How to treat insomnia or occasional sleepless nights
You probably know how frustrating a sleepless night can be. You’re so tired the next morning that you may be disoriented and unable to function as you should. If you suffer from sleep loss on a regular basis, you most likely have insomnia.
Hormonal changes, heart disease, depression and sleep apnea can all cause insomnia. If you’re having trouble sleeping, you may want to try some natural remedies — but be sure to seek professional help if it continues without relief.
Some natural remedies used to treat insomnia or occasional sleepless nights include:
- Melatonin – One of the most popular natural remedies for insomnia, melatonin is actually a hormone produced naturally in the body. The brain makes serotonin which is then made into melatonin, which helps you fall asleep naturally. If your body isn’t producing enough melatonin, you may need to take a supplement before retiring each evening.
- Meditation – Yoga practices of deep breathing and meditation before you go to bed have proven beneficial to help sufferers of insomnia fall asleep naturally.
- Aromatherapy – The sedative qualities of inhaling lavender, ylang ylang and chamomile are found to be useful in treating insomnia.
- Valerian – Non-addictive Valerian has been used for years as a remedy for insomnia. It has qualities that are believed to affect the brain’s calming neurotransmitters.
- Diet – Avoid caffeine and foods containing sugar before bed time. Instead, eat foods rich in magnesium such as green vegetables, bran and some nuts (almonds and cashews) that will calm nerves and help promote sleep.
- Exercise – Regular aerobic exercise such as a brisk walk can help you sleep well at night. Avoid exercising just before bedtime though – exercise earlier in the day or evening.
Also, be sure that your mattress and pillow are appropriate for your body type and that the room you sleep in is neither too hot nor cold. If sleeplessness persists, you may want to try acupuncture and calming teas such as chamomile and lemon balm.
Some prescription drugs may cause insomnia, so check with your health professional or pharmacist to see if the prescription(s) you take is the cause of this debilitating side effect.