Whether you’re simply really tired and fatigued, or you have a sleep disorder such a sleep apnea or insomnia, there’s no two ways around it: not having enough sleep is not enjoyable.
Our bodies need sleep to regenerate, relax and recharge, and without that vital shut-eye, we can get sick, become easily irritable, and just not feel very happy at all.
If you’ve been struggling to turn your brain off at night or are sick of waking up in the middle of the night, we have some remedies for you that will make it easy to fall asleep.
You may have heard of valerian in relation to sleep and this is because it’s one of the best remedies out there. The roots of the valerian plant are commonly used as a sleep aid. It has a calming effect and is easy to brew in a tea.
Simply add 1 tsp of dried valerian root to your strainer/infuser to a cup of boiling water and let it steep. If you don’t like to strong scent, you can take valerian in pill form.
Bananas contain tryptophan, potassium and magnesium as well, which are all muscle relaxants. Have one a half-an-hour before bed every night to see an improvement in your insomnia!
Chamomile has long been a reliable sleep remedy as it relaxes muscles. Also, it’s tasty and makes you tired! You can brew it either from fresh leaves found at a natural health shop, or simply in tea bag form. Drink an hour before bed.
Magnesium is one of the most important minerals, yet most of us are lacking it. It can help prepare you for sleep, and while the best way to up magnesium is to eat a balanced diet, you can take supplements that can greatly help.
5. Lemon Balm
Lemon balm is a member of the mint family and is considered a calming herb. This herb is also known as Melissa officinalis, and it has been used for centuries to reduce anxiety, promote sleep and improve symptoms of indigestion. You may have grown it in your herb garden to attract bees which help pollinate the rest of the garden. You can enjoy it in a soothing tea by adding 2 tablespoons of dried lemon balm, or 8-10 tablespoons of fresh lemon balm with 2 teaspoons of dried chamomile to a cup of boiling water via a strainer. Add honey to taste and drink 30-40 mins before bed.
6. Epsom salt bath
An Epsom salt bath one to two hours before bedtime will encourage sleep due to the magnesium sulphate that calm the nerves. All you need to do is add half a cup of Epsom salts to your bath water and let it dissolve. Soak for 20 minutes before bed.
7. Lavender oil
Lavender smells wonderful, and you may have heard this has a calming effect on your body – well, it does! Research suggests that lavender oil increases total sleep time as well as helping you to feel refreshed in the morning.
Put one or two of lavender essential oil on your pillowcase while you sleep, or add to your bath and soak before bed. If you have an essential oil diffuser, this also helps to calm you for bedtime.
Almonds are a great source of magnesium, which promotes both sleep and muscle relaxation. Plus, almonds supply enough protein to help stabilize your blood sugar level while sleeping. They also help your body switch from your alert adrenaline cycle to your rest-and-digest cycle. Eat just a handful of dry roasted almonds or a tablespoon of almond butter at least one hour before going to bed to fall asleep faster.
9. Try the 4-7-8 technique
This technique is shockingly simple, takes hardly any time, and can be done anywhere in five steps so you can fall asleep instantly. To start, place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth and keep it there through the entire exercise. Then:
- Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.
- Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
- Hold your breath for a count of seven.
- Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.
- This is one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.
10. Make a worry list
Going over a to-do list in bed is a major cause of insomnia and it’s because you don’t want to forget what needs doing. We also get tangled up worrying about money, relationships and work. So before bed, write a list of your worries down. Most of the time, these things will be out of your hands.
Tell us, did any of these work for you? What’s one thing that gets you to sleep instantly?