There’s nothing worse than lying down at night for a restful nights sleep only to find yourself wide-awake at 2AM watching the paint peel. Well okay, maybe there are a few things that are worse, but you get the idea. With an estimated 50-70 million American’s suffering from sleep disorders(1) it’s no surprise that the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) recently announced that insufficient sleep has become a public health epidemic(2).
Looking For A Natural Cure to Heal Your Sleep Woes?
Put these insomnia-busting tips to the test:
1. Make A Bedtime Ritual. Create some time in your schedule for a pre-sleep relaxation ritual. Taking a hot bath just before bed has been shown to promote a deep, restful sleep. And choosing to read a paperback book over staring at your computer screen will help reduce brain pre-bed brain strain. Put on some comfy bedtime garb and maybe even try a little meditation or quiet time before tucking yourself in.
2. Set The Mood. Where you sleep matters. Make sure to close the curtains and turn off lights so your bedroom is nice & dark. Reduce distracting or pitchy noises, like the television or radio, and use a white noise machine if there are a lot of external sounds. Most people sleep better in a cooler room, so lower the thermostat to try to keep it in the mid- to upper-60’s.
3. Move Your Body Daily. Exercise is key to good sleep hygiene. Go for a walk, take a hike, visit the gym, or try a yoga class. Simple, daily exercise, even if it’s just for 30 minutes, can go a long way to give you peace of mind.
4. Watch What You Eat. If you choose to eat before bed, a light snack should consist of mostly carbohydrates with a small amount of protein. This combination increases the availability of tryptophan to the brain, which will help you fall asleep easier. And avoid stimulants like alcohol, chocolate, and nicotine too close to bedtime.
5. Give Aromatherapy a Try. Put a few drops of chamomile or lavender essential oil on your pillow just before bed. You can also use an aromatherapy diffuser or add a few drops to water in a spray bottle to disperse the scent around your bedroom.
6. Acupuncture Works Wonders. Regular acupuncture treatments have been shown to regulate sleep and promote relaxation. Calming the mind & promoting parasympathetic nervous system (i.e. rest & digest) activation, acupuncture can assure you a fast track to dreamland. Give it a go today!
1 Institute of Medicine. Sleep Disorders and Sleep Deprivation: An Unmet Public Health Problem. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press; 2006.
2 CDC, January 13, 2014. “Insufficient Sleep is A Public Health Epidemic.” http://www.cdc.gov/features/dssleep/
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