The majority of people will experience sleep problems at some point and for most these are usually short term. Here are five remedies that can assist with any sleep issues you may be having.
The warm bath is a favourite pre-bed relaxant for many people. Try to take a bath at the same time every evening and do not have the water too hot as this will increase the circulation in the body. Because the body temperature drops at night, a bath can help to ensure warmth when going to bed. Baths are also good for relieving some of the muscular tensions that can build up during busy days, especially around the neck and shoulders. There are many products available to help you relax in the bath. Lavender appears to aid sleep and is available in a number of bath products. Sandalwood is thought to relax the nervous system and increase melatonin (which regulates sleep cycles) levels in the brain. After a long soak in the bath, curling up in a comfortable bed is a must and for those who are considering buying a new double mattress, try out as many beds as you can to get a feel for which mattress suits you.
A number of people find these helpful with short-term sleep problems. They often contain natural products such as valerian. As a medicinal herb, valerian has been around since the time of the Ancient Greeks and Romans. Although there is some scientific evidence that it can assist with sleep, there is not enough evidence available yet for this to be conclusive.
Caffeine and Sleep
Caffeine is not only a stimulant, it is also thought to have diuretic effects that cause the kidneys to increase urine production. As well as tea and coffee, caffeine is in many soft drinks, chocolate and is often a flavour in foods. Some people avoid caffeine altogether to promote better sleep. But for those who may be reluctant to do this, setting a cut-off time of 2pm or 4pm for caffeinated products is a good idea.
Warm milk is the traditional bedtime drink and it can help with sleep, as it can warm the body up. Milk contains a tiny amount of melatonin and a small amount of an amino acid called tryptophan, which are both help in getting to sleep. Although the amounts are tiny, warm milk may also be of psychological importance because it is a traditional comfort food. For those who are not keen on milk, a little vanilla or cinnamon can make it more palatable.
Food and Sleep
Easting food before bed can cause some people to have a restless night or suffer from heartburn, whereas for others it can help them to settle. Eating causes the body temperature to rise slightly, so for those who often feel cold at night a snack can help. A sandwich, banana or a small bowl of wholegrain cereal such as wheat or oats may be suitable. Heavy, spicy or sweet foods should be avoided before bedtime. If a short-term sleep problem becomes longer term, then it may be time to speak to a doctor or other health professional as it is often an indication of underlying health issues or stress.
Zoe is an avid health blogger and freelance writer and loves to share her knowledge on health and sleep through content on the internet. Tweet your thoughts on this article to @bloggingstyle.