Aaah, sleep. What a perfect way to end a long, stressful day. Sometimes it’s easy to climb into bed, rest your head on a pillow, and drift off into dreamland. Other times, whether you have a lot on your mind, you’re stressed, you’re ill, or you can’t quite get comfortable, falling asleep can be easier said than done. Sleep is essential because our bodies need time to rest, process the events of the day, and recharge for the next day. Those who have trouble falling asleep may resort to sleeping pills to get the job done, but there are a number of natural sleep remedies that can aid you in getting a good night’s rest.
You know that sleepy feeling you get after eating Thanksgiving dinner? That’s not from the amount of food you consumed at dinner, but from the turkey. Tryptophan is an amino acid found in foods like turkey that helps the brain become relaxed. Don’t just save restful nights for the holiday season - eat turkey or other tryptophan-rich foods to help you get a good night’s sleep all year round.
Serotonin is another natural chemical that can give us that relaxed, sleepy feeling. Carbohydrates like quinoa, brown rice, whole grain oats, and corn all contain this chemical. A French study published by Sports Medicine, observed soccer players and their intense schedules. When the athletes consumed foods containing these chemicals, they found that they got better night’s of sleep and felt more rested for games.
According to the European Neurology Journal, your calcium levels are the highest during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. If your body is not reaching the REM sleep cycle, you may not be getting enough calcium. Calcium works with tryptophan to create melatonin, which is a natural sleep aid created by our bodies. Remember when your parents told you to have a glass of milk if you had trouble sleeping? That’s because of the calcium found in milk. Check out other food rich in calcium to try before bedtime.
There are a number of essential oils on the market that can help with a myriad of problems, like sinuses, aching muscles, and even sleep. These oils are a great alternative for sleeping medications, as they don’t cause harmful side-effects. Bergamot oil and lavender oil are known for their abilities to make us feel relaxed and sleepy. Put aroma sticks in a bottle of one of these oils in your bedroom so the scent lasts for a few days. If you don’t want the smell to travel throughout your room, place a few drops of oil on your pillow.
Having sleeping troubles can make us feel exhausted, stressed, and unhappy. This is especially true if you’re suffering from allergies that keep you up late at night. If you’ve tried these remedies, but want a little more, why not try a new mattress pad or pillow protector? Help your body get more restful nights of sleep to keep yourself happy and healthy!