Most adults need at least 7-9 hours of sleep a night in order to maintain overall health. Lack of sleep can lead to fatigue, irritability, and inability to concentrate and can also put you at risk of health problems such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease
Here are the best home remedies for improving sleep and fighting insomnia.
11 home remedies for insomnia
1. Stick to a sleep schedule
- Practice good sleep hygiene by sticking to a regular sleep schedule every day.
- Set a regular bedtime and a regular wake-up time so that your body gets into the habit of sleeping during those hours.
- Avoid napping throughout the day, as napping can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep at night.
2. Exercise regularly
- Regular physical activity not only is beneficial for your overall health but also helps improve the quality of your sleep.
- When you exercise, your body releases endorphins that help you feel awake and energized.
- Exercise earlier in the day and avoid vigorous workouts 2 hours before bed.
3. Watch what you eat before bed
- Avoid eating a heavy, spicy, or greasy meal before bed.
- Limit caffeine intake late in the afternoon.
- Avoid alcohol consumption in the evening.
4. Drink something soothing
- One of the most popular remedies for insomnia is to drink warm milk or chamomile tea before bed, which is believed to have effects on the brain that makes it easier for you to fall asleep.
5. Minimize stress
- Stress can make you even more tired than you normally would be.
- This can create a vicious circle—when you are wiped out during the day from not getting enough sleep, you tend to feel even more stressed, which in turn affects your sleep.
6. Make your bedroom comfortable
- Make sure that your room is dark, as this makes it easier to fall and stay asleep.
- Use thick curtains or blinds to block out light that can wake you up, or try sleeping with an eye mask.
- Keep your room at a comfortable temperature.
7. Avoid electronic devices before bed
- Avoid watching TV or using your devices before going to bed.
- Electronic gadgets emit blue light that has a stimulating effect, making it harder to sleep.
8. Follow a bedtime routine
- Make sure to complete the most demanding tasks earlier in the day so that you can relax before bed.
- Follow a bedtime routine that helps you unwind, such as taking a bath, getting into your pajamas, and reading or listening to music..
9. Practice meditation or yoga
- Positive effects of meditation include reducing stress, improving mood, and even enhancing immunity.
- Practice 15 minutes of simple yoga poses such as neck rolls, shoulder rolls, and arm and back stretches to help your muscles relax before hitting the sheets.
10. Progressive muscle relaxation (PMR)
- PMR is a technique that can help your whole body relax and promote feelings of sleepiness. It focuses on tightening and relaxing one muscle at a time.
- The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends relaxation techniques such as PMR as effective treatments for chronic insomnia.
11. Try natural supplements
- Melatonin is a natural hormone produced in the brain that regulates your sleep-wake cycle (circadian rhythm).
- Dietary supplements of melatonin can help reduce the time it takes to fall asleep (sleep latency) and increase the duration of sleep.
- Melatonin has been used successfully for sleep enhancement in healthy individuals, older people, shift workers, people with jet lag, and people with sleep disorders.
- Cherry juice is thought to be naturally high in melatonin.
- Studies report that for most people, 0.1 to 0.3 mg of melatonin may be enough to induce sleep.
- Lavender oil:
- This essential oil acts as a natural remedy to improve sleep and promote calm and relaxation.
- It can be used as a pillow spray or as a patch, massage oil, or aromatherapy diffuser.
- Valerian root:
- This herbal extract is a natural supplement used for managing both anxiety and insomnia.
- It may reduce the time needed to fall asleep and improve sleep quality.
- Valerian is taken in the form of a tea, tincture, capsule, or tablet.
- Chamomile is a popular herbal sleep remedy that contains flavonoids that interact with benzodiazepine receptors in the brain involved with the sleep-wake cycle.
- It has a calming effect that can help you feel relaxed and ready for sleep.
- It can be taken as tea or as a dietary supplement.
- Kava is an herbal remedy that is used to relieve stress and anxiety and may also help with insomnia.
- Although research findings of its sedative properties are conflicting, some experts believe it may induce relaxation without hindering memory or motor function.
- Magnesium is a mineral produced by the body that helps relax muscles, reduce stress, and encourage a healthy sleep-wake cycle.
- A daily magnesium supplement can help you sleep better and for longer.
- St. John’s wort:
- This is a tropical flower that acts as a mild sedative. Dip a teaspoon of passionflower in boiling water for 10 minutes before drinking.
What causes insomnia?
Insomnia is a common sleep disorder in which a person has trouble falling and/or staying asleep. According to a recent Harvard study, 1 in 4 adults report having mild insomnia that could stem from a short-term problem or be the result of a lifetime of poor sleep habits.
Common causes of insomnia include:
When to see a doctor for insomnia
If home remedies or practicing good sleep hygiene do not help, consult a doctor. Sleep problems that persist for weeks or months and negatively affect your daily life could be a sign that something more serious is going on.
Your doctor can help you determine the root of your sleep problems as well as suitable treatment such as prescription sleeping pills or behavioral therapy.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Dan Brennan. Remedies for Insomnia. WebMD: https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/remedies-for-insomnia
Natural Sleep Aids: Home Remedies to Help You Sleep. Johns Hopkins Medicine: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/natural-sleep-aids-home-remedies-to-help-you-sleep
7 Effective Home remedies for insomnia. The Art of Living: https://www.artofliving.org/in-en/ayurveda/ayurvedic-remedies/home-remedies-insomnia
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