It’s frustrating when you can’t sleep. You toss and turn, trying to get comfortable, but your mind just won’t shut off. Before you reach for the Ambien, try some of these natural sleep aids. They won’t put you into a coma like the medication will, but they may help you get the rest you need.
What to do when you can’t sleep
Many people have experienced the frustration of lying in bed for hours, unable to fall asleep. While there are a number of potential causes of insomnia, such as stress or anxiety, there are also a number of things that you can do to improve your sleep habits.
Get up and move around
Sometimes when you can’t sleep, it’s because your body is restless. Getting up and moving around for a few minutes may help you relax enough to fall asleep.
Try some whole body collagen
This stuff is amazing for helping your body relax. It’s full of amino acids that help promote restful sleep.
Take a hot bath or shower
The warmth of the water will help relax your muscles and prepare your body for sleep. In addition, the steam from a hot shower can help to clear your nasal passages and sinuses, making it easier to breathe. If you’re having trouble sleeping, consider taking a hot bath or shower before bed. You just might find that it makes all the difference.
Make sure your bedroom is dark and quiet
If there’s too much light or noise in your room, it can make it harder to fall asleep. Invest in some blackout curtains or a white noise machine to help create the perfect sleep environment.
Drink chamomile tea before bed
Chamomile has long been used as a natural sleep aid. Drinking it before bed may help you relax and fall asleep more easily. Chamomile tea contains an antioxidant called apigenin, which has sedative effects and can help to relax the mind and body, making it easier to fall asleep. In addition, chamomile tea also contains calcium and magnesium, both of which are known to be helpful in promoting sleep.
Avoid caffeine in the evening
Caffeine can stay in your system for up to 8 hours, so if you’re trying to sleep, it’s best to avoid it in the evening. Caffeine works by stimulating the nervous system, which can make it difficult to fall asleep. In addition, caffeine can also cause disrupted sleep and lead to feelings of anxiety and irritability. While everyone’s tolerance for caffeine is different, it is generally advisable to limit intake to no more than 400 mg per day.
Eat a light dinner
Eating a big meal right before bed can make it harder to fall asleep. Stick to something light and easy to digest like soup or salad. These are easy to digest and won’t leave you feeling bloated and uncomfortable. If you’re still hungry, you can always have a light snack before bed. Just make sure it’s something that won’t disturbed your sleep, like a piece of fruit or a few crackers.
Practice some relaxation techniques
There are plenty of relaxation techniques that can help you fall asleep. Try deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or guided imagery.
Get some exercise during the day
Exercise can help you sleep better at night. Just make sure you don’t exercise too close to bedtime or it may keep you up. The best time to exercise is early in the evening, at least a few hours before you go to bed. And if you can’t get out for a walk or a run, even just some simple stretching exercises can be helpful.
Avoid alcohol before bed
Drinking alcohol may make you feel sleepy, but it can actually disrupt your sleep later in the night. So it’s best to avoid it if you’re trying to get a good night’s rest.
Limit your naps during the day
Napping can make it harder to fall asleep at night, so if you’re having trouble sleeping, limit your naps to 30 minutes or less during the day.
See your doctor if your sleep problems persist
If you’re still having trouble sleeping after trying all of these tips, it’s time to see your doctor. You may have a sleep disorder that needs to be treated.
Insomnia can be frustrating and debilitating. However, there are many things you can do to help yourself fall asleep. These twelve tips should give you a good starting point. If these don’t work for you, or if your insomnia is chronic, please see a doctor.