Natural Remedies to Combat Sleep Problems

Sleepy elderly man with night-gown holding a pillow

Changes to our sleeping is a natural part of aging. For many people, unfortunately, aging results in difficulty with sleeping. But just because we may experience sleep disruption as we get older, it doesn’t mean we need any less of it. Research suggests that the amount of sleep we need stays pretty well constant for your lifetime. Here are some natural remedies to help you get a good night’s rest. It may also be a wise idea to talk to your doctor to discuss what the cause of the sleeplessness might be, and ask for his or her recommendation as well.

Melatonin is that hormone that regulates your sleep cycle. Taking melatonin is a commonly used option for those who are having trouble getting a good night’s rest. Melatonin can be found in most drug stores.

Calcium and Magnesium
Warm milk before bed to help you sleep is more than just an old wives’ tale – calcium in milk can help make serotonin which helps regulate sleep. If you prefer, you can also have almond milk, also a great source of calcium.
Magnesium is also crucial in getting a good night’s rest. Green nuts and leafy greens are great sources of magnesium. If you intend to take calcium and magnesium supplements be sure to consult with your doctor first.

Valerian root
Valerian root is the root of a flowering herb that has been used to induce sleep. Studies have shown that Valerian root can help some people sleep – although it doesn’t work for everyone. You can find this herb in natural supplement store.

Change Your Sleep Environment
Turn off the TV and close your blinds – for some people, having too light an environment can make it more difficult to sleep. TV can also be a distraction and keep your body from relaxing.
Make sure your room is a good temperature for your body. Also, make sure that your bedroom looks visually tranquil to you. Are there piles of dirty laundry to be done? Are there stacks of bills out on your night-side table? Finally, have a good mattress. With an average of 8 hours spent on it a night – it’s worth the money to get something comfortable!

Try Doing Something Else
If you have been trying to sleep for a while (over half an hour), it may be a good idea to change your activity to something different but non-stimulating. You can do some light reading (preferably a calming book), doing a bit of yoga or meditating, or listening to relaxing music. After some time has passed and you feel calm, give it another go.

Have a Snack
Some new research shows that eating a light snack before bed may help some individuals sleep. Leptin is the hormone released after a meal, which induces a sense of satisfaction and can contribute to a good night’s rest. A big meal, however, should be avoided as when you sleep the digestive tract will slow and digesting food will become more difficult for your body. Try a handful of nuts, some crackers and cheese, or a banana right before bed.

If Sleep Issues Persist, See a Doctor
Natural sleep remedies can be used for the occasional sleeping difficulties, however they shouldn’t be used for insomnia or chronic sleep problems. If sleeping problems persist, be sure to see a doctor to help you.

Happy Sleeping!