Natural Sleep Aids

What Are 7 Of The Best Natural Sleep Aids?

If you have trouble with insomnia then natural sleep aids can be an alternative to prescriptions drugs. The following holistic remedies are wholly natural and many of them have been used for centuries as insomnia cures.

With the increase levels of stress and anxiety nowadays in society, getting adequate night-time rest is one area of life which seems to be affected greatly. More and more people are finding it hard to relax in the night or are finding that they wake up really easily.

There are prescriptions you can get from the doctor for insomnia but there are also many holistic remedies out there too. What are they?

If you are in any doubt about your sleeping health then please speak with your doctor.

Sleep Aid #1: Herbal Tea

Herbal tea and in particular chamomile tea is a well-known remedy for sleep. Having a cup of chamomile tea an hour or so before bed helps to calm the mind and body.

Chamomile tea can be bought in most supermarkets nowadays and is also available from most health food shops. I personally find that chamomile tea helps to sooth and iron out the problems of the day.

Sleep Aid #2: Meditation

If you've read much of my site you will know by now that I am a big advocate of meditation. Meditation is one of the best natural sleep aids around. I have used it for years and there are very few nights that I wake up or have restless sleep.

Meditation helps to calm the mind and helps to put those thoughts which just won't stop to bed. This means that if you do wake in the night you just go back to sleep - you don't get lost in your thoughts again.

If you find it hard to meditate then this free 10 minute meditation will help you to relax before sleep (you will need to give your email address to gain access to the free meditation - the link is sent to you). I have found this meditation mp3 really good for switching off the mind.

Once your mind is settled and calm it will enter into a much deeper sleep.

Sleep Aid # 3: Eat Magnesium Rich Food

It is said that if you have a deficiency of magnesium that you are more likely suffer from insomnia. Eating a diet with greater levels of magnesium will help to remedy this.

Foods which contain high levels of magnesium are:

• Leafy green vegetables

• Cashews

• Almonds

• Seeds like pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds

• Whole-grains like rice, pasta, oats and bread

Eating more of these foods will help to raise the levels of magnesium in your body and therefore help your sleep.

Sleep Aid #4: Visualizations

Visualizations are another one of the natural sleep aids which I have used for many years. By entering into a relaxing and safe imaginary world a lot of the day's worries are left behind. And focusing on a journey through a magical land can give the mind something other than its thoughts to focus on.

The body relaxes and the mind follows suit very soon after. This is a technique I have used for many years to not only help me relax but also to sleep better.

I have recorded many guided visualizations onto my mp3 player and I listen to them before sleep or when I want to relax.

A company called Brainsync offers several guided visualizations and relaxations. You can download the visualizations on mp3 for $9.95 and the recording lasts for 60 minutes. I have found that I am usually asleep after 30 minutes of listening to a meditation mp3.

This recording takes you into a beautiful magical garden where you can relax and unwind.

Sleep Aid #5 Exercise

Exercising during the day is also a wonderful way of helping you to sleep at night. By doing some gentle exercise several hours before you sleep helps to relax the body and mind.

When you physically exercise the body you help to drain excess mental energy. This mental energy can be a major factor in not being able to get off to sleep and in waking up later on.

Exercising also allows you to unwind. A walk before sleep is a good way of getting fresh air to still the mind.

Sleep Aid #6: Yoga

Yoga is another one of the natural sleep aids that I have found to really work for me. I have found that doing yoga about an hour or two before bed, or even during the day helps to calm and relax the mind for sleep.

Yoga combines body movements and stretching with the breath. This enables you to enter into a deep state of relaxation which helps you to be in a prime state for sleep.

Yoga helps the mind to focus on different movements which again helps the mind to disconnect from the day's activities and enter a state of calm.

Sleep Aid #7: Qigong

Qigong, or Chi Kung as it is also known has been used for thousands of years as a way of relaxing the mind and exercising the body.

These exercises are similar to yoga in the way that they combine body movements with the breath. There are many differences between the two but I have always found qigong to help me to disconnect my mind from all the thoughts racing around my head, in a similar way to yoga.

It is quite simple to learn and many call it a Moving Meditation.

During a period of my life just after I left the monastery I found it really hard to sleep. I found there were so many stimuli that I hadn't encountered in the monastery - music, TV, internet etc. This meant that I found it hard to switch off and therefore to get to sleep.

I started to experiment with different natural sleep aids. What I found worked best was doing about 30 minutes of qigong and an hour's meditation and I would get to sleep no problem.

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