Due to increasing stress and hectic lifestyle, enjoying a good night’s sleep is becoming difficult day by day. Lack of sleep or insomnia can affect our body and mind in more ways than one, leading to problems like lack of concentration, mood swings, health disorders, etc. Therefore, to keep ourselves healthy, both physically and mentally, assuring sound and uninterrupted sleep is important. To combat the problem of insomnia, many people opt for over the counter medication, which can do more harm than good by causing various health problems with their constant use. Instead trying natural sleep aids, as these are simpler and do not have any side effects.
Melatonin is a substance which is very crucial for our body and it can be obtained from various food items, such as cherries and banana. It is available as a supplement in the form of pills as well. Cherry juice can be consumed as it is full of tryptophan, an amino acid which is converted into serotonin and then into melatonin and aids in better sleep. Similarly, banana contains tryptophan (http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/l-tryptophan-uses-and-risks), along with magnesium and potassium, which act as muscle relaxants and help in keeping us calm. Having a banana half an hour before going to sleep can increase the level of magnesium and relax the muscles.
Exercising or indulging in any physical activity is very important for helping us sleep better. Taking a stroll or trying light exercises for half an hour is usually enough to provide the required workout for our body. People who do not have much activity during the daytime find it difficult to fall sleep, whereas those who exercise regularly not only sleep better, but also notice an increase in their energy level after waking up, as it helps in keeping us active and energized. However, exercising right before going to bed should be avoided as it can disrupt the sleep.
Drinking chamomile tea before bedtime is also considered to help people enjoy better sleep by making them feel relaxed. Chamomile contains a substance called ‘apigenin’, which combines with GABA receptors and affects our central nervous system.
Aromatherapy is highly effective in keeping us relaxed. Lavender proves extremely helpful in improving the mood and evoking a sense of calmness. Stashing a lavender sachet under the pillow or placing it on the bedside table can help people drift off easily.
Magnesium is among those vital minerals that plays a significant role in ensuring proper functioning GABA receptors, which are crucial for keeping our central nervous system calm and helping us feel relaxed. Eating a balanced diet is recommended to provide our body with the right amount of magnesium. Supplements can also be taken to overcome the lack of magnesium in our diet.
Lemon balm, an ancient herb, is a powerful remedy which people have been depending upon since ancient times. Promoting calmness and lifting mood are the primary benefits that the use of lemon balm can lead to. Depression is one of the main causes of insomnia and lemon balm can prove helpful in promoting physical and mental health by ensuring proper sleep. However, it should be remembered that high dosage of lemon balm can lead to anxiety, so consume it in moderate amount.
Besides following the natural sleep aids (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/sleep-aids/) listed above, it is crucial to keep the environment around you calm and relaxing. Following a routine, using appropriate lights in the bedroom and selecting the right type of pillows and mattress is suggested to improve the quality and duration of sleep that one enjoys.
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