Getting a good night’s rest is imperative for functioning at your peak, feeling your best and being ready to handle whatever comes your way. While some of us seem to fall asleep just as our head hits the pillow, others toss and turn for hours only to fall asleep and wake up again minutes later. If you are plagued by sleep difficulties and don’t want to turn to sleep inducing medications right off the bat, there are several remedies you can turn to that may bring you so much needed relief.

1. Exercise

When you exercise during the day, your body needs to make up for the energy it has expended and therefore, typically you will find yourself sleeping more calmly and thoroughly throughout the night. A word of warning however, you should not exercise in the 90 minutes following a large meal since this tends to take blood away from the brain. In addition, exercising right before bed can cause a stimulant effect that can be counterproductive.

2. Herbs

There are many natural herbs which are known to help relax the body and the mind. The most commonly used are chamomile, hops, lavender and California poppy. Chamomile can best be prepared in tea or oil which can be placed in bath water. Hops have long been used as a cure for nerves and anxiety since the 1900s. It is best used in teas or often times in a pillow to help ease mild insomnia. The California poppy acts as a milk sedative in the body and can be served in a tea.

3. Meditation

Easing the mind can be one of the easiest ways to invite sleep. The age old practice of meditation is one that has proven to be effective for centuries. These deep relaxation techniques can often put the worries of the day out of reach and result in a more peaceful balance.

4. Avoid your cell phone of TV before bed

While many people rely on the hum of the TV or checking email to get them ready for bed, looking at a lit screen before sleeping can actually make it harder for you get rest. Light of any kind confuses your internal clock. Darkness is the most sleep-promoting atmosphere and if your room has light coming in, try and hang up heavy shades to block it out.

5. Don’t nap during the daytime

While it may be difficult to not doze off during the daytime if you aren’t sleeping well at night, this can actually continue the cycle, causing you to have difficulty sleeping later on. If you find that you absolutely have to sleep, try and rest for no more than 2 hours at a time. This strategy is actually more beneficial for your sleep schedule than sleeping in the next day. If you can help it though, 30 minute naps are normally the most beneficial.

While insomnia is not something that can go away over night, these natural remedies should get you well on your way to enjoying a few more hours of sleep.


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