We all have that partner or friend who seems to fall asleep as soon as their head hits the pillow while you lay staring at the ceiling. Getting a good night’s rest should always be a priority. Unfortunately, sleep doesn't come easy for everyone.
Insomnia affects up to 30% of the world’s population; that’s almost 1 in 3 Americans. If you’re uncomfortable treating insomnia with medications that leave you groggy, there are some safe alternatives for you to try. Looking for ways on how to fall asleep tonight? Whether you try a weighted blanket for insomnia relief or another method, we have recommendations for you.
You may have heard about weighted blankets helping autistic people or those with Asperbergs, but what about insomnia? Swedish researchers find weighted blankets to be a safe and effective insomnia intervention.
The additional weight applies pressure and mimics the sensation of acupressure or massage. Ready for a good night’s sleep? Try a weighted blanket for insomnia relief!
Many yogis over the years have encouraged breathing techniques for relaxation but your skepticism is natural. How can simple breathing techniques and patterns be an effective sleep aid? Before you dismiss the idea, first take a moment to try the 4-7-8. Regular practice can help you fall asleep in a shorter time frame. Plus, it’s free.
A great way to try for this, that is free, is the Oak Meditation and Breathing app. Some of the mediations charge a fee, but there are free guided breathing exercises that can put you to sleep quickly.
Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, or ASMR, is a physical reaction caused by sound or sight stimuli. Many describe it as a tingling sensation and it creates a sense of calm well-being.
Due to its growing popularity, there are many different videos to be found with a variety of sounds; from someone whispering to “pom-pom” lice being removed. Explore different options to see what works for you to get a great night’s sleep.
Avoiding Light Before Bed
Many of us plead guilty of addiction to our Smartphones or other devices and regularly climb into bed with them. How many of us have fallen down the rabbit hole and continued to watch videos, scroll social media feeds, or read articles that interest us right before bed?
This stimulates the brain and keeps you from getting your Z’s along with suppressing melatonin due to the blue light. Try to avoid looking at your phone a minimum of 30 minutes before bed. If you use your device for bed-time reading, change the screen tone to a sepia-based color and/or try a pair of blue light blocking glasses. Better yet, get out those classics you’ve been meaning to read since high school!
Not just for conspiracy theories or true-time listeners anymore! Podcasts have increasingly become popular with insomniacs, as there are many options available to help you doze off.
One of the most popular is Sleep With Me where its creator, Drew Ackerman, tells you long meandering stories in a flat monotone. Fell asleep and missed the end of the story? Not an issue because you feel so rested this morning you don’t even care. With the Sleep With Me podcast recommendation, Drew purposely tells stories that go nowhere with so many tangents so you don't get sucked into a story that you feel you need to finish.
Try Another Room or Bed
Many of us have heard the recommendation to avoid using our bed for anything other than sleep. It is also suggested to move to another room after 30 minutes and relax there until you try to fall asleep again.
Another recommendation is to get a new mattress or switch rooms altogether, whether permanently or just when you can't get to sleep. Ambient light or night sounds may unknowingly be disruptive. Try another room in your house to test your theory and improve your sleep cycle. With the addition of a weighted blanket for insomnia relief, sleep tight!
Sleeping Naked: Socks Only
While sleeping naked doesn’t appeal to everyone, you may consider donning your birthday suit while slipping on some socks. The ideal temperature for sleep is between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit. It is nice to feel cozy in bed but too high a room temperature disrupts your REM cycle. Keeping the room cooler allows you to fall asleep faster and sleep deeper.
But, why the socks? Warming your feet before bed sends a signal to your brain that it’s sleepy-time. Plus, opening the blood vessels in your hands and feet before bed increases warm blood circulation through the body. This is yet another signal to your body it’s time for bed. Socks may not be sexy, but warm feet, warm heart!
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
During our busy lives, we become so tense that we often don’t recognize what relaxed muscles feel like. Progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) is a two-step process where you tense specific muscle groups for 5-10 seconds and then release. Second, you become aware of the change.
Over time, your body will learn to easily identify the difference in sensation. Soon, you will be able to relax and enjoy a great night’s rest.
There are many free YouTube videos, podcasts, and phone apps that offer guided muscle relaxation if you need some help with this.
Wait, you want me to get high? Not at all. It contains little to no THC, the chemical found in marijuana that has cognitive effects. Hemp products have been used throughout history for food, clothes, and as paper, too.
CBD has emerged as a natural, safe, and effective sleep aid. CBD oil is a cannabinoid that interacts with our endocannabinoid system. This helps to maintain body functions, including sleep, through regulating our circadian rhythms. It also reduces anxiety, a common cause of insomnia. A few drops under your tongue before bed, and you’ll soon be off to La La Land.
Aromatherapy uses essential oils as its foundation. Essential oils have several different benefits, such as energizing you during the day, boosting your immune system, easing anxiety, and improving sleep.
The most widely recognized aromatherapy oil for sleep is lavender. A study found that those who participated reported longer time spent in REM sleep. They also had increased energy upon waking the next day. Wondering how to fall asleep tonight?
Grab a diffuser, add your essential oil and enjoy a wonderful night’s sleep.
We use our phones for almost everything these days, so why not aid in sleep? Plus, apps are user-friendly and most are free. There are several varieties to try, depending on your needs.
Some block out annoying noise that disturbs your sleep, others use guided imagery for relaxation. You can even track your sleep patterns to better learn about your sleep cycle. Some apps help to fix bad sleep habits you may have picked up over time through cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Soon enough you will be sleeping like a baby.
Final Thoughts on Natural Sleep Remedies
Whatever the cause of your insomnia, there are many alternative, natural solutions for you to try. Don’t get frustrated if the first doesn’t work immediately. Don’t give up. Choose an idea that sounds right for you.
A day or two isn’t enough time to retrain your brain. Once you find a solution, whether it’s a weighted blanket or aromatherapy, you will enjoy a well-deserved good night’s sleep. Remember, it took Goldilocks three tries before she found the one that was just right!