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.
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
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
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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:
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.
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?
The best money 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you sleep "hot" at night that can be a sleep disrupter. Find out what bed coolers have worked for me.
Did you know that breathing through your mouth activates the sympathetic (fight or flight) system while nose breathing activates the parasympathetic (rest and digest) system?
Patrick McKeown the author of Breathing Cure shares the importance of nose breathing for better sleep.
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
Try implementing some of these sleep aid tips to get you to sleep faster and to stay sound asleep.
Get practical advice on how to fall asleep, stay asleep and to get deep sleep. It's free so sign up here:
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