You’re lying in bed, staring at the ceiling. You’ve been in bed for at least an hour and you’re no closer to falling asleep. You keep looking over and checking to see what time it is. Everything you can possibly imagine is running through your mind and there’s no way to make it stop. Sound familiar? It’s about this time you wish you knew of some home remedies for insomnia.
Nearly 30 percent of all Americans deal with some form of insomnia with 10 percent dealing with long-lasting insomnia. Not sleeping well can be devastating to your overall health. Almost 40 percent of people report accidentally falling asleep during the day, while 5 percent admit falling asleep while driving.
It’s not just falling asleep during the day that’s bad for your health. Lack of adequate sleep can lead to a myriad of health issues, including high blood pressure and diabetes. While it should be noted that in cases of long-term insomnia you should see a doctor, for everyone else, there are a few insomnia remedies you can try at home.
Signs and Symptoms of Insomnia
First, it helps to understand what insomnia actually is and what causes it to happen. Of course, you already know insomnia means you can’t fall asleep, but there’s actually more to it than that. There are actually three different types of insomnia – acute insomnia, transient insomnia, and chronic insomnia.
Acute insomnia is the most common type. Stress and anxiety are the major causes of acute insomnia. Home remedies for insomnia are much more effective with this type.
Transient insomnia is similar to acute insomnia and lasts for about a week. This type is usually caused by changes in your sleep environment, stress, and depression. Insomnia remedies can be used for this type as well, but it is still a good idea to talk to your doctor if you’re battling depression.
Chronic insomnia happens to those who have underlying medical or psychiatric conditions, or those who suffer from severe depression, high anxiety, and other ailments. If you’re suffering from insomnia for more than a month, you should really see a doctor. In this instance, home remedies for insomnia will most likely not work.
Natural Home Remedies for Insomnia
While some websites touting home remedies for insomnia suggest things such as drinking a lot of alcohol or other unhealthy choices, it’s typically best to focus on insomnia remedies that will not only help you, but will help you avoid a nasty hangover in the morning. Here are six home remedies for insomnia to help you sleep.
- Exercise – It’s been discussed before, but exercise is a great remedy for insomnia. A vigorous or even light workout during your day will help you fall asleep much faster. The top three exercise activities scientifically proven to increase sleep quality include cardio, strength training, and yoga. These exercises can be used to combat insomnia. Be careful, though. Exercising too close to bedtime can cause increased alertness and a spike in your internal temperature making it more difficult to fall asleep.
- Meditation – You’re probably thinking to yourself, “Yeah, I’ve already heard that one,” but that’s because it actually works. Meditation is a safe practice that does take time to get the hang of, but it’s worth it in the end. Many people give up on it too quickly because they don’t see instant results. Researchers in a 2011 study found that meditation significantly improved insomnia and overall sleep patterns. Participants attended a weekly meditation class, a daylong retreat, and practiced at home over the course of a few months. There are even videos on YouTube that can help guide you.
- Melatonin – Melatonin is a hormone your brain creates to let your body know it’s time to go to sleep. Sometimes, your brain doesn’t produce enough melatonin. This especially happens if it’s still light outside or something has thrown off your circadian rhythms. You can actually buy melatonin supplements over-the-counter, but you should know that even though this is a naturally-occurring hormone in your body, you want to take as little of it as possible for as few days as possible. And, as always, make sure you talk with your doctor before taking any medication.
- Binaural beats – Some people listen to soothing music when they’re trying to fall asleep. After all, as you’re falling asleep, it’s just white noise in the background. Something that definitely helps as an insomnia remedy is binaural beats. Do you remember those 3D images that, when you stared at it long enough, you started to see a picture? It was a way of tricking your brain to see past what was right in front of you. Binaural beats do that but through sound, or auditory illusions. In short, you hear different frequency without actually noticing much of a difference. The results can help you fall asleep faster.
- Put Down Your Devices – We live in a digital society. If we’re having trouble sleeping, one of the first thing most people do is pick up their phones or tablets and use them in bed. This is a terrible idea, as the light from your device basically sends a signal to your brain that it’s not time to go to sleep yet. One of the easiest insomnia remedies, and cheapest, is to make sure you don’t mess with any electronic devices once you’re in bed. You’d be surprised at how much this will help!
- Invest in Blackout Curtains – We don’t really realize just how much light plays a role in our sleep routine. When it starts to get light outside – or if the sun hasn’t set – our brain is hardwired into thinking that it’s time to wake up (or stay up if it’s late). A good insomnia remedy then would be to buy a good set of blackout curtains. This will help you maintain your circadian rhythms and fall asleep faster.
Other Ways to Improve Insomnia & Restlessness
One of the biggest culprits when it comes to insomnia and restlessness is having an old, lumpy mattress. You just cannot sleep if you have something digging into your back or side. Plus, if your fighting insomnia and your hip or back starts to hurt from staying in one position for too long, there’s one insomnia home remedy that can help – investing in a new mattress.
It’s entirely possible that you’re having trouble falling asleep because your mattress has become uncomfortable. If it’s time to pick out a new mattress, the Sleep Experts at Mattress Warehouse know just how to help. With bedMATCH®, the patented diagnostic sleep system, they can actually use science to help find the right mattress just for you.
Drop by any store and ask about bedMATCH® to learn how a new mattress might just be the best home remedy for insomnia.