Trouble sleeping is an issue that's all too common for people these days, as 1 in 3 people suffers from at least mild forms of insomnia, and as many as 10% of people have chronic insomnia disorder. This leads to difficulty sleeping and many sleepless nights for many people all over the country.
For those with chronic sleep issues that require a comfortable CPAP mask and individuals who are too stressed to sleep, it's understandable to want to find some kind of home remedy to supplement your sleep cycle. So, what can you do to help yourself fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer? Here are some of our best insomnia remedies to consider:
Turn Off Those Screens at Night
Lots of us are addicted to our smartphones, and some people are accustomed to sleeping with the TV on in their bedrooms. The problem is that modern LCD screens emit certain wavelengths of blue light that actually help prevent our brains from creating the right chemistry to promote sleep. That's right—your smartphone or TV could be keeping you up at night!
Many of today's current phones and tablets feature a "night mode" or "blue light filter" that you can program to engage at a certain time of night. These change the colors of light your screen emits and can help reduce sleep issues associated with LCD screens.
If you're really struggling to sleep, consider making your bedroom a "no-screen zone" and committing to putting down your phone and turning off the TV after a certain time in the evening—at least an hour before bed. This will give your brain time to decompress and encourage healthy sleep.
If you find yourself missing the noise from your TV, try turning on a fan, using a white noise generator, or even playing soothing music or soft nature sounds on your bedroom radio to fill the silence.
Drink Herbal Teas
Most teas are made by drying the leaves from a specific shrub called
However, there are many other types of plants you can make tea out of. These are usually called "herbal"
- Chamomile tea has been used for centuries to reduce anxiety, promote relaxation, and help with sleep.
- Valerian tea is considered a stronger option than chamomile and has been proven to help people with insomnia symptoms.
- Decaf green tea is packed with healthy antioxidants and contains small amounts of L-theanine, which boosts sleep quality.
- Lavender tea helps reduce anxiety and stress, which can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
- Lemon balm tea has been used since the Middle Ages for stress, anxiety, and indigestion, and it works especially well for sleep when blended with valerian.
- Passionflower tea helps calm the mind and improve sleep quality.
Other herbs like St. John's Wort, catnip, spearmint, magnolia bark, linden leaf or tilia, hops, and more can also be useful in so-called "sleepytime" tea blends.
Meditate to Clear Your Mind
Anxiety and stress are very well-known to harm sleep quality. Most of us have experienced our minds racing at night and taking longer to fall asleep. If this is something that happens to you frequently, consider taking up nighttime meditation as a natural, low-cost way to clear your mind.
Not only have people been meditating for thousands of years for a long list of reasons, but
There are many smartphone apps and YouTube videos out there providing instruction for meditation and guided meditations aimed directly at sleep quality. That means it's not difficult or expensive to get started meditating, even if you've never tried it before (try not to watch too many videos right before bedtime.)
Take a Supplement or an Over-the-Counter Sleep Aid
There are a few common dietary supplements and over-the-counter sleep aids you could consider to help with your sleep quality. Here are a few examples:
- Melatonin is a hormone your brain naturally produces to help regulate your sleep/wake cycle with little or no known side-effects.
- Diphenhydramine in "nighttime" medications like Aleve PM, Benadryl, and others is an effective sedative, but it can cause side-effects like dry mouth, daytime drowsiness, constipation, blurred vision, and others.
- Doxylamine succinate in medications like Unisom Sleep Tabs is a sedative like diphenhydramine with similar side-effects.
- Valerian extract is a natural herbal sleep aid with no known side-effects.
- L-theanine, an extract from green tea, is proven to promote healthy sleep in certain dosages.
Although most of these medications are fairly harmless, it's important to talk to your doctor before starting any of them, as they could interact with other medications or underlying conditions.
Watch Out for Sleep Apnea
Some people have sleeping problems that are actually caused by something caused obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). This condition causes sufferers to stop breathing repeatedly through the night, leading to frequent awakenings at night, poor sleep quality, low blood-oxygen levels, chronic fatigue, and a host of other health and wellness issues.
If you have trouble sleeping
If you suspect you may have sleep apnea, you'll need to be diagnosed by a sleep doctor, who will observe your sleep during a sleep lab study and count how many times you stop breathing and wake up during the night. Once your sleep doctor makes a sleep apnea diagnosis, you'll get a prescribed treatment that may include the use of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine to force air into your lungs, keep your blood oxygenated, and help ensure you stay asleep.
Discover RemZzzs® for Maximum CPAP Comfort & Performance
Home remedies are great, but they are not a panacea. If you are a CPAP user, we encourage you to check out our RemZzzs® Mask Liners, made from soft, breathable cotton. Our CPAP mask liners help create a tighter yet more comfortable air seal around your mask, making it easier for