Tens of millions of us are walking around half-dead from lack of sleep. More than a third of all adults have problems sleeping, and a good chunk of those have chronic insomnia that lasts for months. So if you’re tired of being tired, here are three simple home sleep remedies that actually work, from the folks at Real Simple magazine:
- First, aromatherapy. According to sleep specialist, Dr. Rubin Niamin, it’s not hocus pocus. Certain fragrances, like lavender and lemon balm, have been proven to calm people down and allow them to sleep. When the smell hits your nose, it sends a signal to your limbic system to start making a chemical that actually soothes your nerves and has a calming effect.
- Second sleep aid: Valerian Root tea. Drink a cup about an hour before bedtime. You may need to give it a couple nights before it starts to work, but Valerian root is said to improve the QUALITY of sleep. There are a couple things you should know though about Valerian Root: It can be habit forming so don’t use it for more than two weeks in a row, and it can interfere with some prescription medications like cholesterol drugs, so check with your doctor before you try it.
- If you don’t feel tired but need to rest, try a melatonin supplement. Your body makes melatonin naturally, but according to Dr. Naimin, exposure to light in the evening will suppress production. Taking three milligrams about 20 minutes before bed will send a message to your brain that it’s time to sleep. Check with your doctor on this one too. Melatonin isn’t recommended if you’re pregnant, trying to get pregnant or under a certain age.
Not getting enough sleep is a big deal. It can lead to memory loss, hallucinations and nausea. Long term sleep loss is even linked to diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and depression. So if you regularly can’t sleep, go see a doctor.