Can’t sleep? Try these natural sleep remedies
Big day tomorrow, interview, exam, vacation? Do you always struggle to sleep the night before a big day? No need to worry as it is perfectly natural. Try these 10 natural sleep remedies to calm those nerves and get a good nights sleep.
Our brains will just not shut down and the more we fail to relax the more stressed we feel leading to a sleepless night, tossing and turning. The trick is to stop, breath, relax and try to be calm, switch the brain off.
Impact of not sleeping
Studies have been carried out into sleep deprivation and the cost to the economy. In the UK 200 thousand working days are lost at a cost of £40 billion.
The calculation is based on the productivity of tired employees or days lost due to absence.
The main impact of sleeplessness is on the person’s health, getting less than six hours of sleep per night could result in an early death.
Recent study into sleep deprivation
Marco Hafner a research leader at Rand Europe, recently stated in this study that sleep deprivation influenced not only the health of the individual but also a country’s economy!
For example it states that the UK loses 200,000 working days a year, costing £40bn, no small figure! which is why the report also suggests nap rooms at workplaces and encourages employers to promote the importance of a good nights sleep.
Ways to relax
There are many ways of relaxing but the same method does not work for everyone.
Try one or several of these ideas and see if they can help. There are some easy things you can do to make sure you are ready for sleep…
1. Reflexology – massage this point
Reflexology dates back thousands of years, a gentle massage technique linked to our inner workings.
With hundreds of touch points all over our bodies, the ancient Chinese created a technique to apply pressure to these points and help cleanse organs, fix illness and improve blood flow.
A touchpoint that can help you sleep better and relieve stress is on the inside of your lower leg, just above your ankle (four fingers above your ankle in fact) and is called the San Yin Jiao spot. This accupressure point is also very good for relieving menstrual cramps.
Here’s a video to show you where the point is…
2. No caffeinated drinks after 5.30
Also avoid excess alcohol as alcohol may induce a sleepy feeling but this is short-lived and the result is sleeplessness.
Meditation is another good way of calming the mind, listen to soft music and let go of all your thoughts of the day and put plans to the back of your mind while you immerse yourself in the piece of music, thinking of nothing.
This simple chant from Sandra Pawula to aid meditation and relaxation is something well worth trying before bed.
“I say “no” to stress and “yes” to ease” repeat over using mala beads if you have them to help you keep count of the number of repeats that you have set for yourself to complete.
4. Read a Calming Book
Reading a good book is a simple but effective way of relaxing and clearing the mind.
The bedroom should be as dark as possible so the screens of any televisions, laptops, tablets or mobile phones in the room should be turned off.
Or why not try Journaling, to help write everything down from your day and empty the mind.
5. Breathing Exercises
Learning and then using some simple breathing techniques is one of the most effective of our natural sleeping remedies if done correctly.
If you do not know any breathing techniques and would like to learn we have an article here that is well worth reading…
6. Set an Alarm and have faith in it
And whatever else, do not watch the clock as this makes us more awake as we have to use a great deal of mental awareness to read the clock.
When you set your alarm clock you are mentally telling yourself that you are allowing yourself maximum rest for those hours, so try and stick by it!
7. Make sure it’s dark
The bedroom should be really pitch black dark and also cooler than the rest of the house. Try not to have your heating on whilst you are sleeping as getting hot and sweaty disturbs your sleep.
If you have street lighting outside the bedroom then try heavier curtains or blackout blinds. It is light that triggers the brain into thinking we should be awake, the natural rhythm of our bodies is set by the sun and daylight hours.
8. Exercise the day before
Make sure you get enough exercise in the day to use up all of your energy.
Gentle yoga exercise’s are a good way of getting the body ready for sleep and make sure you always end with a long relaxation sequence, getting the mind ready for sleep.
9. Nice Warm Bath
One of the easiest and most enjoyable of our natural sleep remedies…
Simply to take a nice warm bath using a relaxing scent like lavender or any other calming essential oil. The body is hardwired to think it is bedtime, as the body cools down it is getting ready to sleep.
10. Your bed is for sleeping!
Your bed is for sleeping do not confuse your body by spending hours watching videos, reading talking on the phone or surfing the net. These activities just confuse our brains into thinking we should be doing one of these activities and not sleeping.
Staying in bed in an anxious state makes this place traumatic and not the haven of relaxation it should be.
How do you make sure you sleep?
There is nothing more frustrating than not being able to get to sleep so hopefully the natural sleep remedies above could help you combat the difficulties you might experience occasionally if not every night.
Please do let us know any other natural sleep remedies you use in the comments below.
What do you do to help yourself sleep if tomorrows plans are making you anxious?