Everyone needs to sleep. Going too long without getting enough sleep can result in anxiety, fatigue, mood swings, trouble focusing and even emotional distress. During sleep, our bodies heal and rejuvenate and if we aren’t getting enough sleep it can begin to affect our health. The amount of sleep an individual needs varies from person to person, however, most of us need at least seven hours of uninterrupted sleep every night. This is crucial to keeping our minds and our bodies healthy. While it isn’t unusual to have a sleepless night occasionally, when it is occurring almost every night, it is a problem.
Fortunately, there are several natural remedies that can help induce sleep without taking prescription medications. Talk with your doctor before starting any of these to ensure there isn’t a medical issue causing your insomnia.
One of the most common natural sleep aids is melatonin. This hormone occurs naturally within our bodies and helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle. If your melatonin levels are low or if something is disrupting your sleep patterns, taking a melatonin supplement may help.
Many frequent travelers use melatonin to help get over jet lag. These supplements are also used for other sleep conditions and are effective at improving the quality of sleep. Taking this hormone also seems to help with morning alertness in seniors. They have more energy and are able to focus more quickly. Melatonin should be taken no more than two hours before going to bed.
Another natural sleep aid is valerian. This herb is taken as a supplement or brewed into a tea and drank before bed. Valerian helps improve sleep quality, reduce anxiety and acts as a sedative to help with falling asleep.
Taking valerian helps reduce the time it takes to fall asleep and seems to also improve the quality of the sleep. Valerian contains gamma-aminobutyric acid or GABA which can help calm someone suffering from anxiety or stress. One of the benefits of valerian as a natural sleep aid is there is no grogginess or morning after effect. Research indicates that valerian becomes more effective the longer it is taken and reaches maximum effectiveness at around four weeks.
Valerian can also be combined with chamomile and brewed into a tea. This may also help induce calmness and then sleep when someone is having trouble falling asleep.
It is also helpful to meditate regularly if you are having trouble sleeping. This is another natural way of relaxing before bed. Regular meditation helps slow breathing and reduces stress levels. There are several types of meditation which are effective as a natural way to fall asleep.
Visualization is an effective way to meditate. As the person is lying in bed, they imagine themselves in a relaxed situation. They try and visualize the details creating as vivid a scene as possible. The more a person focuses on the details, the more relaxed they will become. As they relax, they are able to fall asleep.
These three effective natural sleep remedies can help you fall asleep without taking prescription medication. Melatonin, valerian, and meditation are all safe alternatives for fighting insomnia and inducing sleep.