Do you suffer from insomnia? Before you head to the pharmacy, try these all-natural remedies, most of which don't cost a cent.
Eat Right to Sleep Right
Spikes in your blood sugar level can give you energy when you don't want it, such as when you're trying to fall asleep. It's best to avoid eating 2-3 hours before bedtime, but a small snack shouldn't affect you adversely if your tummy is rumbling. As much as you might be tempted, try to avoid sweets and chocolate, since the sugar and caffeine can leave you feeling wired. You should also avoid large helpings of protein; a smear of peanut butter on a slice of bread is a meager enough amount. If you're a coffee, tea, or cola drinker, stop your daily consumption after lunchtime so the caffeine has ample time to work its way out of your system. Alcohol can also interfere with sleep, contrary to what you might think.
Promote Melatonin Production
Recent research has shown that staring at a backlit screen (such as a TV, computer, or smartphone) will decrease the amount of melatonin your body is producing. Since melatonin is a hormone the body produces to help you sleep, you do not want to decrease melatonin as your bedtime approaches. Set aside the TV, laptop, and video game after dinnertime. Similarly, skin exposure to light can decrease melatonin as well, which is why it's important to sleep in a completely dark room.
Use Yoga and Massage to Fall Asleep
Anxiety can leave you lying awake at night. Numerous studies have shown that yoga, a gentle exercise that is easily tailored to any skill level, is a fantastic tool for relieving stress. Look for yoga DVDs at your local library and engage in an invigorating yoga routine first thing in the morning or a relaxing yoga routine after dinnertime. Here's an article from Ladies' Home Journal about easy yoga poses you can do at home. Getting therapeutic massage can also aid in stress reduction. Check to see if massage is covered under your health insurance plan – it may fall under chiropractic care or physical therapy. Another source for inexpensive massages are massage therapy schools, where massage students offer discounted sessions as part of their education.
Natural Supplements That Can Help You Sleep
Gamma-aminobutryic acid, or GABA, is a neurotransmitter in the brain that is a crucial component of the body being able to relax and fall asleep. When the body isn't producing enough GABA or the GABA it is producing breaks down too quickly, it can leave one feeling tense, with thoughts racing. Supplements that promote GABA in the brain include valerian root and magnesium. You may also want to try melatonin supplements.
Have you tried natural remedies to cure insomnia? Share your stories with us in the comments section below! And don't forget to follow us on Facebook for our Tip of the Day!
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