Shakespeare called sleep “the chief nourisher in life's fever.”
Chronic insomnia can contribute to serious health problems. It's important to find the reasons for your sleeplessness. Once you identify the cause, you can treat it and get the sleep you unfortunately need.
Some Reasons That Cause Sleeplessness:
- Stress, anxiety, and depression cause half of all insomnia cases.
- Consuming products with caffeine during the day and evening, especially soft drinks and coffee, will cause sleeplessness.
- Not having a regular sleep schedule. Support your biological clock by going to bed and getting up at the same time every day, including weekends, even if you're tired. This will help you to get back in a regular sleep rhythm.
- Check the labels of your medicines; caffeine is a common ingredient in many prescription and over-the-counter headache medications.
- Do not smoke. Nicotine can stay in your system up to 4 hours and stimulates the central nervous system, making it hard to fall sleep.
Before you reach for the sleeping pills, which the common side effects include headaches, muscle aches, constipation, dry mouth, daytime sleepiness, trouble concentrating, dizziness, unsteadiness, rebound insomnia and dependence, try some natural therapies or lifestyle changes first.
Supplements to Help Promote Sleep:
- Melatonin is a natural hormone made by your body's pineal gland. During the day the pineal is inactive. After the sun goes down and it becomes dark, the pineal gland is activated and begins to produce melatonin. As a result, melatonin levels in the blood rise sharply and sleep becomes more inviting. Daytime levels of melatonin are barely detectable.
- Valerian can be thought of as an herbal sedative, helping to promote mental tranquility and relaxing the body. It is much milder than prescription sedatives like Valium, but works on similar pathways in the brain. Using valerian root tea or taking capsules of the extract is a safe way to soothe the mind, encourage relaxation and make it easier to fall sleep.
Foods to Help Promote Sleep:
- Try eating a banana or a slice of turkey before going to bed. They contain tryptophan, an amino acid that's used to make serotonin, which is a chemical produced in the brain that helps you to sleep.
- Try warm milk before bed. Milk contains calcium which helps the brain produce melatonin.
Aromatherapy to Help Promote Sleep:
- Lavender Essential Oil has a reputation as a mild tranquilizer. Simply dab a bit of the essential oil onto your temples and forehead before you go to bed. The aroma should help send you off to sleep.
- Jasmine Essential Oil , by putting a drop on each wrist just before you go to bed helps to sleep more peacefully.
- Soothing aromatic bath before bedtime. Add 5 drops of lavender essential oil and 3 drops of ylang-ylang essential oil to warm bath water. Both are calming, relaxing and soothing fragrances.
- Practice daily breathing exercises throughout the day and at bedtime. Deep breathing helps promote relaxation. This technique keeps other thoughts from racing through your mind. While inhaling think “Just” and while exhaling think “This” (inhale, Just – exhale, This) “Just this”.
- Get at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity every day. Aside from the other health benefits, this helps release stress.