Sick of laying awake till all hours of the morning only to get up feeling worse than when you went to bed? There are a couple of things you can try at home naturally and easily before hitting the chemist to buy sleeping pills!
1. Meditation assists the mind and body into a relaxing state. Removing excess thoughts from the brain and evoking a calm environment. Meditation before bed will ease the body into its sleep routine by releasing unnecessary stress and by focusing on your breathing, your body will be trained to recognize these actions as a precursor to falling asleep every night.
2. Yoga and exercise in general is a great way to burn off excess energy before bed and to tire yourself out. Yoga and tai chi can both be stress relieving, sleep inducing practices when done correctly and with the right poses. Energy in the body is a powerful thing and when directed to certain areas and with our minds part of the practice we can stimulate our bodies to prepare and wind down for restful sleep.
3. Light exposure in the morning or afternoon may help you to set a better body clock. This therapy is used by sleep specialists to adjust and assist the body's natural body clock. We are tuned to be awake when there is light and asleep in the dark. Early morning walks and light exposure will help you fall asleep at night and afternoon walks in the day light will help you stay asleep for longer.
4. Aromatherapy, as per my previous blog, can be greatly beneficial to sleep aid and fighting insomnia. Essential oils, herbs and many easy diy recipes on the market can assist the mind, body and spirit into sedation at night. Oils and herbs targeted at specific problems and effects can work on a very pin pointed level for the individual.
5. Diet obviously plays a huge role in how our body is feeling and coping at bed time. Avoiding eating late will allow your digestive organs to not be pumping the midnight oil and dishing out loads of energy at inappropriate times. Also try not to consume foods high in sugar and caffeine before you are due to go to bed for obvious reasons. Alcohol and smoking can also be an insomnia trigger so take your cautions. Maybe change things up to a herbal tea?
6. Never underestimate the value of a comfortable place to sleep. As well as a mattress and linen to snuggle into for your personal comfort levels you should also consider the temperature of the bedroom. Being too hot or too cold will bring you out of a deep sleep. Also if you struggle with your thoughts late at night think about playing some soft relaxing music in the background to help you drift off.
7. Electronics and WiFi do not belong in the bedroom. They emit electromagnetic frequencies that will effect the energetic build up of our bodies. If you are really sensitive to energy and are still finding it hard to sleep once your devices are taken away think about the electricity running through the wall. If you have a point behind your bed maybe consider turning around so your head is away from the wall.
8. Rituals are performed at a specific time and for a purpose. Having a bed time ritual will put your body clock into a routine where it knows by the time you've finished it will be time to say bye byes. Any of these points can be considered rituals if performed on the daily before bed. Lighting a candle, taking a bath, doing some gentle yoga, a mug of tea and a good book. Anything to release some tension that you enjoy before you nod off will assist in creating a routine for your mind and body. Make it personal and easily something you will enjoy keeping up with every night.
9. Bath time is hard for those of us with only showers but if you do have a bath! You are so lucky! I think I took having a bath when I was little way too much for granted. A good soak in some Epsom salts can do wonders for relaxing all of your tired, sore muscles and joints. Add some nice essential oils for added aromatherapy and watch your thoughts and stresses drift away out the window. (Tip: if you only have a shower fill an organza bag with bath salts and when you are nearly finished your shower tie it over the shower head and enjoy a good waterfall of delicious bath time)
10. If all else fails and you want to keep it holistic talk to your GP about trying some Melatonin supplements. When our bodies alter into sleep/wake cycles through the availability of light at day and night our bodies produce serotonin which then produces the hormone melatonin. This natural sleep aid will help your body clock know when to fall asleep and wake up, but please talk to a doctor before taking any supplements.
Good luck and good night