Not getting enough shut-eye has been linked to all sorts of health problems. But before resorting to sleeping pills, below are some natural sleep remedies that might help you get more sleep:
Lullabies A 2005 study found that older people who listened to 45 minutes of soft tunes before hitting the hay reported a 35 percent improvement in their sleep problems. Music that's both soft and slow (60 to 80 beats per minute) it can spur physical changes known to promote sleep, like a slower heart rate and breathing.
Warm Milk It was once believed that the tryptophan found in a glass of warm milk at bedtime helps you fall asleep. But new research shows that milk and other protein-rich foods actually block tryptophan's sleepiness-inducing effects. And while there might be a psychological benefit to that warm milk, many adults are actually at least slightly lactose intolerant, which means a warm mlik at bedtime may just lead to discomfort.
Counting Sheep Counting sheep or counting backwards by multiples of three or any of a number of other counting-related mind-numbers is thought to be effective in boring you to sleep. But a 2002 study found that imagining a more relaxing scene might be more effective.
The study observed 41 people with insomnia over a number of nights and asked them to try a variety of different sleep-inducing techniques, like counting sheep. Those told to imagine relaxing scenes - a beach, a massage or a walk in the woods - fell asleep an average of 20 minutes sooner than on the nights they were told to count sheep or were given no instructions. It makes sense to focus on something other than life's stressors in order to get a better night sleep.
Breathing Exercises Whether it's as part of a pre-bed yoga sequence or just a tuned-in awareness, focusing on your breath can also have meditation-like effects in preparing for bed by lowering the heart rate.
Warm Bath Research shows that people who take a warm bath before bed not only fall
asleep more quickly, but also report better quality of sleep. This has to do with your body temperature dipping about two hours before bedtime, which is a natural change that helps to trigger the brain for sleep onset. This can be done by soaking in a warm bath or shower to boost your temperature temporarily, while the rapid cool down after you get out relaxes and eases you into sleep.
Alcohol Many people swear by a drink to unwind at the end of the day, but alcohol before bed can actually disrupt your sleep. Alcohol is metabolized by the liver, it has a disruptive effect. And since it takes a few hours to metabolize, a drink with dinner shouldn't be a problem, but anything too close to bedtime can be counterproductive. This includes waking up more often in the early-morning hours, or just
waking up and not be to fall back to sleep. The worse would be having
disturbing, vivid dreams.
Get Out Of Bed Staying in bed can condition you to become anxious in bed. You can't force yourself to sleep, and doing this will only increase your anxiety. After waiting for 15 or 20 minutes, try getting out of bed, sitting in another part of the house until you feel a little groggy before heading back to sleep.
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