Going to sleep and peacefully staying there seems like a simple enough task, but a restful night of sleep is an elusive goal for people everywhere. In the United States alone, 45% of people have trouble falling asleep at night.
It’s obviously frustrating when you cannot drift off to dreamland when you want to. But along with the inescapable feeling of fatigue, not getting a good night’s sleep can have increasingly negative effects on your health. Trouble sleeping can cause weight gain and increase the risk of disease in both children and adults. In 2016, over a quarter of U.S. patients reported visiting an urgent care center within the last two years. By getting the proper amount of sleep, you can keep your body healthier and out of an urgent care waiting room.
Rather than suffering through night after sleepless night, try these natural solutions to finally feel rested.
Make Your Bed
As tedious as it might be to make your bed every morning, slipping in a clean and cool bed is one of the best ways to get your mind ready for a restful night. A poll from the National Sleep Foundation showed that people who make their beds get better sleep overall.
For this method to be effective, make sure that you absolutely love your bedding. A lightweight, natural fabric cotton can withstand high temperatures and is very breathable. This makes it a great choice for anyone who overheats easily at night.
Leave It To Lavender
Lavender is well-known for having a calming effect. As an essential oil, it can do wonders for helping you fall asleep at night and is safe for children who have trouble sleeping as well. You can apply a drop of the oil to your temples, add a drop to your pillow, or apply a drop to the bottom of your feet for fast circulation throughout your body. If you have an essential oil diffuser, you can also make your whole room smell like a soothing garden paradise.
While you may want to indulge in a couple of drinks before you hit the hay, this practice could actually be hurting your ability to fall asleep. Alcohol is known to increase snoring and disrupted sleep patterns, two symptoms of sleep apnea. Alcohol consumption can also alter your body’s nighttime melatonin production, which is a central player in your body’s circadian rhythm. If you want to partake in a drink at night, try to stick to a single five-ounce glass of red wine or other standard serving of your favorite adult beverage.
Try A Melatonin Supplement
Melatonin supplements are one of the most popular sleep aids. This natural sleep hormone sends signals to your brain when it’s time to relax and get to sleep. One study showed that taking melatonin before bed helped half of the participants fall asleep faster while having a 15% improvement in sleep quality.
While some countries only offer melatonin with a prescription, you can find melatonin in the U.S. sold over the counter at most pharmacies and drug stores. It’s recommended that you take between one and five milligrams about 30 to 60 minutes before bed. Start with a low dose to determine your tolerance and then slowly increase your dose as needed.
Different sleep solutions will work for different people, so don’t get discouraged if the first thing you try doesn’t give you immediate results. Try different remedies, from keeping a clean room to drinking calming tea and writing down nagging thoughts before bed. Keep at it and see a medical professional if a lack of sleep is seriously impacting your health.