Insomnia may be a primary problem, or it may be linked to other conditions. Irrespective of the cause, natural cures for insomnia have shown promising results and are a great place to start.
Are you having a hard time falling or staying asleep? Do you wake up too early or feel not well-rested in the morning? Are you irritable, sad, have anxious feelings, sleepy, tired, inattentive, or forgetful? If you answered yes to some or most of these questions, you likely have insomnia. Insomnia is a sleep disorder that makes it difficult to fall asleep, stay asleep, or makes you wake up very early and keeps you awake for the rest of the night. Unfortunately, this will leave you feeling tired in the morning. While pretty common, insomnia is a big problem because it saps your mood and energy levels as well as health, quality of life, and work performance.
People have varying sleep needs – however, experts recommend that adults have 7-8 hours of sleep a night. At one point or another, adults experience acute insomnia that lasts a few days or weeks. This is often due to a traumatic event or stress. But the good thing is that when this phase passes, the problem disappears, and they are back to their normal lives. But for some, the insomnia is chronic, meaning it lasts for a month or more. This could be because of the issues mentioned above or be linked to medication or medical conditions. Either way, you don’t have to contend with insomnia. Some lifestyle changes can help. There are some natural remedies too, and we will list them in this article to help you put this problem behind you. But before we do that, let’s look at what causes insomnia.
As mentioned earlier, insomnia can occur on its own, or be as a result of an underlying condition. Chronic insomnia, for instance, arises from life events, stress, or sleep-disrupting habits. Addressing the root cause can treat insomnia.
Stress –thinking about health, finances, work, family or school can keep you awake at night
Work or travel schedule – Work or travel can interfere with your body’s internal clock (circadian system), and cause insomnia
Overeating before bedtime – when you overeat at night, you may have trouble finding a comfortable sleeping position
Poor sleeping habit – uncomfortable bedroom, too much screen at night (TV, phone, computer), using your bed for work and so on can mess your circadian system
Medical conditions – like cancer, diabetes, chronic pain, asthma, heart disease, GERD, Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s diseases and overactive thyroid are linked to insomnia
Medications – blood pressure and asthma drugs, antidepressants, and many OTCs have stimulants that can interfere with sleep
Mental health disorders – PTSD and other anxiety disorders can affect your sleep and sleep quality
Sleep-related disorders – like sleep apnea or restless legs syndrome can disrupt or prevent you from sleeping
Caffeine, alcohol and nicotine – tea, coffee, and cola are stimulants, and when you drink them close to bedtime, you can end up having issues falling asleep
Aging – insomnia becomes common with age, thanks to changes in sleep patterns, activity, health as well as medication.
Your treatment will depend on what’s causing insomnia. Here are some natural remedies for insomnia.
Regular sleep schedule
You should create and stick to a daily sleep routine. This means knowing exactly when you’re going to bed and waking up. Think of this as formatting your circadian system. This way, your body will know when to sleep and when to wake up.
Find a workout activity that you like and exercise for 30 or more minutes a day for several days in a week. It is an added advantage if you do yoga, especially before bedtime, as the poses help you to sleep.
Get plenty of natural light
If you are the type that sits in the house all day long, try taking a stroll in the sun during the day. Opening your blinds in the morning is a great way to wake your brain and regulate your natural rhythm.
Create a comfortable sleep environment
This starts from your bed and bedding and goes all the way to curtains and lighting. Change anything that’s not comfortable and declutter your space. It’s also essential to observe the temperature, so it’s not too hot or too cold.
Lavender aromatherapy is known for its incredible sleep-inducing abilities. You can place a sachet of the essential oil under your pillow or put a few drops in a handkerchief.
Food and diet
Limit your intake of alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine because they are stimulants and cause restlessness and insomnia.
Ayurvedic medicines, chamomile tea, acupuncture, hypnosis, meditation, and relaxation techniques can also be a great way to eliminate insomnia naturally. Since there is a one-size-fits-all approach to insomnia, you can try out some of these solutions to find out what works for you.