Try a small portion of tryptophan Tryptophan is an amino acid that helps the body produce the sleep hormones serotonin and melatonin. Bananas, milk, peanut butter, whole grains, and turkey all contain tryptophan. Take advantage of these natural sedative powers and eat a small amount of one or more of these foods an hour or two before bedtime. Get herbal help Valerian root, kava, passionflower, chamomile, catnip, verbena, and skullcap all have tension-relieving and sedative powers.
Try an herbal infusion brewed with one of these herbs. If you're one of those small-bladdered types (no judgments here, I'm one too), avoid herbal teas or other drinks just before bedtime. After all, what's the good of being knocked out if you're going to be roused by a full bladder a few hours later? Scented sleep Essential oils have long been used by aroma therapists as natural sedatives. My personal favorite is lavender oil, which I sprinkle on my sheets and which never fails to knock me out.
Other oils to try include chamomile and sandalwood. Try scenting your bedroom with oils, or try making yourself a scented sleep pillow like the ones you see in aroma therapy and gift boutiques, by stuffing a small pillow with a blend of relaxing dried hops, chamomile, and lavender. Bath therapy Warm water has a soothing effect on your body and mind. It can ease stress and lower the body's temperature, which in turn induces sleepiness. Avoid hot water (which can speed heart rate and respiration, as well as cause sweating) and time your bath to within an hour of bedtime.
Throw chamomile tea bags into the water or add a few drops of relaxing lavender. Trade mass media for a book Instead of watching heart-pumping TV shows, listening to the radio, or reading newspapers and news magazines, opt for a relaxing book before bedtime. Violence stimulating music, disturbing news - all these signal the body to produce adrenaline and won't help you get to sleep. Don't just lie there! If you find yourself wide awake, get up, go to another room, turn on a dim light, and read until you feel ready to fall asleep, According to sleep researchers, remaining wide awake in bed "trains" your body to associate your bed with wakefulness - not something you want to do. According to a survey conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, the average American woman sleeps only 6 hours and 41 minutes per weeknight.
The reasons for this? Small bladders, headaches, hormonal upsets due to menstruation, pregnancy, lactation, and menopause, as well as snoring or cover-hogging partners, and disruptions from children are all cited.
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