Many individuals suffer from brief episodes of insomnia. This common sleep issue can make falling asleep and remaining asleep until it’s time to get up challenging. While insomnia can be a short-term condition caused by elevated stress levels, it can become chronic.
Insomnia affects approximately 10–15% of the US population. While the amount of sleep required varies per individual, most adults need at least seven hours every night. Home remedies may be able to help if your sleeping patterns are harming your quality of life.
Continue reading to discover how to control your sleeping patterns with meditation, exercise, and other valuable remedies.
Mindfulness meditation involves sitting quietly and breathing slowly and steadily. You focus all attention on your breathing, body, thoughts, feelings, and sensations as they rise and fall. Mindfulness meditation provides several health benefits that complement a healthy lifestyle that promotes sound sleep. It is believed to relieve stress, improve concentration, and boost the immune system.
Meditation, researchers discovered in a 2011 study, greatly improved insomnia, and general sleep habits. Over a few months, participants attended a weekly meditation session, a daylong retreat, and practiced at home.
You may meditate as frequently as you choose. If you don’t have time for a lengthier session, aim for 15 minutes in the morning or evening. To keep motivated, consider attending a meditation group once a week. You could also try an online guided meditation.
Meditation is risk-free, although it has the potential to elicit intense emotions. If you feel it is giving you further anxiety or conflict, discontinue the technique.
Yoga has been shown to improve sleep quality. Yoga may also help with stress alleviation, improved physical functioning, and mental focus.
Pick a specific style that emphasizes movement meditation or breath work over strenuous physical routines. Slow, deliberate motions help you remain present and attentive, with Yin and restorative yoga offering excellent alternatives. Aim for a few longer sessions each week and at least 20 minutes of self-practice each day. Practicing the postures before going to bed might assist you to unwind and relax.
Should a particular pose not seem natural to you, avoid forcing it. Attempting to force it may end in injuries. It’s critical to do what feels comfortable for you and your body, which differs with every individual.
Exercise is beneficial to one’s overall health, and it has been shown to improve mood, increase energy, help in weight loss, and promote sound sleep.
In a 2015 study, participants who exercised for at least 150 minutes each week for six months reported considerably fewer insomnia symptoms throughout this period. Furthermore, they had reduced depressive and anxiety symptoms.
To reap these benefits, you should engage in at least 20 minutes of moderate exercise every day. You may wish to incorporate some strength training or vigorous cardiovascular activity into your weekly routine.
Determine the time of day optimal for your requirements and has the most beneficial effect on your sleep. Consider your body’s condition and work out properly. Physical harm is possible but is typically avoidable with care.
Magnesium is a naturally occurring mineral and can aid muscular relaxation, and stress relief, and promote good sleeping habits.
In a study conducted in 2012, participants took 500 milligrams of magnesium daily for two months. The researchers discovered that individuals reported fewer symptoms of insomnia and better sleep patterns over two months.
When it comes to dosages: Men can take up to 400 mg daily, while women may take up to 300 mg daily. You may opt to split your doses between the morning and evening or just before bed.
Additionally, you may add 1 cup of magnesium flakes to your evening bath to allow for magnesium absorption via your skin. Stomach and digestive problems are possible side effects.
As such, you may wish to begin with a modest dose and gradually increase it to gauge your body’s response. Taking the mineral with meals may help alleviate any stomach pain. Contact your doctor if you are taking any other drugs to ascertain any potential interactions.
You should not use magnesium supplements continually; instead, take a two-week break and do not exceed the recommended amount on the label.
Lavender is used for improving mood, alleviating pain, and aiding restful sleep. Oral administration is believed to be more effective.
A 2014 study found that lavender oil capsules improved sleep patterns in depression when combined with an antidepressant. Additionally, individuals demonstrated decreased anxiousness, which would appear to allow for improved sleep.
Take between 20 and 80 mg of lavender orally daily or as indicated. You may prefer to diffuse lavender essential oil, spray it directly over your pillow, or take it as tea.
Lavender is generally safe to use; however, oral use of lavender may induce headaches, constipation, or nausea.
Preliminary research shows that significant doses of CBD may promote sleep.
According to one study, a CBD dosage of 160 milligrams increased sleep duration when compared to a placebo. Furthermore, the researchers discovered that a placebo, 5 mg of the insomnia medication nitrazepam, and CBD doses of 40, 80, and 160 mg all assisted subjects in falling asleep.
