Can't Sleep? 20 Natural Tips to Stop Tossing & Turning

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Sweet dreams – got “Ëœem? Many of us don’t. For some, bedtime is a nightly battle of tossing, turning and exhausted frustration; believe me, I’ve been there myself. As with any of life’s imbalances, there’s usually an underlying reason for insomnia and although stress and tension are usually the root cause, there are natural solutions to help you get the rest you deserve. Try some of these ideas and see which ones work for you.

twig2 Before going to bed, stretch out.

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The day’s tensions are held in your body, so a gentle, relaxing stretching session – even a brief one – can do you a world of good.

twig2 Wear comfortable clothing – or none!

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You might be surprised to find that going to sleep in your birthday suit helps you get more relaxed. Or, simply changing the type of PJ’s you wear can work wonders. If you’ve been sticking to cotton or flannel, try bamboo, which breathes well.

twig2 Skip the bedtime TV show.

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I know a lot of people like to fall asleep to the TV, and if that works for you, great. But if you find yourself wired after watching Colbert or the midnight sci-fi flick, take the hint and turn off the tube. With all those flashing images, TV stimulates the brain and that’s the last thing you need if you’re trying to sleep.

twig2 Unplug electrical appliances in your bedroom at night.

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The subtle electrical hum might just be enough to keep you awake, not to mention digital numbers or standby lights. If you use an alarm to wake up, keep it at least 3 feet from your bed.

twig2 Keep your workspace separate from your bedroom.

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Using your laptop in bed, or even having your desk right next to your bed will keep stress and sleep intertwined – not a good combination. If you can, remove clutter your sleeping space and make it harmonious and beautiful. Perhaps some beautiful art or make an altar of special objects – anything but the office supplies!

twig2Snack smart.

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Is it too health-nut of me to remind you not to drink coffee or eat sugary snacks before bedtime? Hey, even a few bites of dark chocolate were enough to keep me up an extra few hours one night recently, so watch what you eat in the evening. Good choices are nuts, cheese, and nut butters.

twig2 Is your mattress uncomfortable?

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Are you using the right pillow? Make sure your sleeping situation is exactly right for you. If you’re tossing and turning on a regular basis, it’s probably time for a different mattress.

twig2 Keep oxygen circulating in your bedroom.

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If you don’t like to leave your windows open, at least crack them or use a small, circulating fan. The white noise might help you sleep better, too.

twig2Aromatherapy

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Try aromatherapy to help you relax and sleep. Some good essential oil choices are lavender, ylang ylang, jasmine or sandalwood. Nectar Essences has a misting spray – appropriately called Sleep – made of relaxing flower essences and essential oils.

twig2 Melatonin

Melatonin is a hormone produced in the brain that regulates sleep cycles and synthetic melatonin pills are a gentle, over-the-counter option for helping you get to sleep. There are a few contraindications and potential side-effects, so do your research before taking it, but in general melatonin is considered a very mild and helpful supplement.

twig2 Listen to relaxing music.

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Try ocean sounds or a meditation podcast, but make sure your stereo doesn’t stay on all night with lights and electrical feedback to keep you awake!

twig2Tea

tea

Try the old standard for nighttime relaxation: chamomile tea. If that’s too wimpy for you, check out the recipe for EcoSalon’s Sweet Dream Elixir. If you consume dairy, a glass of plain old warm milk can help, as well.

twig2 Save shower or bath time for your evening ritual.

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The warmth and the water will help you relax, unwind and wash away the stresses of your day. This is especially effective if you use some of those essential oils in your bath.

twig2 Valerian root

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This is a well known drowsiness-inducing herb. It is generally considered safe, with few side-effects, but as with any supplement, do some research and chat with your health care practitioner before deciding if it’s the right remedy for you.

twig2Kava

kava

The Hawaiian kava root is also well known for its relaxing properties. I tried it a few times when I was living on Maui and I can tell you that it does have a soothing, relaxing effect without any major hangover or side effects. But kava root is not the ideal herb for everyone. Do some research before trying it, and get pure kava powder.

twig2 Wear a sleep mask.

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We sleep best in total darkness, and those little slivers of light from the streetlamp outside your window or the bright numbers of your digital alarm clock are enough to be a distraction. Simply slip on a mask and enter your own dark cocoon.

twig2 Save bedtime for relaxing activities.

