Natural Sleep Aids
The most efficient sleep aids are tools that help our bodies learn to sleep again.
The following list of sleep aids are mostly natural sleep aids and remaining include things to avoid in order not to disrupt sleep.
These natural sleep aids help anyone who suffers from insomnia to dramatically improve his or her sleep.
- Regular schedule: Maintaining regular sleep schedule is one of the most important natural sleep aids that can help you to prevent sleep disorders. Irregular sleep schedules damage our body clocks. Therefore maintain a regular schedule i.e., going to bed at the same time everyday and getting up in the morning at the same time. Maintain the schedule even on weekends and holidays.
- Avoid harmful substances. Avoid harmful substances such as caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, and spicy foods. Caffeine and tobacco are stimulants which disrupts sleep. Alcohol is a sedative which gives relaxation initially but affects after late night. Spicy foods may cause stomach aches and GERD. These things should be avoided before 3 to 4 hours before bedtime.
- Proper diet and exercise. Another significant natural sleep aids is maintaining proper diet and exercise. Many foods will keep us awaken at the night. Foods that are high in fats and carbohydrates are better during lunch and not in the evening. Avoiding foods later in the evening and at nighttime are helpful in promoting sleep, although some people find a light snack with complex carbohydrates helps. Exercise has also been shown to improve sleep. Many sleep related disorders are due to weight problems, and even moderate exercise helps the brain make out and develop a stronger circadian rhythm, helping you feel stronger during the day and sleep better at night. Exercise 2 to 3 hours before bedtime.
- Bright light: Bright light is much useful to regulate our sleep/wake cycles. Use bright light in the daytime to follow the circadian rhythm. Using bright light is the natural sleep aids for curing most of the disorders.
- Don’t use sleeping pills. Using sleeping pills can make insomnia worse not better. Sleeping pills become addictive and we cannot leave that habit immediately. Other medications can also harm your circadian rhythm and hurt your ability to sleep. These include epilepsy medication, antihistamines and decongestants, antidepressants, asthma medication, some blood pressure medicines, diuretics, etc. It is best to discuss medications with your physician to see if they may be interfering with your sleep.
- Circadian rhythm test: The circadian rhythm assessment test will identify whether you have a disorder and the extent of the disorder. The results portion of the test will compare your circadian rhythm to a normal one and identify when you need to receive light to resynchronize your rhythm. The test is conducted in the sleep labs.
- Stress: Stress may be the major cause of insomnia, and if left untreated, it can develop into major depression. Stress also damages the Suprachaismatic Nucleus (SCN or body clock) and can cause circadian rhythm sleep disorders.
- Sleep Restriction or Sleep Deprivation Therapy: This therapy is the natural sleep aids which involve using bright light and limiting when one can sleep. The natural sleep aids Sleep Deprivation Therapy basically instructs the body clock how to sleep and wake up again. Sleep Deprivation Therapy takes about a month to work, but most people who try sleep restriction find they are sleeping 7 hours on average, much better than before.
- Sleep lab: Many sleep disorders such as sleep apnea or narcolepsy can be identified and treated in the sleep labs. If there is any disorder related to sleep, then go to sleep lab and take the test.