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Natural Remedies for a Good Night's Sleep

Updated on November 3, 2009

After a long and stressful day at work, the idea of laying down on a comfortable bed and sleeping several hours can seem a dream to many. Yet, there are many people that regardless of how tired they may feel they will toss and turn for countless hours each night. Out ofdesperation therefore, they may look for an easy way out by heading towards the sleep aid compartment of their local pharmacy or worse, by having their physician prescribe them some potent medications that will knock them out.

Yet, there may be many easier and more cost effective paths for a restful night. Indeed, often insomnia may be the result of a not so great lifestyle or rather some bad habits that may conflict with the ability to catch some zzzzzz's. Following are some natural remedies and tips that may help get some well deserved sleep.

-Eat light

That extra large burger with oil drenched french fries and a large horse size cup of a carbonated drink of your choice should be left out of your dinner menu. To sleep well, it is best to not indulge into foods that are particularly difficult to digest. Elaborated dishes, fried foods and grandma's baked bean delight with chili sauce should be therefore eaten for lunch if they are a must in your kitchen.

The digestive system is much more efficient in its work, during the morning, and tends to slow down as the hours go by. For this reason, dinner should be light. What this means is that the food eaten should not be heavy in nature nor too large when it comes to quantity.

-Choose Foods Wisely

There are several foods to choose from if you want to try to get a restful night. Foods rich in triptophan may lend a helpful hand. This substance is known to transform into serotonin which helps relax and eventually fall to sleep. Foods rich in triptophan are turkey of course, milk, cheese, eggs, walnuts, bananas, apples and pears.

Another great help may derive from lettuce. This healthy vegetable has sedative effects that may help release anxiety and encourage a restful night. Of course, lettuce should be avoided by those that have trouble digesting it such as those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome.

-Dine at the Right Time

You may choose to eat foods that are good for you, but they may still negatively affect your sleep if eaten at the wrong time. Ideally, you should dine at least two hours prior to your bed time. So say good bye to those slices of pizza gulped down at midnight which very likely will cause a bout of acidity that will keep you awake all night with a package of Tums by your night stand.

Eating regularly at the same time each evening and going to sleep at the same time will also help set a routine that will prepare the body to adjust better to those sleep-awake rhythms so necessary for catching some good sleep.

-Drinks to Avoid

Just as it is important to choose the right foods prior to hitting the bed, you want to choose your drinks wisely as well. Not more than a glass of wine should be consumed along with the meal. Indeed, alcohol may provide some relaxation at first, but in the long run it creates a rebound effect where it may ultimately cause an increase in heartbeats, headaches, restless nights and excessiveperspiration.

Coffee of course should be banned after dinner, but for those sensitive to the effects of caffeine, it should be avoided from the early afternoon on. Other caffeinated drinks that may appear ''innocent'' but that still contain caffeine are tea, coke and energy drinks.

-Drinks to Choose

There are many alternative drinks that will help get some restorative sleep. Chamomile tea, is a very popular drink that Europeans are very fond of. This drink is seeped and drank warm something that further helps prepare the body to a relaxing routine that invites to a restful night.


One would think that a lot of exercise may cause the body and mind to get tired making it easier to sleep. Yet, too much exercise may release adrenaline which on the contrary, keeps the body awake and ready to react. A better alternative is a nice evening walk right after dinner. This way, it is easier to digest, tensions are released and the mind is able to relax. A dog may be a great incentive to encourage this healthy habit.

-The Bedroom

The bedroom should be cool and dark. Noises from the home and outdoors should be at a minimum. The bedroom therefore should be placed in a strategic area the farthest as possible from noises. The mattress of course should be comfortable and large enough to allow the body to stretch as needed. It must not be neither too soft or too hard as boththese extremes contribute to an abnormal position.The bedroom should also be aired each day to ensure a good flow of air.

Alcohol, cigarettes, heavy meals, procrastiantion are all habits that should be avoided all together but that can be deleterious before getting ready to go to bed. As seen, the many tips above are not only great natural ways to catch some sleep but they are over all, healthy habits that should be encouraged in all household, regardless of the fact you suffer from insomnia or not.

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    • ocbill profile image

      ocbill 8 years ago from hopefully somewhere peaceful and nice

      I got a chuckle out of the horse sized cup..(still has me going.)..

      Overall sounds like one should mimic the european lifestyle...tea and walks after dinner. Although, they tend to stay up much later