Thursday, March 8, 2012

Can't Sleep? Natural Remedies

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Here are some healthy & natural tips & tricks to help you deal with those nights where you just can't shut those tired little eyes.** Sleeping well is one of the best ways to keep a healthy body. This time of rejuvenation helps with your emotions (no more afternoon grump because you got a crappy  night of sleep) and weight loss which also ties into proper hormone production. As I read in an article on WebMD,
So what's the [weight loss] connection to sleep? "When you don't get enough sleep, it drives leptin levels down, which means you don't feel as satisfied after you eat. Lack of sleep also causes ghrelin levels to rise, which means your appetite is stimulated, so you want more food," Breus tells WebMD.
These are a few remedies I've used myself from time to time:

Tea & Honey- For myself, it's really the warmth that does it. Find your favorite tea, something aromatic, like lavender, that you could keep next to your bed to sip on and enjoy the relaxing fragrance.
Photo by patpitchaya
Incense/Lotion- Incense aren't for everyone, but this is similar to the tea. The soothing aromas of incense relax me and allow me to focus on my breathing, rather than what I have to do tomorrow. If incense are too strong for you, use your favorite lotion on your arms, shoulders, and neck so you can get a nice whiff of it!

Banana- Contains tryptophan which aids with sleep.

Warm Almond Milk- Add honey or cinnamon for a soothing taste. The best way to heat almond milk is with a double boiler. You don't want to heat the almond milk in a pan directly on the stove or it will burn and get a very bitter taste.

Establish a Bedtime Routine- Sounds like something you did as a child? Well, that's probably why they call it 'sleeping like a baby'. Unexpected tasks or stressors right before bed can prevent those sleepy eyes from setting in. Sticking with the same routine prior to bed trains your mind and keeps you from thinking too much...which brings on the weary eyes.

No Electronics- This my faulty area, and we sometimes slip with the laptops, but when Mike and I bought our first house last November, we wanted to instill the no TV/no computers in the bedroom rule. Our room is simple, with warm colors, and no distractions to create a relaxing space conducive to sleep.  That is the whole point of a bedroom, right? Don't let the computer/TV keep you up. Once you begin your bedtime routine, all computer, phones, and TVs are off. Your mind needs an opportunity to not be distracted.
Photo by David Castillo Dominici
5 Minute Yoga- This is my absolute favorite. Often, from a hard workout at the gym or a good run from the morning, I find my muscles tight and sore, keeping me from getting completely relaxed. This happened last night (which inspired this whole post). I decided to hop off the bed, and do some basic poses in the dark with some deep breaths. I got back into bed and suddenly it was as if my muscles were saying "Thank you. We love you, too." They just needed a little stretchin' and lovin'. I was passed out within 10 minutes. This is not meant to be an intense workout. Just warm up your body and little and allow your muscles to relax into the poses, giving them a bit of stretch.

Notepad on the Nightstand- If you're the type to get your best ideas at night or are always thinking "What things do I need to do tomorrow?", then writing them down might help. Thinking in circles and going through lists while your trying to fall asleep won't help you remember. Write it down, make that list, scribble down the grocery you forgot earlier, and now you know you won't struggle to remember in the morning. Plus those bright ideas won't be lost forever. Now your brain can relax!
Photo by nuttakit
It's taken me years to get into a routine around bed, and I still don't have it perfect. But I've been trying to stick to a "bedtime" and "wake up time" every morning so I don't over or under sleep. I tend to do the former.  I'm usually in bed by 9 and am awake by 5. That gives me a solid 8 hours of sleep. Find what works for you and establish a nightly routine your body can get used to.

** I am in no way a health care professional.  If you are dealing with insomnia-like symptoms or other sleep deprivation, seek a physician. This post is meant to provide tips & trick for those with minor issues when trying to initially get to sleep after a long, stressful day. These are not guaranteed to work, as each person's body is different.

What natural remedies do you use to help you sleep? Comment below! 

Happy dreaming!


  1. i have the worst issues with sleep! im going to try some of these out. great post!

  2. Me too! I have no problem falling asleep though...just staying asleep! I know my problems are due to menopause ie. hot flashes, etc... I would LOVE 1 full night of sleep. Nights remind me of when steph, sam and jac were babies and I was up every 2 hrs...

  3. I'm going through this in a 30 Day Challenge on my blog!I'll link back to you in a post, these are great suggestions, Lacey! I have used the notebook by my bed trick since I was a kid. -Laura