Insomnia Treatment: The Why Not Natural Guide
If you struggle with insomnia, you're far from alone. About a third to a half of Americans have problems falling and staying asleep.
We have real advice in this article that's likely different from any other advice you've received.
Side Effects of Sleeping Pills
You may have been told the only thing that can be done is to take medication. Of course you should discuss everything in this article with your doctor who knows your personal situation better than anyone, but also be aware that sleeping pills aren't intended to be a long-term solution.
In the long run, sleeping pills can actually make your sleep issues worse. Extended use can cause problems with memory and attention. (1)
If you're over 65 years old, sleep aids of any kind are not recommended. This is because the older you are, the longer sleeping pills stay in your system and their side effects can impair functioning the next day. They are also more likely to cause health problems in older people. (1)
How to Say Goodbye to Insomnia
We know the feeling: you’re lying in your bed after 2 hours panicking that you’re not going to sleep again, or stressing that you woke up in the night again and don't know whether you'll manage to fall back to sleep.
Step 1: Relax- Stop Making a Bad Night a Big Deal
You need to relax and remind yourself that it’s okay even if you don’t sleep at all tonight, and that so many people have sleepless nights now and then.
In fact, there was a hilarious (and fascinating) study where researchers lied to participants about how well they slept the night before and then they gave them all a test on their attention and processing skills. Those who believed they were well-rested scored the highest, regardless of how they actually slept. (2)
So from now on: stop telling yourself and everyone else you’re a bad sleeper, and ignore all those articles about how harmful a bad night's sleep is. That won't make sleeping easier.
Step 2: Good Sleep Starts in the Morning
Practice good sleep habits starting when you wake up!
You need to wake up at the same time every day. Yes, we know you didn't sleep much. Get up anyway.
Go outside and get some sunlight as early as you can and for as long you’re able.
Take a B complex first thing in the morning and find out if you have a vitamin D deficiency and take your D3 in the morning too. (You know where you can find a good B complex and vitamin D- here!)
Step 3: Practice Good Sleep Hygiene
Finally (and you've probably heard this before, but are you practicing it?) don’t get on your electronics after dark. Ideally, you shouldn't look at any screens within 2 hours of bedtime.
Easy? No. Worth it? You tell us what a perfect night's sleep is worth to you.
Don't drink caffeine after 3:00 PM, and experiment with cutting yourself off even earlier (like 1:00 PM) to see if you're more sensitive to it than you realize.
Keep a consistent bedtime and take a good chelated magnesium before you hit the hay (ours is ideal for sleep - find it here). The ideal bedtime is before 10:00 PM as peak melatonin production is between 10:00 PM and 2:00 AM.
If you’re lying in bed for a long time just get up and read a little while and don’t look at the clock. You’re gonna be fine.
(2) Placebo sleep affects cognitive functioning