Holistic Sleep Alternatives
Are you sick of feeling loopy from the side effects of prescription sleep meds, such as Ambien and Lunesta? Then this is a must read!
[Check out the following blog to learn about holistic sleep alternatives (in addition to acupuncture) and how they can help.]
According to the CDC, adults need 7 or more hours of sleep per night to maintain optimal wellbeing. Some have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or just don’t feel rested upon waking in the morning. Many people experience an array of symptoms that contribute to sleep issues. Read our Top 10 Sleep Tips to get better sleep, and if you’re pregnant, consider some of the optimal sleep positions for pregnancy.
Lack of sleep can negatively impact your daily life including your mood, health, and energy level. Research from Johns Hopkins reported that people experiencing sleep deprivation have less active immunity protectors (aka natural killer cells) and are three times more likely to catch a cold. (Finan, 2019)
Regardless of your symptoms, one of the following holistic sleep alternatives may help you. Please remember to check with a medical professional before starting any supplement to determine exactly what your body truly needs.
Magnesium is a great and popular way to treat irregular sleep symptoms. There are various types of this mineral, but according to Medical News Today, magnesium glycinate is one of the most recommended magnesium supplements, as it is more easily absorbed and does not have the laxative effect that other forms might (2019). Glycinate comes from a nonessential amino acid called glycine that provides a calming effect on the brain. Not only does this mineral help with sleep but it also can promote healthy bone density and combat depression and anxiety. Magnesium glycinate may not be ideal for everyone, especially those taking diuretics or zinc-based supplements. Before starting this or any other supplement, it’s imperative to check with a medical professional to determine whether or not this is right for you.
Another great supplement to consider is melatonin: a natural hormone made by the pineal gland. When taken at the appropriate time (30-60 minutes before bed), it is known to improve sleep and reset your biological clock to regulate your natural sleep pattern. This supplement usually comes in 1-5 mg dosages, but varies depending on the individual. While everyone’s body has melatonin, some people may have less-than-optimal amounts, which is what may be causing your irregular or disrupted sleep.
If pills are really not your thing, try a nighttime tea before bed! Melatonin is usually a primary ingredient in most nighttime teas on the market. Go to Whole Foods or your favorite vitamin shop and ask for their recommended organic nighttime tea brand.
Naturna also carries excellent brands for supplements (including both magnesium glycinate and melatonin) and can guide you in finding the right brand for you!
Daily Exercise and Relaxation
A regular daily routine can help you naturally sleep better. This can include:
- Exercising (cardio and/or muscle building) 3 times a week in the morning
- Doing gentle yoga or stretching before bed
- Meditating for at least 5 minutes a day (at least to get started). You can simply focus on your breath in a quiet setting or put on your headphones and listen to short guided meditation
While modifying your diet may not be the easiest task, it can be very effective in relieving common sleep issues. Some suggestions are:
- Consuming less sugar throughout the day, especially before bed
- Stop eating at 8 PM or at least two hours before bed
- Eating more magnesium rich food such as broccoli, raw cacao nibs, and avocados
And as always, acupuncture is an excellent alternative to helping you sleep better!! We couldn’t help but plug our favorite treatment!
There are an abundance of helpful options right at your fingertips, which may be a bit overwhelming. Please remember when considering any of the above mentioned ideas it’s always best to check with either your Naturna practitioner or medical care provider to see what’s best to incorporate into your lifestyle or treatment plan. It’s important to remain open minded, find a method you are attracted to, and go for it!
So, my question to you is: which suggestion are you going to try tonight?
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Sleep and sleep disorders.” Retrieved 6 May 2019, from https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/data_statistics.html
Finan, P. at Johns Hopkins Medicine. The Effects of Sleep Deprivation. Retrieved 7 May 2019, from https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/the-effects-of-sleep-deprivation.
Medical News Today. “The uses and benefits of magnesium glycinate.” 18 January 2019. Retrieved 6 May 2019, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/315372.php.
National Sleep Foundation. “Melatonin and sleep.” Retrieved 6 May 2019, from https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/melatonin-and-sleep.