I’m writing this as my two dachshunds, Holmes, 11 and Wallander, almost 2, are snoozing on the couch next to me. This morning they were over at my mom’s house running around her huge yard and now they’re zonked! I don’t usually have much trouble sleeping if I stay away from coffee and dark chocolate after 6. I also usually listen to a relaxation tape to help me drift off. If you find it difficult to get and stay asleep, here are some natural remedies that will help you stop counting sheep:
1. Sleepytime Supplements: Chamomile is high in nerve and muscle relaxing calcium, magnesium, potassium and B vitamins that can help you relax. Hops can help you sleep too. Kava kava is an ancient Polynesian remedy for insomnia while Passion flower relaxes the mind so you can sleep. Valerian helps sleep disorders that are the result of anxiety. The easiest thing to do is to look for a sleep formula supplement in your local health food store. In addition to herbs, calcium, magnesium and melatonin can also help you sleep.
2. Try an Herbal Sachet. Herbs that are effective include lavender, chamomile, woodruff, and lemon balm. You can also put a few drops of essential oil right on your pillow or use an essential oil inhaler.
3. Take a Warm Bath: Add 7 drops of essential oil of chamomile or lavender to the bath water. When you are done bathing, let the water out and visualize all your tensions going down the drain.
4. Use a Homeopathic Remedy such as Hylands Calms Forte, Arsenicum album (for insomnia caused by fears, worry and anxiety), and Nux Vomica, when you are worried or have overindulged.
5. Eat Foods to Help You Snooze. Foods that can help induce sleep include bananas, lettuce, oatmeal and yogurt which is naturally rich in calcium and the calming amino acid tryptophan.
6. Try Exercise: Studies show that people who are more active in the daytime are less likely to have problems with sleep. But don’t exercise too close to bedtime. The hours between 4 and 8 p.m. are ideal.
7. Say Yes to Yoga: Yoga postures that help to relax the mind and body aid sleep include the Mountain, Cobra Pose, Shoulder Stand, Mountain and Corpse pose.
8. Make the Bedroom a Refuge: Keep your bedroom space sacred and don't use it as a place to do bills or work.
9. Tame Your Thoughts: Download your mental baggage onto a piece of paper or engagement book before bed and let go.
10. Just Breathe: Focus on your breath to calm your mind and body. You’ll drift off before you know it.
For a chance to win a copy of my new book Death Drops: A Natural Remedies Mystery (Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster) just leave a comment about your favorite way to sleep better. For more natural remedies please visit www.chrystlefiedler.com.