Everyone has trouble sleeping now and then. Sometimes, however, that now and then can become every night. Utilizing natural sleep aids as opposed to over the counter sleep aids could be one of the smartest moves you could make.
Chronic insomnia can lead to a host of problems, not the least of which include irritability, restlessness, and afternoon sleepiness. There are over the counter sleep aids which your doctor can prescribe, but these can often be accompanied by restless sleep in which you may or may not enter REM sleep, the deep portion of sleep which allows you to feel rested when you wake in the morning. Over the counter sleep aids can also be unfortunately addictive, not to mention dangerous.
Before You Use Any Sleep Aid
Before you try any sleep aid, you need to analyze just why it is that you aren’t sleeping. Is your bed uncomfortable? Are you cold or too hot at night. Do noises from outside or inside keep you awake? Are you at a stressful point in your life or your job? Any of these could be a trigger for insomnia. True, in time you’ll get used to regular, repetitive noises, but if you’re from the country and find an apartment in the city, the noise in the middle of the night could be overwhelming for a long time before you get used to it.
Natural Sleep Aids
Try to make adjustments to the way you sleep first, then if they don’t work, there are a handful of natural sleep aids which will be well worth trying. These sleep aids don’t come in pill form, they are forms of relaxation therapy, and the only side effects you’re likely to feel are increased relaxation and better ability to sleep in time.
Light sensitivity, particularly in the city, can be a big problem for sleepers. Blackout shades or curtains are specifically designed to block out all outside light, and can even help migraine sufferers with light hypersensitivity problems. These sleep aids may not at first seem like sleep aids, but third shift workers have known the benefits of a good set of blackout shades for decades. the link above will take you to Home Depot’s website, where you can find a selection of blackout shades which can compliment or hide within any decor.
You may have tried them before, but as a natural sleep aid goes, there are few things that can quite match a relaxation cd. Amazon.com offers numerous choices specifically designed to get you relaxed, and you don’t need to spend a ton of money, either. These CD’s cover everything from Mozart to the sounds of nature. The trick here is to clear your mind. In particular, busy adults with overloads of stress, and way too much to do and think about every day will often find themselves thinking about the next day into the early hours of that day. Listening to waves crashing gently on surf might just be enough to hold tomorrow at bay for a while.
Hold Off On Caffeine and Sugar after 6pm
While a cup of Joe might get your day started, ending on a high note is bad news. According to the University of Michigan, the effects of Caffeine intake can last from 15 minutes up to six hours. Remember, too, that Decaffeinated coffee still has caffeine, and though Decaf tea claims to have none, only certain types of tea (herbal) have less than negligable amounts of caffeine in them. For obvious reasons, I have included sugar here, as most parents would avoid giving their children sugar after six, for good reason! What’s good for the goose, after all…
Watch Out for Anxiety In Your Daily Life
Work, family, and even your car can turn into a problem with sleep. Over time, you may come to forget the reasons for your original inability to sleep, and simply assume that you’re an insomniac. Those stresses can lead to long-term problems with sleeping, and while you can’t just walk out on your family or job, you may want to consider the source of your greatest stress and find a qualified shrink to help you through it. Perhaps you’re in the wrong line of work- maybe you don’t care for driving a truck or standing in front of a judge every day. If it’s causing you to lose sleep, it’s time for a change. Consider retraining if possible, or at least picking up a few night classes at the local community college. You’re not sleeping anyway, right?
Get Some Physical Exercise
No, just doing a lot more work won’t help you to get to sleep. it’ll work off any excess energy you’ve got, though. The benefit of exercise as a sleep aid is the benefit of stress reduction. Time and again, studies have shown the correlation between stress and lack of exercise. In fact, exercise leads to all sorts of great benefits that reduce stress and help you sleep. It can ease sore, achy muscles which stay in one position or perform one repetitive movement all day ( You don’t need to work out to get sore and build muscle or lose weight to gain this benefit. It’ll happen on its own.) Also, you might well notice an increase in your libido as you exercise, which (with an equally willing and sleepless bedmate,) you’ll find will clear your mind quickly and effectively to the task.
natural sleep aids don’t need to be in pill form, and if they are, you should be extremely wary of them. Only a doctor can prescribe actual over the counter sleep aids, but be wary of them anyway. Generally speaking, they just aren’t as effective over the long term as an overall reduction of your daily stress level is. Natural sleep aids don’t cost much, and are always worth trying before you try popping a pill.