Bedtime Rituals and Herbs for Insomnia
The use of stimulants, including caffeine, alcohol, nicotine or other over-the-counter or prescription medications will also cause insomnia.
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Prescription drugs, including some antidepressant, high blood pressure and steroid medications, can interfere with sleep.
Many over-the-counter medications, including some brands of aspirin, decongestants and weight loss products, contain caffeine and other stimulants.
Change in your environment or work schedule and even long-term use of sleep medications will actually interrupt your sleep cycle.
Medical problems, including fibromyalgia or complex diseases of the nerves and muscles can make it very difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Behavioral insomnia, occurs when you worry excessively about not being able to sleep well and try too hard to fall asleep. Most people with this condition sleep better when they’re away from their usual sleep environment.
- Create a ritual or pattern to prepare your body for sleep.
- Be Pro Active and determined when it comes to finding the culprit of your sleep issues. Do not just brush it off to “that’s how it is”. It is always a revelation when we discover more about ourselves. Use your finding to improve your situation!
- Spend quiet time by doing things that can make falling asleep easier. This may include meditation, relaxation and/or breathing exercises, or taking a warm bath. Try listening to relaxing music or a guided imagery program.
- Listening to Soft Music: cues your body that it’s time to slow down and begin to prepare for sleep.
- At Night: Try to keep your bedroom dark while you are sleeping so that the light will not interfere with your rest.
- Create a Sleep Journal: Overthinking is one of our biggest enemies. Write down your worries and possible solutions before you go to bed. Get them out of your head and on paper. This allows you to see your ‘fears’ in writing. This brings you one step closer to disarming your fears. A journal or “to do” list may be very helpful in letting you put away concerns and organize your mind in order to make tomorrow easier.
- Go to Sleep When Sleepy: When you feel tired, go to bed.
- Don’t Lie in Bed Awake: Get out of bed. Go into another room and do something relaxing until you feel sleepy. Worrying about falling asleep actually keeps many people awake.
- Television in the Bedroom: is a real no-no! To much light, stimulating commercials and news shows tend to be alerting and keep us awake.
- In the Morning: Expose yourself to bright light/sunlight soon after awakening. This will help to regulate your body’s natural biological clock.
- Catnip Leaf (Nepeta Cataria) produces a sedative effect. Animal studies (except in cats) have found it to increase sleep.
- Hops (Humulus lupulus) if muscle tension is causing sleeplessness before bedtime. In addition to its use in beer, hops has a long history of use in medicine as a sedative/relaxant.
- Passion Flower (Passiflora Incarnata) is rich in flavonoids, which is its primary constituents responsible for its relaxing and anti-anxiety effects.
- Skullcap (Scutellaria Lateriflora) is often used in synergy with Valerian to create an effective remedy for insomnia. It is primarily an anti-spasmodic and relieves muscle pain due to stress and menstrual cramps.
- Valerian Root (Valeriana officinalis) is a safe and effective sleeping aid, more powerful than L-tryptophan. It is a wonderful, natural sleep assisting herb and is considered the ‘valium’ of the herbal world.
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