Natural Sleep Remedies

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This post was inspired by the fact that for the last month or so, my sleep has been totally off (you may have read about my weird experience with Melatonin). I’m usually a very easy sleeper, so this has been frustrating to say the least! I actually think this experience has been a good thing, because it gave me even more empathy for those of you (and clients and patients) that complain of insomnia. It is NOT easy!

That's why I wanted to create this list of natural sleep remedies. While going natural might not be the fastest route, its always the better choice long-term. Of course there are numerous medications that can help with sleep, but almost all of them are not meant for long-term use (diphenhydramine – or Benadryl – is the only medicine that’s FDA approved for long-term sleep disorder). Things like Ambien, Lunesta, etc. are only technically supposed to prescribed for temporary insomnia. For example: someone recovering from surgery, pain, or temporary life circumstances that cause insomnia.

Remember, the key to treating any ailment is to get to the root of the problem. The recommendations I list here are meant to ease your mind, reduce stress, and help develop healthy sleeping patterns. 

6 Ways to Naturally Improve Sleep

  1. Adopt a regular sleeping pattern
    • Try going to sleep at or around the same time every night, and waking up at the same time every morning. Your body will naturally adapt and this will improve your sleep quality!
  2. Don’t work in bed
    • This is a part of “sleep hygiene.” Try only associating your bed with sleep (and one other thing!) to help you get a better night’s rest.
  3. Try hot yoga at night
    • Yoga in itself is meditative and calming. Add the hot temperatures, dimmed lights, and Shavasana at the end, and I’m ready to go to bed right there on my yoga mat! Try this for a late night “come down” practice.
  4. Meditation
    • One of the biggest culprits for difficulty sleeping is a busy mind that can’t shut off at night. The clearer your thoughts are, the less busy your mind is. 
  5. Swap out caffeine for herbal tea
    • Placebo effect is a real thing. It’s not always the caffeine that helps you stay awake. For example, you’d be surprised how much the aroma and simply the idea of coffee can make you feel more awake. I would ask a friend or family member to help you with this experience. Take one week, and have them give you your daily beverage every morning without telling you if it’s the caffeinated or de-caffeinated version. At the end of each day, write down if you felt more energized after drinking it. At the end of the week, let him/her tell you what drink was or wasn’t caffeinated, and see if your mind fooled you or not!
  6. A relaxing bedtime routine
    • Similar to hot yoga, anything you can do to relax and wind down at the end of the night will help you sleep more soundly. Find what brings you peace, and practice it every night. It could be reading a book, taking a hot shower, or even a lovely skincare routine. The more relaxed you feel, the better you’ll sleep! 

Hope this helped! If you do try any of thees, let me know how they work for you! xx

LifestyleDr. Mona Vand