Simple and natural methods for getting to sleep.
Symptom: not being able to fall asleep or getting back to sleep if you wake up in the middle of the night.
This section is not considered part of sleep training for infants and toddlers – that is covered under behavioral issues.
[As with any guidance please consult your physician or child’s Pediatrician before beginning any treatments whether it be natural, holistic, homeopathic, or supplements.]
Natural treatments and lifestyle changes that can help you fall asleep and stay asleep longer are divided into behavioral or habits, food and meals, exercise, stress reduction, natural remedies.
Basic sleep schedule – consistency of bedtime. Make a bedtime routine for any age. give yourself time to wind down. Warm bath. Quiet time. No distractions . Peaceful fun and games. Reading. And any brain activity that is distracting and calming but not over stimulating to the body or mind.
One of errors people make when they do not get enough sleep at night whether it be by choice staying up late or a sleepless night is to sleep in, later. While it may seem like a good idea to help you catch up with your sleep, the overall effect is to change your natural circadian rhythm. This would have a negative overall impact on sleep and restfulness. If nothing else staying up late and sleeping in just reinforces the poor sleep pattern rather than your natural sleep cycle.
Rather than staying up late and waking up late, turn it around. Start waking up with the sunrise and stay awake until you create a new reasonable bedtime in order to get 7- 8 hours before the next day’s sunrise. This will tune your body and mind into daylight and reset your circadian rhythm. This process actually keeps you healthy , your immune system functioning at it’s peak, your brain focused and you feel less stress.
Psychological and stress reduction .
Calming yoga and meditation including visualization, corpse pose, mindfulness meditation
Reading, writing, art, music- listening to classical music has been shown to calm your brain waves. Activities with a lot of repetition will have a calming effect on your brain( like knitting).
Food that help calm and elicit melatonin
Dark cherries, tart cherry juice.
Good hard fermented cheese ( for those non vegan)
Foods with tryptophan- nuts(walnuts), bananas
Magnesium from nuts and seeds
B6 foods aide in melatonin production Pistachio nuts and garlic , banana are B6 rich
Potassium rich foods also help in muscle relaxation. Citrus,dates and figs,tomatoes.
Lettuce leaf – eat a bunch shredded in salad sandwich wheat multigrain seed rich bread.
Easiest and best choice-lettuce tea. Use romaine , 2 – 4 large leaves to 6-8 ounces of water steep in boiled water for 15-20 minutes . drink cup of that. For infants a teaspoon or 2
Herbs and essential oils:
lemon balm. Lavender oil, candles, incense, put oil on your pillow.
Saffron oil or in food. . Valerian calming for stress- coming in tea, supplements.
Can put a few drops on your pillow. Light a candle or use essential oils in your bath .
Lettuce tea- see above
Chamomile tea – decaf
Lemon balm with lemon grass
Exercise regularly – aerobic and especially anaerobic like weight lifting should be earlier in the day. . Yoga is a good winding down exercise as is a slow swim.
Noise machine, soft music, waves.
Staying fit and healthy with good air circulation is very crucial to getting a good night’s sleep.
Please as with all information check with your physician to assure your poor sleep is not medically related.
Warren Krantz MD