Fact: The average time a person needs to sleep is only 5 minutes more! Ok maybe not BUT have you tried all of the sleeping techniques or tricks that was discussed with Dr. Jace in our podcast #51 or in my previous blog Catching Zzzz's?
Sometimes you can feel overwhelmed marking all of those techniques off of your list, Or maybe you've done everything but your mind is still racing 100 miles per minute stressing over what you need to accomplish the next day! Sleep aids are just that, aids, aids to help you get that deep relaxing sleep that our bodies so desperately needs. So if you "need" to take any type of sleep aid pill, just realize that your body is telling you that you are lagging in the sleep area.
My 3 favorite all natural sleep aids come in a spray, drink, and pill form. I am not discussing pharmaceutical sleep aids, I just personally feel that if they are addiction forming it is something that I need to steer clear from.
My first go to is lavender. Studies have shown the smell alone can help relax you, make you drowsy, lower your heart rate and lower your blood pressure. Ways to use the lavender is to take a handful of dried lavender and put it in a jar or vase next to your night stand. You can also buy it in a spray form, my favorite is from bed bath and beyond, just spray it over your bed and pillow. You can also use it in oil form, put it in to a diffuser and let the calming aroma envelop your bedroom.
A perfect way to wind down and relax before you hit the sack is to have a warm cup of non-caffeinated Chamomile tea. Chamomile has many benefits such a helping with cramping, soothing the tummy, aides as an antihistamine, and also increases levels of serotonin and melatonin. This increase of levels helps to sooth stress, restlessness and possibly sleep apnea. It is suggested that pregnant women should not use this tea due to a possibility of a miscarriage (so hold off for 9 months ladies, it will be worth it I promise).
This brings me to my third natural suggestion, Melatonin. Melatonin is naturally released into your brain. The release increases during the night and decreases during the day. This release acts as your own biological wake up and go to sleep clock. Unfortunately for us older folks, it starts to decrease as we age. Taking the extra Melatonin in a spray or pill form can have side affects such as grogginess and depression. I have personally never experienced either. This extra dose can also work well for jet lag, which I have used it for and it did help immensely. It would also be great to help regulate the sleep cycles of those working a swing shift or grave yard.
Just like there is no magic pill for weight loss, none of these suggestions are complete game changers, they are only aids to help sleep in case you have done other relaxation techniques and they are not helping. Sometimes we just need that extra boost though! This is the last week of 2017! Let's start the year off right by getting our Zzzz's and waking up rested, bright eyed and bushy tailed to make those gains count!