Sleeping problems have many causes but fortunately there are many natural remedies for a better sleep. Stress and anxiety are common reasons for sleeping difficulties, and they can also create an unhealthy cycle where stress leads to sleepless nights, which in turn create more stress about lack of sleep. The causes of long-term sleeping difficulties or insomnia should always be investigated, but meanwhile some simple natural home remedies can help towards a healthier sleeping pattern.
Natural Sleep Aids
Lavender essential oil is one of the best natural remedies for sleeping problems. It relaxes the body and the mind, and it also relieves stress and anxiety. Here’s how to use it:
- add a few drops of lavender oil to a warm bath in the evening and soak for at least 15-20 minutes
- or take a footbath with a few drops of lavender oil just before going to bed
- add a drop of lavender oil on your pillow case
- make a DIY massage oil with lavender and use it in the evening.
Chamomile tea is a well-known traditional sleep remedy. It is safe even for kids and babies if you make a pure chamomile infusion that does not contain black tea. If you have trouble sleeping, don’t drink coffee in the late afternoon or evening, and instead of the coffee have a cup of chamomile tea before bedtime.
Valerian is another herb traditionally used to relieve insomnia, to promote better quality sleep and to relieve anxiety. It is available as herbal tincture or as tea. Add a little honey to valerian tea improve the flavor.
Warm milk always helps me to sleep better. An even tastier option is badam milk, a traditional Indian almond milk that is made with milk, almonds, saffron and other spices, and a little brown sugar. Here are a few recipes for homemade badam milk.
Meditation or prayer before going to bed can help to calm down the mind and reduce anxiety or stress.
It is also a good idea to turn off your iPhone, laptop and other electronics well before bedtime. There has been concern recently that using iPhones or other gadgets just before going to bed can affect the time it takes for you to fall asleep (and the quality of sleep), and artificial light in general has a bad effect on your sleep. So turn off the computer and the smartphone, and reduce artificial light in the bedroom. A good mattress and a comfortable pillow, a bedroom that is not too hot or too cold, and good quality breathable bedsheets can also help.
Natural Sleep Solutions: a WebMD online article
Trouble sleeping? Maybe it’s your iPad online article on CNN.com
Photo: Wikimedia Commons