After a good night of sleep, the whole world can seem a better place. However, sometimes, getting to sleep and staying asleep can prove elusive. Luckily, there are lots of natural sleep remedies which are widely available that aid a natural, restful slumber.
The Symptoms of a Sleep Problem
A lack of sleep, as everyone knows, can leave you feeling pretty tired and irritable the following. However, whilst an occasional night of interrupted sleep is a nuisance, if the problem persists and sleep is lost over a prolonged period of time, there can be a real and severe health impact. The problems caused by a chronic lack of sleep, also known as insomnia, can include depression, heart disease and diabetes. In addition, hormonal changes caused by a lack of sleep can increase appetite leading to obesity.
What Causes a Sleep Problem?
There are many factors can contribute to the development of a sleep problem, or insomnia. Typically, a combination of these factors is present in anyone with a sleep problem. The factors generally fall into three categories: temporary issues, physical issues and psychological issues. Temporary issues include jet lag and loud noise. Physical issues include hormonal changes in women, some illnesses or a painful injury. Psychological issues which affect sleep include stress, depression and anxiety and create a vicious circle as a lack of sleep can cause or exacerbate all of these issues. However, whatever the cause of the sleep issue, there are plenty of natural sleep remedies available to help encourage a good sleep pattern.
Natural Sleep Remedies
A Sleep Promoting Diet
Whilst it is often overlooked, a person’s diet can greatly influence the quality of their sleep. In some cases, sleep quality can be improved by eliminating particular foods and drinks from the diet. For example caffeine can cause restlessness and anxiety and sugar can give a real energy boost, but neither of these things goes well with a good restful slumber and so should be avoided. By the same token, some foods can help provide a restful sleep. Tryptophan is found in whole grain foods and helps promote sleep. Magnesium is also a natural sedative, and can be found in wheat bran too. So a supper of slice of whole grain toast, eaten before bed, may sound old fashioned but could well be a very good idea.
Exercise For Sleep
It may seem obvious but one of the natural sleep remedies that is often talked about is good old exercise. Exercise relaxes the mind and body, as well as tiring out muscles which increases the chance of a settled, peaceful sleep. In addition, exercise can alleviate depression and anxiety, both of which can cause sleep problems. By alleviating these issues, a better sleep pattern can be encouraged. However, whilst exercise can help a person sleep well, care should be taken not to exercise too close to bedtime, as this could instead reduce the chance of settling into sleep. Ideally, exercise to promote sleep should be undertaken as early in the day as possible, for 30 minutes, two or three times a week.
Aromatherapy the Sleep Potions from Nature
The scent of lavender has long been known as one of the most successful natural sleeping remedies. By placing a few drops of lavender essential oil on a pillow at night, sleep time can be increased as can sleep quality. However, lavender is not the only aromatherapy option when it comes to improving sleep. Roman chamomile calms nerves and so is very useful as a pillow scent when insomnia is cause by anxiety or worry. Chamomile tea can also be a relaxing drink to imbibe before bedtime. The scent of ylang ylang can also combat stress, depression and anxiety, again encouraging a better sleep.
Have you found any natural sleep remedies that work for you? If so we would love to here about it, please share below!