The Only 3 Natural Sleep Remedies You Will Ever Need
Instead of sleep being refreshing, it is the thing many Americans dread the most. A night without sleep often means a day of fatigue, sluggishness, poor food choices, weight gain and ultimately poor health.
Sleep eludes millions of Americans and the problem is growing. For some this is only a intermittent problem. But for others, sleep can be an ongoing struggle.
The latest statistics show that up to 35% of Americans have brief symptoms of insomnia -- 15 to 20% of Americans have a short-term insomnia disorder, which lasts less than three months, and 10% have a chronic insomnia disorder, which can occur at least three times per week for at least three months.
Chronic insomnia can have a negative impact on your health, increasing your risk of depression and high blood pressure. It can also lower your quality of life. Insomnia is typically characterized by general fatigue, an inability to focus or concentrate, memory issues, moodiness, the daytime sleepies, low motivation/energy levels, and inaccuracies in work and even automobile accidents.
Without sleep we tend to make poor eating choices in hopes of jacking up our energy to get through the day. This only backfires however, and serves to make us feel more sluggish in the long run as well as to gain weight. There are three easy ways to combat insomnia, once you gain a clear understanding of its root cause.
Natural Sleep Remedy #1: Diet, diet, diet.
Research has shown that your diet has a tremendous effect on how you sleep. This is perhaps the most complicated, yet simplest fix for ending insomnia. Changing your diet is necessary, but it’s a hard habit to break.
Your diet and how you digest it are the reasons you may not be getting the sleep you need. It is a little known fact that indigestion is the number one cause of insomnia according to a 2004 study. Notably, indigestion, which causes lack of sleep, can have an adverse effect on weight-loss by causing the body to hold on to weight.
That being said, digestion and indigestion are the number one reasons you aren’t sleeping at night. Your body requires rest for digestion to begin. This is why leaving digestion time between meals is so important, even if you’re eating five to six meals a day. Many times your body does get the opportunity to completely digest its meals throughout the day. This is likely due to stress, which shuts down digestion, constant movement or activity. If the body does not have its time to complete digestion during the day, it will begin doing it’s digestive work at night. This is likely to keep you awake, even if you don’t feel the process of digestion occurring.
If the meals you choose are easily digested and plant-based meals you are less likely to experience a digestion surge during the night. Conversely, if your meals are high in animal products and protein and improperly combined, the digestive process will take longer and indigestion may occur.
The human body does well on easily digested, small nutritious meals eaten every two to three hours. You have to give your body time to digest and do its nutritive work. Good digestion requires some down time between meals, which is why it’s essential not to overeat. This is one of the main reasons diets that require five to six small meals a day must include foods that are easily and quickly digested.
Gut health is paramount to good digestion, and good digestion is paramount to absorption, but it’s important to know this one truth: Gut health cannot be permanently corrected by supplementation. The belief that poor eating can be corrected simply by taking a probiotic or by eating yogurt, provides a false sense of security when it comes to healing the gut. Instead, this only allows you to continue a crappy diet. While a supplemental probiotic that is taken orally or in processed food such as yogurt may seem to relieve a symptom, over time it will not heal the gut. Only proper diet will heal the gut.
Further, probiotics are relatively new to the world of healthcare and are simply another form of medicating. They were unleashed unto the world to offset the ill effects of antibiotics, so in terms of medicating they can be quite useful. However, as a lifestyle habit, exposing yourself to good bacteria by gardening or eating your probiotics from sources like sprouts, freshly grown plants or raw organic honey, will get you far better results at improving gut health with an relevant and nutritive health benefit.
Related: How To Sleep Like A Rock Naturally
Natural Sleep Remedy #2: Exercise!
Indeed, exercise isn’t only for conditioning and strengthening muscles – the brain likes it too, which is important when it comes to sleep. It’s been said that exercise is the most underutilized antidepressant, and sleep remedy for good reason. Activity of any sort releases unwanted energy, and reduces anxiety, which can interrupt sleep.
Whether you’re breaking up your day with a lengthy walk or jog, exercise is what gets the blood flowing to the muscles and the brain and improves overall health and mood. What is more, exercise allows the release of feel-good endorphins that help take down negative thoughts and help to shed unwanted negative energy that might stop you from getting sleep.
There is no trick to getting active, and there’s no pill – there’s only will and you have to be willing to take the first step. Getting active is an intentional activity – it is a choice. Visualize yourself exercising and feeling good. A great way to get started is to do this five-minute workout:
- One minute of jumping jacks.
- One minute of jumping rope in place (no jump rope needed).
- One minute of jogging in place.
- One minute of pushups or planks
- One minute of scissor leg raises.
If you’re feeling good, repeat the sequence again. There is no particular formula for getting started on an exercise regimen. Simply start where you are, doing what you can do and build from there. Incorporating movement into all aspects of your life will put you on the right track toward getting more sleep.
Natural Sleep Remedy #3: Never Underestimate The Power Of A Tea Habit
If you feel you must wind down after a hectic day, don’t reach for the wine – it will only stimulate and awaken you at some point during the night. Instead, reach for some warm and inviting herbal tea. Herbal teas, provided they are organic, pure and contain no MSG by way of “natural flavorings”, are often underestimated when it comes to getting sleep and are all too often replaced with prescribed or over the counter remedies than can become harmful and addictive.
Herbal teas, especially if they’re good quality, do wonders for taking the edge of a hectic day. The simple ritual of preparing and sipping tea before bed is warming and comforting as well. There are many teas created to help you become relaxed. Thyme tea, Chamomile tea, Valerian tea and Lemon Balm tea, are exceptionally relaxing teas that have healing properties and help to enhance your overall health when taken regularly. What is more, adding raw organic honey to your warm tea is also a great aid for digestion since it contains probiotics that help to keep the friendly bacteria in the gut healthy and strong, while promoting restorative sleep and healing during the night.
By remaining active and eating easily digested meals you can avoid insomnia, be more alert during the day, have the energy you desire, as well as the ability to wind down, head back for a restful night’s sleep and do it all over again. Done consistently, these natural remedies will soon turn into lifestyle habits that will enhance both your life and your health!