Health

5 Natural Ways to Fall Asleep

There are few feelings worse than being overworked and tired but not being able to fall asleep. Every fifth person in the USA is experiences insomnia at some point. What's really scary is that women who have trouble falling asleep outnumber men by 100%, which is due to the hormonal changes we go through each month.

What's definitely worse than insomnia itself is getting hooked on sleeping pills. The tricky thing is, they create a psychological rather than chemical dependence. This is why it is crucial to detect the real underlying cause of insomnia since psychological and medical causes require different treatments.

If you're just stressed out, behavioral therapy recommended by your doctor or life style adaptations alone will be smarter solutions than consuming hypnotics. A quarter of adult population in America use sleeping pills, which are only harmless if used strictly as prescribed. Read on to find about natural ways to fall asleep in order to respect your body and stay healthy.

1. Learn Relaxation Techniques

woman relaxing bath 3

A traditional favorite is having a warm aromatic bath. Why not indulge in a beauty soak with your own blend of calming essential oils like ylang ylang, sandalwood or lavender. Make it nourishing by adding natural anti-aging agents such as shea butter- based bath products. To ensure your trip to dreamland, enjoy a cup of warm milk instead of iconic champagne while having a soak, or afterwards when you're tucked into bed. Never add honey to your milk in the evenings as sugars will leave your brain supercharged for hours. Even if you do fall asleep, prepare for some bizarre dreams due to your mental hyperactivity.

Learn sleep-inducing acupressure points here, and massage your way into deep relaxation. Other ancient Eastern disciplines offer additional efficient solutions. Try doing these bedtime yoga poses which will provoke the much needed relaxation response in your body and mind. Qi gong provides these health oriented relaxation techniques to be performed in bed.

As for regular sports and more strenuous fitness activities, it's great to work out to burn that excessive energy and feel tired in a healthy way, but more than 2 hours before you want to go to bed. Keep adrenalin away to drift off into your beauty sleep.

2. Eat Your Way to Sleep

Instead of sleep-eating, a widespread phenomenon in America, reverse the process and consume magnesium rich products like whole grains, cashews, bananas, warm milk with cocoa powder and wheat bran based breakfast cereals. Interestingly, instant coffee is magnesium bomb with 456 milligrams of magnesium per 100 grams of dry granules. Just make sure you don't indulge in any kind of coffee after 5pm as sleep-reducing caffeine effects last for up to 7 hours.

3. Super Herbs

Nature gives us what no fancy lab can, aromatic herbs which are not only relaxing, but each has a number of other health benefits. Dare to experiment; mix herbs and find a blend which works for you best. Use valerian, chamomile, lavender, rooibos African red bush tea, St.John's Wort, linden, hops and passion flower. Their efficiency has been proven over hundreds of years around the world, chances are your granny stocked up on some of them. I remember my granny giving me valerian tincture drops on a sugar cube after a stressful event.

4. Right Place, Right Time

beautiful girl at home looking out the window

Your body craves fresh air at all times, so open the windows in your bedroom and turn off the a/c for some time. Also, if you can’t sleep, it helps to get out onto a terrace or a porch and breathe consciously while visualizing yourself sinking in a pillow deeper and deeper with every exhale. Aside from fresh air, what’s crucial for sound sleep is the absence of light. You want to send your body a clear message that it’s night and it’s time to turn off.

Good sleep routines also mean getting used to regular bed time and wake up hours. Stick to these and allow for more than the bare minimum of 5 hours of sleep, working your way up to 7 hours.

You don’t need to believe in feng shui to optimize your bedroom. Choose gentle, pastel or dark colors. Purple and blue are perfect. Spray your sheets with a mixture of water and a few drops of lavender essential oil. If silence creates noise in your head, play some relaxation music.

5. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

If you still need more natural ways to fall asleep, consider hiring a well-recommended therapist who will bring sleep back to your life with cognitive behavioral therapy. The main challenge will be to quiet down your overactive mind and its irritating chatter.

The best CBT trick is not to fall asleep, because this will remove the pressure of having to sleep. The stress of watching the time and calculating how few hours you've got left till the morning alarm inhibits your efforts to fall asleep. The less you worry, the sooner you'll be sound asleep.

If you've discovered a special technique that works for you, feel free to share in the comment section. Maybe you help some other sleepless soul obtain her rejuvenating sleep.

About the author

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Alex

Alex is your savvy and fun guide for globe trotting and all aspects of self-improvement, from professional and financial to physical. When not writing or traveling, Alex enjoys practicing martial arts and yoga.

2 Comments

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  • I started using ear plugs a several years ago because of the noise that started bothering me during an illness. At first, it felt a bit awkward, but soon I got used to them and I use them ever since.
    The trick is that whenever I put the ear plugs, my body subconsciously reacts, and I become sleepy right away.
    Even when I don’t feel sleepy, e.g. during the day when I have only 30 min to rest, I put them in, set the alarm clock and have a nap right away.
    I love them!

  • I have ADHD, so I always have to look at the clock a certain number of times. Needless to say, it keeps me awake, and I can’t not do it. So, once I’ve done that, I try my best to push it out of my head and that pretty much puts me to sleep.