Insomnia ranks pretty high up on the list of complaints from women over 50. I’ve compiled a list of some of the best natural cures for insomnia that I’ve found; however, you may need to experiment to find one or a combo that works for you.
Best Natural Cures for Insomnia
Cool Off Hot Flashes…Hot flashes are triggered by erratic estrogen levels and/or made worse from stress and anxiety. First, we’ll look at stabilizing hormone levels by trying natural estrogen cream, estrogen replacement therapy prescribed by your doctor, accupuncture or an herbal remedy like Dong Quai, Black Cohosh and Licorice Root (to name a few). We’ll discuss stress and anxiety later.
Eat for Sleep…Since high blood sugar and insulin are associated with poor sleep, it makes sense for us to keep our diet in check and I’ve provided a great food plan in the “Nutrition” section for you. Eating a high protein/low carb snack before bed can help; however, never go to bed on a full stomach. This can cause acid reflux/heartburn, so give it about 3 hours after a big meal before going to bed.
Avoid Caffeine…Caffeine is not only a stimulant, but is also a bladder irritant that can wake you during the night to pee.
Avoid alcohol…Even though alcohol is a sedative, it can cause a rebound effect, causing you to wake up because your body needs more sedative.
Regular Exercise…Daily exercise will improve your odds in getting a good night’s sleep. Just be careful not to to do anything too vigorous less than 4 hours before bed. On the other hand, relaxation exercises, like yoga, can really help to wind you down right before bed.
Meditation…Just 15 to 30 minutes of meditation at bedtime can ease stress related tension and calm the mind enough to fall asleep. If you have a smart phone, I suggest looking up some guided meditation videos for insomnia on youtube. Michael Sealey has several good videos and I’ve had lots of luck falling asleep to his calming voice. Otherwise, you can try this mindful meditation on your own: get comfortable in your bed. Take a few deep, slow breaths through your nose. Inhale slowly, exhale slowly. Bring your focus to your toes. Curl your toes in tight for the count of 5, and release. Focus on your lower legs and tighten up all the the muscles from your knees on down for the count of 5, release. Continue this progression up the body, focusing on a small section of your body at a time, until you come to the head. Lastly, bring your focus to the muscles in your face. Scrunch up your face and squeeze your eyes shut tight for the count of 5. Release and relax the entire body. Slow your breathing down. Sleep. Be aware of the contrast between tightening your muscles and relaxing them during your entire meditation and keep breathing steadily through your nose.
Establish a Bedtime Routine…You should start winding down and preparing for bed 30 to 60 minutes before you actually get into bed. Start by putting on your jammies or comfortable clothing. Then, get all your bathroom duties out of the way like washing your face and brushing your teeth. All this is telling your mind that it’s bedtime and time to relax. Turn off all the lights and try to sleep in pure darkness. Turn the face of your clock away so that you can’t see it, that just causes more stress if you wake up during the night.
Avoid Things That Can Cause More Stress and Anxiety…Stress and anxiety can suck the sleep out of anyone. Be aware of some of the triggers that can make matters worse: Try to resolve unfinished business before bedtime, avoid watching late night news or reading anything that can be disturbing before bed, try writing down all your worries in a journal and turn all your troubles over to the higher power of your choice for the night.
Natural Sleep Aid Supplements…Valerian and Melatonin are probably the most common herbal remedies for insomnia. They can be very effective and with little or no side effects.
I hope you found this to be helpful in your quest for sleep. Please feel free to leave your comment or question below that you may have concerning insomnia.
Good Night, Sleep Tight