Adults need on average, seven to nine hours of sleep a night, but insomnia can keep us from getting the sleep we need.
This is the most common sleep disorder in North America.
A significant one-third of the U.S. population cannot sleep well enough to function well during the day.
Half of those people have only a couple of bad nights a week but the other half spend countless sleepless nights tossing and turning.
They also spend countless days exhausted.
It can also have a significant impact on your health.
People with insomnia are;
Four times more likely to be diagnosed with depression. More likely to have a serious illness, including heart disease. More likely to have an accident on the job, at home, or on the road. More likely to miss work and accomplish less on the job than well-rested coworkers.
It is also one of the least-understood sleep disorders.
But, sleep experts have come up with many tried-and-true ways to relieve insomnia.
The results of their work appear in the remedies below.
Try them out, and see what works for you.
The scent of the aromatherapy oil English lavender has long been used as a folk remedy to help people fall asleep.
It is one of the most soothing essential oils.
Preliminary research suggests that lavender essential oil may lengthen total sleep time, increase deep sleep, and help people feel refreshed in the morning.
It appears to work better for women, possibly because women tend to have a more acute sense of smell.
Try putting a lavender sachet under your pillow or place one to two drops of lavender essential oil in a handkerchief.
Or add several drops of lavender oil to a bath, the drop in body temperature after a warm bath also helps with sleep.
Other aromatherapy oils believed to help with sleep are chamomile and ylang ylang.
Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) is a herbal home remedy, brewed as a tea or taken as a supplement, that is commonly used to reduce anxiety, improve sleep quality and act as a sedative.
Valerian is thought to affect levels of one of the calming neurotransmitters in the body, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). It also relieves muscle spasms and is thought to help alleviate menstrual period pain.
Valerian is typically taken an hour before bed.
A standard dose is 450 mg.
If taken during the day, valerian may result in drowsiness, it's often taken in two to three 300 mg doses with meals.
Melissa officinalis (Lemon Balm) is a tea and herbal supplement that is said to relieve anxiety and calm the nerves.
One study suggests that lemon balm may help with anxiety-related insomnia.
A lemon balm extract (300mg at breakfast and 300mg at dinner) reduced insomnia largely due to the reduction in anxiety, and also decreased agitation, hyperexcitation, guilt, and fatigue.
This herb has a natural calming effect and it's as good for upset stomachs as it is for churning minds.
It works as a mild sedative and can also help ease muscle cramps, a common cause of waking in the middle of the night.
Brew a strong cup of chamomile tea using two tea bags.
Sip an hour before bedtime, so you have a chance to urinate before hitting the sheets.Tweet
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