These natural remedies for sleep will help you fall asleep and stay sleeping all night long. They’re from four sleep experts: a psychologist, a yogi, a sleep doctor, and a hotel manager (who knows a surprising amount about sleep remedies!).
Before the tips, a quip:
“There are twelve hours in the day, and above fifty in the night.” – Marie de Rabutin-Chantal
Indeed, when you can’t sleep it feels like the night is endless. The most popular remedy for falling asleep is Alteril All Natural Sleep-Aid. It’s on Amazon, so you don’t need to hunt it down when you should be sleeping!
And, here are nine tips for great sleep from a few sleep experts…
Natural Sleep Remedies
1. Use your “worry time” when you can’t sleep. Many folks have trouble getting to sleep because their “thoughts race” or they begin worrying. For this problem, I use a cognitive behavioral therapy technique called “worry time.” About a hour before you want to sleep, sit down with paper and a pen and “download” all of your current worries onto paper. Try your best to “worry” for 20 minutes and jot down everything that comes to mind. When the 20 minutes are up, leave the list of worries where it is and proceed with your nightly routine for bed. This technique seems to help people temporarily let go of the concerns they chew on when trying to sleep. - This natural sleep remedy is from Dr Katherine Muller, Psy.D., Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
2. Experiment with sesame oil as a sleep aid. Can’t fall asleep fast? Try ayurvedic medicine. Gently rub sesame oil into the bottoms of the feet just as you get into bed. It will assist in the calming of your system, and sooth your journey to peaceful sleep. Plus, it reduces anxiety! The aroma of sesame oil produces a calming sensation that relaxes both the mind and both, and helps people fall asleep faster. If you use sesame oil nightly for foot massages (the feet tend to be the coldest area of the body in bed, so warming them up will also help you fall asleep), your system will begin to associate the smell with sleep.
3. Consider a “sleep right” pillow. Certain specialty pillows for sleeping put your head and neck in a position similar to CPR, and encourages an optimal airway opening that can lead to a better night’s sleep. While regular pillows lift your head, this anti-snore pillow molds to your curves, keeping your head flat and airways open….which leads to a better sleep.
If your partner is stopping you from falling asleep, read How Do I Stop Snoring? Sleep Solutions for People Who Snore.
4. Learn about aromatherapy, which works for some sleep disorders. Try a combination of lavender, chamomile, and jasmine oils, which have all been used since ancient times to as natural remedies. They can reduce anxiety, stress, tension, sleeplessness, and headaches. These oils may be lightly dabbed on the pillowcase or over pressure points like the wrist and neck, and they might help you stay sleeping all night.
5. Try a natural sleep aid. Dried cherries are chock-full of melatonin – even more so than fresh cherries. Scientific studies have proven that eating dried cherries an hour before bedtime promotes a restful sleep. The last three natural sleep remedies are from Ericka Nelson, General Manager of 70 park avenue hotel.
6. Consider all-natural sleep aids that are safe for the whole family. Rescue Sleep, for instance, has no medicine, herb or food interactions and allows you to sleep naturally and wake refreshed. It contains a blend of six bach flower essences including white chestnut which helps to calm the racing mind. “I often recommend Rescue Sleep to my patients as a safe, natural, non-narcotic solution to combat their stress levels and help with sleeplessness,” says Dr Ronald Stram.
7. Try melatonin, which is an effective natural sleep remedy. It works really well for overcoming jet lag, for shift workers that are looking to regain a normal day night sleep cycle and for people over 60 years old who may have reduced melatonin levels. Melatonin is the body’s own natural sleep hormone, ingesting it as a supplement is similar to the natural hormone. The dose is typically 3-10m g per night for about one month. If there are no results within a week, it probably will not be effective.
8. Some foods help you fall asleep faster. Turkey contains a natural sleep-inducing chemical called tryptophan — and so do bananas, dates, warm milk, chicken, eggs, tofu, and dairy products. Increasing tryptophan may help to normalize sleep patterns. Tryptophan is an amino acid and a natural sleep sedative. Avoid foods that contain the amino acids tyramine and tyrosine, because they stimulate the release of adrenaline (epinephrine) in the body. Foods containing tyramine include bacon, ham and sausage, aged cheeses, cocoa products, eggplant, and potatoes.
9. Warm socks make you sleepy. Soak feet in a very warm to hot Epsom salt foot bath for about 10-15 minutes (one cup of Epsom salt per 2 gallons of water). Prepare your bed with a towel by your feet, take ankle socks and soak in very cold water, wring them out so they are damp dry and place them on your feet, then place thermal socks over the ankle socks and go to bed. Your feet will dry after a few hours, and the blood flow will warm your feet.
The last three sleep remedies are from Dr. Ronald Stram, M.D. Founder of The Center for Integrative Health and Healing.
I'm glad you're here! My name is Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen; my husband Bruce and I live in Vancouver, BC with our critters. We can't have kids, and are learning to accept whatever life brings - both good and bad. I have an MSW (Master of Social Work) from UBC, and degrees in Education and Psychology. I hope you say hello below - I can't give relationship advice, but writing can bring you clarity and insight.