Every snake oil salesman and social media influencer would have some oils and creams that are the efficient home remedies for insomnia. Most of them end up being a waste of money and time, and in some cases, the side effects would be far worse than insomnia. Insomnia is a medical condition, and there are many studies conducted on the remedies. Thus, it is wise to choose the methods and products with the science behind them.
When should you try home remedies for insomnia?
There is a difference between sleeplessness and insomnia. Short-term insomnia could be due to a particular nagging problem, crying baby, or a relationship breakup. Insomnia is the inability to sleep even when you have no stress and almost exhausted. If you have insomnia, should you try home remedies for insomnia? If insomnia is due to any major illness, it is best to talk to your doctor about the remedy for the underlying problem.
Also, remember that the home remedies take a considerable time to act on your sleep cycle. If sleeplessness is causing serious medical and work-related issues, it is best to talk to your doctor. A child with insomnia needs medical attention from a pediatrician.
Are supplements, good home remedies for insomnia?
There are numerous supplements, creams, essential oils, and others that you find in the market. Yes, they are home remedies for insomnia. But, the efficiency and side effects of a product would vary from one individual to another. If you have a serious medical condition or sensitive skin, it is best to talk to your doctor (dermatologist for topical solutions) before trying these products.
Deal with stress using any home remedies for insomnia
The home remedies for insomnia that would help you deal with stress are meditation, healthy eating, hobbies, relationship guides, exercise, and yoga. You could incorporate any activity that would help you deal with stress. Stress is a leading cause of insomnia and many other major illnesses. The interesting part about stress-busters is, each individual’s need is unique. One might feel calm after a walk through a park, and one might need a horror movie to de-stress. Anything that works for you is fine unless it is alcohol.
Alcohol does not put you into a deep sleep. Alcohol-induced sleep is ineffective and disturbed. Moreover, alcohol dependency is another major medical condition, and it is best to avoid such problems.
If you are religious, you can chant any psalm or mantra repeatedly. Or, you can use any phrase too. Some tend to count backward from 100. It is similar to counting sheep. In 2015, a study took place with participants suffering from insomnia. The researchers asked them to chant any phrase or mantra repeatedly while trying to sleep. Within a week, the participants showcased a reduction in the insomnia intensity. The trick here is to keep your mind focused on a singular element. This concentration wears you off, and you will fall asleep.
Exercise your way to sleep
Exercise reduces stress, and it also induces a healthy sleep cycle. According to a study, 150 minutes of exercising (any kind) per 7 days for 6 months was enough to reduce the symptoms associated with insomnia and improve the sleep cycle. Remember that intensive exercise right before sleep time could be counter-productive. Thus, please schedule it in the morning or early evening. Some tend to find exercise to be monotonous and boring. You can take part in any sports activity, too. Sport-based exercise reduces stress, gives good energy, and also helps to reduce weight.
Massaging and essential oils
Gentle massage can help stimulate your body and promote healthy sleep. A study found that massage (with or without oils) can help improve sleep quality and reduce daytime dysfunction. Olfactory senses are well-connected with our emotions. Thus, if you have stress-induced insomnia, it is best to choose essential oils to calm your system.
Each individual’s preference for calming smell would be different. However, the top essential oil choices are sandalwood oil, lavender oil, bergamot oil, valerian oil, chamomile oil, and ylang ylang oil. Remember to buy high-quality oil and use it as indicated. Some prefer adding a few drops into a warm bath before bedtime. And, some prefer to sprinkle some on the bedsheet. It is all about your sleeping preferences.
Add magnesium to your diet
A healthy diet is essential for a healthy sleep cycle. A very heavy dinner or staying hungry would alter your sleep cycle. The diet should contain all micro and macronutrients in an adequate amount. However, it is important to add a little more magnesium to your food. According to a study in 2012, participants who took 500mg of magnesium for 60 days had an improvement in their sleep cycle and insomnia symptoms. Women need 300mg per day, and men need 400mg. Some prefer adding magnesium flakes in a warm bath right before bedtime.
Before starting supplements or using bath-time flakes, talk to your doctor about side effects. The best way to take magnesium without side effects is by consuming natural products like peanut, pumpkin seeds, spinach, almonds, cashews, etc. However, if you have a magnesium deficiency, supplements are vital.
Over-the-counter medications for insomnia
Medicines with melatonin as an active ingredient is a common medicine found in the pharmacies for insomnia. You should take these right before bedtime, and the dose should not be higher than 5mg. This method is not the best option but would be effective if none of the home remedies worked for you. The side effects of medications are numerous and, thus, talk to your doctor. Remember that sleeping pills are not a solution for insomnia.
Other top tips to have a healthy sleep cycle are avoiding caffeine or nicotine at least six hours before bedtime, avoiding screen time for two hours before bedtime, keeping your bedroom calm, and always keeping a bedtime routine. If you are not tired, do not force yourself to sleep. It will disturb the system.