxiety levels. Drink it as a tea 30 minutes prior to sleep to put you in a restful state.
Magnesium is a sleep aid that promotes relaxation and eases anxiety. It can be consumed as a supplement or food. A common food, high in magnesium is bananas. Green leafy vegetables are plentiful with it. Another great source is nuts such as almonds, cashews and peanuts. For a higher dosage, considering taking it as a supplement.
Sleep aids can be used to assist you in getting to sleep. They can also prevent you from waking during the night. Always use supplements and herbs as advised and at no times consume them in high doses.
Pre-mixed sleep teas are a great option if you are struggling with sleep. Over the counter sleep aids are also available, many come in tablet form.
If a sleep aid doesn’t work don’t be afraid to try something different. You may find that one sleep remedy works well, whilst another doesn’t work at all. It really is a case of trial and error until you find the best fit.
Finding a natural solution to insomnia is very possible. For the best resolution, make sure you combine relaxation techniques with a natural sleep aid. Monitor your symptoms closely and use your intuition when exploring your options.