Sleeplessness or insomnia is one of the biggest health problems in the USA today. An average person should have at least seven to eight hours of sleep per night to stay healthy, but about one-third of the American population is getting less than six hours. While sleep duration is critical, the quality of sleep is equally important. Good sleep is compromised by today’s stressful work-personal lifestyle that has reduced our resting periods. People are driven to cram as much as possible into 24 hours. Stress is a significant factor behind insomnia.
So why worry? Besides feeling tired, many people don’t see a problem with running on only a few hours of sleep. Still, sleep deprivation can result in poor responsiveness and alertness in individuals at a rate 50% higher than in individuals under the influence of alcohol. That should be concerning with anyone who drives.
There are many other consequences of poor sleep, including:
- Fatigue and body aches
- Cardiovascular problems
- Poor brain functioning
- Endocrine diseases (i.e., diabetes)
- Decreased cognitive power
- Decreased alertness
- Hormonal imbalance
- Depression and anxiety
- Sexual dysfunctions
Although sleeping medications can help in short term situations, they are not effective over the long term and may even be harmful. Instead of taking sleep pills, try these natural sleep remedies.
Relieving stress improves sleep cycle and quality, allowing the mind and body to rest properly during the night. A rested body results in fresh and energetic mornings. There are numerous guides on how to de-stress one’s life, search for one that works for you.
Organizing and sticking to a schedule helps separate work life from home life. One should keep all the office and outside work from the bedroom. The human body loves routine. Keeping a schedule will help the body adjust to awake time versus sleep time and will react accordingly.
Sound sleep depends mostly on the bedroom. Mattress and pillows should be comfortable keeping a good sleep posture. A clean and made bed invites one to fall asleep quickly. Bedroom light must be dimmed or switched off because the mind sends the signals of sleep when its dark.
Before going to bed, make sure to turn off all gadgets like mobile phones, tablets, and laptops. Doing this not only lets the mind rest but also allows us to fall asleep quickly. Never use a mobile phone in the dark while lying in bed.
A book can be a bedroom friend. Reading an interesting book can be beneficial for people who have insomnia.
Exercise daily, but not within 2 hours before going to bed. A 30-minute workout results in better sleep. Physical activity tires the body and also boosts the metabolism, which burns more calories; this, in turn, signals that rest is required. Exercise has added benefits of good posture, weight loss, anti-stress, decreased risks of diseases, and a naturally happy mood.
Massage is a natural way of improving sleep. When done by an expert, massage can reduce the stress and anxiety that hinder sleep improvement. According to research, massage can stimulate hormones that naturally induce sleep relieving insomnia.
If you are still struggling with insomnia, treat yourself to a stress-relieving massage that removes the tension and body aches and increasing relaxation.