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20 Best Natural Sleep Tips for Insomnia by Andrew Pacholyk, MS, L.Ac.

April 6, 2014

20 Best Natural Sleep Tips for Insomnia
by Andrew Pacholyk, MS, L.Ac.

This is an amazing and practical article regarding natural ways to cure insomnia. Introducing crystal jewelry and wearing it to sleep is also a great way as you will see below and the links for these bracelets are available so you can wear them as you work on relaxation and curing insomnia!

Insomnia is a symptom, not a disease. Insomnia can have many causes, but the biggest cause is due to stress. Stress related to work, school, health or family concerns. Depression is the second biggest cause. The use of stimulants, including caffeine, alcohol, nicotine or other over-the-counter or prescription medications will also cause insomnia. Prescription drugs, including some antidepressant, high blood pressure and steroid medications, can interfere with sleep. Many over-the-counter medications, including some brands of aspirin, decongestants and weight loss products, contain caffeine and other stimulants. Change in your environment or work schedule and even long-term use of sleep medications will actually interrupt your sleep cycle. Medical problems, including fibromyalgia or complex diseases of the nerves and muscles can make it very difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Behavioral insomnia, occurs when you worry excessively about not being able to sleep well and try too hard to fall asleep. Most people with this condition sleep better when they’re away from their usual sleep environment.

Best Sleep Tips

1. Sleep. That wonderful but sometimes elusive state of bliss and rejuvenation! I think it is most important to go to sleep with a “quiet mind”. Sometimes this is difficult to do. We all have trouble now and then. Sometimes, we are even afraid of knowing that we have to go to sleep.

2. Fear can be an underlining problem in many cases. There are many ways to quiet the mind. Doing 15 to 30 minutes of meditation or yoga can be very helpful. You must allow yourself to be distracted or get into your meditation or yoga and “let go” of the days thoughts.

3. Try tiring yourself out during the day, so that by the time you are ready for bed you are yearning for that pillow! Try exercise during the day to exhaust the muscles and mind. The moving is good when we are depressed too! It gets the blood flowing and makes us move past many issues. Pack your day with lots to do. Errands, class, shopping…whatever you can find to keep you busy.

4. Single herbs such as valerian root, hops, or passion flower are wonderful, natural sleep assistance herbs. Herbal tea, half hour before bed, is wonderful for relaxing the digestive system if you are nervous or upset. Chamomile is great for this as well as Kava and Hops. Try brewing these herbs separate or even together for a wonderful prescription for sleep!

5. Reading a book before bed is also good. This can direct your mind to a different place.

6. Diffusing essential oils of Lavender, Chamomile, or Clary Sage are all wonderful to induce a relaxed state and the soothing scents will calm your senses.

7. If you are taking a pain killer, be careful for many pain relievers actually have caffeine in them. Perhaps you may want to consider Willow Bark for pain.

8. Remember, we choose our thoughts, our thoughts do not choose us. Believe that this is so. To Believe is a powerful thing. The Universe supports ALL that WE CHOOSE to Believe. So do not torture your mind with troubled thoughts which will not allow you to sleep and are only destructive in the long run.

9. Block out light. To increase the quality of your sleep, research has shown that by blocking out light in your bedroom, you can improve your sleep pattern. If you can see your hand in front of your face, after the lights are off, then it is light enough to affect Melatonin production. Melatonin is a hormone secreted at night by the pineal gland. The pineal gland is a small organ in the brain sensitive to light levels.

10. Eat Earlier. Eat at least three hours before bedtime. The further away you eat from the time you go to sleep, the better it is for you to have a better night’s sleep.

11. Let your pets sleep outside your bedroom. Believe me, they don’t need you to fall asleep and the reverse is true. Pets can be restless and are often tossing and turning, getting up and down off the bed throughout the night, disturbing your peaceful sleep pattern.

12. Move the television outside the bedroom. This bright distraction should never be in a place made for peaceful sleep. Period.

13. Use guided imagery or visualization: According to research done in Britain, those who pictured a sunny beach, calm tranquil ocean or lush green garden have been shown to fall asleep 20 minutes faster then those who counted sheep.

14. Skip the acid foods: After eating foods such as tomatoes, citrus, and pineapple (especially in juice form) these foods will irritate the lining of the bladder causing night time spasms and pain. You can test your sensitivity to these foods by avoiding them for a week and then add one back every two days after that. The culprit will tend to cause symptoms to come back within 24 hours.

15. If you nap during the day: consider doing it about an hour after lunch and only for 15-30 minutes. You will wake up rejuvenated and it will not effect your sleeping pattern at night.

16. Caffeine: can be a real problem for some people. If that is you, have your last cup around lunch time. It can improve sleep problems by 30% in many people.

