Beat Insomnia – The Natural Way
You probably know how frustrating a sleepless night can be. You’re so tired the next morning that you may be disoriented and unable to function as you should.
If you suffer from sleep loss on a regular basis, you most likely have insomnia.
Hormonal changes, heart disease, depression and sleep apnea can all cause insomnia. If you’re having trouble sleeping, you may want to try some natural remedies -- but be sure to seek professional help if it continues without relief.
Some natural remedies used to treat insomnia or occasional sleepless nights include:
• Melatonin – One of the most popular natural remedies for insomnia, melatonin is actually a hormone produced naturally in the body. The brain makes serotonin which is then made into melatonin, which helps you fall asleep naturally.
If your body isn’t producing enough melatonin, you may need to take a supplement before retiring each evening.
• Meditation – Yoga practices of deep breathing and meditation before you go to bed have proven beneficial to help sufferers of insomnia fall asleep naturally.
• Aromatherapy – The sedative qualities of inhaling lavender, ylang ylang and chamomile are found to be useful in treating insomnia.
• Valerian – Non-addictive Valerian has been used for years as a remedy for insomnia. It has qualities that are believed to affect the brain’s calming neurotransmitters.
• Diet – Avoid caffeine and foods containing sugar before bed time. Instead, eat foods rich in magnesium such as green vegetables, bran and some nuts (almonds and cashews) that will calm nerves and help promote sleep.
• Exercise – Regular aerobic exercise such as a brisk walk can help you sleep well at night. Avoid exercising just before bedtime though – exercise earlier in the day or evening.
Also, be sure that your mattress and pillow are appropriate for your body type and that the room you sleep in is neither too hot nor cold. If sleeplessness persists, you may want to try acupuncture and calming teas such as chamomile and lemon balm.
Some prescription drugs may cause insomnia, so check with your health professional or pharmacist to see if the prescription(s) you take is the cause of this debilitating side effect.
How Meditation Can Help You Get a Good Night’s Sleep
The practice of meditation can help you get the sleep you need – a deeper and more refreshing sleep will make you feel more refreshed and alert the next day.
Meditation can also help people who have trouble falling asleep by relaxing the muscles and the mind so that sleep comes more quickly.
Many people take a wide variety of pills for a variety of reasons. Adding sleeping pills to the mix can cause sleep interruption and next-day drowsiness.
Meditation is a much better way to go, but be patient – it can take time and practice to master the art enough to get the results you need.
There are many ways to meditate – with or without music, candles, sitting quietly and letting your mind wander or the more intense techniques of yoga meditation.
Meditation eases your stress and calms your worries so that you’ll fall asleep more peacefully.
To focus on your meditation, try some tricks of the trade such as a mantra (a positive phrase repeated in your mind or aloud), deep breathing or relaxing CDs.
When thoughts enter your mind that threatens to disrupt your meditation time, focus on pushing them out and letting more positive thoughts enter.
Creating the following atmosphere will allow you to easily focus on your meditation:
• Choose a Quiet Place, Free of Distractions – It could be a room in your house or a park bench beside a lake. Try and rid the area of all distractions such as television, phones and other annoyances.
• Be Comfortable – Sit in a comfortable position, using cushions or pillows if you prefer. Dress in light, easy flowing clothing, take off your shoes and wear nothing that binds your body.
• Relax – Close your eyes and let your mind wander. You may want to use the imagery of a lake or a field of flowers to help you focus on meditating.
• Breathe – Take deep, regular breaths and focus on each one as the air enters and leaves your body. Deep breathing techniques can help to relieve stress and increase your oxygen levels.
Practicing meditation for 10 to 15 minutes per day, preferably before you go to bed, should eventually help improve your sleep patterns and assist you in getting a good night’s sleep.
Alternative Ways to Treat Sleep Apnea
There are many causes for sleep apnea, including obesity and obstructed air passages. Its symptoms are loud snoring sounds that are sometimes interrupted by a few seconds (or minutes) of lapses in breathing.
The silence is often followed by loud gasps for air until regular breathing resumes.
Sufferers of sleep apnea often have trouble functioning during the day and may fall asleep at their desks or even while driving a car. This extreme tiredness often leads to depression, high blood pressure, loss of memory and impotency.
That’s why a swift diagnosis is so important and why those who suffer from sleep apnea must change their lifestyle immediately.
Here are some ways to prevent and even cure sleep apnea:
• Weight Loss – If you’re overweight and suffering from sleep apnea, begin a diet program that will normalize your weight. You should also eliminate sugar and all allergenic foods from your diet.
• Exercise – Even a mild form of exercise, such as yoga and stretching, will help to alleviate sleep apnea. Walking or any type of aerobic exercises is also an effective remedy. Practice deep breathing exercises to help clean your air passages.
• 5-HTP – The neurotransmitter, 5-hydroxy-trytophan (5-HTP) is a compound used to regulate serotonin levels. Research shows that if serotonin levels are too low, sleep apnea may occur. 5-HTP also helps release hormones such as cortisol which regulates muscles used for breathing.
• Avoid Alcohol – Drugs such as sleeping pills and alcohol may relax the throat muscles, causing breathing obstructions. When you eliminate alcohol, oxygen levels in the blood are increased and a deeper sleep is possible.
• Practice Good Sleeping Habits – Don’t sleep on your back. Use pillows to elevate your head and shoulders. Sleeping on your back can sometimes cause your tongue to block an air passage and cause sleep apnea symptoms.
• Aromatherapy – Although aromatherapy isn’t a cure-all for sleep apnea, aromatic oils from plants and herbs such as nutmeg, lavender and orange can reduce the more severe effects of sleep apnea.
“Apnea” is the Greek word for “without breath.” When you succeed in regulating how you breathe when sleeping, sleep apnea will be a thing of the past and you’ll be more relaxed, rested and ready to meet the world.Want additional ideas for useful alternative health practices?
Check out:Alternative Health Practices GuideEnergy Healing Practices GuideNatural Herbal Remedies GuideWhat are your thoughts about this?
Do you agree or disagree with using alternative health practices?
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Cheers, Helene Malmsio