It's 3 a.m. and once again you have been tossing and turning for the last few hours, unable to get a full night's rest. If this happens to you, you shouldn’t feel alone. It has been reported that more than one-quarter of people in the United States today are fighting the same battle. Sleep is very important to our overall wellbeing because, without it, we become stressed and delusional. People often turn to hazardous sleep-aid drugs, but they are unaware of the many side effects. If you want to avoid the over-the-counter drugs, but need some help sleeping, here are some natural methods to try:
1. Hops (Humulus lupulus)
Most people have heard of Hops, which are best known for their use by brewers to flavor and add aroma to various styles of beers. Hundreds of years ago many Native American tribes used hops to treat insomnia and relieve pain. The hops can be steeped into a tea, which is said to work best when combined with another healing herb called valerian. To make a bedtime tea, steep 1 teaspoon strobiles (female hops flowers) in 1 cup of water for about 7 minutes. It is recommended to drink this tea about 30 minutes before bed. Consult a professional herbalist for proper dosages for you and advice on additional natural insomnia relief.
Meditation is a great technique to practice for better and more relaxed sleep. Some people do report higher levels of energy when meditating, so try different meditation practices to find out what time and which style works best for you. Over time, you will discover how relaxed your mind becomes as you focus on the breath. Meditation is also great for relieving anxiety and depression because it teaches you to live in the current moment, the here and now. To start, sit in a quiet place and either close your eyes or focus on something scenic in the distance. Focus on your breathing and naturally guide yourself into a relaxed state of mind. If you don't feel comfortable getting started on your own, there are many online resources for audio guided meditation, such as apps, podcasts, and videos.
3. Yin Yoga
Yoga is a great way to relax and release tension in the body, which also helps to clear a lot of clutter in the mind. A nice style that focuses on building inner strength and confidence is yin yoga. Yin yoga is great to do before bed because the movements are very subtle, slow, and melodic. Unlike power yoga, which works the muscles through repetition, Yin works the deeper layers of the body. This creates a deeper connection and relaxes the mind, body, and soul. If you cannot find a yin yoga studio near you, many videos and books can be useful tools as well.