Sleep Without Drugs
Don't Believe the Hype!
There are so many sleep aids on the market today, that many people just buy the notion that it is impossible to sleep without them! This simply isn't true! A healthy, well-cared for body can sleep just fine without the aid of drugs!
If you do need a little help in falling asleep, there are lots of natural ways to help you relax and drift off. Without exception, they are healthier and more affordable than prescription drugs without the dangerous side-effects that inevitably accompany those drugs.
Here are a few of my favorites to help you sleep...
...like a baby...
Take a Hot Bath...
There is nothing more relaxing than a long, hot bath with candles and quiet music. Even if you are a guy, give it a try! Taking that time to breathe in the steam, relax your muscles, and think through the cares of the day can do wonders to help you get a good night's sleep.
For extra relaxation, add a few drops of oil of lavender to your bath. It is a natural, and inexpensive way to get all the benefits of aromatherapy. The pleasant scent of lavender is soothing and relaxing.
Dim the lights in your home and your room...
Bright lights make your body think it is daytime. It's just as simple as that! You can't expect to have lights blazing one moment and then be totally relaxed and asleep the next. When the time for sleep is approaching, begin dimming the lights. Turn them off gradually throughout your home until you only have the one next to your bed on. Once you have relaxed and are ready for sleep, turn that one off too.
If you normally have your TV blaring and loud music playing, stop it!
Even if you feel that you can't sleep without that noise, try changing it to something quiet when sleep time approaches. Turn off the TV altogether. The flashing picture and commercial noise will keep you alert and awake, even if you are not fully aware of it.
Create a collection of quiet CDs to listen to before bed or get a "white noise" machine to play ocean sounds, nature sounds and so on if you like that sort of thing. I have one that plays crickets! It is very relaxing, and it baffles street sounds and other disturbing sounds while I sleep.
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Natural Sleep Aids
Natural alternatives to medication...
Sometimes, you may actually need a little extra push into sleep. Here are a few natural alternatives to sleep medication that have worked quite well for me.
Valerian root - This is the herb that valium is derived from. It comes in capsule or tea form. It costs a lot less than valium, and it is much safer. You can find Valerian root at your local health food store. Just follow the instructions on the bottle. It is good to take it about an hour before bedtime with a warm drink.
Kava Kava is a natural muscle relaxer that can also help you sleep. If you have been doing a lot of physical exercise, a hot bath and some Kava Kava will give you a good nights sleep. You can get Kava Kava at your local health food store in capsule form. Follow the directions on the bottle.
Tension Tamer is The Best!
Tension Tamer Tea is fabulous stuff. It knocks some people right out! I enjoy it almost every night with a couple of drops of peppermint oil added. Peppermint is also very relaxing, and the aromatherapy effect is very nice.
A Cozy Cup
Warm Milk - The calcium in milk can have a very relaxing effect, and of course, this is a tried and true comfort food! Here is my simple recipe for a relaxing bedtime treat.
Put a tablespoon of honey and a dash of cinnamon in a large mug. Add milk. Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring every 30 seconds for a total of 2 minutes. (If you do 2 minutes all at once, the milk will boil over.) If this is too hot for you, of course, reduce the time.
Meditation & Prayer
Saying your prayers before bed is more than just a quaint, old-fashioned practice. We gain closure by ending our day with a review and a wish for those things that went wrong to be set right. When we hand over the cares of the day to God or the Universe or our subconscious mind, we free ourselves to sleep.
If you are uncomfortable with the idea of prayer, then try a few moments of meditation or silence to quiet the cares of the day before you pull up your covers and close your eyes.
Sleep Tight! :)
Copyright:SuzanneBennett:February 15, 2009
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