Having Trouble Sleeping? Try These 10 Remedies
Chronic sleep deprivation can lead to numerous health problems, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and depression. According to a recent Harvard study, as many as one in four adults suffer from mild insomnia. To get your sleep schedule back on track, consider trying these ten home remedies.
- 1. Exercise in the morning
Exercising in the morning can help you sleep by making your body release melatonin earlier in the evening. This shifts your circadian rhythm forward and allows you to fall asleep faster.
2. Avoid caffeine after 2pm
Caffeine can disrupt your sleep for up to six hours. To eliminate any chance of sleep disruption, avoid soda, energy drinks, and coffee after 2pm.
3. Eat pro-sleep foods
- Milk - A glass of milk can help you sleep more soundly due to healthy tryptophan and calcium. Tryptophan is an amino acid that plays an important role in the production of serotonin, which is involved in your sleep-wake cycle.
- Cherries - Cherries contain melatonin, which helps regulate sleep cycles. Melatonin helps regulate your circadian rhythm and promotes consistent, quality sleep.
- Cheese - The calcium in cheese can help the tryptophan in the brain manufacture more melatonin. Calcium can be a great natural sleep aid for those struggling with insomnia symptoms or sleep difficulties.
- Oatmeal - Oatmeal is rich in melatonin and helps tryptophan convert quickly into melatonin. Oatmeal has great health benefits and is also great for weight loss.
- Almonds - Magnesium-rich almonds are a delicious snack that can help relieve anxiety, which can interfere with sleep. Magnesium also helps the body maintain levels of GABA, a neurotransmitter that is responsible for decreasing activity in your nervous system.
- Salmon - To plan for a good night of sleep, eat a sleep-friendly dinner. Salmon contains Vitamin B6, which has been shown to reduce symptoms of insomnia. This vitamin helps the body produce serotonin and melatonin, which are key for a sound, restful sleep.
- Whole-grain crackers - Whole grains are a good source of magnesium, which may improve your sleep by activating the mechanisms that calm and quiet your nervous system.
- Bananas - The magnesium and potassium in bananas can serve as muscle and nerve relaxants. Bananas also contain Vitamin B6, which helps convert tryptophan to melatonin.
4. Skip spicy and fatty foods for dinner
Eating spicy or fatty foods before bed can trigger indigestion and discomfort. Eating a dinner with high fat content is correlated with an increase in sleep disturbances and less time in the beneficial REM stage of sleep. Spicy foods can also impair sleep by raising your body temperature.
5. Limit alcohol at night
Drinking alcohol before bed can lead to the suppression of REM sleep, which takes up about 20 to 25 percent of sleep. REM sleep is important because it stimulates the areas of your brain responsible for learning and memory.
6. Sip on chamomile tea
Chamomile tea has been used as a natural remedy to reduce inflammation and treat insomnia. Its calming properties come from the antioxidant apigenin, which binds to receptors in your brain that may reduce anxiety and initiate sleep.
7. Sniff lavender essential oil
Lavender oil is commonly used for relaxation and sleep. Not only does lavender oil help you fall asleep faster, but it also improves the overall quality of rest.
8. Turn down the temperature
The best bedroom temperature for sleep is 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Your body’s temperature decreases during sleep and a cool room between 60 and 67 degrees can help you stay asleep throughout the night.
9. Ask your doctor about St John’s wort
St John’s wort is a herbal medicinal supplement that is commonly used as an over-the-counter treatment for anxiety and sleep problems. St John’s wort acts as a central nervous system depressant that helps regulate your mood and increase the production of the body’s sleep hormone, melatonin.
10. Consider taking melatonin supplements
Melatonin helps regulate your circadian rhythm and synchronizes your sleep-wake cycle. Melatonin is a natural hormone that is released in response to darkness. This supplement may be helpful in treating sleep disorders and providing relief from insomnia.
At Central Drugs, we take a holistic approach to your health and wellness. One of our friendly pharmacists would be happy to schedule you a complimentary consultation to discuss our prescription and non-prescription remedies for insomnia. We treat your specific symptoms by evaluating your diet, nutrition, and overall lifestyle before recommending a treatment to correct your sleeplessness. Since no one body is the same, we will design an individualized treatment plan, just for you.