Quality sleep can have a major impact for both night and day time. By resting for the full amount of recommended sleep time, awareness, energy and mood can be increased. Although insomnia can be a common problem for many, there are natural remedies to help cure a sleepless night.
Do You Have Trouble Sleeping?
The word “insomnia” may seem extreme. Many people associate insomnia with the inability to sleep at all. In reality, insomnia refers to the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep throughout the night.
Insomnia can affect anyone regardless of age, sex or ethnicity. While there is no “one” reason for this disorder, there are many possibilities that can correlate to sleeplessness. Both physical and psychological issues can be at play when there is a lack of sleep. Depending on the type of treatment, these issues can be resolved in different ways.
The recommended amount of sleep per night is 8 hours. It is best if these 8 hours are uninterrupted. Uninterrupted sleep allows for the natural sleep and dream cycle to take place which can leave a person feeling rested upon waking.
The Sleep Stages
A healthy sleep cycle includes what is known as REM sleep. When a person first falls asleep they are in “non-REM sleep”. This time period can vary in length depending on the person, but usually lasts approximately 90 minutes.
REM sleep is categorized as Rapid Eye Movement sleep. REM sleep is thought of as the deep sleep where dreaming occurs. During REM sleep, respiration is accelerated and there is an increase in brain activity and muscle relaxation. Without REM sleep, a person may feel dissatisfied or especially tired during the morning.
Babies and infants have the highest percentage of REM sleep. During adolescence, the amount of REM sleep starts to decline. As we age, REM sleep continues to decrease with noticeable effects occurring especially in older age.
When A Person Cannot Naturally Fall Asleep?
To function at our maximum potential, sleep is critical. Not only does the amount of time make a significant difference, but the quality of sleep matters too.
When a person has trouble falling or staying asleep, they can feel lethargic, irritable and even depressed. For this reason, many people use non-prescription options such as scented candles or eating a large meal before bed. While relying on smell or taste alone can help some people fall asleep, some of these solutions may cause problems.
Eating a significant amount of food just to fall asleep can cause digestive issues and weight gain. Because calories are not being expended, food has nowhere to go. From a health standpoint, eating dinner a few hours before bedtime is usually recommended.
Candles or aromatherapy alone can help some people fall and stay asleep, but usually they do not work all on their own. Leaving candles burning while falling asleep can also be hazardous should something happen. Natural remedies can work, but they usually need to be strong enough to trigger sleep as well as safe enough to avoid major consequences.
Natural Sleep Therapy
Many people use specific herbal teas to help them fall or stay asleep during the night. Certain herbs such as chamomile, lemon or cinnamon have been used in tea tinctures to help aid in the process of sleep for centuries. Lavender tea, for instance, is well-known for its calming properties because of its ability to relax the mind and body.
There are a few benefits to drinking tea at bedtime. By using a natural sleep remedy, the use of potentially addictive drugs can easily be bypassed. Prescription sleeping pills can help someone experience sleep, but often come with unwanted side effects. Some of these side effects, like behaving as if awake when really asleep, can have major consequences. Using a sleeping tea is often a much safer alternative than heavier sleep aids that can interact with other drugs or cause unexpected health issues.
Herbal tea provides both aromatherapy and the ingestion of a soothing drink. Tea is not a heavy enough substance to cause digestive problems before bed and it can still provide a strong smell without the potentially dangerous element of fire. Since this particular type of tea is often thought of as gentle, but strong, it is a frequently used sleeping aid.
Other natural sleep therapy can include supplements and diet changes. Eating throughout the day or relying on one or two meals can play a role in the quality of sleep as well as the amount of nutrients that enter the body. These changes will not usually work instantaneously, but can impact the quality or quantity of sleep if continued for an extended period of time. Since these methods can involve more of a lifestyle change, many people prefer to look for an easy route.
Sleep Hygiene Is Important
Proper sleep hygiene is essential to falling and staying asleep. Following a consistent sleep schedule is one of the most important methods to follow when obtaining quality sleep.
Practicing good sleep hygiene involves creating a bedtime pattern that can help introduce sleep into the mind. Many people incorporate brushing their teeth and washing their face into this regular sleep routine. In addition to changing clothes and setting a bed time that can easily be followed each night, tea can also be incorporated.
Screen time before bed is not recommended for quality sleep and is frequently frowned upon by health experts. Instead of scrolling through your phone or watching a movie on TV, many people with good sleep hygiene enjoy a cup of tea before bed. This can be done in bed, near bedtime or while reading at night. Just as long as the routine is consistently practiced before falling asleep, good sleep hygiene can be created.
Who Can Drink Bedtime Tea?
Lavender tea for bedtime sleep is a safe and effective way to relax. Unlike prescription insomnia medication, it is neither a stimulant for daytime use nor a tranquilizer for instant sleep.
Herbal tea is not made with ginseng and does not raise heart rate or blood pressure. It is also not known to cause digestive issues or nausea that can accompany certain sleep medications. Ingredients such as alcohol or codeine are not used to create tea and are safe for both children and adults.
Herbal tea has a calming effect on most people and can ease the mind from frequent daytime thoughts or worries into a relaxing sleep. For a gentle way to fall and stay asleep, incorporating this kind of tea into your nightly routine can be hugely beneficial for both mental and physical health.
While the causes of insomnia vary, there is hope for sufferers.
Treatments, including natural supplements and lifestyle changes, make it possible to increase your sleep length and quality while also making it easier for you to fall asleep at night.
That’s not to say that medical intervention isn’t always necessary, as many insomniacs do need the help of a physician to properly treat their condition. However, there are many methods you can try – either alone or alongside the recommendations of your doctor – that can help to make a world of difference in your sleep quality and your overall health and well-being.
If you are suffering from any sleep disorder, including Insomnia, call our board-certified sleep specialists today at Alaska Sleep Clinic. Also, click the link below to download our FREE e-book about Insomnia.