Counting Sheep?
Posted Thursday, November 11, 2010

Try These Natural Remedies Instead

By Jasmine Stephenson

Getting sufficient, deep sleep every night is an important part of good health. In fact, studies have shown that long-term sleep deprivation can result in loss of creative thinking, reduced ability to focus, speech impairments, slower reaction times, and even hallucinations. When we do get our resting time in, we are more alert, less irritable, and our brain is functioning optimally. Physically speaking, sleep helps the immune system perform, maintain dexterity, and improve muscle tone, an important part of maintaining a healthy weight.

Are you having trouble getting to sleep at night? Try one of these natural remedies the next time you're tossing and turning in bed.

Guided Meditation

A lot of us suffer from lack of sleep due to our hyperactive minds. When you can't shut your thoughts down, a guided meditation soundtrack will help you relax. Many are customized for sleeping, and act as a mild hypnotic with soft music and a soothing voice instructing your mind and body to turn off for the night.

Exercise

Working out regularly is a great way to maintain a healthy sleep routine. Why do you think kids fall asleep so easily after a long day running around? Jog around the block, take your dog for a long walk, or play soccer with your kids. To utilize this method most effectively, however, ensure that you exercise at least four hours before your intended bedtime.

Choose Your Tea

A number of health benefits have been attributed to chamomile, one of which is that it acts as a natural sleep aid. As your winding down the evening, shut off all electronic stimulants, sit in a quiet area of your home, and sip the soothing chamomile tea. Be sure to avoid excess sugar; honey is a more suitable option if you like your tea sweet.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese practice of placing tiny needles in the top layers of the skin to cure specific maladies. When visiting an acupuncturist, ensure that you talk about the possible cause of your sleeplessness in order to receive the most tailored treatment possible. Many patients report increased sleep after a few sessions.

Journaling

Journaling or free-association writing is a great way to clear out those bothersome thoughts before bedtime. Are you anxious about a deadline? Feel stressed out about a work situation? Maybe you and your spouse got in an argument. A journal provides you with an avenue to express your most personal thoughts, emotions, and feelings. Putting it on paper will help you feel better and more relaxed, thus able to enjoy a good night's sleep.

Unwind in a Warm Bath

Taking a warm bath is an excellent way to encourage sleepiness. Light candles, play soft music, and add a few relaxing herbs such as lavender to the water. When your mind starts to get worked up in the never-ending stream of thoughts, focus on how soothing the warm water is, how lovely the herbs smell, or just close your eyes and feel the music.

Jasmine Stephenson is a freelance writer and long-term traveler currently based in Colombia. She is also a guest blogger for An Apple a Day and a writer on ultrasound technician schools  for the Guide to Health Education.

 

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