Insomnia: Treating Sleeplessness the Natural Way

If the Sandman seems to have lost the map to your house

and, no matter what you do, nothing seems to lull you to

sleep each night, then it’s time to take some positive

steps toward treating this potentially serious condition

using natural methods. Many people today are turning toward

homeopathic or homemade remedies for curing what ails them,

and insomnia is on that list of ailments.

One of the most natural methods for reversing the condition

of insomnia is by changing your diet to include – or avoid

– certain types of foods. By eliminating the elements of

caffeine and sugar, your body may be able to settle into a

more natural, healthy routine, and your sleep cycle may

become regulated. While coffee, tea and soda may be the

first things that occur to you in your efforts to eradicate

the menace of caffeine, those aren’t its only sources.

You’ll also need to eliminate cough and cold medicines and

a large number of other over-the-counter medications, as

well – and your chocolate eating days are over, too.

If you’ve ever felt sleepy after eating a turkey dinner,

it’s probably because it contains tryptophan – an amino

acid that encourages sleep when ingested. Eating foods

which are rich in tryptophan will help your body to fall

asleep naturally, and there are more foods that contain

this natural sleep agent than you might imagine. Cheese,

milk, pumpkin seeds, bananas, peas, beans and other types

of meat are all good sources of this type of amino acid.

Nutritional supplements are also very good tools for

encouraging the sleeping process. Magnesium and calcium,

for example, are natural sedatives and can be taken

together. If you’ve been suffering from insomnia and need a

bit of assistance getting to sleep, simply take a

combination supplement of calcium and magnesium in the

evening, well before your normal bedtime. Multivitamins

will also work, since certain types of vitamins – such as

B6 – are rich in the amino acids that are necessary to

promote sleep.

For those who prefer herbs rather than vitamins, valerian

has been known to be used as a natural sleep aid since the

second century A.D. This particular cure, however, doesn’t

take affect immediately, so if you’re looking for immediate

relief, this is not the treatment for you. It can take up

to a month before its effects are noticeable, and may

include adverse symptoms, such as digestive distress. Since

valerian sometimes carries unwanted side effects, your

physician should be consulted before opting to take this

natural remedy.

Other herbs which may be effective include St. John’s Wort,

Kava, passionflower, chamomile, ashwagandha and hops.

Though they work slightly differently, the overall result

is the same, and they’re all members of the herbal family,

ensuring a natural means through which to satisfy your

daily sleep requirement.

Of course, if you tend to be a couch potato and get little

or no exercise, you’re pretty safe in assuming that you’ll

be afflicted by insomnia at some point. The body needs

exercise on a regular basis in order to relieve tension and

stress. By initiating an exercise program in the late

afternoon or early evening, you should be able to enjoy a

good night’s sleep – but don’t make the mistake of

exercising too close to bedtime, or it’ll have the opposite

effect, due to the release of adrenaline.

In the event that all of these techniques fail, you can

certainly turn to more unconventional methods of inducing

sleep, such as yoga, meditation or feng shui. There are

those who claim to find the cure that they need through

utilizing one or more of these methods and, if it works,

then it’s certainly worth a try.

You may find that you’ll need to combine methods for

inducing sleep, such as eating a banana and meditating for

awhile before bedtime. What matters is what works for you

and, since everyone is different, don’t be discouraged if

you try one particular natural method that doesn’t give you

the desired results. Through patience and persistence,

you’ll find the right combination and get the good night’s

sleep that has long eluded you.