Are you having difficulty sleeping?
Do you have to deal with insufficient sleep which interferes with your work? Do you ever get agitated, irritable, and anxious because of a lack of sleep? Disruption in your sleep patterns, inability to sleep, and other sleeping problems are a very typical problem in today's hectic and stressful world.
Sleep is vital for your health and well-being, this article is about natural home remedies for sleep to help you get the rest you need.
Why Does The Body Need Sleep?
The main purpose of sleep is to recuperate.
The body naturally gets tired after a whole day of being awake, working, etc. It needs to relax and it needs the time to heal itself. It cannot do this when you are awake; the same thing with the mind. While the brain does not really completely rest even when you are asleep, people tend to think more clearly and more active after a good night's rest.
Sleep And The Immune System
Another important benefit of sleep is that it helps improve the immune system.
Studies have shown that people who suffer from sleeping difficulties, primarily the lack of sleep, also suffer from a poor immune system.
Do you know what this means? The body will be more susceptible to diseases and other ailments. You also feel tired easily even though you are not doing heavy work. For these reasons, health researchers claim that people with sleep difficulties have a higher mortality rate compared to people who have normal sleeping patterns.
People also tend to lose concentration when they have not slept well.
Mental acuity weakens with the lack of sleep and as such, doctors advise not to do activities like driving and operating heavy machinery when one has not slept enough. There are high chances of feeling drowsy and worse, falling asleep while doing these; the results of which can be catastrophic.
These are just a few of the reasons why the body needs to sleep. For health reasons, sleeping makes you healthier as it improves your immune system. For your social life, good night's sleep lets you do more activities with your loved ones. It also helps you to be more mentally and physically active.
Causes of Sleep Problems
Just some of the many causes for difficulty sleeping many include changes in normal sleep patterns, illness, heat, dream anxiety, stress and strain, fever, menopause, iron deficiency, pregnancy, menstruation, heartburn, aging, anxiety, pain or discomfort, enlarged prostate, shift work, some medications and stimulants like caffeine, ephedrine, etc.
The Effects of Stress on Sleep
Your lifestyle has a great effect on the quality of your sleep. People who are very busy and pressured by too many things and worry about too many things, when they lie down to go to bed, may suffer from the inability to get to sleep or stay asleep.
Because of stress, sleeping becomes difficult which can make you less effective in your work. Your relationships may also be at stake because you tend to lose energy to deal with your loved ones and you get easily irritated.
There are many things you can do to alleviate stress to help you to get to sleep. Among these is learning the art of relaxation. Don't think about your work, or about your finances, or the tasks you have to finish when you go to bed. Instead, take a long relaxing walk, a warm bath, practice deep breathing exercises, listen to soothing music, read a good book, etc.
Focus your mind on things that make you happy and relaxed and relax your body to start falling into a deep slumber.
It's also important to establish a regular bedtime routine, including on the weekends.
Dietary Changes For Better Sleep
You may not know this but what you put in your stomach and what is absorbed by your body can very well affect how well you sleep at night. There are a lot of reasons why you should watch what you eat and this now includes sleeping.
Sleeping well can be enhanced by changes in your diet and here are some suggestions you would probably do well to follow:
Eat a balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and nuts.
Deficiency of B Vitamins like B6, B12, and Folic acid may produce insomnia. To correct the deficiency of these vitamins along with any other nutritional deficiency you may have.
Foods to Help You Sleep Well
⇀ This may sound like a cliché and may seem like an old wives' tale to you but warm milk with a bit of Nutmeg does help you sleep well. The milk that you drink before going to bed actually converts to serotonin from a substance called tryptophan and this is what helps induce better sleep.
Here is a recipe for a salad that can help with your quest for sleeping well.
⇀ Mix together some lettuce, peanuts, grilled fish or chicken, olive oil, and lemon juice. All of these ingredients are proponents for healthy sleep and lettuce has a substance in it that helps you avoid cramping when you are asleep.
⇀ Herbal teas containing chamomile, passionflower, and lemon balm can help promote relaxation and induce sleep.
Foods to Avoid
For sleeping well, you will need to avoid certain foods and certain substances that you usually ingest. Among the things that can prevent you from getting a good night's rest are the usual culprits like coffee, chocolates, alcohol, soda pop, and sugary foods that give you what is called a “sugar buzz”.
⇀ Some of the lesser-known sleep-depriving foods that you should also avoid include spicy food, canned products, processed foods, and Chinese food that are laden with MSG.
⇀ Avoid drinking alcohol or coffee for at least a few hours before going to bed.
Herbal Sleep Remedies
There are many herbal sleep remedies these days that claim they can help promote sleep.
Ashwagandha and Valerian are two of the best herbal supplements to help you relax, avoid anxiety and sleep better.
Ashwagandha For Sleep
Ashwagandha also is known as Withania Somnifera belongs to the Solanaceae family and has been a widely and extensively evaluated, studied herb for hundreds of years by various civilizations and scholars.
Though many therapeutic aspects have been postulated for Ashwagandha, the main indication is it is an Adaptogenic herb. Adaptogenic means, it helps to make and keep the body and mind adaptable to any sort of circumstances. It means Ashwagandha prepares the body and mind to be fit enough to fight and face any sort of stress, illness, etc.
A recent study found that ashwagandha can be very effective in helping to improve sleep. The study concluded that "Ashwagandha root extract is a natural compound with sleep-inducing potential, well-tolerated and improves sleep quality and sleep onset latency in patients with insomnia".
For more information go to Ashwagandha product.
Valerian for Sleep
Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) is a hardy perennial medicinal flowering plant commonly used as a remedy for insomnia or sleeplessness and other variety of health issues since the second century A.D.
Historically, the roots and rhizomes (underground stems) were used to make a tea given to those with sleeping difficulties. Its name derives from the Latin Valere, meaning "to be strong". The root of the Valerian plant is widely used as herbal medicine.
Valerian has been shown to have significant positive results among people who are having difficulty sleeping. Many people who have been using over-the-counter sleep aids have made the switch to valerian for sleep and have found that the natural solution is much easier on their body and much more effective.
People who use valerian for sleep also find that their digestive system works more efficiently, their aches and pains are reduced, they feel better each morning and can be more focused throughout the day, etc.
There is scientific evidence that valerian is effective and safe for improving sleep. Some studies show that it helps people fall asleep faster and feel that they get better quality sleep.
One of the best-designed studies found that valerian was no more effective than a placebo for 14 days, but by 28 days valerian greatly improved sleep for those who were taking it.
44% of people in a 1989 Swedish study of people with sleep disorders reported experiencing "perfect sleep". Even more impressive: 89% of that same group reported "improved sleep"! (4)
For more information on the Valerian Root product.
In order to improve your health and eliminate fatigue, you need to get a good night’s sleep. Sleep is critical to overall health, but sleep problems can be frustrating and unpredictable.
You can do something about your sleep problems through positive lifestyle and dietary changes as well as taking herbal supplements such as Ashwagandha and Valerian root.