Insomnia, derived from Latin, literally means “sleepless”, and the thousands of people who suffer from temporary or chronic insomnia would agree that the condition (and the hopelessness that can come along with it) is described perfectly in that one word. Insomnia is the inability to sleep, either as a chronic or temporary condition. There are many possible causes, including the use of medication, the over-use of stimulants such as caffeine, or it can go hand-in-hand with issues like depression or bipolar disorder.
Anyone who has ever had insomnia will tell you: I’ve tried everything and almost nothing worked. Insomnia sufferers often end up dead-tired, and a long-term lack of sleep can have disastrous consequences for mental health and cognitive function – yes, including falling asleep at the wheel. There is hope.
Here are three natural ways you can use to combat insomnia:
1. Milk, cheese and Tryptophan
Tryptophan is a natural amino-acid found in protein-high foods: This includes chocolate, milk, cheese, yogurt and red meat. You can also look to other foods and fruits like bananas and some nuts (almonds, for one) as a healthy source of tryptophan. Now, when people recommend warm milk as a cure for sleeplessness, the active compound that helps to relax your muscles and put you to sleep is the tryptophan. It can also be purchased as a supplement, or you can opt for hot cocoa before bed to help you get your much-needed sleep. Keep in mind that a potential side-effect of tryptophan is very vivid dreams, so that might take a while to get used to – a dream-diary might help if your dreams turn weird enough to wake you back up.
2. Relaxation, Mental tricks and WILD
Slow, rhythmic relaxation can do wonders for putting the body to sleep even if the mind won’t quite catch up with the slumber just yet. The first thing you have to understand is that sleep occurs in phases, and “falling asleep” is a process that takes place over several levels through several waves of brain activity. You don’t need to worry too much about the details to help you get to sleep, but there are a few things you should know:
- First, there’s sleep paralysis: This is what keeps you from acting out your dreams in your sleep, and if you’ve ever woken up feeling completely paralyzed, this is likely the state that you suddenly became aware.
- Then, there’s the hypnagogic stage, in which auditory and visual hallucinations are extremely common – think of the light-show you get when you close and rub your eyes; that looks a lot like what you might experience.
- Then, your body takes off into REM-sleep, which is the stage where dreams occur – here, you are completely unaware of your body and your dreams take over.
With the right relaxation techniques, you can force your body to fall asleep and enter REM sleep while your mind remains awake. This is a process known as lucid dreaming, and it means that you remain conscious during your dreams. The technique, which is mainly down to breathing, relaxation and patience, is referred to as WILD – or Wake Induced Lucid Dreaming. Eventually, your brain will either go with it or fall asleep – either are desired results to kick insomnia!
3. CBD Oil for Sleeplessness
CBD oil is an increasingly well-known and used supplement for a wide range of physical and mental issues: These include depression, anxiety, pain-relief, glaucoma, inflammation, asthma – and insomnia. CBD oil can be incorporated into the other advice in this article pretty easily and helps you sleep, too. You can apply it topically, add it to your recipes for dosed-relief and a snack or dessert before bed or add it to your nightly bath to help you relax. Remember that CBD and THC binds to fat, so it’s even great for adding to your cocoa.
Try some of these natural ways to get a good nights sleep. Getting plenty of good quality sleep is so important for you to stay healthy and for your all over well being.
If you suffer from insomnia please try some of the above solutions and check out some herbal remedies for insomnia that can also be very helpful in getting a good night sleep.
Do you have any ideas or natural solutions that have helped you overcome insomnia?
Please share them with us in the comment section! Remember to share this article so we can all help each other!