Sleep deprivation is one of the main causes of numerous health problems. Still, regardless of how tired we feel, there comes a night we when simply can’t seem to fall asleep. We know we need rest and yet something is preventing us from having it. Stress and anxiety are two biggest culprits why people don’t get enough rest. Overthinking and analyzing, dwelling on the problems as soon as we lie down for a good night’s sleep, have an unnerving effect on our psyche. This is why we sometimes need to reach for other solutions.
Natural sleep aids
People frequently combat insomnia with valerian root. Valerian is a sweet-smelling, rosy plant naturally found at high altitudes. However, its root has a rather sour taste, unlike its buds which were even used to add fragrance to perfumes. The root’s off-putting smell hides incredibly helpful properties, though. Valerian root relieves tension and induces calm without making you drowsy or hung-over the next morning like some prescription drugs do. Experts recommend taking 300 to 600 mg an hour before going to bed or, drinking 2 to 3 grams of valerian root tea instead.
Magnesium has an incredibly soothing effect on our nervous system. The lack of this mineral in our body may lead to frequent sleep disruptions, twitching and uneasiness. On top of that, the effects of magnesium last throughout the day, relieving tension and irritation.
The healing properties of chamomile are truly exceptional. Its buds contain azulene, a compound which enhances chamomile’s curative traits. This herb has been used for centuries to induce relaxed sleep and calmness.
Usually referred to as “the night hormone”, melatonin plays a key role in providing us with a good night’s sleep. It is produced in the pineal gland and regulates the way our body perceives the daily rhythm – when to sleep and when to stay awake. It has been noted that city-dwellers lack the normal amounts of this hormone because flashing lights of the big cities trick our brains into believing it’s time to wake up. In order to provide quality conditions for the pineal gland to produce enough melatonin, it is advisable to make the room nice and dark, turn the TV or laptop off and let our gland do the rest.
Meditation and physical exercise
As if working around the clock isn’t enough to knock you off your feet, but now we are told we have to work out too! Well, there is a difference and it is enormous. A recent research has shown that aerobic exercise is the best option. Regular exercise will not only help you fall asleep easier, but it will also help keep depression and anxiety at bay.
Relaxation techniques, like yoga or meditation, activate mindfulness and serenity. Through practicing how to control and channel your thoughts, you will have less trouble thinking about tomorrow’s problems before falling asleep.
These sleep aids can be truly helpful even when combined and one does not have to exclude the other. Try them out and finally enjoy the peace and quiet of a tranquil night.