Insomnia affects countless sufferers every night and leads to problems within the family and at work. We feel tired, miserable and irritable and our judgment is impaired which leads to poor decision making; all of which leads to arguments and stress and even more sleep problems!
It’s important that adults sleep for around 7 or 8 hours per night (more for children and pregnant women, less for the elderly) and that we receive a good quality of sleep. If you suffer from insomnia, the good news is that there are many natural and free remedies available to help you fall asleep and stay in a restful and deep slumber.
Sleeping pills are an effective way to treat insomnia, but they are not without their downsides. Firstly, we can become psychologically dependent on them believing that if we do not take a pill, we will not be able to get to sleep. More seriously, some pills are addictive which means that if you try to give them up, you will feel the detrimental effects on your body. Finally, for these reasons, many doctors these days are reluctant to prescribe sleeping pills unless absolutely necessary. For this reason, it’s important that we find some natural or alternative ways to treat our insomnia.
Natural and Alternative Therapies
There exist many natural and free remedies for your sleeping problems. Listed below are a few options that have the added benefit of improving your health:
- Exercise: A short run, walk or swim in the late afternoon or early evening can get rid of the excess energy in your body and prepare you for a good night’s sleep
- Yoga: A non aerobic exercise such as Yoga just before bedtime is a great way to relax the mind and free yourself from the stresses that are preventing you getting to sleep.
- Diet: Many foods contain a chemical called tryptophan which induces a feeling of tiredness. Try increasing the amount of chicken, turkey and legumes that you include in your evening meal or drink a glass of warm milk before bedtime. A healthy diet can also lead to weight loss which may reduce snoring.
- Sunlight: The amount of sunlight we receive regulates the release of a chemical called melatonin in our bodies; less sunlight leads to an increase in the release of melatonin. In turn, melatonin regulates our body clock; the more melatonin we have in our body, the more tired we feel. In the long light evenings of the summer months, it’s a good idea to draw the curtains in the evening to inform your body clock that bedtime is approaching. It’s also important to get out in the sun during the day so that your body clock is correctly aligned with the day and night-time.