Are you struggling with your sleep cycle? If you are, do not feel discouraged. It has been reported that up to 30% of adults struggle with their sleep. This means over 60 million Americans suffer with their sleep health. For many people this is a result of one’s sleep hygiene and its neglect. According to John Hopkins Medicine, an adult needs on average seven to nine hours of sleep every night. It is time to reflect on your nightly routine to see if you have proper sleep hygiene. If you feel you have done everything in your power to have consistently good sleep hygiene and are still struggling with sleep it may be time to consider some natural sleep remedies. Natural sleep aids refer to over the counter methods. Some of the benefits may include promoting relaxation, mitigating anxiety, and assisting with better overall sleep. Here are five natural sleep remedies you can try tonight:
Tip Number One: Physical Activity
Our first tip is to incorporate daily exercise into your routine. According to a review published in 2014 in the National Library of Medicine, one’s sleep duration can increase when serotonin levels in the brain are produced. Exercise decreases levels of cortisol and increases serotonin. You do not have to over do it. Adding in basic body movement, especially if your occupation requires you sitting at a desk for hours at a time, can help improve your sleep. You can try taking walks, hikes, cycling, or yoga.
Tip Number Two: Melatonin
Our second tip is to try adding a melatonin supplement to your nightly routine. Many people who struggle with a regulated sleep schedule or suffer from insomnia take supplements due to research showing it can help the body fall asleep in a shorter period of time. Melatonin is a hormone that tells our brains when it is time for bed. A group of researchers at Tehran University of Medical Sciences, in 2016, conducted a study examining how melatonin therapy affected sleep in shift workers. The study showed that when taking three milligrams of melatonin each night workers experienced falling asleep faster and staying asleep longer. The human body develops melatonin naturally. Over time we develop individual melatonin windows based on our sleep cycle history.
Tip Number Three: Magnesium
Our third tip is another over the counter suggestion. You can try adding magnesium to your daily supplements. Research has been conducted to see if magnesium can improve sleep. One research group took an elderly group of patients who were suffering from insomnia. The researchers gave each patient 500 mg each night for eight weeks. Over the course of the study patients who were given magnesium fell asleep fast, stayed asleep for longer, saw naturally increased melatonin levels, and saw decreased levels of serum cortisol. Before you start taking supplements you can try adding magnesium into your diet organically by eating certain foods throughout the day.
Tip Number Four: Mindfulness
Our fourth tip is to start practicing mindfulness. Mindfulness is all about being aware of your surroundings and easing your mind. When you feel calm you are able to get better rest. There are many ways to practice mindfulness through yoga, breath work, meditation, and more. Research conducted in 2011 in New York state found that meditation improved participants’ insomnia and overall sleep quality. Meditation can help reduce stress and improve certain brain cognitive functions such as concentration.
The good news is that meditation is a learned skill. You can strengthen your ability to meditate over time. Unsure of where to start? Try searching for guided meditation videos for sleep and choose from hundreds of videos.
Tip Number Five: Lavender
Our final tip is to use lavender. You can use lavender in a few different ways. You can use it as an essential oil or as a tea. You can spray lavender around your room and your pillow. This will allow you to breathe in the scent as you are getting ready for bed. You can also try a lavender tea. Pour yourself a cup as a part of your nighttime routine. It is believed that lavender has many beneficial properties. Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, an university hospital in Germany, studied how lavender oil capsules affected individuals suffering from insomnia and anxiety in 2014. Researchers concluded that participants experienced less anxiety which in turn provided better sleep when using the capsules. The reason why lavender is so popular is because its scent has calming effects which can help improve your mood.
Remember natural sleep remedies can potentially offer great benefits such as promoting relaxation, mitigating anxiety, and assisting with better overall sleep. Finding what works for you might take some trial and error, but do not give up! Keeping up with good sleep hygiene and adding in a natural sleep aid can really improve your overall sleep health!