Are you having trouble sleeping at night? Before you consult your doctor about getting a prescription, please consider these alternative natural solutions:
1. Drink a glass of warm almond milk before bedtime.
It has calcium, which helps the brain produce melatonin, as well as magnesium, which is important for sleep regulation. If you don't like almond milk, try taking a calcium-magnesium supplement.
2. Cut down on your caffeine intake and avoid it at night.
This includes coffee, tea, cocoa, chocolate, some soft drinks and cigarettes. Keep in mind that caffeine in no way replaces sleep. It's simply a stimulant drug that makes you feel alert.
3. Create a regular bedtime routine, even on the weekends.
In order to best do this, don't have more than a two-hour lapse between the time you wake up on the weekend and weekdays.
4. Invest into a comfortable mattress, pillows and pjs.
You spend a huge chunk of your life sleeping. If you don't get the quality sleep you need, you won't perform at your highest level during your waking hours. Make sure that whatever you're sleeping in at night allows your body to breathe. For example, opt for regular cotton pjs as opposed to those with synthetic fabric, which can inhibit airflow circulation around the body.
5. Avoid drinking anything an hour before bedtime.
You don't want your sleep interrupted by having to visit the bathroom!
6. Keep your work materials and computers out of the bedroom.
Reserve this room instead for just sleep and sex.
7. Make sure that your room is entirely dark.
This includes making sure that your technology is turned off. Don't sleep with a television or night light on. If you must use bedroom electronics, choose those with a red light, which is less disturbing to melanin than blue light.
8. Exercise regularly.
But don't do so within three hours before sleeping.
9. Take a calming bath with Epsom salt and lavender oil.
Research has suggested that lavender oil is calming and encourages sleep. Epsom salt baths are an effective way to increase magnesium levels in the body.
10. If you can't fall asleep within 30 minutes, try reading.
This will focus your mind and keep you from worrying about the next day or recounting the day’s activities.
11. Consider a white noise machine, sleep mask and/or ear plugs.
This will help eliminate any ambient noise or light in your bedroom.
12. Figure out if you're snoring, because if that's the case, you could be waking yourself up at night.
This is particularly possible if you frequently wake up with a dry mouth or sore throat. Be sure to consult your physician if you snore regularly.
If you continue to have problems sleeping after these steps, I suggest keeping a diary of what you are doing and eating prior to sleeping. Show it to a sleep specialist and consult with them.