Many adults struggle with insomnia. It might be a fleeting problem that resolves itself on its own. Or it might be a chronic issue that disrupts your life.
Lack of sleep can affect your health in many ways. There’s evidence ongoing sleep deprivation can lead to heart disease and possibly cancer. Plus, not getting your full eight hours can lead to obesity, which, in and of itself, creates other health issues.
My first bout with insomnia started in my early 20’s. I worked as a newspaper reporter. Covering different shifts, I’d sometimes get out of work at 2 a.m. Then, I’d drive an hour to get home. Oftentimes, I’d need to be in the office during the day. So, even after a late night, I’d still have to get up early.
Trying to get a good night’s sleep under these circumstances was extremely. I’m also a person who needs a full eight hours of rest to feel refreshed and energetic.
How to Fall Asleep Without Taking Medication
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Insomnia became something that plagued me for years. But I’ve found great relief with natural remedies, especially essential oils. There are certain essential oil blends designed for relaxation. You can also find dietary supplements for better rest, as well as foam earplugs that will block the noise.
Through the years, I’ve tried so many things to help me sleep. Here is what worked, at least for me.
Please understand that I’m not a doctor. So I can’t give medical advice. Nor can I promise that any natural remedy will resolve your insomnia. All I can do is share information about the various natural remedies I’ve used to improve my sleep.
How to Fall Asleep Without Medication
Back when I worked nights, I needed to sleep until around 11 am in order to get enough rest so I could get up and enjoy the day.
But the noise outside often woke me up. I tried wax earplugs, but they were very uncomfortable. They also created a lot of pressure in my ears and gave me earaches, even after I stopped using them. I don’t think they were very good for my ears.
Ear Plugs for Better Sleep
Fortunately, technology has come a long way since then. Foam earplugs are now the way to go. My favorite foam earplugs are orange and made by 3M. They are the same type now given out by the airlines to passengers on a red eye. They effectively shut out sound, without creating tension in your ear canal.
And they block out just enough noise. Sometimes I only put them in one ear and rest my other ear on a pillow. Right now, I keep these in my bedroom, just in case I need them. However, I haven’t had to use them in a long time. That’s because my other remedies seem to be working so well.
Essential Oils for Better Sleep
However, nothing has helped me sleep as much as essential oils. I started with lavender and sweet orange oils, but quickly moved to making my own blends. That’s because mixing oils together seems to make them more potent, since it creates a synergy.
Because I own a lot of oils, I have a stock on hand to mix my favorite recipes. Other oils I often use are cedarwood, clary sage, geranium and patchouli essential oil.
Another option is to buy an aromatic blend designed for rest and relaxation. If you don’t already own an assortment of essential oils, this might be the more economical route, since you just have to buy one bottle. Here are some blends made by Plant Therapy, one of my favorite essential oil companies. It’s a good alternative to the MLM networks, if you don’t prefer to buy your oils from independent distributors.
Essential Oils to Diffuse for Good Sleep
Some people like to put essential oils on the soles of their feet before they go to bed. You can also sprinkle a few drops of aromatherapy oil on a cloth and place it near by pillow. This allows you to inhale a soothing scent as you drift off to sleep.
You can also put essential oils in a cold-air diffuser to spread the fragrance of essential oils throughout your bedroom. If you don’t have a diffuser, here is a popular model.
How to Fall Asleep Without Drugs
Burke Lennihan is the author of Your Natural Medicine Cabinet, a guide to treating many common complaints at home, without pharmaceuticals. Insomnia and other sleep disorders affect an estimated 40 million Americans, according to the National Sleep Foundation.
Lennihan advises staying away from your computer for a couple of hours before you plan to nod off, as staring at the computer screen can disrupt your ability to fall asleep. She said it emits light that mimics daylight, which signals your body that it’s time to wake up and be alert.
If you must work on your computer late at night, she recommends purchasing some blue-light blocking glasses, so the monitor doesn’t upset your sleep patterns.
How Do I Fall Asleep Easier Without Medication
Lennihan, a noted homeopath who once worked in a health food store, recommends several supplements to help you unwind. One is Natural Factors’ Stress Relax 5-HTP, which she said helps you create sleep-inducing seratonin.
She also likes a product called Calms Forte, a homeopathic preparation. Just be sure you don’t take too much, or it can could cause the opposite effect, and keep you awake. Only take it when you are tossing and turning.
I can’t personally vouch for Calms Forte because I haven’t tried it myself. But I sometimes take another homeopathic formula called Bach Rescue Remedy. This is designed for occasional extreme stress that can keep you up at night.
These statements have not been approved by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not use essential oils or herbal or homeopathic remedies unless directed to do so by a healthcare professional.