If you’re like most people, you experience the occasional sleepless night. But when does it go from tossing and turning to insomnia?
There are two types of insomnia:
- Acute Insomnia: Having trouble sleeping for just a few days or weeks
- Chronic Insomnia: Having trouble sleeping for one month or longer.
If you’re hesitant to test medical options for treating insomnia, there are plenty of opportunities for you to explore. When you have nights where you’re struggling to fall asleep even though you’re tired, try these natural remedies for insomnia to help you get to sleep and stay asleep.
The Best Natural Remedies for Insomnia
Many yoga poses can help you feel so relaxed that you fall asleep faster. Consider these two yoga poses from the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health the next time you can’t sleep. Try a Standing Forward Bend by placing legs hip-distance apart, and folding forward, extending your arms toward the floor and reaching your head towards the ground. You can place yoga blocks under the crown of your head to rest on and allow the body to relax. Stay here for 10 deep breaths before slowly rising back up to standing. Next, sit do a Cross-Legged Pose on your bed or the floor, sitting on a rolled up blanket or pillow. Wrap your arms around one another in Eagle Pose (intertwined) and fold forward over your legs. Take five deep breaths. Sit up, then put the other leg in front of and switch arm positions. Fold forward again for five more breaths.
Practice Meditation for Sleep
There has been quite a bit of research on the health benefits of meditation in recent years and a new study shows that mindfulness meditation might help people who suffer from chronic insomnia. Study subjects with insomnia combined mindfulness practices like meditation with better behavioral sleep tips and experienced fewer sleep disturbances throughout the night.
If you’re new to meditation, try it out for 10 minutes a day while in bed using a free app like Insight Timer, Headspace, Inscape or Calm, to name just a few. Search the apps for “sleep meditation” to make sure you’re getting one that will prep you for a deep sleep. Remember to turn off phone notifications and silence the ringer so you won’t be disturbed as you relax into sleep.
One of the reasons some people report smoking cannabis is to help them sleep better. Now, there’s a legally available option to help you relax and fall asleep faster in cannabidiol, or CBD oil. It is a chemical compound found in cannabis that’s legal in all 50 states. The compound has a therapeutic calming and anti-anxiety effect that is potentially a natural treatment for insomnia. Some studies have found that CBD can improve insomnia and help those who experience insomnia due to chronic pain issues, although research is still in its infancy. Check with your doctor before taking CBD oil for sleep.
Listen to a Sleep Story
Bedtime tales aren’t just for kids! Sleep app companies are introducing bedtime stories or “sleep stories” in addition to meditation tracks to help users fall asleep. Millions of grownups are listening to relaxing bedtime stories that lure them to sleep. Try out Sleep Stories on the Calm app to reduce racing thoughts so you can drift off to sleep.
Use Essential Oils for Sleep
You’ve probably read that lavender is a soothing scent that can help you feel calm and relaxed. Several small studies have found that inhaling a lavender odor can help solve some sleep issues, like mild insomnia. Consider adding a few drops of lavender essential oil to a tissue or cloth and taking a few deep, relaxing inhales while you’re in bed. You could also add a few drops of lavender to an aromatherapy diffuser with water and breathe that in while you sleep.
If you struggle with insomnia, you are definitely not alone. Millions of Americans have trouble sleeping every night, so don’t be afraid to try out these natural remedies for insomnia. You may be surprised what works for you.
About The Author
Diana Kelly Levey Diana Kelly Levey is an accomplished writer, journalist and freelance writing coach with over 15 years of experience working for national publications, websites and brands. Some of her clients include: Real Simple, Men's Health, Muscle & Fitness, Prevention, and Apartment Therapy. Diana loves to solve readers' sleep, health, and relationship problems with expert tips translated into real-world advice that can be put into action. She lives in the suburbs of New York with her husband and adopted Labrador, Jackson. When she isn’t writing, Diana likes to read, run, take fitness classes, bake, and nap in the afternoons. You can learn more about Diana at: https://www.dianakelly.com/