Natural Solutions To Help You Get To Sleep
The Trouble of Sleep
Everyone has trouble falling asleep or staying asleep at one time or another. Unfortunately, sleep medications can leave you feeling drowsy in the morning, and can even cause the user to become dependent on them in order to fall asleep. For some inexpensive, natural ways to prepare your body and mind for sleep, try any of these proven methods, or use any number of combinations, to help you fall asleep and sleep throughout the night.
Many studies have shown that listening to music can alter your moods and change your perception. According to this report by the National Institute of Health, "listening to music can positively impact mood while driving, which can be used to affect state and safe behaviour." - NIH.com.
This same technique can be used to help you relax, and alter your mood to put you in a calm, subdued state so that you are ready for sleep.
Opt for music with soft undertones and a slow, rhythmic melody. This type of music can ease your mind through the repetitive, slow, and nonabrasive sound waves, which, research has shown, may actually affect responses in your brain. Gentle music of this nature can ease anxiety and relieve stress, clearing one's mind enough for them to fall asleep.
For the best results, apply this method with the other techniques listed here to create a calm, focused and relaxed environment.
Magnesium-Rich Foods Before Bed
Recent studies have shown that what we eat a few hours before bed can greatly effect how we sleep through the night. Magnesium-rich foods have been shown to ease muscle pain, relieve anxiety, and help you fall asleep and stay asleep through the night.
Foods such as fish, nuts, dairy products, and many fruits can give your body that extra boost of magnesium to help put you in a relaxed state before bedtime.
Check out a comprehensive list of magnesium-rich foods, as well as the magnesium content within each type of food, with this information page.
Research has shown that doing certain yoga poses before bed can relieve physical stress on the body, and mental anxiety as well, allowing your body and mind to enter a sleep-ready state. Many aspects of yoga have proven calming effects on the body, such as closing your eyes, deep rhythmic breathing, and stretching out muscles which may be experiencing tension we are not even consciously aware of.
Check out this video below for a great beginners guide to Yoga for a Better Sleep.
Meditation has been shown to be a highly effective method to ease stress, lower one's blood pressure, and aid in putting the mind and body in a state ready for a peaceful sleep.
The Stanford Medical Center conducted a study into this idea through a 6-week study with 30 diagnosed insomniacs. The results of this study showed that the subjects were able to fall asleep twice as quickly as before, taking 20 minutes as opposed to 40 minutes. At the end of the study, about 60% of the participants no longer qualified as insomniacs under the medical standards. In a follow up study conducted 1 year later, they found the majority of benefits had remained with continued practice of meditation.
For instructions and techniques on how to meditate into a peaceful sleep, you can try this method, or view the video below.
Guided Sleep Meditation
Reading Before Bed May NOT Be A Solution
Many of us enjoy curling up with a good book before turning the lights out; however, recent research has shown that this may not necessarily be the best pre-bedtime routine.
Reading may help us to feel relaxed late at night, especially if the content is peaceful and no stress-inducing, such as a horror story or a thriller mystery. But even when reading relaxing material, sometimes a person will stay awake longer than expected in order to finish a part of the story. We all might be familiar with the phrase, "one more page, just one more page then I'll turn off the light!"
Another concern of reading before bed involves the light itself. Reading by light, which all readers should be doing, can actually reset your biological clock into thinking it is daytime, causing one to be unable to sleep, or to not be able to sleep through the night.