Get natural relief for your sleep disorders.
Counting sheep, counting backwards, watching the seconds drag by on the clock – sound familiar? Sleep disorders are incredibly common and have many underlying causes. Obviously, it’s important for you to identify the cause before you decide on any action for therapy. But there are certain lifestyle measures you can follow to give your body the best chance of reaching the calm state required for sleep.
A few simple but important changes might include making sure that you have no mental stimulation within two hours of bedtime. Physical exercise is an obvious one, but watching TV can also contribute to mental stimulation. Caffinated drinks such as coffee, tea and cola should be avoided within eight hours of bedtime as the half-life of caffeine is four hours. This means that half the amount taken in is removed from the body in four hours, then half of the remaining in a further four hours, and so on. It takes 20 hours for almost all the caffeine to be removed from your system. Some people are more sensitive to the effects of caffeine and if that’s you, it can take even longer.
Some quiet time just before bed can help with calming your thoughts and if you’re into more formal meditation, that’s even better. Listening to relaxing music or some light reading can also be useful.
Natural Sleep is the Goal
Prescription medications are available and certainly produce sleep, however, the quality of sleep is not natural and with time, the effects of the drug wear off as the body develops tolerance. This is a slippery slope that can then lead to addiction.
As an alternative to prescription drugs, there are many natural therapies that can help with sleep; herbs such as valerian, passiflora, hops and lemon balm. Nutritional supplements 5-HTP and melatonin can also be very effective.
Natural remedies are safe to use long-term and support the body’s natural processes rather than overriding them in the way that pharmaceuticals do.
To your health,
Dr. Chris Dawkins, BM, MRCGP, LMCC
Chief Nutrition Optimizer at Natural Health Publishing