The most commonly reported sleep disorder is insomnia; having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, or the inability to get quality sleep throughout the night.
According to Dr. Naiman, one of the most common symptoms of insomnia is a condition called “cognitive popcorn:”
“Cognitive popcorn is something that occurs when you put your head down, trying to go to sleep or trying to get back to sleep in the middle of the night, and suddenly your mind starts to produce all of these thoughts.
They’re unwanted thoughts, uncontrollable thoughts. It’s as if the mind has a mind of its own. That’s a very common complaint that keeps people awake.”
In order to understand why you can’t sleep, you need to understand that sleep is the outcome of an interaction between two classes of variables: sleepiness and “noise.
- Sleepiness – Under normal conditions, your sleepiness should gradually increase throughout the day, peaking just before you go to bed at night. This is ideal, as you want your sleepiness to be high at the beginning of the night.
- “Noise” – refers to any kind of stimulation that inhibits or disrupts sleep. If noise is conceptually greater than your level of sleepiness, you will not fall asleep.”Noise” occurs in three zones: the mind level, body level, and the environmental level.Dr. Naiman gives this example: “If you’re energized during the day, you’re feeling passionate, you want to move, be productive and so on, that’s great. But if that experience occurs in the middle of the night, that becomes a kind of noise.”The most common type of mind noise, however, is the “cognitive popcorn;” unstoppable thoughts running through your mind at night. Examples of body noise include pain, discomfort, indigestion, side effects from prescription drugs, or residual caffeine from drinking coffee too late in the day. Environmental noise is usually obvious, such as noises in your room or house, a snoring partner (Learn about a natural snoring device) , music, lights, or a bedroom that’s too warm.
In order to get a good night’s sleep, you want your sleepiness level to be high, and the noise level to below.
According to Dr. Naiman, more often than not, the reason why people can’t fall asleep is NOT because of lack of sleepiness, but rather because of excessive noise and over-thinking. Read the full article here(source)
Image source Karl M. pixabay
So How Do You Get Rid of Insomnia Naturally?
If you find it difficult to fall asleep in the initial stages, here are 11 techniques for insomnia which are guaranteed effective:
1. Take a Warm Bath or Shower
Take a bath or hot shower and relax, unwind, and get rid of the tiredness of the day. Add Epson salts (soothe and relax achy muscles), a few drops of lavender oil, or set up your aromatherapy kit.
2. Soothing Music
Playing your favorite music softly while taking a bath or under the shower has been proven to help you rid of anxiety, stress and help you relax. The Journal of Advanced Nursing advises that music improves the quality of sleep in adults, older women, and adolescents. Additionally, like we all ll know, lullabies help newborns or infants drift away to sleep– in most cases. Try the adult version of lullabies to help you sleep.
3. Gadgets in The Bedroom (A Big NO NO!)Stop using electronics in the bedroom! Electromagnetic Fields (EMF’s) are known to interrupt sleep cycles and are responsible for a host of symptoms such as: muscle pain and weakness, fatigue in the mornings, heart palpitations, irritability, allergies, and most importantly the weakening of your immune system. To naturally protect your home and room get a Himalayan salt lamp This is the one I use which I use in my office and bedrooms and will help in reducing the exposure to harmful EMF’s.
4. Don’t Eat Before BedMake sure that you go to bed three to five hours after having a light dinner. Heavy dinners may cause you to toss and turn instead of dropping off to sleep because your metabolism is busy digesting instead of resting.
5. Peaceful EnvironmentMake sure that your bed is comfortable. A firm mattress (This is what I use) is usually favorable especially for those with aches and pains. However, the most important part is that you are comfortable. If you still cannot sleep even after the lights have been switched off and find your mind working busily, try this relaxing exercise – Stretch your body and loosen all your muscles.Then stretch your arms above your head, and let your loosened muscles fall into place naturally. Take deep breaths slowly and rhythmically – inhale, exhale.
6. Comfortable Dark RoomMake sure there is no direct light shining on your face while you sleep. A darkened room can tell your brain to “switch off.”Use thermal insulated blackout curtains or blackout blinds (these are what I use in my bedroom) and that we should all should use them. They provide complete privacy and block out all light. That is what we use at home and not only do they insulate the room but they truly block light and even noise.
If for some reason you can’t make your room dark, try the happy wraps eye pillow. You will enjoy inner deep relaxation and light acupressure that the organic flax seed provides to refresh and rejuvenate tired achy eyes. You can chill it in the freezer to reduce swelling, for a headache and migraine relief, soothe tired puffy eyes, relieve stress and anxiety. Or Warm – Heat in the Microwave for 30 seconds to relieve sinus pain, Sprinkle a tiny bit of water on your Eye Pillow, microwave 30 seconds for moist therapy for dry eyes
7. Temperature is ImportantThe ideal temperate to get a good night’s sleep should be no higher than 68 F. or at least 71. Anything above that will raise your body temperate, which makes your body sweat more and therefore uncomfortable. During the summer use light breathable sheets and pillowcases, and use a window fan or energy efficiency Ratio (EER) Air conditioner. If you don’t use an AC to save money, think of investing in your health instead or at least turn it on at the time you need a good solid 7-8 hours of sleep- YOU deserve it.
During the fall and spring months, take advantage of the cool weather and bungle up instead if you have to. During the winter, take shower or bath before bed. Make sure it is room temperature for a good night sleep.
8. Relax, UnwindTry making your mind a blank by concentrating on a pleasant visual “mind picture.” Visualize the sky or the ocean or anything that makes you happy. Thinking of your horrible day at work, family, or relationship issues or anything negative affects your mood. Additionally, refrain from watching negative news, shows, or stories. You need a good state of mind to go to bed. Focus on positive things or even read a book. The blue light in gadgets tells your brain to “switch it on”. See step 3.
9. Drink Relaxing Teas, Healing Drinks or SupplementDrinking good old chamomile, Linden flower (Tilo), GABA always works and of course my favorite natural sleep aid with valerian– a natural muscle and mind relaxer.
10. Good ‘ol Warm Milk (Almond, Coconut works too)Drink a glass of your favorite milk with honey. This is the best natural soporific and it has been used effectively to put over-energetic children to sleep down for centuries. It works wonders with adults too. Allergic to dairy? Use almond, coconut or your favorite “milk”. You can also try my famous ancient golden paste in this article. It’s pretty much golden milk with a major kick 😉
11. Don’t overthink… Tomorrow is Another DayTry not to overthink things… seriously!
What difference is it going to make from tonight until tomorrow or next week? I learned this from one of my favorite books Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie. I highly recommend the audio version but whatever you prefer.
Let it go… tomorrow is another day. Go to sleep you need and deserve it.
Final ThoughtsThe above are some easy to implement tips and techniques on how to get rid of insomnia naturally. However, if your normal sleep cycle has been disturbed, and you find it difficult to sleep for more than one week, I highly suggest you consult with sleep disorders specialist. There may be an underlying issue that must be addressed immediately.
Do not self-medicate to induce a good night’s rest either, it has been proven that sleeping pills do not work. Mercola has a really good article about it here.I hope these tips on how to get rid of insomnia naturally helped you get a restful night.
Have you been dealing with insomnia and if so, what have you done to overcome the issue? Did you use any of these tips? Do come back and tell us!
Image credits Jon Eisenberg
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