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Finding a Natural Cure for Insomnia

courtesy of NaturalHealthLifestyles.com

Insomnia is a terrible thing. It leaves you pacing your hallways restless at night, staring out the windows and watching bad shows and pointless advertisements on late night television. It leaves you tired and groggy the next day at work.

It makes you irritable, touchy and overly emotional because your body isn’t getting enough rest to deal with your daily stresses. Of course, sleeping pills aren’t much better, which is the first thing your doctor is going to pass over if you go to him complaining of insomnia. How can you find a natural cure for insomnia?

The good news is that finding a natural cure for insomnia isn't hard. The body is hard wired to work in a certain manner. There are triggers and stimulants that lead it to act in certain ways, and going to sleep isn't any different. Here are some tried and true methods for curing insomnia that will let you get a good night's sleep and wake in the morning feeling fresh and rested-without the pills.

  1. Exercise. Doctors tell you not to exercise right before bed because it stimulates the body's endorphins and can leave you more keyed up you than you were when you began. If you're suffering from insomnia, however, the best thing you can do for yourself is wear yourself out! Try to work out twice a day-once in the morning, right when you wake up (or the alarm clock goes off, if you haven't been to bed yet!) for at least half an hour and again an hour or two before you go to bed.
  2. Stay busy during the day. If you spend your whole day camped in front of television or a computer you're going to have plenty of energy left over at the end of the night. On the other hand, staying busy will wear your body and your mind out and leave you ready for bed.
  3. Listen to white noise or nature sounds. Many people find the sound of white noise or nature sounds, such as ocean waves or a forest in the evening, to be soothing for sleep.
  4. Sleep in nearly complete darkness The smaller the amount of light in the room the less chance it can disrupt your circadian rhythms. Light is also known to inhibit the production of melatonin, which is essential for a restful REM sleep.
  5. Most of the time insomnia is related to stress-you simply have too much on your plate for your mind to settle down and sleep, and so you spend your evenings roaming the halls and thinking about all the things you've done, or didn't do, or should have done, etc. Try to practice some stress relieving tricks every day - don't load your plate too full, be sure to leave work behind at work. Try to meditate or pray (whichever works with your personal beliefs) every day for at least ten minutes to relax your stress and clear your head, and be sure you get plenty of exercise.
  6. Hot drinks are a great way to wind your system down, but be sure to stay clear of caffeine. A hot cup of decaffeinated tea at the end of the day, particularly if it contains chamomile or kava (both of which are available in your local grocery store - just stop in the tea aisle and look for Celestial Seasonings).
  7. Establish a regular bedtime routine. Sometimes your body's a little slow to catch on to what you're doing, so you could be trying to fall asleep while it's still working on the problem of how, exactly, to break it to your mother that you lost your great-grandmother's dentures. (You've never gotten around to asking her why she kept them in the first place...) If you keep a regular routine at bedtime your body will have plenty of time to figure out what's going on, and you will find yourself happily counting sheep in no time!


2/28/2011 12:00:00 AM

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