Sleep is something that affects just about every part of our lives and even our health. Get enough and you have energy, a strong immune system, and less stress. Not enough and you’re more susceptible to illnesses, are often stressed out and lethargic.
When you enter a poor sleep cycle it is hard to break out of it and start sleeping better without the help of sleep aids.
What do you do when you really don’t want a prescription from a doctor to improve your sleep? It’s time to try out some natural remedies to get your sleep patterns back on track.
In this article, I will go over several sleeping aids that are natural and that actually work.
1 – Essential oils
Essential oils can be used in a number of ways to help us sleep. In this section, I will highlight a few of the ways that they can work.
Essential oils are an important part of aromatherapy which has many benefits besides your sleep. The scent of certain oils will react with some of the receptors in your brain that can release chemicals to start the sleep process.
Breathing in the aroma from lavender, chamomile, valerian, and clary sage can all induce the brain into preparing you for sleep. Putting the oils in a diffuser before bed can fill your room with the scents that your brain needs to shut down. You can also use essential oil diffuser necklaces to carry with you so you don’t have to wait until you get home.
Alternatively, you can also use the oils to rub into sore and tired muscles that will work with the receptors in your skin and also use aromatherapy to start the sleep process. In this case, you can still use lavender and chamomile, but even valerian, sweet marjoram, and bergamot oils will get you sleepy.
Lastly, putting a few drops of these oils in a bath will work on many fronts to relax your brain and muscles and put you into the right frame of mind to be able to sleep quickly and soundly.
2 – Teas and infusions
There are so many herbs that can be used as medicine for everything from an upset stomach to headaches to even help you sleep.
Chamomile is probably the most commonly known tea that you should drink before bed to get you sleepy. It is full of an antioxidant called apigenin that binds to receptors in the brain that reduce anxiety and slow your brain down. This begins the process for your mind to get into a sleep ready state.
There are other teas and infusions that work well, too. Valerian root and leaves are other infusions that works very well to help you sleep. Though, the reason why is still not clearly understood. One thing is sure, it has been used for centuries to help people get some rest.
Lemon balm is a mild sedative whose leaves can be dried and used as a tea. It has scientifically been found to reduce stress in mice and decrease insomnia. Since the Middle Ages, it has been used as a tea to help people get to sleep.
3 – Melatonin supplements
Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that tells the brain that it is time to sleep. It is present in our bodies to help regulate our sleep schedule. It can be increased even by making certain bedtime routines a habit. For instance, if you dim lights in the bedroom at the same time every day, or take a bath with essential oils, then melatonin is released and helps get the brain ready.
You can increase it further by taking some supplements. When taken up to two hours before bed for a few weeks, eventually the body will start using it to help you sleep. If you continue then you will have a much more restful sleep for as long as you use the supplements.
4 – Light therapy
One way to help release melatonin to get your brain sleepy is to use lights. For starters, you may need more sunlight during the day to help you set your circadian rhythm. People that don’t get enough sunlight often have trouble sleeping because their sleep clock is off.
Get out for a while in the morning and afternoon and enjoy the sunlight. This will help your body understand what time of day it is and use your hormones to reset your clock.
You can also use the right lights at bedtime. A soft red light will also help release melatonin when you are trying to fall asleep. A highlight with a red bulb is a good way to do this at night or before bed. Stick with the routine and your body will reset its clock naturally and you will start sleeping better.