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Natural Insomnia Solutions

Updated on March 31, 2012
Lack of sleep adds stress to life.
Lack of sleep adds stress to life. | Source

Are you tired of being tired because you can't sleep? Whether you struggle to fall asleep or have a hard time staying asleep, insomnia can leave you feeling tired and drained. If that's you, you're not alone. The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) reports that six out of 10 Americans suffer from insomnia at least a few nights a week. The problem is there is no quick fix because the causes and symptoms of insomnia vary.

Natural Approaches to Treat Insomnia

People often turn to sleep aids to find relief from insomnia, but sleeping pills can also leave you feeling not quite yourself and over long periods have the potential for a multitude of side effects. They may even impair your memory. Before you turn to sleeping pills, first consider natural solutions and changes in lifestyle to see if they help. This may include dietary changes as well as the addition of healthier lifestyle habits. Such changes can be as simple as limiting stimulants such as alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine because all three can contribute to insomnia. Other lifestyle changes to help you sleep better include changes in what and when you eat:

  • Avoid eating large meals late at night. Stop eating at least 2 hours before going to bed.
  • Avoid fried foods.
  • Avoid simple carbohydrates.
  • Avoid spicy foods if you are prone to heartburn.
  • Limit your intake of liquids late in the day.

Along with changing what and when you eat, adding regular exercise to your daily routine can help you sleep better.

Nutritional Remedies for Insomnia

Nutritional research has shown that specific minerals may help you sleep better. Exactly which minerals or vitamins your body may need to sleep better is not always agreed upon. Dr. James, F. Balch, author of Prescription for Nutritional Healing, points to a lack of calcium and magnesium as the reason people wake during the night and stay awake. Clinical research on nutritional supplements and insomnia is insufficient, however nutritional supplements thought to show promise in fighting insomnia include:

  • Calcium
  • Hops
  • Indian snakeroot
  • Kava
  • Lavender
  • Lemon balm
  • Magnesium
  • Melatonin
  • Passionflower
  • Valerian root
  • Vitamin D3

Comprehensive Approach

If you suffer from insomnia it is best to talk with your healthcare professional to develop a comprehensive approach to treating your insomnia. Your doctor knows your medical history and will be able to recommend lifestyle and dietary changes as well as monitor your use of supplements.

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    • Donna Sundblad profile image
      Author

      Donna Sundblad 6 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks Donna, For me Vitamin D3 did the trick. After decades of fighting insomnia I am sleeping so much better. I found I have to take it at night though. When I've taken it in the morning it doesn't do the trick.

    • Donna Sundblad profile image
      Author

      Donna Sundblad 6 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks urmilashukla for the vote and letting me know you enjoyed the article.

    • DonnaCosmato profile image

      Donna Cosmato 6 years ago from USA

      Good tips for insomniacs, especially the one about calcium deficiency being a potential trigger. I liked the list of natural alternatives as well but confess that I probably would not have considered "Indian snakeroot" as a remedy! Voted up and shared.

    • urmilashukla23 profile image

      Urmila 6 years ago from Rancho Cucamonga,CA, USA

      Great advise. Thanks for sharing it. Voted up!

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