Although millions of people through the world report having trouble falling and staying asleep on a regular basis, suffering from chronic insomnia can make you feel isolated and overwhelmed. In a way, sleep disorders are harder to deal with than other health conditions because they often lack clear causes and straight-forward solutions. Being unable to sleep is not only emotionally exhausting, but it can have very real physical consequences for your overall health. Sleeping problems are associated with depression, chronic fatigue, decreased physical and mental performance, anxiety and muscle aches. Overcoming insomnia naturally can sometimes seem impossible, but do not give up just yet. The following tips can help you calm your mind and body and say good-bye to sleepless nights for good.
1. Rethink your prescriptions. Many medications are known to cause sleep problems, and you may be taking one of them right now. Talk to your doctor about your insomnia to find out if it might be related to your prescription and ask if you can try an alternative medication.
2. Reduce your stress levels. Anxiety is one of the largest contributors to chronic insomnia, so it's important to find and eliminate all unnecessary stressors to put your mind at ease. Make a list of things that stress you out and come up with a solution for each problem.
3. Start exercising. Speaking of reducing stress, working out is one of the best ways to alleviate anxiety and increase the production of endorphins, a group of soothing chemicals that block pain and promote happiness.
4. Shake up your schedule. A big part of learning how to cure insomnia is figuring out what works for you. Try following a different routine to see if it makes any difference in your ability to fall sleep.
5. Eat better. What you eat has a direct effect on how you sleep. Try eating a protein-rich dinner at least four hours before you plan to go to bed.
6. Create a cozy and comfortable sleeping environment. Make sure your shades are dark enough to block out early morning sun rays. If possible, splurge on a good mattress and soft, breathable linens.
7. Try a different pillow. Switching up your pillow is not a single insomnia treatment, but it can make a big difference when combined with other insomnia cures. Get a pillow that works for your body and sleeping patterns. People who sleep on their backs should use thinner pillows than side sleepers who need bigger and firmer pillows for neck support. Stomach sleepers do best with very thin pillows that are almost completely flat.
8. Use soothing natural minerals and oils. Try taking a bath with Dead Sea salts, or using a calming body oil like lavender or jasmine.
9. Replace caffeine and alcohol with caffeine-free herbal teas. Coffee or alcohol can disrupt your sleep, even several hours after you drink it. A cup of herbal tea can quench your thirst and help you get to sleep. Look for soothing flavors like lavender or chamomile or a blend that contains valerian root.
10. Try different relaxation techniques when you are unable to sleep. Relaxation techniques like yoga and meditation are great for curing insomnia because they calm the mind, slow down the heart rate, reduce anxiety and relieve muscle tension.