Natural Remedies For Insomnia And Better Sleep

Mary Joseph
Mary Joseph July 26, 2023
Updated 2023/07/26 at 3:39 PM
natural remedies for insomnia

 

When you finally settle into bed at a reasonable time, you have high hopes of regaining a proper sleep schedule. However, instead of drifting off peacefully, you find yourself lying there, gazing at the ceiling, unable to shut your eyes and with your thoughts racing. Each passing second makes a restful night’s sleep seem increasingly out of reach.

Disrupted sleep extends beyond being a mere inconvenience that results in fatigue the following day; it has the potential to impact both your emotional and physical well-being.

It has adverse effects on your memory, ability to concentrate, and overall mood, while also increasing the likelihood of developing conditions such as depression, obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.

A large number of individuals go through temporary bouts of insomnia. This prevalent sleep disorder can pose challenges in initiating and maintaining sleep until the desired waking time.

While the required amount of sleep may differ among individuals, most adults generally require a minimum of seven hours of sleep per night.

If your sleep patterns are negatively impacting your overall well-being, there are potential remedies that can be tried at home.

Continue reading to discover effective methods such as meditation, exercise, and other home remedies that can empower you to regain control over your sleep patterns.

Natural Remedies For Insomnia And Better Sleep

Practicing Mindfulness:

Mindfulness meditation involves sitting quietly and engaging in slow, steady breathing. During this practice, you pay attention to your breath, body, thoughts, feelings, and sensations as they come and go.

Engaging in mindfulness meditation offers various health benefits that are closely linked to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and promoting good sleep. It is believed to reduce stress, enhance concentration, and strengthen the immune system.

Researchers discovered that meditation significantly improved insomnia and overall sleep patterns. The participants of the study attended a weekly meditation class, and a daylong retreat, and practised at home over a few months.

You can meditate as frequently as you prefer. If you don’t have enough time for a longer session, aim to meditate for 15 minutes either in the morning or evening.

To stay motivated, consider joining a meditation group once a week. Alternatively, you can opt for online guided meditation.

While meditation is generally safe, it is important to note that it can potentially bring up intense emotions. If you find that it is causing you additional distress or turmoil, it is advisable to discontinue the practice.

Repeating A Mantra:

Engaging in the repetitive recitation of a mantra or positive affirmation can have a beneficial impact on concentration and mental tranquillity. By quieting the mind, mantras are believed to induce a sense of relaxation.

A study conducted with homeless women demonstrated that teaching them to silently repeat a mantra throughout the day and before sleep resulted in a decrease in insomnia symptoms among those who consistently practised it for a week.

When selecting a mantra, you have the option of choosing one in Sanskrit, English, or any other language. You can search for ideas online or create a mantra that resonates with you personally. It is important to choose a mantra that brings you a pleasant and calming sensation.

The mantra should be a simple, positive statement in the present tense. A well-suited mantra will enable you to focus on the repetition of its sound, facilitating relaxation and aiding in falling asleep.

Recite the mantra either silently or aloud, while keeping your attention on the words. Whenever your mind starts to wander, gently redirect it back to the mantra.

Additionally, you may choose to accompany your practice with chanting music. Feel free to recite your mantra as frequently as you desire. You can even opt for a different mantra to use during the daytime.

If you notice any negative effects or feelings of agitation arising from the chanting practice, it is advisable to discontinue it.

Yoga:

Yoga has been discovered to have a positive impact on the quality of sleep. Additionally, it can potentially reduce stress, enhance physical functioning, and enhance mental concentration.

Emphasizing a style that centres on moving meditation and breathwork rather than challenging physical exercises can be beneficial. By engaging in slow and controlled movements, you can remain present and attentive. Yin and restorative yoga present excellent alternatives for this purpose.

It is advisable to aim for a few longer yoga sessions each week and dedicate at least 20 minutes to daily self-practice. By practising the poses before going to bed, you can promote relaxation and unwind.

