Are you getting a good night’s sleep?
Are you looking for simple sleep remedies?
A good night’s sleep is something many people struggle in vain to achieve. While most of us will have difficulty sleeping when from time to time (which is perfectly normal), some people find getting a regular good night’s sleep nearly impossible.
There are lots of old wives’ tales and online tips to be found which promise a better night’s sleep. Which, if any of them really work? And are there any sleep remedies that are backed by science?
Sleep Remedies – and do they Work?
People worldwide have sought sleep remedies since ancient times, from using herbs to medicines to sleep devices. Some of these have been proven to be effective, while others promise much but deliver little.
Some common sleep remedies include:
- Warm milk drinks have been used to promote sleep for hundreds of years. This is an old wives’ tale that is backed by science! It works because milk contains tryptophan. This is an essential amino acid that is converted to Niacin in the body.
- Niacin helps in the creation of serotonin.
- Serotonin is a brain chemical which is not only one of the “happiness” chemicals crucial to avoiding anxiety and depression, but it is also associated with healthy levels of melatonin.
- Melatonin is a hormone that helps control the sleep-wake cycle.
Having a warm milk drink is a soothing and gentle way to help prepare for sleep.
- Warm Bath: relaxing in a warm (but not hot) bath can help you drift off to sleep more easily. By adding a few drops of lavender oil to the bath, you can help relax the body and mind to prepare for rest.
- Sedatives: some people rely on sedatives to help them sleep. Some of these types of medications are available over the counter, but most require a prescription from your doctor. Sedatives will put you to sleep. It is not, however, natural sleep, and proper sleep cycles will not ensue. Sedatives commonly result in drowsiness the next day, and they can be both habit-forming and potentially dangerous. They don’t address the core issue of why you’re having trouble sleeping.
- Magnesium: a crucial nutrient for overall wellbeing, magnesium deficiency is common and causes headaches, blood pressure problems, elevated blood sugar and cholesterol levels, as well as mood disorders and sleep disturbances. Taking a daily magnesium supplement may improve your quality of sleep, reduce stress, and alleviate restless leg syndrome.
- Valerian: a herb that has been used for thousands of years to promote deep sleep, valerian boosts the production of a chemical known as GABA, which helps to promote sleep and drowsiness. It can be very effective, however, it can lead to vivid, unrestful dreams in some people.
- Melatonin: a hormone that promotes sleep, melatonin is available as a supplement. It naturally strengthens the sleep-wake cycles of the body, shortening the time it takes to fall asleep. It also improves the quality and length of REM (dreaming) sleep for a more consistent sleep-wake cycle.
- Nasal Strips: these are placed across the bridge of the nose with an adhesive. They claim to open the nasal passages for more effective breathing. There is very limited scientific evidence that these work.
- Nasal Dilator: this is a stiff adhesive strip worn across the top of the nostrils and is claimed to reduce airflow resistance in the nose. The true effectiveness of this remedy is questionable.
- CPAP Machine: if you have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnoea, you may have been prescribed this pressurized air mask worn during sleeping. It covers the nose to help keep airways open. While it can be very effective for sufferers of sleep apnoea, some users find wearing the mask uncomfortable. The significant noise from the machine can be disruptive to sleep for both the user and their sleep partner.
Do Sleep Remedies Prevent Snoring?
Snoring is a major cause of disturbed sleep. It actively interrupts your sleep, so if you address the root cause of your snoring, your quality of sleep will likely improve. Finding the right solution to stop snoring is an effective sleep remedy in and of itself.
Only some sleep remedies deliver on their promise to help you stop snoring.
- Don’t Smoke! It irritates and inflames the airways and increases the likelihood of snoring. See your doctor for effective advice to kick the habit.
- Sleep on your side – to stop the tongue from relaxing into the throat. Side-sleeping helps keep your airways open.
- Raise your head – by raising the head of your bed by just ten centimetres, you can help reduce snoring.
- Lose weight: obesity and even being slightly overweight is a significant cause of snoring. Reduce the levels of fat in your neck and throat by losing weight to breathe better.
- Limit alcohol and caffeine: both disrupt your ability to sleep well. Limit your intake of both caffeine and alcohol and avoid consuming either at all within a couple of hours of bedtime.
- Treat allergies and asthma: chronic allergies make the soft tissues of the nasal passages and throat swell. This interrupts the airflow during breathing. Treat your chronic allergies and issues like asthma to reduce this swelling and alleviate snoring.
- Surgery: is an option to correct severe structural issues like a deviated septum or an enlarged uvula.
- Use ApneaRX: this is an oral appliance designed specifically to help you stop snoring. It gently moves the lower jaw forward while you sleep, helping to keep your airways open.
ApneaRX is one of the most effective sleep remedies and it can help you stop snoring. It may also be helpful if you suffer from sleep apnoea. It is comfortable to wear and suitable for use by adults of all ages. Learn more at our website https://apnearx.co.nz/ or call 0800 111 325.