Sleep Aid Tips

Sleep aid tips can be as simple as cutting out caffeine or as complicated as making several changes to one's lifestyle. There are lots of different reasons why a person may have trouble falling sleeping or staying asleep. Here are some tips that have worked for me and many others in turning a sleepless night to a "sleep filled" night.

What Causes Sleep Problems?

If you are having a temporary or chronic problem with falling asleep or staying asleep you may want to know what is causing your insomnia and then ask if any of these situations apply to you. Some of the common causes of sleep problems are:

1. A restless, racing mind

The inability to turn off your thoughts.  Reprocess old situations or conversations

2. A physical condition

sleep aid tips

Itching eczema, hip pain, a headache, or heart burn can all keep people awake.

3. An unfriendly sleep environment

The room is too cold or too warm. Hearing noises like a barking dog, a snoring partner, or a train horn. The mattress or pillows are uncomfortable.

4. Diet and drinks

Drinking caffeinated drinks prevents sleepiness. Eating foods with caffeine and sugar cause stimulation which can interfere with sleep as well.

5. Lack of important minerals and vitamins
Certain minerals and vitamins can enhance one's ability to sleep. Some common deficiencies that interfere with sleep are vitamin D, vitamin B's, calcium and magnesium

Sleep Hygiene

Natural sleep aid tips include some simple adjustments - like drinking only decaffeinated beverages, adding daily exercise, or winding down earlier in the evening. Chamomile teas and lemon balm are quite safe while other supplements can interact with some prescription medications.

sleep aid tips

How many of you watch TV until you go to sleep or work on the computer, or check your cell phone before bed?  Whether you realize it or not, these screens get your brains going and make it harder for your mind to settle down at night. Trying doing something relaxing like reading a book or a magazine, but do not read work related material or books with too much suspense or violence.

Decide what time you need to go to bed to get a full 7-8 hours and about an hour before that time, begin to wind down. Take a warm bath with lavender oil and start turning down the lights to signal your brain that it's getting ready for sleep.

What you do during the day is as important as what you do in the evening to get a good night's sleep.

Sleep Aid Tips To Practice During the Day and Evening for Better Sleep

Caffeine Side Effects

Most people are aware of the caffeine content in coffee and carbonated beverages.  Ever get that shaky feeling or hyper activity after too many cups of coffee?

sleep aid tips

When my sleep problems started surfacing one of the things I started to examine in my diet and drinks - was the amount of caffeine I was ingesting.

I was surprised to find out - it's not just in coffee or carbonated beverages like Coke.  Many sleep experts suggest no caffeine past noon because the effects of caffeine can last until bedtime.  Other experts suggest you give up all caffeine because the effects of caffeine on the adrenal glands and cortisol production can last even longer.

Caffeine Side Effects

Sleep Aid Tips for Your Bedroom

Minor adjustments can make a big effect. Ensure your bedroom is pitch black to help release melatonin, the sleep hormone and to increase your deep sleep. If that isn't practical try wearing a sleep mask.

sleep aid tips

Avoid clutter and a messy room, as the place of slumber should be relaxing and comforting. Keep the room at a temperature that is good for you. I love a room that's really cold. It must be my Scandinavian genes as my Norwegian mother always slept with the bedroom window cracked even through the cold Minnesota winter months.

If you find that you are waking up cold, because the covers are off or the room temperature isn't warm enough - then turn up the heat at night, add an extra blanket, or wear socks to bed.

For those of you who struggle with sleep, get electronics out of the bedroom - no TV, no computer, video games, or iPad. These types of electronic screens stimulate and excite the brain just when you are trying to get it to wind down and relax. Find out other ways to make your bedroom more conducive to sleep here:

Sleep Aid Tips for the Bedroom

Melatonin As A Sleep Aid

Richard L. Hansler, PhD and light specialist, provides our readers with his insight and research on how light affects sleep and our health.

We can set our circadian rhythm with some simple techniques and without using supplements.

Find out what blocks the production of melatonin and it's resulting quality sleep by reading our e-interview with him.

Melatonin as a Sleep Aid- Increase Your Own Production of this Sleep Hormone

Sleep Aid Tips for Reading

Reading is a great all natural sleep aid that works well for me - but that's because I'm doing something different with my reading light. Do you turn on the bedside lamp to read before you go to sleep or when you can't fall asleep or stay asleep?

I used to do this and found that it rarely helped me - in fact the bright light seemed to wake me up even more.

The best $30 I ever spent on a sleep aid has been this little rechargeable book light. It is the only light I use if I am reading in bed.

Darkness is needed to stimulate our melatonin production. When we use bright lights before bedtime or in the middle of the night, it is counterproductive. The bright lights are telling your pineal gland to shut down the melatonin - when in fact you need more of it to help you fall and stay asleep.

Find out why I think this is THE best book light for those who need some help with their sleep: Best Book Light

Sleep Aid Tips for Noise

Sleep ear plugs can help block out a snoring partner, street noises, or barking dogs. You need to get ones that really block out sound, not the cheap foam ones that just lessen noise to protect your ears.

sleep aid tips

These ear plugs, called Mighty Plugs, are one of the most effective. Take one ear plug - I take off a portion of it - because one is too big for my ears - then knead it for about 25 seconds to soften it so it will form to your ears.

Push the plug into your ear and then flatten it so that there is a good seal. Do this again with the 2nd plug.

Now you can experience a quiet bedroom and experience a good night's sleep that's not interrupted with nighttime noises. You can try them yourselves and purchase a pair of sleep ear plugs at Amazon here:

World's Finest Ear Plug---(2-Pair) Travel Pack

Another way to handle night time noise interruptions is to use a white noise machine - there are lots of good sound options that not only mask night time noises but are also soothing and relaxing.

Sleep Aid Tips for Bedroom Temperature

bed fan

The temperature of one's bed or bedroom affects how well one sleeps. Whether it is too hot or too cold. Most often, I am too hot. I love to sleep in a cold bedroom which is not really possible in the middle of a hot, Georgia summer.

No matter how low I turned down the thermostat, I was still too warm and my husband was too cold.

Thanks to our new bed fan, the thermostat stays at a more reasonable number, my husband is comfortable and so am I because the hot air that get's trapped under the sheets is now cool and comfortable. Bed Fan

Two other tips for keeping cool is to use 100% Rayon Bamboo Sheets and a Gel'O Cool Mat.

Alternative Sleep Aids

valerian root tea

Some alternative sleep aids include not only valerian supplements, but important minerals, vitamins and healthy fats.

Missing or low levels of magnesium can contribute to sleep problems as can hormone imbalances.

Try drinking a tea that helps promote drowsiness rather than drinks that stimulate and keep you awake.

Find out some of your options here: Alternative Sleep Aids

Sleep Aid Medicine - Side Effects

Whether you struggle with ongoing insomnia or have a big event the next day, when the clock is flashing 3 AM, you are in dire need of some good sleep.

sleep aid medicine

There is an overwhelming amount of information regarding sleep aid medications and the marketing makes these drugs seem very attractive and effective.

I know when you are exhausted you are ready to try anything. The best way to overcome this stressful time is to know your options, be informed, and collect the necessary information to make the best decision.

The goal is to experience long-term healthy sleep patterns without the use of pills or drugs. Sleep medications are best when used temporarily. However before you reach for the pill, you may want to learn what lifestyle changes you need to make during the day for a better sleep at night.

Find out about prescription, non prescription and natural sleep medicine here:

Sleep Aid Medicine

Try implementing some of these sleep aid tips to get you to sleep faster and to stay sound asleep.

Go from Sleep Aid Tips to Sleep Aid Resource Homepage.

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