Sleep Better with These 5 Natural Sleep Remedies
Is falling asleep a struggleé Can't sleepat nighté It needn't be. Find out how you could sleep better naturallywith these 5 subtle changes to your bedtime routine.Stay tuned. Many of the bedtime rituals habits thatwe've established for ourselves are not conducive to getting a good night's rest.How you feel the next day during your waking hours hinges greatly on how well you sleep.By learning how to avoid common sleep enemies trying out a variety of healthy sleeppromotingtechniques, you'll eventually develop your personal routine to a good night's sleep.Let's take a look at how we can accomplish
this by creating your magical hour beforelights out. The solution to falling asleep quickly gettinga restful sleep does not boil down to just one thing or strategy.I wish it were that simple. It's a combination of factors or positivehabits that you gradually introduce into your current sleep routine over time thatsend you into lala land faster. In essence you're layering several strategieson top of each other in order to augment accelerate the positive sleep effect.With the goal of getting a restful sleep that recharges the body, clears the mind decreasesyour morning fatigue, let's take a look at
those 5 natural sleep remedies.But before I do that allow me to take a moment to explain the role of melatonin productionin establishing your body's natural sleepwake cycle.Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone controlled by light exposure.Your brain secretes more of it in the evening when it's dark to make you sleepy.And less during the day when it's light out you'd like to stay awake alert.So let's see how you could naturally increase your melatonin levels by making a few subtlechanges to your sleep routine. Here are those 5 strategies to incorporateinto your magical hour before lights out:
Strategy 1 is to turn off all light emittingelectronic devices at least an hour before bedtime.This includes your TV, computer, tablet smart phone.Many of us watch TV or work on the computer to relax at the end of the day.This is a big mistake right before bedtime. Not only does the light suppress your naturalmelatonin production, but these devices actually electrically stimulate the mind rather thanrelaxing it. If your favorite TV show is late at night,consider recording it then viewing it earlier the next day.Strategy 2.
As an alternative to TV watching, try listeningto some soft music or a fiction audio book instead.The soft music helps to set a calming mood. And listening to an audio book can be relaxing.Just ensure that it's a fiction story that requires little cognitive analysis as opposedto a recording that may require excessive processing.Which brings us to strategy 3 Piggy backing off of the previous tip, readingprior to lights out is yet another sleep remedy to consider trying.Spending 15 to 30 minutes losing yourself in a good book can take your mind off theday's stressful events.
I love to unwind at the end of my day withmy Kindle reader. As a side note, avoid reading from a backlitdevice at night such as an iPad. Tablets emit light which suppresses your naturalproduction of melatonin. Using an eReader such as a Kindle which isnot backlit is a better choice. Not into readingéHow about spending some time doing some relaxation exercises or meditation to help calm the mindéOr how journaling in your personal diary jotting down either what you were grateful for thatday or a personal success story that brings about a sense of peace contentmentéStrategy 4.
What Makes Insomniac Brains Different
Insomniacs have different brains! Weird brains!Super tired brains. God, I hate my insomnia. Anthony Carboni here for DNews and I had theworst insomnia from junior high almost all the way up through college. It's awful. You'realways drained, you can't think straight, you're depressed. While insomnia can be asymptom of a lot of things, we've never really pinpointed what the physiological change isin the body that makes it happen specifically. I never saw a specialist about it, but I'mpretty sure I had Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder it's common in teenagers and it basicallymeans your circadian rhythm is all offbalance your biological clock doesn't match up withthe day and night cycle. It can get less severe
as you get older mine only happens for acouple weeks a time now, then goes away for a bit. Insomnia can also be caused by psychologicalthings like stress or physical issues like sleep apnea. But researchers looking to starttreating insomnia at the biological root of the problem found a potential culprit: plasticityin the brain's motor cortex. We've talked about neuroplasticity before:its your brain's ability to adapt and change to different stimuli and situations. It meansif you want to change your habits or get better at something, you can because your brain willadapt to it eventually. The going theory was
that since people who suffer from insomniahave decreased memory and a hard time concentrating and retaining information, their brains wouldbe less plastic. Maybe being unable to process all that daytime info leads to sleeping problems. But a new study out of Johns Hopkins universitysays no an insomniac's motor cortex is more adaptable than someone who can sleep easily.They hooked up some healthy sleepers and insomniacs to electrodes and tried some transcranialmagnetic stimulation or TMS on them. Basically, it delivers precise levels of electrical currentsto parts of the brain but not in a weird, shock therapy, seen it in the movies way.In a more controlled, FDA approved, lets study
the brain and try to help people sort of way. So, they basically trained the sleeping subjects,using TMS, to move their thumbs in a certain way in reaction to stimulation. I feel likethe more I explain this, the less safe TMS is actually going to sound. AAAAANYWAY. Thenthey tried to retrain the subjects to have their thumbs move in the OTHER direction.And the insomniacs adapted to the change much more easily. So what does that meané Is neuroplasticitybadé Is it causing insomnia or is it the brain of an insomniac trying help the body copewith all the other physical and emotional
stresses that come with a lack of sleepé This is where I go quot;The researchers aren'tsure,quot; and you all groan and throw rotten vegetables at me. But here's what's good andexciting about the research: if the overly changeable motor cortex is connected to releasingall the stress hormones and causing all the other emotional issues of insomnia, TMS couldbe used to calm the brain down and help people get into the habit of healthy sleep. It'llalso make diagnosing legitimate insomnia much easier right now there's no way to objectivelytest for it, so a lot of people think they're insomniacs when they have other, more easilytreatable issues and vice versa.
In the meantime, if you're up, you can alwaystweet. At me. There's a good chance I am, too.