Sleep loss can cause a number of serious impairments. Both in cognitive and behavioral performance. Among these are the loss of memory and insight formation. This can have a profound negative impact on learning, creativity, and discovery. Sleep deprivation also causes physical symptoms such as fatigue and irritability. As Functional Medicine Providers, we care about the amount of sleep you’re getting so we want you to optimize it. Below are a number of simple things you can do to promote better sleep.
Meditation Helps with Better Sleep
Meditation or relaxation techniques: Taking some time to relax before bed can help ease you into sleep. Search for some of the many different meditation and relaxation techniques you can try to see which one is right for you.
If you’re new to meditation, there are plenty of resources available to help get you started.
Consider joining a meditation group: Joining a meditation group can help you stay motivated and committed to your practice. It can also be a great way to meet like-minded people and build a support network.
Do an online guided meditation: If you don’t have time to meditate on your own, consider doing an online guided meditation. There are many free resources available online. Guided meditation can be a great way to relax and de-stress.
Exercise for Better Sleep
Exercise: Getting regular exercise can help improve your sleep. Just be sure to avoid working out too close to bedtime, as this can energize you and make it harder to fall asleep.
Strength Training: Incorporating some strength training into your exercise routine can also help you sleep better.
Vigorous Exercise: If you enjoy more vigorous exercise, such as running or playing sports, this can also help improve your sleep. Once again, be sure to avoid doing this too close to bedtime.
Time of Day: Find the time of day that best suits your needs and that has the most positive effect on your sleep. Take into consideration the condition of your body and exercise accordingly. Physical injury is possible, but can usually be avoided if you practice with care.
Massage Improves Sleep
Reaserch to suggests that massage therapy may be beneficial for people with insomnia. Massage may improve sleep quality and daytime function, as well as reduce pain, anxiety, and depression.
If you are interested in trying massage for insomnia, you can either see a professional massage therapist or do self-massage. You may also find it beneficial to have a partner or friend give you a massage.
When receiving massage, allow your mind to focus on the sensations of touch. Research different techniques online ahead of time so that you can get the most out of your massage.
Massage is generally safe, but check with your doctor first if you have any specific health concerns. Also, be aware that some people may have skin sensitivities to massage creams or oils.
Aromatherapy is a popular natural remedy for improving sleep quality. In fact, its a been shown that aromatherapy massage is more helpful than just aromatherapy.
One of the most soothing essential oils for sleep is English lavender. You can try putting a lavender sachet under your pillow, or place one to two drops of lavender essential oil in a handkerchief. You can also add a few drops of lavender oil to a warm bath before bedtime. This may help you sleep by decreasing your body temperature, which should help you sleep (Karadag et al., 2015).
Magnesium can act as a natural sedative. Some research suggests that magnesium supplements may help with insomnia . Magnesium rich foods include dark, leafy green vegetables, whole grains, cashews, almonds, and wheat bran (Johnson, 2019).
Magnesium deficiency can cause health problems, so remember that prevention is better than trying to fix a problem that has already set in. Some issues caused by low magnesium include having trouble sleeping, stress, pain, irritability, and muscle tremors.
Other Tips for Better Sleep
Limit caffeine and alcohol: Both of these substances can interfere with sleep. Caffeine should be avoided in the late afternoon and evening, while alcohol should be limited to one or two drinks in the evening.
Establish a regular sleep schedule: Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day can help regulate your body’s natural sleep rhythm.
Make your bedroom comfortable: Creating an environment that is conducive to sleep can help you fall asleep and stay asleep. Consider things like noise level, light exposure, and comfortable bedding when setting up your bedroom. You can also checkout our article about the benefits of sleeping on the floor for more ideas.
If you’re struggling with insomnia, these home remedies may help you get the better sleep you need. If you are still having trouble after trying these, contact us. PEAKiropractic is well geared to help you with matter. Whether its through chiropractic care, massage therapy or functional medicine, we got you covered!
Tang H, Chen Z, Pang J, Mo Q. [Treatment of insomnia with shujing massage therapy: a randomized controlled trial]. Zhongguo Zhen Jiu. 2015 Aug;35(8):816-8. Chinese. PMID: 26571900.
Karadag, Ezgi, et al. “Effects of aromatherapy on sleep quality and anxiety of patients.” Nursing in critical care 22.2 (2017): 105-112.