Natural Cures for Insomnia and How to Change Your Bed from Your Thinking Place to Your Sleeping Place
Whether you are have an issue with chronic insomnia or whether or not you suffer from it periodically, here are some great natural cures to try for a better night's sleep.
Insomnia truly feels like some kind of curse while you are experiencing it. Tossing and turning through the night, trying to get comfortable physically, while your mind is active, is mentally tormenting. And of course, the following day will not be likely be productive.
If you are a regular or infrequent sufferer of insomnia, you will know what I mean. As tired as you are before you fall asleep, your can't stop the relentless thoughts. They continue until you suddenly realize that you are fully awake and that the minutes have ticked away, and eventually hours have ticked away.
Looking at the clock and counting the hours until your wake time only serve to make you more anxious, and restless. It's a vicious circle.
I once heard a psychologist on the radio who said that those who experience insomnia regularly have made their bed their 'thinking place'.
This could also be the reason so many insomniacs sleep better in a hotel room. One doesn't pay upwards of $100 so that they can lay in a nice, clean bed to think about their life. Their purpose of being in the room is to sleep, so that is what they accomplish.
Through trial and error, and retraining my mind, I have learned, for the most part, not to make the bedroom my thinking place. I decide that I will think of nothing but shallow thoughts that don't really affect my life. Usually, my thoughts are about the book I just read of about the drama I just watched on television, until I peacefully drift off.
If you have trouble with changing your bed, psychologically, from your thinking place to your sleeping place, here are a few tips and natural cures for insomnia that might help.
Possible Cures for Insomnia
My husband can invariably tell when I have become awakened in the night and am having trouble going back to sleep. He smells lavender. My trusty little lavender pillow spray is always right there on my nightstand, waiting for moments like these, when I have found it to be helpful.
Research shows that lavender eases anxiety and insomnia by increasing slow wave sleep - where muscles relax and heartbeat slows.
Although some teas, like Valerian and Chamomile, or other blends, contain sleep inducing properties, I find that drinking tea to promote sleep is a bit of a conundrum. While the tea itself may put me to sleep, the fact that I've added liquids to my diet before bed time, likely means an extra trip to the bathroom in the middle of the night. You have to gauge for yourself whether or not this will be a problem for you. If you can relieve yourself without fully awakening and getting back into a thinking pattern then tea might be a good choice. I've found that remaining in the darkness, with a mere nightlight in the bathroom, helps to keep me in that sleepy mode.
Keep your room as dark as you can. Any kind of light suppresses melatonin - a natural hormone that induces sleep, once it gets dark. Black out curtains or blinds are a great idea. I also like to take my sleep mask with me when I go to other people's houses to sleep to keep things dark. Even light from electronics can have ill effects on melatonin.
Remove Electronics and Cell Phones from the Bedroom
We live in an age of technology, but we should leave all of that outside of our bedrooms. Technology from cell phones and laptops suppress melatonin and keep our brains awake.
5 HTP, a naturally derived substance, (also goes by the names Cincofarm, Levothym, Levotonine, Oxyfan, Telesol, Tript-OH, and Triptum) commonly used to fight depression and anxiety, is also said to help people with their sleep. Read more about it here.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognititve Behavioral Therapy might be a good idea if you are having trouble with making your bed a place of relaxation where thoughts are turned off. Insomniacs often become preoccupied with not falling asleep, so cognitive therapy might be a good option to help you ease your anxiety, change your negative expectations, build confidence and sleep better.
Do you you have a home remedy for insomnia or trick to help you fall asleep faster? Please share!