Insomnia Tips: Warm Milk and Other Natural Remedies

Have you ever tossed and turned because of stress or worry? There are many causes of insomnia that can keep you awake during the night. If you've ever experienced symptoms of insomnia (either the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep), you know how exasperating it is to lie in bed, trying to force yourself to fall asleep and get the rest you desperately need. There are many insomnia tips and insomnia treatments that will help you ease back into a restful slumber the next time you begin to toss and turn.

Try the following methods the next time you have to deal with insomnia:

Drink That Glass of Warm Milk
The reason warm milk works is because it is loaded with tryptophan, an amino acid that induces sleep. Don't care for milk?  Have a small serving of turkey or tuna fish. Both are packed with tryptophan.

Get Up Instead of Lying in Bed
The more you try to force sleep to come, the more your mind may resist it because of the anxiety you may feel about needing the sleep. Get up, make yourself a cup of calming tea, like chamomile, and find something calming to do. Don't watch television or work on the computer since it will stimulate your brain even more. Try reading a book or the paper, folding a load of laundry or engaging in a restful hobby such as knitting or cross stitch. When you begin to feel sleepy, return to bed.

Write Out a Plan
If your insomnia is linked to a worry or concern, it may help you to get up and write out the details of the problem and possible solutions. If you have an overwhelming number of things to do, write out a list of things to do and when you can do them.

Preventative measures you can take before insomnia hits:

Limit Your Caffeine and Stimulant Intake
You'll need to experiment to discover what your cut off time is, but make sure you limit your intake of caffeine or other stimulants like yerba mate, coffee, and green or black teas, after a certain time in the afternoon or evening. Be aware that some medicines like appetite suppressants, antihistamines and blood pressure medications, contain phenylpropanolamine and other drugs can cause feelings of anxiety or hyperactivity.

Drink a Cup of Calming Tea Before Bed
Teas containing valerian or passionflower will naturally relax your body. Unlike sleeping pills, the effects of these herbs will not last long enough to make it difficult to wake in the morning, nor are these herbs addictive.

Decompress Before Bed
You may wish to write in a journal, make a plan for the next day or spend time meditating before bedtime. Relaxation techniques such as practicing yoga, static stretching or taking a warm bath are all effective ways to tell your body it's time to relax and rejuvenate through sleep.

Read or Write Instead of Watching Television
Television stimulates your brain in a way that can stay with you for hours, whereas reading, writing and meditating help your brain relax and prepare for sleep.

Seek Help if You Have Unmanaged Depression or Anxiety
Insomnia is often the first symptom of depression or anxiety. By dealing with the source of your depression or anxiety through therapy, life condition changes or regular exercise, which releases tension and seratonin, both of which help you deal with depression and anxiety, you may find your insomnia ends.

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