Natural Sleep Aids
Millions of Americans every year face unexplainable problems with sleeping. Sleep disorders come in many shapes and sizes and can be treated a variety of ways. While some patients prefer a medical cocktail of prescription drugs that trigger addiction problems among other side effects, others opt for natural treatments. Treating sleep disorders naturally is a full spectrum of lifestyle and diet changes that accompany herbs to help you receive a good night’s rest.
Why Do Sleep Disorders Happen?
Lifestyle and medical conditions are the leading causes of sleep problems. Stress especially triggers sleep disorders in 68% of patients. When we relax to sleep, two things are attempting to happen. Our bodies are attempting to rest and renew themselves while our minds are attempting to process the worries of the day. Scientists believe that our dreams are manifestations of problems that we did not deal with from the day. If you work a stressful job or are pondering a hard decision, your dreams will most likely be riddled with emotions, thoughts and actions that are centered on your subconscious thoughts of the day. Food servers, for example, regularly experience stress sleep. This is common for any person who works a high-stress job. Dreams may be about employees yelling for orders to be taken to tables, filled restaurants where they are unable to serve customers or replays of conversations that were had during the night. People who experience stress sleep typically find that their body is completely asleep while their mind is wide awake. In the morning, they feel even more exhausted than they did when they went to bed.
Sleep disorders can also be related to health issues. Snoring for example is caused by some sort of blockage of the wind pipe. This can be from the way a person is laying, the weight of their body or from mucus build up in their sinuses. In a nut shell, people should not snore. If you are experiencing chronic snoring then it is time to see a doctor about what may be causing it. Snoring can lead to sleep apnea and sleep deprivation. Restless leg syndrome is another medical condition that prevents a person from sleeping by shooting a cramped, pins and needles feeling through the legs.
Changing Your Lifestyle
Any natural supplement is only as good as the person who is ingesting it. Changing your lifestyle is an important part to overcoming sleep disorders. This starts on the basic level of your daily routine and mood. Positive people are 80% less likely to have sleep disorders that those who view the glass as half empty. This is because optimism helps the body relax, stress less and wash away the worries of the day at the end. Where as a pessimist holds onto those feelings of resentment from their day and takes them into bed with them. If you are always running late, set your alarm clock earlier. If you never get a hot shower, choose a different time to shower. If you dread going to work, consider finding a different job. The smallest changes to make your life happy will make your sleep happy.
Diet is another important part of treating sleep disorders. Processed foods are known to fill the body with toxins. This waste decreases internal functions which results it our bodies being unable to properly relax. Sugars trigger spikes in our blood sugar levels which can later fall and interrupt sleeping time. Eating later at night can trigger heart burn or indigestion which may keep you awake at night. A diet that is low in Magnesium (found in dark leafy greens and legumes) will trigger muscle cramps, anxiety, body pain and the inability to sleep. Caffeine, energy drinks and diet pills all contribute to increasing your energy levels. If you do not exert the necessary energy then these levels will remain high in your system.
Exercise and mental clarity are important for treating sleep disorders. Cardio exercise found in a simple 30-minute walk will do wonders to resolve sleep disorders. Yoga and meditation can also be used to relax the body and prepare it for sleep.
Natural Herbs to Choose
Valerian – This natural herb originated from Italy as an over the counter remedy for insomnia. Valerian root is found in many types of holistic teas and can also be purchased in supplement form. Because this is an all natural herb, there is no chance of dependency or adverse side effects you find with traditional sleeping pills. Continued clinical trials show that Valerian works for 82% of patients.
Melatonin – Our bodies naturally use melatonin to help use sleep. In fact, studies have proven that people who work the night shift are more likely to develop cancer because they do not absorb enough melatonin during the day. Not only is a melatonin supplement ideal for someone facing sleep disorders, it can help beat jet lag and help people who regularly switch shifts at their job adjust better. Melatonin is recommended 30 minutes before you plan to go to bed. According to a study at The University of Alberta there are no adverse side effects to melatonin.
Kava – Throughout the South Pacific islands, Kava plants are used to aid in sleep disorder treatments. This natural sleep aid is often recommended by holistic doctors as an anti-anxiety herb. It is most beneficial for patients who experiences stress sleep or insomnia related to anxiety over their life. However, high levels of Kava can be dangerous to the liver. For this reason the FDA has placed dosage regulations on the substance.
Before attempting to choose a natural remedy for sleep disorders you should consult a physician. It is not likely that a traditional doctor will prescribe herbs as a source of treatment over a heavily funded commercial drug. Holistic physicians use a different scale to determine what is wrong with a patient. By examining your eyes, hair and skin they can inform you of why you are not sleeping and what the best herbs and dosages are for a natural sleep remedy.