Having Trouble Sleeping? Try These…
Inadequate sleep does more than make you tired and cranky. Skipping out on shut-eye can increase your risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, weight gain, and other health issues. If you don’t want to rely on over-the-counter or prescription sleep aids, try these natural sleep inducers:
A Hot Bath
Soaking in a hot bath before bed relaxes your muscles, releases tension – and has a chemical effect as well. When you’re in the tub, your core body temperature will rise, and then it will quickly drop when you get out. That decrease in temperature signals the brain to release melatonin, a hormone that helps control sleep and wake cycles.
Studies have shown that certain fragrances can act as a mild sedative, helping you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly. These scents include lavender, chamomile, bergamot, jasmine, rose, and sandalwood. There are plenty of products to choose from, including massage oils and lotions, bath salts and reed diffusers. Or you can make your own pillow mist by combining 1/2 cup water, 1/2 teaspoon witch hazel and 4 to 5 drops of essential oil to a spray bottle and shake it up. Then simply spray a mist over your pillow before bed.
Nighttime lullabies are not just for babies. In a study published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing, older people with sleep problems reported a 35 percent improvement after listening to 45 minutes of music before bedtime. While the music doesn’t have to be Brahms, you don’t want to listen to your exercise playlist at bedtime; 60 to 80 beats per minute is key. Choose slow, steady music like classical tunes or soft jazz. And if music is too distracting for you, try a white noise machine instead.