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All-Natural Tips for Fighting Insomnia and Sleeping Better

All-Natural Tips for Fighting Insomnia and Sleeping Better

It’s 4 in the morning. Your mind has taken to wandering about the vacation to the Bahamas that you’ve never taken, even after saving enough for the trip. These and other thoughts have been running through your mind since you laid down to sleep 5 hours earlier. And no matter how hard you try to sleep, your mind just won’t shut down.

You are not alone. Sleeplessness and insomnia have become major health problems in the U.S. and around the world. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that as many as 10% of the population suffer from chronic insomnia. Additionally, almost a quarter of Americans report not getting the 7-8 hours of recommended sleep at night. Many of the sufferers often resort to taking sleeping pills or specially prepared herbs to help fall asleep. However, in many cases, these interventions are usually not meant to be long-term fixes, especially when the lack of sleep is caused by things like being overworked and stress.

There are a number of non-medical interventions that individuals can opt to use to help cultivate healthy sleep patterns. Some of the best are discussed below.

1. Take a Hot Shower Before Bedtime

A study conducted in 1985 found that people who often take hot showers before going to bed were more likely to fall asleep faster and improve overall sleep quality. Naturally, the brain triggers a sequence of reactions that initiate a drop in body temperature, which makes the body begin the shutdown process. When you get out of a hot shower, the cool-down you experience helps to induce natural sleep.

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2. Complete Regular Exercises

Another study conducted by the Northwestern University found that previously inactive people who took up exercises at least four times every week reported sleeping better than before. Regular workouts, even mild ones, induce hormonal processes within your body that make you drowsy and more likely to sleep faster and better than if you were sedentary.

3. Try Yoga and Meditation

Yoga and other forms of meditation are especially suited for individuals whose sleeplessness is associated with stress and mental restlessness. Studies have shown that meditation is very effective at improving the quality of sleep and fighting insomnia. Even simple meditation techniques, such as breathing exercises, can be effective at helping you sleep better.

4. Watch Your Diet

Eating heavy meals just before bedtime will force your body into dietary overdrive, which will make it that much harder for your body to shut down. Stay away from heavy and spicy food at least 2 hours before bedtime to help your body concentrate on shutting down instead of digestion.

5. Avoid Caffeine Before Bedtime

Taking that evening cup of coffee or tea will make it harder for you to fall asleep at night. Caffeine, the active ingredient in these beverages, stimulates your central nervous system for over 5 hours after consumption. By avoiding tea, coffee, soft drinks, chocolate, and other caffeinated beverages anywhere after lunch, you can significantly increase your chances of a good nights sleep.

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6. Ensure Your Bedroom is Sleep-friendly

Another aspect about sleeplessness and insomnia that is often overlooked is the nature of your sleeping environment. Ensure the bedroom is quiet enough with the right amount of light and temperature to help ease you into dreamland. If you can, remove all electronic gadgets from the bedroom that would serve as distractions, including computers and TVs.

Ensure your beddings are as comfortable as possible. Invest in the best bed sheets you can afford, making sure to check out the infographic below for a guide on how to select the best bed sheets for your bed.

    7. Develop a Sleep Routine

    A good number of people with sleeping problems will usually admit to irregular sleeping patterns. In many cases, it’s something like working late into the night on consecutive days in a week, then suddenly going back to the usual routine. Disrupting your body’s biological clock is one of the key reasons why people suffer from sleeping problems.

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    Establishing a regular sleeping pattern will help tune your biological clock, ensuring your mind and body shut down at the same time every day. Ensure you go to bed at the same time each night, even when you are off from work.

    At the end of the day, getting the right amount of sleep is only part of the healthy equation. Stick to a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and avoid stress to ensure your body stays in good health.

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    Image Credits:

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    Infographic Courtesy Of YourTrust.com

    Featured photo credit: https://www.Flickr.com via c1.staticflickr.com

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    Last Updated on December 9, 2019

    5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

    5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

    Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

    Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

    Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

    1. Get Rationally Optimistic

    Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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    This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

    In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

    The result: no more mental stress.

    2. Unplug

    Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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    How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

    It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

    Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

    3. Easy on the Caffeine

    Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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    Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

    4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

    That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

    How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

    • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
    • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
    • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

    While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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    5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

    This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

    The result: mental stress will be gone!

    So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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