Thursday, December 6, 2012

9 Natural Remedies To Sleeplessness

Sleeplessness is a big problem for may, but some natural remedies should help you get your ZZZs
Technology and fast-paced lifestyles can make falling asleep difficult.
Photo by Chuck Pefley
I live in a big city. I spend most of my day in front of a computer screen. I have the worst time falling asleep at night. Surprising, no? Unfortunately, I’m not the only one struggling with nighttime woes—quite the opposite, actually. As we become more connected with technology and more in tune with a faster-paced lifestyle, knowing how to wind down at the end of the day is becoming more and more important.

Sure, there are drugs for that, but most of them leave you feeling woozy in the morning and can sometimes even create dependence—making it hard to ever fall asleep without the extra help. As someone who’s not too fond of the idea of having to take drugs every night to fall asleep, I turn instead to natural sleep remedies to help me get my ZZZs.

Drinking alcohol too close to bedtime can  make it difficult to get a good night's rest.
Drinking alcohol too close to bedtime can
make it difficult to get a good night's rest.
Image: Shutterstock
I can’t sleep with lights on, and as luck would have it, turning off all the lights is the first natural remedy suggested by Our bodies naturally crave sleep when it’s dark and wake up when it’s light. Turning off lights gives your body a cue that it’s time to wind down.

Next on their list is shutting down electronics, or at least resisting the urge to use them just before snuggling up. The blue light emitted by TVs, computers, and phones simulates daylight and makes your body want to wake back up.
It may seem counterproductive, but if you can’t fall asleep, you should get out of bed. Lying in bed for extended periods of time (after 15-20 minutes) creates anxiety that can lead to insomnia. If you can’t sleep, get up and do something else until you feel tired enough to go back to bed. Remember: try not to go to electronics—that’ll really wake your brain back up.

Other suggestions for how to improve your ability to fall asleep at night include not eating closer to bedtime than three hours, turning down the heat, working out during the day, refraining from drinking alcohol and caffeine close to bedtime, not working night shifts, and trying supplements like Relora, Passionflower, and Melatonin.

Which of these have you tried/are you interested in trying? I turn down my lights, work out, and don’t drink before bed. Unfortunately, I am a computer junkie and tend to let myself toss and turn until I eventually drift off to a fitful sleep.