Remember, if a particular posture feels uncomfortable or unnatural for your body, it is crucial not to push yourself into it.

Forcing yourself could lead to injury. It’s important to prioritize what feels good and comfortable for you personally, as everyone’s preferences and physical conditions differ.

Exercise:

Engaging in regular physical activity has numerous positive effects on your overall well-being. Exercise has the potential to improve your mental state, increase your energy levels, facilitate weight loss, and contribute to better quality sleep.

Researchers conducted a study where individuals consistently exercised for a minimum of 150 minutes per week over a six-month period. The findings revealed that these participants experienced a notable decrease in insomnia symptoms. Additionally, they exhibited reduced signs of depression and anxiety.

To attain these advantages, it is recommended to engage in moderate exercise for at least 20 minutes each day. You can also incorporate strength training or vigorous aerobic exercises a few times a week. Identify the most suitable time of day that aligns with your schedule and has the most positive impact on your sleep.

It is crucial to consider your physical condition and adjust your exercise routine accordingly. While there is a possibility of sustaining physical injuries, practising caution and being mindful can help prevent such incidents.

Massage:

Massage therapy has the potential to improve the quality of sleep and reduce daytime dysfunction for individuals suffering from insomnia. Additionally, it can alleviate feelings of pain, anxiety, and depression.

If you are unable to access professional massage services, you have the option of performing self-massage. Alternatively, having a partner or friend provide you with a massage can also be beneficial. During the massage, focus your mind on the sensations and touch, allowing it to wander. You can search online for tips and techniques to enhance your self-massage experience.

Although massage is generally safe, it is advisable to consult with your doctor if you have any specific health concerns that could hinder the benefits. If you have sensitive skin and react to creams or oils, it is recommended to conduct a skin patch test prior to using them.

Lavender Oil:

Lavender is commonly utilized to enhance mood, alleviate discomfort, and facilitate sleep. Consuming it in the form of capsules is believed to be more effective. In a study involving individuals with depression, the use of lavender oil capsules alongside an antidepressant resulted in improved sleep patterns.

Additionally, anxiety levels were found to decrease, thereby potentially enhancing the quality of sleep.

To experience the benefits of lavender, it is recommended to consume 20 to 80 mg orally per day or follow the provided instructions. Alternatively, you can incorporate lavender essential oil into a diffuser or spray it onto your pillow. Lavender tea is also a viable option.

Lavender is generally considered safe for use. However, when taken orally, it may lead to headaches, constipation, or nausea.

What More Can You Do To Aid In A Restful Night’s Sleep?

Before considering supplements or medications, it’s worth trying some lifestyle adjustments that can potentially alleviate your insomnia symptoms. Experimenting with these changes might be a good initial step.

  • Steer clear of substances like nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol that can disturb sleep.
  • Consume lighter meals in the evening, ensuring a gap of at least two hours before bedtime.
  • Stay physically active, but schedule your exercise earlier in the day.
  • Conclude your day with a hot shower or bath.
  • Avoid using electronic screens one to two hours prior to going to bed.
  • Create a dark and cool sleeping environment in your bedroom, reserving it solely for sleep.
  • Just when you feel sleepy, go to bed.
  • Get out of bed if you can’t fall asleep in 20 minutes.

Key TakeAway:

Making positive changes to your lifestyle can often alleviate insomnia in many cases. Short-term insomnia usually lasts for a few days or weeks, while more severe cases can persist for three months or longer. If your symptoms continue for more than a few weeks, it’s advisable to consult your doctor.

Having a plan for coping with sleeplessness can be advantageous. You might choose to engage in relaxation techniques while in bed, move to another room for some calming activities, or opt for more active and productive tasks.

Maintaining a sleep journal can assist in identifying potential factors contributing to your insomnia. It’s important to document your nighttime routine, food and drink intake, as well as any medications you are currently taking.

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