Natural Remedies and Habits for Sleep Loss

Most health-conscious people would rather not use over-the-counter (OTC) pills or addictive sleep aids for a good night’s sleep.  Before dashing off to the store to buy OTC sleep aids or call your doctor for a prescription, try nature’s way of sleeping and staying asleep naturally.  Some solutions will even relax your tired aching muscles while you sleep.

When sleep is not a top priority on your list of things to do, you have company.  We all know we are to get 7- to 9-hours of sleep each night, every night, all night!  Most people are lucky to get 6-hours 40-minutes sleep—and that’s the average that most people are getting.  What’s going on?  You can blame it on the phase of the moon, the wolves howling, or maybe the stressful busy schedules you have.

Pills are harmful to your body, your brain, and that would be your overall health.  Pills are costly, addictive, and change your sleep patterns, did you know that?  Get on the bandwagon of natural.

Foods that put you to sleep

  • Fish

Fish are chock full of vitamin B6 that makes melatonin, a hormone that causes sleep and is sparked by darkness.  Have broiled salmon with capers for dinner tonight with some fresh steamed veggies and you will fall asleep at bedtime.  The fish highest in B6 are salmon, halibut, and tuna.  Even salmon and tuna from the can will be good.

  • Turkey

Have a turkey breast sandwich

Have you noticed after eating turkey at the Thanksgiving feast that you want to take a nap?  It could be the pies or the wine, but it’s more likely the L-tryptophan, an essential amino acid with a known sleep inducing the effect.  L-tryptophan is used in the body to produce the B-vitamin, niacin.  The body digests tryptophan then processes it as serotonin and melatonin, all brain neurotransmitters that regulate your sleep and calm you too.  Have a turkey breast sandwich on an empty stomach before bed tonight and you’ll drift off to dreamland.  An empty stomach is necessary without any other amino acids or protein in it so it will make you drowsy.

Turkey has 0.33 grams of tryptophan and chicken has 0.29 grams both for a 100-gram serving.

Electronic Devices

Shut off all your electronic devices such as your smartphone, your tablet, laptop, eBook that is backlit about an hour before going to bed.  Have your inside lamps dimmer.  The blue light that is emitted by electronics can block the production of sleep hormones in your brain.

Stop Drinking Caffeine and Other Tips

Stop drinking caffeine and all liquids after 6 p.m.  Kick the pets out of bed and be sure your bedroom is dark and comfortable at the right temperature of about 68-degrees F. or lower.  Do you have the best pillow?

Avoid alcohol, but do not have an empty stomach.  People do not get to sleep when they are hungry.  Be sure your bedroom is quiet and keep you house lights dimmer rather than brighter in the evening.  This helps you sleep better by the brain producing melatonin to induce drowsiness and then sleep.  If you take naps during the day, or on weekends, limit those to 30-minutes or under.  Sometimes naps interfere with your body’s natural clock (circadian rhythm) and you cannot get to sleep at night.  Are too many things on your mind?

Bedtime Habits for Relaxation

Establish bedtime routines to become habits that work for getting to sleep.

  • Read a book with a dim light on
  • Have a warm bath with soft music playing
  • Do your favorite hobby of knitting or working on a puzzle
  • Relax starting with your toes, take deep slow breaths, and relax all over up to your head
  • Visualize a calming place you’d like to be
  • Meditate by saying ohm or other short phrases
  • Start at 999 and subtract 3 for each subsequent number

Have a Comfortable Bed

Is your mattress sagging or is it firm and comfortable to induce relaxation and sleep?  It’s hard to get to sleep on an old mattress that is too hard or soft and is slumping down from your weight over the years.  Plus, that will make your lower back ache in the morning when you wake up.

Drink Tea

You will fall asleep and stay asleep when drinking organic herbal tea before bedtime.  Teas are calming to your body and mind.  Here are some teas that should lull you to sleep.

  • Chamomile has been used since ancient times for getting to sleep. It as a mild taste somewhat like pineapple only lighter.  Make yourself a hot cup and add honey for sweetness.
  • Valerian will also put you to sleep. It reduces anxiety and lowers blood pressure.
  • Rooibos is caffeine free and helps to relax and cure insomnia. It has more antioxidants than green tea by 6 times.
  • Lavender reduces feeling restless including insomnia. It will reduce anxiety and put you to sleep when you feel depressed.

Try one of these tips tonight and get a restful night’s sleep for a change.

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