If you’re tired of sleepless nights and have tried everything you can think of, you might want to consider using natural remedies for insomnia.
British actress and television host, Nadia Sawalha recently opened up about how her menopausal-induced insomnia left her feeling isolated and lonely – and she’s not the only one.
A lack of sleep can have a truly profound influence on your mood, work ethic and general outlook on life. It can be caused by various reasons, but there are natural remedies for insomnia you can use without relying on sleeping pills, and it’s important to get on top of it as soon as possible.
Causes of insomnia
Insomnia is defined as having regular problems sleeping. Changing your sleeping habits can usually improve the condition but sometimes you need a little extra help, such as using natural remedies for insomnia.
Studies on sleep have shown that insomnia can be caused by mental health disturbances including stress, anxiety and depression.
Sleeping in poor conditions can also have a big effect on your sleep. A room that’s too hot or cold or surrounded by noise can also be a huge factor.
Substances such as alcohol, caffeine and nicotine can also mess with your body clock, so it’s important to steer clear of these well before bedtime.
You may be suffering from insomnia if you…
- Find it hard to go to sleep
- Wake up several times during the night
- Lie awake at night – wake up early and can’t go back to sleep
- Still feel tired after waking up
- Feel tired and irritable during the day and find it difficult to concentrate during the day because you’re tired.
Although these symptoms can persist for months and even years, it’s possible to tackle your insomnia. In fact, these natural remedies have shown real promise when it comes to treating symptoms of insomnia.
Natural remedies for insomnia
A US study has found that drinking on glass of cherry juice before bed can help you sleep for 84 minutes longer each night. It contains procyanidin and anthocyaninswhich, which stop the build-up of chemicals on the brain linked to poor sleep. The juice isn’t readily available in SA, but you can order it online.
A recent study from the scientists at NASA has found that certain houseplants can boost your sleep quality. Aloe vera is one of the best plants for air purification according to NASA because it continuously releases oxygen. Jasmine is also thought to help lower anxiety levels, which in turn can help induce a deeper sleep.
The essential oils
Lavender is a well-known sleep-inducing aroma as it lowers blood pressure and stress levels. Try a few drops of lavender oil, like this miaroma one from Clicks, on your pillow or in a bath before bed and you should be able to snooze with ease.
Lana Almulla, a natural medicine specialist, believes crystals can be a fantastic source of healing. She recommends amythest, a crystal with calm and soothing energy which will help you relax, if you are a restless sleeper. If you have a small crystal you can place it under your pillow, or if you have a larger stone simply place it in your bedroom.
It’s also a good idea to cleanse the crystal regularly as it absorbs lots of energy while you sleep. Place under the light of the moon to cleanse the crystal or use a sage smudge.
Invest in some comfortable pillows and a good quality mattress. Changing your bed linen regularly is not only more hygienic but the feeling of fresh sheets is hard to match! Make sure your room is dark enough by putting up thick curtains or invest in a sleep mask that you can take wherever you want.
Your bedtime routine
It sounds simple but prioritising a set bedtime and wake up time can make all the difference to the quality of sleep you enjoy.
Try to relax for at least one hour before you intend to sleep and avoid watching television or using your phone right before you go to sleep.
Regular exercise is also proven to help you sleep better in the evening but avoid doing so four hours before bed. Exercising too close to your bedtime doesn’t give your body enough time to recover. If it is your only option choose a light activity such as yoga.
A freelance writer and editor, with 15 years’ experience in the media industry. With a passion for health and fitness, Tammy loves nothing more than researching the latest wellness trends. And if she’s not running around after her sweet four-year old daughter, you’ll find Tammy on her bike, in the gym or exploring the great outdoors – followed by a good coffee, of course!