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You’ve turned off the TV, now what? Read a book (but not a thriller!) or journal just before going to bed. Or, try a little yoga.

twig2Write your worries or your to-do list.

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If your mind is racing, grab a notebook and write everything down. Write write write until you’re out of things to write about, until you’re tired, even bored… then you’ll be able to shut your eyes and sleep.

twig2 Use a pleasantly scented dream pillow.

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It sounds strange, but German scientists found that certain smells help us dream better, while other, unpleasant smells play a part in disturbing our dreams.

twig2 Slow, deep breathing.

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Before you go to bed, do some deep breathing – this will help relax you. Anytime you notice your mind has drifted away from your breath, gently bring it back. Or do this meditation lying down in bed and you’re sure to fall fast asleep.

Images: Raul A., j/f/photos, helgasm, Aaron Escobar, buidl-lemmy, avlxyz, bedzine, Bohman, bitmask, kanko, krikit, ClatieK, nhhsp, fabaudrey, OUCHcharley, craftycrafty, tranchis, kaibara87, lepiaf.geo, Stephen Mitchell

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DISCUSSION

15 thoughts on “Can't Sleep? 20 Natural Tips to Stop Tossing & Turning

  1. Studies have also said that those people become quite susceptible to insomnia/ tossing and turning when the eyes are exposed to back light before going to bed. Reading using PDA gadgets in a room with dim lighting can be a cause.

    Also, using the right mattress is essential. If a mattress is too firm or too soft, the back can suffer. Look for a more supportive mattress that can also provide a cushiony level of comfort to the body.

  2. Tried the melatonin, works really well … as a side note … i got my mother who was getting a need for sleeping tablets to take it instead and it worked wonders … quite proud of that actually. Be careful with the tea though … 2 reasons, peeing during the night and black tea is full of caffeine.

  3. Ah just get a job where you get up at 6am…. Lol then you will have no problems falling asleep at night!

  4. One addition to this list… AROMATHERAPY. It has been proven that diffusing several essential oils (or bathing in them before bedtime) can help promote a good night’s sleep.

    First on the list would be true Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia.) An alternative would be Lavandin Super (Lavandin hybrid x Super.) Other good choices are Green Mandarine, Roman Chamomile, Sweet Marjoram.

    A few drops in a warm bath, a drop or two on a tissue tucked into your pillowcase, or (luxury indeed!) a relaxing massage… any of these methods will contribute to deep relaxation.

  5. Keep several spoons in the refrigerator and when you want to reduce puffy eyes, place one over each eye for a few minutes. Best to do it in nicely quiet and darkened room. You’ll be surprised how it will relax you and and reduce the swelling around your eyes.

    Craig’s last blog post..MD SkinCare: Beauty In, Toxins Out

  6. also if you are travelling you should try blackout portable curtains – it helps if you have a steady routine of darkness to sleep even when you sleep in a strange room!

  7. Take a warm bath or shower and try your hardest not to think of sleep – sort of meditate why you dont have to sleep and then wonders most of the time you are not putting pressure I have to sleeep I have to sleep you fall a sleep!

    Or if all else fails invest in blackout curtains and try to sleep – you never knwo!

  8. HEY i like the ways you explain to have good sleep

  9. Pingback: Can't Sleep? 20 Natural Tips to Stop Tossing & Turning | EcoSalon - The Green Gathering | Matt Castille

  10. Very well written article, I toss and turn a lot at night! Got some good ideas which I will test.

  11. These are great tips. I have been having a very difficult time lately falling asleep so I am going to go through some of these things on your list. Hopefully one will help. Thanks!

    Crystal’s last blog post..Running with Arthritis

  12. Theanine leaves you feeling relaxed yet alert! So, if you are looking for a way to stay sharp,3 to 4 cups of tea in a day will help you get the reqired natural dose of theanine.
    Researchers at Lipton Tea Institute have developed a special blend made from young tea leaves that has high levels of Theanine.

    For benifits and research studies go to http://www.stay-sharp.in

    http://staysharpwithyoga.blogspot.com/

  13. Listen to Brain Sync recordings through headphones. The theory is that slightly different tones in each ear produce a beat frequency matching that of brain delta waves. I have found this to be effective.

 

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