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
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
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.