According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 25% of the American population has reported that they do not get enough sleep. And close to 10% of Americans experience chronic insomnia.
What’s important to remember and what makes insomnia so challenging for those who experience it is that it is not a luxury, but a necessity. Sleep is a vital component good health. Not getting enough sleep can lead to disease and illness, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression. And these illnesses are already occurring at high numbers throughout the country. The CDC also points out that the lack of sleep actually contributes to the onset of these illnesses, not just that they contribute to ill health once a person has a disease.
The CDC recommends that adults need to get at least 7-8 hours per day, teens sleep between 9 to 10 hours, and school age children should get at least 10 hours per day. Research indicates that adults and adolescents are not sleeping enough, particularly given the stressful and fast paced society that makes up American culture.
Fortunately, there are new methods for improving the sleep patterns of adults and children. There are not only new methods, but also herbs and supplements to take that can aid in falling and staying asleep. Some of these are mentioned below:
Warm Milk – Before the health trend kicked in, you used to just warm up some old fashion cow milk, drop some honey in there, and that was a toasty way to warm the stomach for a bedtime remedy. However, if you’re okay with almond milk, it can actually help the brain produce melatonin, which facilitates sleeping.
Melatonin – This is a hormone that regulates your sleep/wake cycle. It’s sort of an internal pacemaker that controls when you’re sleeping and when you’re not. Melatonin is sold in pill form over the counter. When you take it, expect to get drowsy. Your body temperature will lower and you’ll prepare to go into sleep mode. There are some mixed reviews of melatonin. It works for some but not for everyone. You might have to experiment with doses and the right time to take it.
Magnesium – Without the right amount of magnesium in the body, it can be difficult to sleep. Some research indicates that even a small lack of magnesium can lead to sleeping difficulty. The best places to get the right amount of magnesium are through leafy greens, pumpkin seeds, almonds, and wheat germ. You can also take magnesium as a supplement. However, note that too much magnesium can be harmful, and it can at times interfere with the effectiveness of certain medication.
Lavender – Lavender oil can be very calming and encourage sleep. For instance, if you take a hot bath with lavender right before sleep, the body and mind can more easily slow down.
Valerian Root – This medicinal herb has long been used to treat insomnia. It can have a sedating effect and can easily help you fall asleep. You can find it in tea and in other forms at many health food stores.
L-Theanine – This amino acid is found in green tea, which can help soothe the anxiety that often gets in the way of sleeping. It can reduce your heart rte and boost your immune system. It also produces brain waves linked to relaxation and feeling calm.
There are many health concerns that are associated with lack of sleep. If you can find a way to soothe your system, that is, calming that tendency for the mind to keep running, you will be doing yourself a huge favor. Hopefully, with the above suggestions, you’ll be able to get the sleep you need.