August 17, 2017

Insomnia: 5 Natural Ways to Get Better Sleep

get better sleep

By Contributing Writer, Daniele

For a significant season in my life, I had trouble not only falling asleep, but also staying asleep through the night.

While I discovered adrenal fatigue was causing the issue, insomnia was hard and difficult on my days as a Mom.  I researched online and read some books, hoping to find relief.

Thankfully, there are a few tips I learned and practiced which did help to improve my sleep patterns.

Magnesium

You can read more details on why it’s true, but having insufficient levels of magnesium in your body can lead to lack of rest at night.  I took a magnesium supplement daily, often an hour before bedtime to help my body.

I’d have to say this was a big contributor to relaxing muscles and preparing for sleep. Food sources of magnesium include:  dark leafy greens, almonds, cashews and whole grains.

Total Darkness

Bright light decreases the production of melatonin, a natural hormone in the body which helps us to rest, and can keep some people from sleeping well.

Melatonin rises when it’s dark and keeping the room completely pitch-black could benefit.  I do this every  night, using curtains over windows, closing doors and even turning my alarm clock from my face so the light shines away from me.

No night lights either!  Overall, I think it’s helped.

Chamomile, Lemon Balm or Licorice Root

These were all herbal teas I drank regularly in the evenings – all are known to promote relaxation in many people.  Be sure to check there’s not any reason for you to avoid these herbs.

A relaxing, herbal tea is refreshing in its own way!

Drink Your Water

Dehydration affects our bodies and brains in so many ways, and sleep patterns can be disrupted if you need to up your water intake.  Drink enough water throughout the day and try at least an hour before heading to bed.

Pray

I’m a firm believer that prayer can relax our minds!  If we’re worrying, doubting or overly concerned about an issue, this too could cause us to stay up at night.

Talking (and listening) to God about our heart concerns is always beneficial to us – and, maybe you’ll find rest comes a little easier as well.

image by relaxingmusic

Any other ways you’ve found helpful for staying asleep?


Comments

  1. These are good reminders, especially the one about prayer. I have several children, some of whom have sleep issues. We have also found these items helpful…

    1. No screen time at least an hour before bed (TV, Wii, IPOD, computer…)

    2. A cool temperature in the room

    3. A source of white noise

    4. Limit intake of liquids an hour before bed

    The Mg supplement, like you mentioned, might have made the biggest difference with better sleep habits for our kids. I never would have guessed that. It also relieved their symptoms of Restless Leg syndrome.

  2. Thanks Beth! I had heard about cooler temps, so this is a good one to try as well.

  3. I couldn’t agree more with Mag and prayer! In fact, taking magnesium and calcium together have a calming effect on the brain. This was a life-saver for me in third trimester pregnancy.

    Some of my closest moments with God have been in the midst of insomnia. I love falling asleep to prayer.

    The only other thing I can think to add is taking a lavender bath 3-4 hours before bed (I know that’s hard for mommas sometimes!). The lavender is calming, and the bath does something to our core temp which is supposed to put us into a deeper sleep. It’s good to do for babies too.

    Great tips!

  4. I love the idea of drinking a calming tea in the evening, but find it causes me to get up frequently in the night to pee, defeating the purpose of drinking the tea. Any ideas for overcoming that?

    • Yes, this can be an issue. Not sure what would counteract this, so maybe try a different avenue to helping to fall asleep?

      You could try drinking a tea earlier in the evening to start relaxing, then take magnesium about 1/2 to 1 hr before bedtime. Check out the health food store or section of the store…sometimes there are hard candies with chamomile or lemon balm, which will aid with feeling relaxed w/o a need for middle-of-the-night waking for the bathroom.

      Let us know if anything works!

      • Hadn’t heard of the candies before. I did just get capsule versions of passion flower and lemon balm, and am drinking some passion flower and lemon balm tea (it’s not quite 7PM here) to see how that affects me. Also saw an idea for making herbal jello that might be fun and hopefully effective. Thanks!

  5. I had no idea about magnesium supplements helping with insomnia. Thanks for these great tips, Daniele!

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