Are you worn out and looking for tips on how to sleep better? Do you dream (not literally) of the nights you used to sleep like a baby? Perhaps you were a baby. There are all kinds of prescription pills out there now that tend to be highly addictive. You know the list, the ambiens, lunestas. Even drugs like xanax and klonopin.
But I’m not here to recommend running to the doctor to ask for expensive designer drugs. I’ve had problems sleeping just like you throughout my young adult life. Now, I’ll be honest, my late teen years and even early twenties were filled with raging parties and long sleepless nights. This was around the time my sleep schedule started to get screwed up, eventually leading to me having REAL difficulties falling asleep normally, without the assistance of a drink or two.
I did a lot of research online about how to sleep better, instead of tossing and turning with anxiety fueled thoughts. Some of these methods are completely obvious, but are tried and true. Others might be new to you, and I recommend you try them out.
Melatonin is a naturally occuring hormone produced by the pineal gland. Melatonin helps control your sleep and wake cycles. Normally, melatonin levels begin to rise by mid to late evening, which lets your body know it will soon be time to sleep. It’s possible you aren’t producing enough melatonin, in which case you can buy supplements to help lull you to sleep.
Natural melatonin levels drop as you age. Levels also tend to drop in the winter months, when there is less sunlight than normal, This can cause Seasonal Affective Disorder, or winter depression.
I have been using melatonin for several years, only when I need it. Take it 20-30 minutes before bedtime. You can purchase melatonin in varying doses. From the research I’ve done, the most effective doses are 1 mg or less. Taking to much could leave you feeling drowsy and out of it for a couple hours the next morning.
Melatonin can also give you more vivid dreams, for better or worse. I noticed more vivid dreams when I first started taking it, but they seem to have mellowed out a little. Melatonin is a very good supplement, and I recommend it highly.
5-HTP works in the brain and central nervous system by increasing the production of serotonin. Serotonin can affect sleep, appetite, sexual behavior, and pain sensation. Since 5-HTP increases serotonin, it is used for several diseases where serotonin is believed to play an important role including depression, insomnia, obesity, and other conditions.
As well as not sleeping well in my younger years, I also developed what I believe to be a chemical imbalance causing me to become depressed. 5-HTP was a knockout punch for both insomnia and depression. In my experiences 5-HTP puts me into a good mood as little as an hour after taking it, while also relaxing me allowing me to sleep. It doesn’t knock you out, but it certainly calms you down. You will notice the true effects of 5-HTP the next morning, when you wake up feeling more refreshed than you have in a long time. This is because 5-HTP is also thought to increase the amount of time you are in REM sleep, the cycle of sleep that is most beneficial for rest and recovery.
The recommended dosage is between 100 to 200 mg. Start with 100 mg to see how your body reacts. I highly recommend 5-HTP as well, as it has helped me with not only my insomnia, but also my mental health.
Another supplement I only recently tried is L-Theanine. L-Theanine is an amino acid found mainly in green tea, and is known to have relaxing qualities. It increases Alpha brain waves, which leads to the relaxed, but alert state.
There is tons of information on L-theanine on the web, but I want to share my experience. I purchased 60 100mg pills from a vitamin store. I started with 100mg in the evening and noticed a considerably relaxed state come over me within the hour. It works well to lessen anxiety and enhance focus, and can be used in the morning, noon or night, because it doesn’t actually make you sleepy, it just makes you more relaxed. The only problem i noticed, and has been documented elsewhere, is you build up a tolerance for it pretty quick. I used the bottle i purchased, and now I’m going to take some time off of it, and purchase it another time when I may feel stressed about something.
If you have anxiety and difficulty sleeping, give L-Theanine a try.
Another great way to chill out at night is a nice hot cup of relaxing Herbal Teas. These herbal teas are all natural and caffeine free. Usually ingredients include Chamomile and peppermint, and various other herbs.
Chamomile has been used for centuries for it’s calming effects. It’s a flower in the daisy family. Do not consume chamomile tea if you are allergic to flowers in the daisy family.
The peppermint in the herbal tea is often used to calm an upset stomach as well.
I was quite skeptical as to whether these herbal teas would actually work for me, but to my pleasant surprise they do work very well. They are available at pretty much any grocery store.
These are all great ways I’ve found to fall asleep and I suggest you look into them more if you are interested. Of course, there are other obvious methods to get better sleep at night.
Run, walk, Lift Weights, do Yoga, swim, hike, do anything physical! Wear yourself out! Push yourself, it’s not called working out for nothing! Not only will you make your body feel good, but your mental health will improve as well.
Meditate! This is a whole other subject, but can obviously be used to get more deep, restful sleep. Try to just quiet your mind while laying in bed at night. Try to slow your thoughts down and concentrate on breathing deeply. If your brain begins to wander (and it will) take it back to the start and think of something peaceful like a leaf floating down a river. Whatever works, just relax!
People have recommended me everything you see on this page, and I hope I have suggested something useful that you can use in your life to sleep better!