Let’s face it, counting sheep doesn’t work. After a long day, the last thing anybody wants is to lay in bed and toss and turn for hours until they finally fall asleep. Wouldn’t it be great if a butterfly could just touch your face and make you fall into a deep, peaceful sleep like in the Lunesta commercials? Well, instead of an imaginary, sleep inducing butterfly, I have some real remedies to share that do not involve prescription drugs, insects, nor sheep.
Falling asleep could be very easy if you just trained your body to know when it is time to go to sleep. This can be achieved by doing the following: Never do any type of work on your bed, which means no writing essays, no looking over bills, no studying, etc.. Your bed should solely be for resting and sleeping. This is so that when you look at your bed, you do not subconsciously associate it with any anxiety provoking activities that may deter you from falling asleep. Sleeping around the same time each night is also very helpful. I know this isn’t typical for most people because some nights we want to go out and have fun, and some nights we just want to stay in and watch a movie. However, the more you are able to sleep around the same time every night, the better your sleep pattern will become. Another important tip is to stop having coffee, sugar, or any other type of stimulant at least 3 hours before bed. Even if you do not have trouble falling asleep, consuming these things close to your bedtime will prevent you from having a deep, restful sleep. Also, make sure you do not have any electronics on when you are going to bed. Turn the TV off, your radio and even your phone. This will allow your mind to rest so that you can fall asleep. Last but not least, do not exercise late at night. After a workout, your body feels energized and awake. So, going to bed after a workout is a bad idea if you are trying to wind your body down.
Other than resorting to prescription drugs, there are safe and effective supplements over the counter that can help with sleep. Melatonin is a naturally occuring compound in our bodies that helps regulate our circadian rhythm , which also controls our sleep cycle. The pineal gland in the brain makes serotonin which is then converted into melatonin at night when exposure to light decreases. So when night falls, melatonin increases in our bodies and makes us sleepy. Taking supplemental melatonin could be beneficial for those of us who do not have as much melatonin production in our bodies. Valerian is also a great sleep aid because it increases the neurotransmitter known as GABA in our brains, which has a calming effect on the body. As mentioned in previous posts, magnesium also has a calming effect on the body and can help induce sleep as well. VItamin D is also beneficial because it enhances your pineal gland’s ability to regulate your circadian rhythms.
Many people resort to alcohol to fall asleep, but little do they know thay are doing themselves a disfavor. Alcohol may help induce sleep, but it disturbs the duration of sleep. In other words, falling asleep will be easy, but staying asleep will not because alcohol doesn’t allow the body to go into a deep sleep. So if you can fall asleep but not stay asleep, what’s the point? Hope these tips help and thanks for reading! This has been your dose of Vitamin Jas.