Do these 5 natural sleep remedies really help you sleep better?

When it comes to getting a good night’s sleep, the sky is the limit on what we’d do to achieve it. People with sleep apnea know more than most how sleep therapy like CPAP machines make all the difference between waking up groggy and irritable or facing the day well-rested and alert.

When you have sleep apnea, you prepare every day to get a good night’s sleep by getting your CPAP machine and mask clean and ready to use each night– and your preparations pay off. But if you’re looking even more for ways to enhance your sleep hygiene, there are some natural sleep aids that are easy to incorporate into your life, and they may be able to lull you into deeper, more restful sleep.1Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6029681/ Here are a few of our favorites.

Breathe in some aromatherapy

Essential oils derived from aromatic plants have been used for centuries as mood elevators, pain reducers and stress relievers,2Source: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/expert-answers/aromatherapy/faq-20058566 all of which promote healthy sleep.

Oils used specifically as natural sleep aids include:

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Find out if you may be experiencing some common symptoms of people who have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea.

The best ways to use essential oils:

  • Mister/Atomizer – Yes, oil and water do mix when you lightly mist them on your bed linens or around your room.
  • Diffusers – A blend of water and oil in a diffuser subtly disperses aromas throughout your space.
  • Baths – Put a few drops in a hot bath and let the aromas steam around you.

Sip a nice cup of herbal tea

Drinking a warm glass of caffeine-free herbal tea before bed can have soothing, calming effects and can become a pleasurable part of your sleep routine. While the research is still out on their degree of effectiveness in helping you get and maintain good sleep, many herbs used in teas have shown beneficial results. Be sure to talk to your doctor before taking any herbal supplements, even in tea form, as they may interact with certain medications.

Brew up a pot of:

Snack on some foods that promote sleep

Foods that contain components like tryptophan, GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric acid), calcium, potassium and melatonin make great sleep-aid snacks:

For even more sleep-promoting bites, see our post on foods that help you sleep.

Prepare your mind for relaxation

Never underestimate the power of slowing down and taking time for mindfulness, deep breathing and relaxation. While these individual practices might not send you into immediate restful sleep, adding mindfulness meditation to your routine can improve sleep quality.15Source: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/2110998

  • Visualization – Picture your favorite place – somewhere you feel safe and happy. Research shows this can help you fall asleep faster,16Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11863237 and hopefully guides you into peaceful dreams.
  • Relaxation – Techniques like progressive relaxation can be a helpful way to consciously relax all the muscles in your body. To do this, start by tensing major muscle groups in your body. Hold the tension for a moment, then completely relax all of those muscles. This process of helping you actively relieve muscle tension can help decrease fatigue and improve sleep quality.17Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279320/
  • Meditation – For thousands of years, people have been using mediation as a wellness practice. Meditation comes in various forms and can be as simple as finding a quiet place and focusing on the sound of your breath. Its benefits have been studied and confirmed for various ailments, including its ability to help regulate sleep.18Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3328970/

Make time for exercise

Exercise is one of the best things you can do for your overall health, and regular, aerobic workouts can make a noticeable difference in the severity of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).19Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5344097/ Decreases in symptoms – like daytime sleepiness and poor sleep efficiency – can happen even before you see the added perk of weight loss.

Everyone has their tips for how to get a good night’s sleep, especially those of us who have experienced sleep challenges. Though natural sleep aids are still being studied and their effectiveness researched, there is evidence to support that when we are mindful of our mental, physical and dietary wellness, our overall health improves. These natural remedies just may make a difference in how well you sleep.

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