Rock a Bye, Babe
The clock ticks away as you mindlessly scroll through your phone for the fourth time with only one thing new to look at in the past hour since it’s now 3:30 am. Many of us are familiar with those sleepless nights full of thoughts and very, very little rest. Prescription sleep aids and other pharmaceuticals may not always be the best answer for those looking to get some shut eye.
Statistically, this disorder is hard to gauge. It is said that roughly 50-70 million US adults are stated to have a sleep disorder. The majority of individuals who suffer from any mild sleep disorder, however, do not report symptoms to the doctor for treatment. And with sleep being a vital factor in one’s overall health, it is so important that we acknowledge these issues!
Luckily for us, there are many different ways we can treat this disorder naturally, saving yourself that dreaded trip to the doctors office. If you are having any difficulties sleeping, take a look below at these 7 natural remedies for symptoms of insomnia.
Many of you have heard of this common treatment for insomnia or sleep disorders. Melatonin is a natural hormone that is found in the body, secreted by the pineal gland, located in the center of the brain, which also reacts to light and produces serotonin.
This hormone regulates your sleep-wake cycle and your body is intended to increase melatonin during the nighttime and reduce your melatonin in the daytime. Melatonin comes in supplement form and is a great way to help with regulating your sleep cycle. Be sure to contact your doctor if you are unsure of the proper dosage.
Practicing good sleep hygiene can include the foods and drinks you consume on a daily basis. There are four essential vitamins that promote sleep: magnesium, tryptophan, calcium, and B6. Each of these vitamins promote melatonin in the body and increase healthier sleep patterns. Find foods high in these vitamins to eat throughout the day in order to have a healthy sleep. It is important not to have a big meal before bedtime.
Foods high in magnesium include: dark leafy greens, fish, avocados, bananas, and nuts and seeds.
Foods high in tryptophan include: dairy products, poultry, seafood, cheese, almonds, apples and grains.
Foods high in calcium include: low fat milk, yogurt, cheese, soybeans, okra and broccoli.
Foods high in B6 include: sunflower seeds, pistachio nuts, flaxseed, tuna and spinach.
Good drinks pre-bedtime include:
Tart cherry juice
Foods you should avoid include:
Food or drinks that contain caffeine: ex. Coffee, dark chocolate and energy drinks
Foods high in fat
Foods high in protein
Foods containing water or excessive water
Heavy meals before bedtime
Part of living a greener lifestyle includes ditching the old prescription drugs for a more natural way of treatment. With herbal medicine backed by science and being practiced more frequently in the coming years, many have loved the switch, either partial or full, from contemporary medicine. Insomnia and sleep disorders are a common illness that can be treated by different herbs in various forms. The following herbs would be best to incorporate 20-30 minutes before bedtime or throughout the day:
All of these herbs may be consumed in a variety of different forms. You can make a nighttime tea, combining different herbs here to create the ultimate sleep potion. You can use a diffuser and these herbs in essential oil form to reap the strong sleep benefits of aromatherapy. You can even take these herbs in supplement form pre-bedtime to see a difference in your sleep patterns. Ask a local herbalist for more information on these herbs or stay tuned into the Wayve as we will have many recipes and tips on how to incorporate herbs into your lifestyle.
Yoga and Meditation
Yoga is the practice of different postures or asanas to relieve stress, and strengthen the body and mind. Meditation is the practice of stillness, clearing the mind, and focusing on breath in order to naturally sort your thoughts, rid your body of negative energy and worries. Many of us have difficulties turning our brain’s off for bedtime. We have stress and anxiety about the day we just had and all the things we must deal with tomorrow.
If you take just 10 to 20 minutes before bedtime to practice a soft yoga flow or couple poses, or clear the mind and meditate, you are assisting in creating a proper nighttime ritual for sleep promotion. When we practice yoga or meditation, we trigger a physiological response of the parasympathetic nervous system which reduces psychological distress, promotes decreased muscle tension, blood pressure and heart rate.
