If you spend endless nights tossing and turning, your eyes burning with exhaustion, but your body is somehow still unable to give you the sleep you need, you need a healthy, long-term solution. Some over-the-counter medications will give one good night, but you can't become dependent on drugs. There are a few natural methods you can try to help improve your sleep situation.
Break Out The Essential Oils
Some essential oils have the power to soothe anxiety and calm the mind. These are the oils you will need in order to get better rest:
- Lavender. Lavender oil is the most widely distributed essential oil, because it has so many different health benefits. One of those benefits is increased relaxation through tension release. Lavender, when combined with an herb called Roman chamomile, is quite effective as a sleep aid.
- Valerian. This plant root has been used for centuries because of it's powerful calming effect on the nervous system. It helps people to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Don't be put off by the funky smell, because it is probably the most effective oil for sleep.
- Marjoram. This oil helps relax your muscles, which can both decrease physical pain and relieve tension headaches. If your sleep problems are caused by physical instead of mental stress, marjoram should be part of your nightly routine.
- Ylang-ylang. This a popular oil for relaxation, and when combined with other oils, it can help to support better sleep at night.
Most essential oils are quite potent, so when applying them for sleep, you may need to dilute the drops in a carrier oil, like almond or coconut. However, essential oils are most effective for sleep when rubbed on the feet before you go to bed, or even sprinkled on the pillow so that you can breathe the aroma as you sleep.
Restore Your Body's Sleep Cycle
Sometimes, insomnia comes as a result of long-term sleep disruption. For example, if you are a college student, and often study or party late at night, you may find that your body struggles to sleep after the term ends. Your circadian rhythm has been disrupted, and you need to get it back on track. You can do this by:
- going to bed at the same time every night.
- reducing your caffeine intake and refraining from drinking alcohol before bed. These can disrupt your body's normal sleep and stress signals.
- start a bedtime routine. You can give your brain signals that will help your body to know that sleep time in near. The best way to do this is prepare for bed in the same way each night. Your routine might include taking a bath before bed, listening to calming music, or spending a few minutes meditating. Try to do everything in the same order each night, and eventually your body will be trained to know that it's time for sleep.
- waking up at the same time every morning. This means that you need to choose a time that works every single day, even weekends. You can disrupt your sleep schedule by staying out late on weekends, and sleeping in the following morning. Consistency is key to overcoming insomnia.
- trying not to use electronics for at least an hour before bed. Staring at a bright screen can influence your body's perception of the time of day. Your body starts to release sleep hormones as the lights become dimmer, so looking a TV or laptop can interrupt this natural lull into sleep.
- taking some melatonin supplements to get your body back on track. Melatonin is the hormone that your body use to regulate your sleep throughout the night. As you click for more information and establish a new routine, using this extra boost will help you fall asleep faster.