17. Keep your hands warm: According to the University of Iowa Sleep Clinic, keeping your hands warm and under the covers will help you to fall asleep faster and also help with fewer nightmares and awaking from them.

18. Choose looser pajamas: This choice alone will help the body’s core temperature lower and allow for your body heat to escape (which is a good thing), boosting Melatonin production.

19. Consider taking your calcium and magnesium before bed: These two supplements should be taken in divided doses with your first dose in the morning. At night, take 800-1,000 mg of calcium and 400 mg of magnesium, which will not only help you sleep, but will help you to avoid restless legs and cramping.

20. Give yourself a 5 minute calf massage: you will fall asleep twice as fast when you massage both calves. You can use a little massage cream and massage the calves (one at a time) using both hands, using long strokes upward towards the heart. This stimulates nerve bundles that relax the adrenals and reduce stress hormone production.

The current trend in sleep disorders increasingly is to view insomnia, historically one of the most confusing of all sleep complaints, as a circadian rhythm disorder.

Research has established these guidelines.

1.) Same wake-up time every day of the week. “Sleeping in” to make up for lost sleep is strictly forbidden—as is sleeping in on weekends. Why? Because it resets your circadian rhythm for a later fall-asleep time. Getting up every day of the week at the exact same time is the #1 most important cure for persistent insomnia—even if you are dead tired when the alarm clock sounds. Get up and tough out the day and the next night you will be tired enough to fall asleep at your desired bedtime.

2.) Same bed-time every day of the week. A little bit harder to keep, but if you have persistent insomnia and you are willing to try anything. What’s the rationale? The body likes consistency. If you are already prone to sleep disruptions such as insomnia, do not even begin to fool with the bed-time and wake-up times. Going to bed early? Trying to make up for lost sleep last night? Don’t do it. You’re just going to be awake at 3 a.m. again.

3.) Your target fall asleep and wake-up times should be based upon the minimum amount of sleep that you assess you need to get through your day functionally. The goal is to try to confine sleep to a tight, regular window so that when you do sleep, it is efficient. If you limit sleep to these boundaries (adhere to them diligently for three weeks and keep a sleep diary of your nightly fall asleep, time awake, and time out of bed parameters), chances are you’ll notice significant, life-changing improvement in just a short period of time.

Crystals That Can Be Helpful For Insomnia/Relaxation

Amethyst: Translucent, purple/lavendar Qtz. Psychicness, imagery, mind quieting. Wear when sleeping or when awake to reduce anger, impatience, and nightmares. Brow + Crown Chakra. Headaches, eyes, scalp/hair, pituitary, pineal, bloodsugar balance. Especially helps sobriety; alcohol/food/sex/other addictions. It soothes the nervous system and aids in the transmission of neural signals. Helps you feel less scattered and more in control of your thoughts. Memory skills and motivation improve. Goals are clearer, more realistic, and easier to achieve. However, you must use this stone cautiously with subjects who have paranoid or schizoid tendencies. Can benefit people with insomnia or troubled sleep. Ideal for those who meditate. Promotes selflessness. Useful in dispelling rage, anger, fear, and anxiety, and is a good stone for clarifying and remembering dreams. Helps relieve physical and emotional pain.

Exquisite Amethyst Bracelet HERE

Hematite: An iron oxide, steel gray to iron black in color. Silver-gray metallic is an iron ore which is iron oxide usually FeO2. One of the most grounding of all stones (Root Chakra.) Condenses scatteredness, fuzziness into mental clarity, concentration, memory, practicality, helps study, bookkeeping, detail work, sound sleep. Confidence, will power, boldness. Egyptians used also to calm hysteria and anxiety. Yang. Helps us adjust to being physical. Spleen, blood, cleanse. A protective stone and helps bolster low self-esteem. Helps in tissue regeneration. Also used for astral protection.

Exquisite Hematite Chakra Bracelet HERE

Lapis Lazuli: Solid, med. to dk. blue. In meditation, opens Brow Chakra: higher guidance, intuition, connection to higher self, overview, decisions for good of all. Organizes, quiets mind. Opens Throat/Thyroid Chakra: Self-expression, writing, creativity, dream insight, allows total awareness…Anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, autism, shyness, nervous system, depression, serenity, self-acceptance; MS, speech, hearing, pituitary, DNA, lymph, inflammation, pain (especially head), protection stone. Shelters the wearer like a shield. Beneficial to the respiratory system, especially the throat and lungs, the cleansing organs, and the nervous system. A good stone for blood purification and for boosting the immune system. A powerful thought-amplifier and is helpful in aligning all the elements of the body and mind. Can increase psychic abilities and will open the third eye. Can guide you in the direction of mental and spiritual purity.

Exquisite Lapis Chakra Bracelet HERE

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