Focusing on the breath is crucial as well to cure sleep disorders. The stress and
anxieties of today’s society creates unnatural breathing patterns and habits. Ensuring you are receiving full and proper breaths to promote full relaxation before bedtime.
Can you imagine that the amount of time you spend in natural light or different light exposures could affect your sleep pattern? Well, it does! Many people have jobs that limit them to outdoor light and expose them to harmful artificial light. Having frequent exposure to computer and cell phone screens, those who work the night shift, or those who are stuck indoors the majority of the day are all examples of people who may suffer from sleep issues due to insufficient natural light exposure.
The pineal gland, as mentioned in the discussion of melatonin, produces both melatonin and serotonin that modulate your sleep patterns and internal clock. The production of the melatonin is stimulated in darkness and inhibited by light, where serotonin is stimulated by light and inhibited by darkness. In order to have a healthy sleep-wake cycle, one must have a healthy sun-dark relationship.
Avoid TV’s, cell phone screens, computer screens directly before bed as this light tricks the pineal gland into thinking it is daytime and increases the production of serotonin which will energize the body. Those who spend more time in the natural sun have a healthier circadian clock which reduces symptoms of insomnia. Those who are stuck indoors can find more sun during their days with light therapy bulbs that replicate the sun's natural energy. Who knew a little light might just make your night a little less restless?!
Although now considered a prescription drug, this natural herb is a medicine widely used to treat sleep disorders, on top of treating many other illnesses. It is easy to look over this paragraph if you are simply “not into that” or have seen the negative connotations that the marijuana industry holds, however, it is important to look at facts and find products that work for you. The ever growing cannabis industry can be intimidating for the uneducated or intrigued future marijuana user.
Microdosing, or indulging in a small about of THC or CBD levels pre-bedtime or even daily, can promote inspiration and enhance sleep production. The benefits of marijuana to the body can vary from person to person, however, this herbal medicine is linked to reducing anxiety and stress, and promoting drowsiness. Although more research and scientific data is needed to prove that this natural remedy has a significant effect on treatment of symptoms of insomnia, many have stated that the use of cannabis, even a very small amount, helps with their nighttime slumber.
Here at Arrow + Phoenix, one of our favorite cannabis products that promote sustainability and provide a high quality product that produces real results, is Beboe. Beboe is dubbed the “Hermes of Marijuana” according to the New York Times, as it includes only the best quality cannabis products on the market free of pesticides. They have a ‘Downtime’ vaporizer pen with an indica blend to promote a peaceful sleep. This vaporizer pen has only 48% THC content so it’s not overwhelming and it is highly beneficial. You can find this product as well as other marijuana products in states that have legal medical or recreational marijuana. Be sure to do your research before indulging in herbal medicine such as this.
Further Feng Shui
For those of you who do not know what Feng Shui is, it is a system of creating harmonious surroundings in which spatial arrangement and orientation are related to the natural flow of energy. This can include anything from the way your furniture is placed in your house to how you treat your body. Some ways to up the Feng Shui and rid the Insomnia are listed below:
Add crystals to your bedroom, near where you sleep. Crystals that promote sleep include smoky quartz, amethyst or sodalite and clear negative energy and enhances calming energy.
Reduce clutter in your room as it will reduce cluttering negative energies.
Place calming, soothing and peaceful artwork and furniture. Choose art pieces and decor that you love and that brings you joy.
Color has a large impact on mood. Choose bedroom colors that are soft and calming.
Invest in good quality sheets, linens and pillows. 100% cotton linens or other eco-friendly linens are breathable and comfortable for the body that greatly assists in a sound sleep.
Try to sleep in the pitch black, or if anything low lamp lighting. If you cannot achieve blackness in your room, it may be useful to buy a nighttime sleep mask.
Healthy rest and relaxation is essential to live a full life with energy to keep you going. For the many people who suffer from sleep disorders and Insomnia, natural remedies such as these are easily attainable. We hope that you look into some of these cures to aid in your search for slumber.