Cortisol, the stress hormone, generally peaks in the morning, but persons who suffer from insomnia may have elevated cortisol levels at night. Regardless of whether you have insomnia, having elevated cortisol levels at night is related to an increased frequency of overnight awakenings.
In another study on the benefits of CBD, researchers discovered that when participants took 300 or 600 mg of CBD oil, cortisol levels were reduced much more. These findings suggest that CBD affects cortisol release, perhaps functioning as a sedative.
CBD has been reported to help alleviate insomnia in certain individuals. While CBD use is unlikely to have any detrimental consequences in the short term, research on its long-term impacts is limited. Additional research is needed to evaluate whether CBD has a convincing effect on sleep disturbances.
How is CBD administered?
Oils, extracts, pills, and patches are just some of the ways in which CBD may be taken. If you’re looking to alleviate inflammation and muscle and joint discomfort, a CBD-infused topical cream, lotion, or even a CBD bath bomb may be the ideal solution. Alternatively, a CBD patch, tincture, or spray put under the tongue allows CBD to enter the bloodstream immediately.
Good sleep hygiene
At its most basic level, sleep hygiene refers to a person’s bedtime habits and activities. A person’s chances of obtaining regular, undisturbed sleep may be increased with good sleep hygiene.
Individuals can increase their chances of having good sleep hygiene by:
- Establishing a regular sleep pattern, including going to bed and rising at the same time each night and morning, even on weekends
- Avoiding screens, computers, mobile phones, and televisions at least an hour before bedtime
- Making the bedroom dark and silent with muted lights, thick curtains, and blinds, or by using earplugs and eye mask
- Reserving the bedroom exclusively for sleep or sex
Individuals with insomnia may benefit from assessing their current nighttime habits and practices and integrating some of these recommendations into their routine.
How to get a good night’s sleep
Certain lifestyle adjustments may also help alleviate your insomnia symptoms. You might want to give these a try first before exploring supplemental or pharmaceutical choices.
Additional tips and tricks:
- Avoid sleep-disrupting substances such as nicotine, coffee, and alcohol.
- Consume lighter meals at night and at least two hours before bed.
- At the end of the day, take a hot shower or bath.
- Get into bed only if you’re tired.
- Get out of bed if you do not fall asleep within 20 minutes.
When to consult a physician
If your symptoms do not improve, you should seek the advice of your health care provider. Ongoing insomnia could be a symptom of a more serious underlying health problem such as:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Chronic pain
- Thyroid illness
- Cardiovascular disease
- Musculoskeletal diseases
- Renal disease
- Neurological disorders
- Respiratory difficulties
Medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, may potentially impair sleep quality.
The importance of quality sleep
Enough sleep is required for the normal functioning of cognitive and behavioral functions. An inadequate amount of sleep can have significant consequences. According to studies, sleep deprivation exposes people to attention lapses, impaired cognition, delayed reactions, and mood swings.
Moreover, it has been suggested that individuals might build a tolerance for persistent sleep deprivation. While their minds and bodies may be suffering from sleep deprivation, they may be unaware of their own deficits since less sleep seems normal to them. Additionally, sleep deprivation has been associated with an increased risk of developing certain diseases and medical disorders.
These include the following:
- Cardiac failure
- High blood pressure
- Substance misuse.
A medical practitioner can assist you in determining the underlying reason and the most effective treatment method. In many circumstances, implementing certain lifestyle modifications helps alleviate sleeplessness.
Infrequent insomnia can last for a few days or weeks and continue for three months or more in more severe cases. Consult your doctor if your symptoms linger for longer than a few weeks.
You may find it beneficial to have a strategy in place for what to do if you cannot sleep. You may also choose to remain in bed and rest without sleeping, move to another room and relax, or get up and do something more active and productive.
Determine what works best for you!
The bottom line is that sleep forms an essential part of maintaining optimal health. Roy Kohler, MD, a sleep medicine specialist at SCL Health in Montana, underlines what we already know about the benefits of sleep, citing data indicating that those who get less sleep are more likely to eat more, have a higher BMI, and are more likely to be diabetic.
Dr Kohler explains:
“A consistent amount of seven hours of sleep each night is recommended for adults only for daytime functioning—being on task, aware for the day, able to focus, and not being so grumpy and fatigued throughout the day,”
While your sleeping habits may undoubtedly fluctuate, we hope that you’ll be encouraged to strive for enough sleep each night so that your mind and body can fully benefit.
Need some assistance counting sheep? Create an evening ritual to help you calm your mind and body (or even better, try this!)