Ways to get better sleep

Though It’s nothing out of the ordinary to struggle with sleep at night sometimes, Insomnia is the inability to sleep at night that disturbs daily functioning. Lack of chronic sleep might the linked to a couple of health problems, so you are advised to consult your physician before self-medicating.  Though you might be tempted to turn to over the counter sleep-inducing drugs, here are some natural remedies that might help:

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Light exposure: Light therapy is commonly used in sleep treatment plans. If you have trouble falling asleep at night or have delayed sleep phase syndrome, then you might need more light exposure during the day. Light exposure helps the body knows when and when not to fall asleep.  Walking outdoors first thing in the morning or 30 minutes light therapy daily might you fall asleep earlier at night. For delayed sleep phase or waking up too early, a late afternoon walk is advised.

Morning walk
a woman taking a morning walk .

Melatonin: Melatonin is a natural hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle in the body. It is produced from serotonin when light exposure decreases at night. Melatonin supplements have been proven to help with sleep problems caused by jet lag, shift work, delayed sleep phase, aging, and affective disorders (e.g., depression). Melatonin delays circadian rhythms when taken in the morning but advances them when taken in the afternoon so timing is very important in the use of melatonin supplements.

Meditation and relaxation techniques: A regular meditation routine improves sleep by slowing your breathing and reducing your stress hormone levels. Mediation is a technique that involves directing your attention to an object of focus to relax your body, increase your awareness and calm your mind. Types of meditation include yoga Nidra, body scan, guided meditation, and many more.

meditation
a girl meditating outdoor

Aromatherapy: While scientists have yet to identify how or why aromatherapy may assist with sleep issues, it is hypothesized that inhaling essential oil molecules (or absorbing essential oils via the skin) may activate brain chemicals involved in sleep regulation. Aromatherapy’s benefits on sleep have received very little scientific evidence so far. However, preliminary research suggests that some essential oils may assist increase calm and, as a result, better sleep. Some of these oils include lavender essential oil, bergamot essential oil, and cedarwood essential oil.

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