There is nothing quite as refreshing as a good night’s sleep, but getting a good night’s sleep is often easier said than done. With so much to do, and so little time, many of us compromise on sleep, while others suffer from sleeplessness or impaired sleep because of anxiety and stress. Apart from leaving you irritable and in a bad mood the following day, the lack of sleep is damaging to your health. Sleep disorders can take a huge toll on your health leading to a vicious cycle of sleeplessness – as many health conditions worsen with less sleep and their symptoms also interfere with sleep.
This said, there are steps that you can take to improve the quality and duration of sleep. Most patients prefer to avoid over the counter drugs and sleeping aids, as there is a high risk of drug dependence and other side effects. For this reason, it makes sense to try out certain natural sleep aids:
Eating Cherries Or Drinking Cherry Juice
– Cherries are an excellent natural source of melatonin – a hormone that regulates natural sleep pattern and helps reduce stress. Drinking cherry juice around bedtime makes great sense. Researchers at LSU used tart cherry juice and found an increase of 90 minutes of sleep a night.
– This helps tax the body, so that it wants rest at night. You can include light or rigorous physical activities, depending on your levels of fitness. If you can’t go walking, cycling, swimming, or to a gym, you can even try simple yoga or Pilates exercises at home.
Prepare For Sleep
– If sleep disturbances occur regularly, you should first take note of your sleep and wake timings. It would make sense to get ready for bed at least half an hour earlier. During this time you should relax your mind and body. Listening to calming music and doing some light reading can also help you get ready for bed.
– There may be times when you want to fall asleep, but your mind is too cluttered to turn off. To clear your mind and prepare for sleep try some simple breathing exercises. You can even try meditative practices in yoga, as they help calm your senses.
– Some studies recommend cutting down on sleep hours temporarily. This doesn’t mean that you should intentionally sleep less, but if you find your sleep interrupted and cannot go back to bed, simply start your day. When trying this out make sure that you do not nap during the day. Within a few days, the sleep deprivation will get the better of you and you will most probably manage to sleep through the night uninterrupted.
Nutmeg And Milk
– A chemical called trimyristin found in nutmeg is responsible for inducing sleep and relaxing your tired muscles making it an excellent sleep aid. Coupled with a soothing cup of warm milk, it can help take the edge off, allowing you to drift off to sleep easily.
Other Herbal Therapies
– Certain herbs like valerian, brahmi, chamomile, shankapushpi, and jatamamsi can induce sleep by calming the nervous system. Keep in mind that most herbal remedies are effective because of their potent chemical properties. For this reason there a risk of side effects with improper dosage or interactions with other medications. Always check with your health care provider before trying any herbal remedies or supplements.