One of the hardest parts of our modern lifestyles is the way most of us see sleep as a luxury rather than a necessity. But if you suffer from insomnia, you’ll start to understand just how much we need sleep to function at an optimal level. Insomnia actually affects an estimated 30 – 35% of adults at some point in their lives.
Symptoms of Insomnia
The National Sleep Foundation identifies these several symptoms of insomnia. People who suffer from this sleep disorder typically report at least one of these symptoms:
- waking too early in the morning
- un-refreshing sleep
- trouble concentrating
- trouble falling or staying asleep
- mood changes, like irritability
- trouble in school or with relationships
Natural Remedies for Insomnia
While there are a number of pharmaceutical treatments available for insomnia, there are also far more natural ways to ensure you’re getting enough sleep. Try these solutions when counting sheep just isn’t cutting it anymore.
Snacking or taking supplements. Eating snacks with a combination of protein and carbohydrates before bedtime has been known to help you fall asleep faster. Even something as simple as a glass of warm almond milk before bed can help you get a better night’s sleep. Almond milk aids your body in the production of melatonin, a hormone that’s essential in regulating your sleep cycle. However, if drinking and eating before you sleep doesn’t suit your lifestyle, there are several supplements you can take that have been proven to help fight insomnia. These include melatonin, magnesium, zinc and valerian root. If you choose to incorporate a supplement into your insomnia treatment, make sure you consult with your doctor first.
Get tested for food allergies. Sometimes the things we eat may be interfering with our sleep cycle and getting tested for food allergies can determine what you need to cut out of your diet to get a better night’s rest.
Do something else. If you don’t fall asleep within 30 minutes, sleep specialists recommend you get up and leave your bedroom or read. Then return to your bed to sleep when you feel tired again.
Get more exercise. Staying active is a great way to combat insomnia. By exercising more, especially earlier in the day, your body will become more tired and therefore find it easier to fall asleep. Try an activity routine that focuses on breathing and stretching, such as yoga or pilates for extra calming benefits.
Reduce your caffeine intake. This is a very important step in fighting insomnia. If you find that you’re having a hard time sleeping, try and cut down on the soda and coffee.
Turn off your devices. Screens that light up can seriously mess with our sleep cycle, so try not to fall asleep with the TV on or staring at your iPad. When you go to bed, turn everything that might light up away from you as not to be interrupted.
Make your room peaceful. Cluttered and messy spaces are the enemy of a good night’s rest. Having a room with piles of laundry everywhere or bills staring at you is bound to mess with your peace of mind, and probably your sleep cycle too. Keep your room a stress free zone by keeping it tidy and decorated comfortably. Switching to bed linens made of breathable natural fibers will also keep you from getting overheated or sweaty, both of which can disrupt your sleep pattern.
These solutions are typically more helpful for people suffering with mild insomnia – so if you find that you are still struggling with your sleep cycle after making these lifestyle changes, consult your doctor.
Natural Insomnia Treatment Portland, Oregon
If the helpful sleep tips above don’t help you fall asleep and get long lasting restful sleep, we can help. Our naturopathic doctors have experience working with patients suffering from insomnia, treating the condition with several healing modalities. If you live in the Portland, Milwaukie or Clackamas, Oregon areas, our clinic is only a short drive away. Don’t lose another nights sleep because of your insomnia. Get treated today so you can have better rest and a better tomorrow.