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Simple, But Effective Help For Insomnia

Newborn Baby Sleeping

Re-posted from Michelle's Weebly blog

Insomnia and other sleep disorders unfortunately affect many people of all ages. The average person requires roughly 7-8 hours of quality sleep (for some it's a bit more, others, a bit less than that) to feel fully alert and refreshed. Deep sleep is important for being able to cope with the everyday stressors in our lives. If you are frequently tired or need to nap during the day, feel easily stressed out, have difficulty concentrating or staying alert and focused, have trouble falling asleep, wake up several times at night or wake up in the "wee hours" of morning, unable to fall back to sleep, you may be struggling with insomnia or perhaps with another sleep disorder. Here are some tips for helping you get a good night's rest without sleeping pills: 1. Don't eat in large amounts or exercise heavily at least 2-3 hours before bedtime. But, do make sure your stomach isn't completely empty when it's time for bed and that you get at least 30-45 minutes of exercise a minimum of three times per week. 2. Create a routine for yourself every day and night--Go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning so your body resets its internal clock. 3. Don't read in bed if you can't sleep or lay there tossing and turning. If you are having trouble sleeping, get up out of bed, go into another room, and do something else until you start to feel more relaxed or sleepy. Then, go back to bed when you feel you might be able to fall asleep. 4. At least one hour before bedtime, shut off your phone, email/internet, and anything that causes you stress. Sit down, relax, dim the lights, change into PJs, breathe deeply, take a bath, read, or light some candles and play soft music. This creates a soft ambiance that allows you to unwind and get ready to sleep. Create some type of ritual you enjoy before bed that is "you" time. 5. Try to eliminate caffeine and other stimulants from your diet as much as possible. (Some seemingly innocent medications, like certain decongestants, can also keep you awake, believe it or not!) Or, if it is too difficult to forego caffeine entirely, Try to keep it to 1-2 cups maximum before noon, so the caffeine will be worn off by bedtime. Believe it or not, alcohol, though it is a depressant, can make you sleepy initially, but keep you awake later in the night and dehydrate you after it wears off a bit. So, you may want to keep your alcohol consumption to a minimum if possible, too. 6. Some foods that you could try eating as natural home remedies (again, no less than 2-3 hours before bed so you don't get reflux issues, which can also keep you awake) contain natural tryptophan, a chemical that helps you relax. Others have a slightly higher fat content, which can also encourage you to feel sleepy. Here are a few to try: Bananas, Peanut Butter, Milk, Turkey, Honey, Anise...and any other comfort type foods that are not going to destroy your diet or have caffeine in them. Make sure you have adequate B vitamins and other nutrition in your diet, too. This can be important. 7. You may want to try herbal remedies. Just make sure to check with you doctor to make sure they are safe for you with any medication or other herbal remedies you may be taking. Many come in tea form. Some to try: Chamomile, Valerian, Tulsi, Kava Kava, Lavender 8. Aromatherapy is also wonderful to aid in restful sleep. Some scents that people find relaxing: Lavender, Vanilla, Geranium, Neroli, Sandalwood...Any scent you find comforting will help you to become more relaxed. Many come in the form of candles, lotions, soaps, scented oil, etc. 9. Have you tried any other compliementary therapies? Massage Therapy, Accupressure, Accupuncture, Reiki, Biofeedback, Chiropractic, Meditation, and Reflexology are all incredibly helpful to many people suffering from insomnia and other sleep disorders. The important thing is finding a routine and regimen that works for you and doesn't cause you more stress! If you try everything above with no luck, you may want to talk with your doctor about your sleep patterns. Not sure if you have insomnia or another sleep disorder or want to know more about the symptoms and where to find help? Here is a link with a quiz that may be good for you to try to help determine what type of sleep disorder you may be suffering from: Here is another online quiz that is just about insomnia: You can also feel free to check out the links page on our website for more information about a wide variety of alternative/complimentary healing modalities that may help...or try our free meditation to see if it helps you relax and get some rest:

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