Millions of people, as many as 1 in 3 Americans, suffer from trouble sleeping and sleep disturbance. The reasons can vary greatly from person to person. Causes such as extreme stress, tossing and turning, and apnea are all common reasons for insomnia (the inability to sleep). There are countless advertisements for sleep aids on television and online, but you should be choosy about which one ends up in your medicine cabinet. Prescription sleep aids, like Lunesta, can be incredibly addictive and habit-forming. Those who stop taking prescription sleep drugs may experience withdrawal symptoms, including more insomnia. Luckily, there are more natural ways to help promote healthy sleep patterns, and these have far fewer side effects than prescription medications. In fact, there are a lot of benefits of natural sleep aids. This article will cover just a few of the reasons why natural remedies should be the ones you rely on.
Common Natural Sleep Aid Techniques
The great thing about using natural remedies to help promote sleep is that there are many methods to administering them.
Supplements – You can go with the convenience of using a daily supplement in pill form. Pill supplements for sleep may include melatonin, which is the hormone your brain produces to induce sleepiness. Essentially, these products help you calm down before bed and feel the desire to sleep. And, because they’re contained in a bottle, you can take them with you when you travel. Countless people find success with non-prescription pill supplements.
Beverages – Drinks like chamomile tea are a popular choice for those who would prefer a double-edged aid. Chamomile provides a calming effect that can help send some people off to dreamland, but even the action of drinking something warm helps many people de-stress. And, tea isn’t the only option. Not everyone drinks alcohol, but a single glass of wine after dinner can often promote drowsiness. Plus, studies show that hops, one of the ingredients in beer, is a mild sedative for anxiety and insomnia. So, you might have an excuse for cracking open a cold one when you get home from work. Just be sure not to drink to excess—getting drunk can cause poor sleep quality.
Aromatherapy – Scents are proven to do certain things to our mood. Some smells are uplifting and energizing, while others are great for creating a calm, sleepy atmosphere. Lavender is one of the essential oils that can help people achieve quality sleep. You can relax with a bath containing lavender, or spray your pillow with a diluted mixture of the essential oil and water.
Natural Sleep Aids vs. Prescription Sleep Aids
Prescription sleep aids are usually habit-forming, as stated at the beginning of this article. But, that’s not all. If you combine sleep aids with certain medications or alcohol, you can actually put your health at risk. That’s because sedative-hypnotic sleep aids are central nervous system depressants. If you binge drink while taking a prescription sleep aid, you might have trouble breathing or your blood pressure could drop dangerously low. Plus, if you combine sleep aids with other drugs, you could overdose. It’s better to be on the safe side with natural remedies.
Do Natural Sleep Aids Really Work?
One of the notable things about natural sleep remedies is that they usually don’t rely on chemicals to help you sleep. In fact, they may work to fix the underlying problems for your insomnia. Many people experience stress that keeps them awake at night, and prescription pills don’t help remedy this. But, natural sleep aids may also promote relaxation before bed. For example, another natural remedy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), works by having you create a before-bed routine that teaches your body to calm down mentally and physically. This is a successful plan for so many people because it has absolutely no side effects, but it can actually solve the problem causing the insomnia instead of drugging your body with chemicals. And, by addressing the real problems at hand, you can be on a road to real overall wellness.