Are you tired during the day but wired at night? Do you have trouble falling asleep or wake during the night and can’t go back to sleep? Sleeping pills may provide a short-term solution but there are natural alternatives that can create long lasting change.
Current research indicates that up to 30–50 percent of the general population is affected by acute (short-term) insomnia at any given time, and up to 10 percent have chronic insomnia that lasts more than several months.
Having insomnia is another way of saying that you can’t fall or stay asleep. There are many factors that might be the root of insomnia such as not having a regular sleep-wake cycle, eating an unhealthy diet, chronic pain, emotional stress and more recently the overuse of screens and mobile devices.
Everybody struggles to get a good night’s sleep now and then, but insomnia is an ongoing problem that causes sleep disruption. The impact of insomnia includes day time fatigue, physical and mental problems, moodiness, and an inability to concentrate.
So how can a Naturopath help? My top 3 strategies for naturally improving sleep include changing the diet, creating a new bedtime routine and using essential oils and herbal support.
Tip #1 – Diet
A common issue for many people is overeating too late in the evening, giving the body too much food to digest into the evening. By eating early and lighter, this allows the body to digest the last meal before you are ready for bed. Also, stimulants should be avoided as they frequently mess with the body’s natural sleep/wake cycle.
Tip #2 – Bedtime Routine
Many people have simply created unhealthy habits that are not conducive of a healthy night sleep. I recommend all my clients to put away their phones and screens 1 hour before their intended sleep time to avoid overstimulation and create a quiet space before bed. Reading a book, writing a journal or simply having a shower are much more relaxing options to prepare you for a good night’s sleep.
Tip #3 – Essential Oils and Herbs
There are a range of oils and herbs that are widely researched for their benefit with relaxation and sleep, and my top 2 favourites are lavender and chamomile. Lavender essential oil is a great sleep aid that can be massaged onto your feet before bed or add 1-2 drops on a cotton ball under your pillow. Chamomile is great to have as a herbal tea an hour before bedtime.
There are many other options that can be implemented to overcome insomnia, and by seeing a Naturopath, we can assess your unique symptoms and create an individualised wellness plan to support you through these changes as well as providing quality supplements to support you naturally. Click here to find out more about how naturopathy can help you.Raneeta Curtis – Harmonic Health