Thursday, July 29, 2010

Natural sleep aids

In My SleepImage via Wikipedia
Is it any wonder that Americans are having such a problem going to sleep?  What with the stress of everyday life, the woeful and unstable economic times with everybody losing jobs, family stressors, financial stressors, the everyday rat race, why it's a wonder that we are not all walking zombies

Instead of reaching for Ambien, xanax, valium or any of the other chemical sleep and rest aids, why not take a  look at some of the old tried and true methods of calming and down and catching some zzzzzz's?  Usually, it takes some modifications of the environment, specifically, the bedroom and sometimes daily activities to see some lasting results.  After all, drugs are temporary and you usually have to do the less invasive stuff anyway.


Wind down

Sit down and check out some relaxation techniques when you feel stressed: muscle relaxation, deep breathing, listening to music, message, Tai chi, reading the Bible, or positive thinking (I love this.  Make a list of your problems or goals and post them somewhere that you will see them regularly, affirm that within six months, one year, etc. it will be gone.  Give thanks for the resolution of your problem as if it is already taken care of.  Look at this everyday, several times a day and claim it. You will be surprised at how this works). Use whatever will tickle your fancy.

Do take a warm bath, burn a candle and settle down into the tub and let the troubles of the day evaporate.
Pour some lavender oil or chamomile oil into tub.  Chamomile tea is also great for relaxation.

Watch the foods

Some foods should just be eliminated close to bedtime such as caffeine, spicy foods, heavy meals, nicotine and alcohol.

Also avoid tyramine containing foods (which are stimulants and trigger the release of norephinephrine):

Bacon         sugar
Cheese       tomatoes
wines          potatoes

Instead, try foods that are high in tryptophan, such as:

almonds      figs
turkey
milk        

Some great teas are chamomile, as mentioned, valerian, vervain, passionflower, hops, lavender and kava kava.

Modify your bedroom

-Try to make your bedroom as comfortable as possible.
-Try to form a sleep pattern  Go to bed at the same time.  Try to wake up at the same time.
-Get exercise during the day, but not within two hours of going to sleep.
-Read a relaxing book.
-Keep lights low.
-Pray.

    Sources:
    "How to induce sleep naturally" by starinfo eHow.com
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