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Natural Sleep Aids

Natural sleep aids or natural sleep remedies offer natural and/or behavior treatments to deal with sleeplessness, and are sometimes a viable alternative to their medicinal counterparts like over the counter sleep aids and prescription sleep aids.

These are sometimes a bit easier on our body, and their focus tends to be towards relaxation of our body as a whole, so that sleep comes naturally to us, as opposed to getting us drugged to sleep.

7 natural sleep remedies

While professional help is always advised for those suffering from chronic insomnia, below are some possible suggestions that can help your mind and body unwind from daily stress, and gently guide you to sleep.

1. massage

A physical massage relaxes our stressed out muscles, and improves the blood flow in our body. That causes us to de-stress naturally, and leads to a good night's sleep.

While going to a massage professional has its advantages, it is difficult to put that into an every day routine for obvious reasons. Getting a massage from our partner works just as fine as a daily option.

Or alternatively, you can give yourself one simply by kneading those stressed out muscles with your hands and fingers in small, circular motions.

2. meditation

Meditation is another great, natural technique to let us sleep naturally, by putting a pause on those barrage of thoughts that constantly seem to move back and forth in our minds.

By getting us to concentrate on the present, meditation effectively controls those thoughts from straying to the past anxieties or future worries. While there are plenty of ways to meditate, the basic techniques are not complicated, although they do require a bit of a practice.

Focusing on our breathing is usually the starting point, and doing that for even a few minutes before bed time clears your mind, and helps you sleep naturally.

3. yoga

Just like meditation, yoga combines breathing and relaxation, and complements them with stretching, to effectively ease down the tensions in our body and mind.

A Harvard study found that daily yoga for eight weeks improves total sleep time, and reduces the time to fall asleep.

Getting trained by a professional is the best way to get maximum benefit out of a yoga regimen, and there are plenty of websites solely dedicated to the subject.

4. sleep audios

sleep tracks - natural sleep aids

Some people listen to sleep inducing audios which are actually designed to influence the electrical activity in the brain, and guide us slowly into deep sleep state.

These audios produce rhythmic pulse that turns on and off at a specified rate, and are known to effectively induce the brain to sleep deeply and naturally.

One such audio program comes from Sleep Tracks, which is one of the most popular sleep products on the internet today.

5. visualization

Some people claim success with this technique of visualizing a relaxing scene prior to going to bed.

Spend some time in this relaxing "place" that you let your mind create for you, taking in all its sights, sounds and smells. Stay there for 15 to 20 min prior to sleep time.

Alternatively, we can even repeat a set of visualizations to help produce a state of relaxation; those can eventually work as one of the effective natural sleep aids.

6. aromatherapy

Aromatherapy involves the use of oils to stimulate the areas of brain that promote relaxation, and ease out tension.

Put a few drops in a warm bath before going to bed, or apply a bit to our pillow.

This technique is just getting noticed, with research still in works and not yet conclusive, but there are lot of people reporting good results with it.

7. self hypnosis

Self Hypnosis is another excellent tool to achieve mental state of simultaneous relaxation and deep concentration.

Self hypnosis techniques can be considered excellent natural sleep aids that can relax your body and mind deeply enough, so you can quickly slip into sleep just as intended by nature.

a word about herbal sleep aids

There are plenty of natural supplements that are marketed today as natural sleep aids.

Some are hormonal supplements - like Melatonin; while others are herbal sleep aids - the most common ones available being Valerian and Kava.

Not much is known on how Valerian works yet, but it is a known fact that it does not work for everyone. There are several side effects reported - like headaches, indigestion, dizziness and impairment of thinking for a period of time after use.

Kava is another of the herbal sleep aids that is commonly used, but comes with a risk of severe liver damage.

Melatonin is a hormone supplement, which is also well known as a natural sleep aid, and comes with plenty of side effects as well.

It is important to remember that these hormonal and herbal sleep aids are not for everyone. They are not regulated by the US FDA, come with potential side effects and can interact internally with any other medicines you may be taking.

For these reasons, always consult a qualified physician before resorting to any supplements that are presented as natural sleep aids.

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