How to restore your sleep cycle the natural way
Guest author Steven wrote a very nice post on how to restore your sleep cycle. Being a young parent myself, having a regular sleep cycle will benefit my whole family and I I found some fine tips to ‘test’ on myself (and on the kids…) Enjoy!
Sleep is absolutely vital to being healthy, yet far too many people don’t get enough sleep because their sleep cycles are off. This is caused by a variety of factors, including life stressors, demanding work schedules, and in some cases underlying health conditions. From having trouble getting to sleep and waking too early to not being able to stay asleep, individuals may go months unsuccessfully trying to get their sleep cycles back on track using over-the-counter medication, old wives’ tales, and other methods.
However, there is hope for those suffering from poor sleep. The following natural treatments and environmental changes can help anyone restore the sleep cycle to normal again.
Resetting Your Internal Clock
When the regular bedtime routine results in hours of tossing and turning, you may be suffering from a lack of sleep rhythm, also called circadium rhythm. The body is a wonderful “machine” that has been created with a unique internal clock that tells the body when to power up and when to start powering down each day. When this gets disrupted in some way, the body has trouble trying to regulate sleep.
This sleep rhythm can be reset much like a computer hard drive by making an effort to set a regular bedtime and wake schedule. Do this by deciding on a reasonable bedtime and do this every night until your body gets used to it, including on weekends. Set your alarm for the same time and get out of bed instead of hitting the snooze button. Over a period of a few days, your body should restore its cycle and you will start having less trouble getting to sleep.
Evaluating Dietary Causes of Sleep Problems
What you eat and drink each day has a large part in how your body gets stimulated and relaxed throughout the average week. Yet, many of the foods and beverages you take in can have a negative impact on your health and your sleep cycles. For example, caffeine is the drink of choice for many adults, but this substance can make it very difficult to get to sleep, especially when used in the afternoons or on a regular basis.
Too many carbohydrates in the diet can contribute to steep dips in blood sugar levels, causing you to feel sluggish when you should be alert, then wide-awake when you should be relaxed. Take the time to ingest healthy foods that are rich in vitamins, and plenty of water to wash out the toxins in your body, for a more restful sleep cycle.
Try Natural Herbal Sleep Aids
Mother Nature has provided many helpful ways to get your sleep cycle back on track, without all the nasty side effects of over-the-counter and prescription medications. Melatonin is a very gentle sleep aid that can be found in most health stores. Take a 5mg dose and you’ll be feeling relaxed in no time at all, with no morning grogginess. Or you can try some Lavender aromatherapy oil to provide a peaceful sleep environment at home or when traveling.
For long term insomnia, you may want to try sipping a cup of hot chamomile tea about an hour before bedtime. This is a natural way to de-stress after a busy day, and it gives you that transition time before you need to rest. Avoid watching television or getting on the computer, and instead opt for reading a chapter in a good book or doing something less stimulating during that time.
About the Author: Steven Madison covers health news for Anatomy Now. With kids at home, he knows how important and hard to get a full night of sleep is!