A client asked me for help, so I reached out to my Facebook community to find out what helps them fall asleep and sleep deeper. Here’s the great information I got back.
Here is my client’s original email…I have to say, I get so frustrated when people tell me to get enough sleep (duh is right!) because I know how important it is, but I can’t seem to accomplish it. I am a very poor sleeper (have been for decades) and I’m in a cycle now where it’s particularly bad. I give myself OPPORTUNITY to sleep, but I can’t MAKE myself sleep. I have tried everything under the sun (lifestyle changes, dietary changes, supplements, over the counter sleep aids, prescription meds…). I have been prescription free for 3+ years, and I have no desire to go that route. I am trying not to take OTC meds, though I was so desperate last night I took Advil PM — and slept five hours. Woo. Help!
- Has she had any blood work done to see if she has adrenal fatigue or low Vitamin D levels?
- Using the Biomat before bed knocks me out cold (there are lots of types available). Many of my clients actually sleep on it. It helps combat the effects of stress, helps with pain, that maybe disturbing sleep, so good for you. I also use lavender essential oils, and often just put a chunk of amethyst under my pillow, although there are many other crystals /stones that help with sleep. Magnesium deficiency may also contribute to insomnia, as well as Vitamin D deficiency.
- My husband has been helped some by taking Vitamin D. Also a very strict bedtime routine.
- Vitamin D is for sure a start. Has she had a sleep study done?
- Overactive thyroid can be the culprit as well. I second the suggestion to get blood work if this hasn’t been done.
- I would concur – stay away from prescription meds. I struggled for months with insomnia due to high brain activity when trying to rest. Have her try lavender oil on her temples, wrists, & behind ears. A mix of nettles, valerian can also help – a dropper before bed. The natural medicine & oils will help her stay in REM sleep, without having to try to increase hours of sleep. She’ll wake refreshed without the side effects of prescriptions.
- A good lavender essential oil will help.
- Sleep is always a struggle at our house (but mainly due to small kids & a dog that sometimes is up in the night). Things I’ve found that work – aside from an overall supplement program – are drinking lots of water throughout the day, no caffeine (& especially not after lunch if I have any) & adjusting the temperature in the room where I’m sleeping. For me, I fall asleep faster if there is a fan on & the room feels chilly without a blanket. And not turning on the TV if I can help it. If I wake up in the night & can’t get back to sleep, I try to give myself a break, get up, walk around, maybe read or do something else that’s quiet.9. It could be a vitamin deficiency, but if she’s tried those things & consulted with a doc about some of the underlying causes sometimes it helps to just switch up the routine.
- Sleep study, for sure.
- Finding music that you only listen to when sleeping. George Winston worked for me, now I’m able to use white noise. Good luck, I understand the struggles.
- I agree with the other posts about checking vitamin d, magnesium levels, and using essential oils. I used to struggle with insomnia during stressful times and I read about the relaxation method. It’s guided meditation you do regularly for 2 weeks (15 min song/meditation I downloaded from iTunes) once I got used to dozing with it over those first two weeks a few times a day, I now use it at night when I think it will be hard to sleep. My routine when I’m really stressed now is a warm bath, essential oils and guided meditation before bed.
- Please check out TRE-Tension and Trauma Releasing exercises. The website is www.traumaprevention.com. It is a set of 7 simple exercises to calm the nervous system. The number 1 benefit we hear about is better sleep. It cured my insomnia.
- Melatonin is ok for short term from my perspective. It works ok for a while then you have to start increasing the dosage as your body gets used to it.
- I have found Magnesium to help relax which helps fall into a more peaceful sleep!
- I have studied melatonin a little bit and agree it is ok in short term, but is awful as a long term strategy. If melatonin doesn’t work (natural supplement) the next best route is trazadone which is a prescription but worth it to sleep.
- I have some of the same issues, but not as severe. Stumbled on this Life Hack article in FB just last week, and skeptically I tried it. Weirdly enough, next thing I knew it was 3 hours later! It’s a breathing technique called 4-7-8 supported by Andrew Weil, MD. Others I have shared it with have found it helpful, too.
- Look into essential oils! Lavender, Cedarwood, Orange, Peace and Calming are a few that can be lifesavers. I use them all the time.
- Cedarwood is my go-to when I can’t sleep.
- There are so many herbs that can help with sleep and the amount can vary, it really is trial and error. Personally, I use Blue Vervain in a tincture form. 60 drops for me at bedtime, but my son only needs about 6. I have also used California Poppy in tincture form. Some people swear by Valerian, but for me, it makes me jittery.
- 21. I spray my pillow with lavender and I take 1 milligram of sublingual melatonin.
- Try essential oils that help sleep. Try using a diffuser and salt lamp they both work great.
- I’ve had that problem too. Getting up early and getting enough exercise during the day helps- plus cutting out caffeine. But I know you can’t always control what you do in the day and it’s really shutting off your thoughts at night that’s hard.
- 24. Two weeks of no electronics, 3 day juicing fast with 8 hours of outside air or as much as possible and they will be able to sleep. Fresh air and real food is amazing for sleep & activity cycles plus reduces overall stress. Without the electronic info overload your brain can process the stress much more efficiently.
- It’s just a breathing exercise so nothing to buy:
- Many options are out there, I avoid any OTC things as that can adversely affect your body in the long run, couple of immediate tips to get you in the sleep state, make sure the room you are in is PITCH BLACK, no night lights of any kind, and a eye mask to eliminate distractions.
- Research natural alternatives to melatonin that are non-addictive.
- The post didn’t go into details about the client, but very important if you’re a woman on the pill to be aware of your prescription which can be the major culprit. A simple switch in the brand may resolve certain side effects- such as depression and anxiety- which really mess with your sleep.
- Lavender comes in an ingestible form now…calms and relaxes and the only side effect is “lavender burps”. That, combined with chamomile or another sleepy tea…combined with a cool room temp and maybe a boring book before bed might be helpful.
- We do lavender essential oil on bottom of feet or in a diffuser or put some drops in the wash with our sheets. Also my husband listens to a podcast or two when he first lays down
- My husband uses an oral sleep spray that contains a combination of natural herbs and oils to help you fall asleep and awake rested. My insomniac husband swears by it.
- 32. Epsom Salt soaks before bed make a difference for me when I can make time to do it. Make sure you are in the tub at least 20 minutes. Yoga before bed can help as well.
- Magnesium in the form of a topical spray and also a pill.
- I know this sounds odd, but rub “Icy Hot” for aches and pains on the back of your neck and a little bit on your temples right before you go to bed…then deep breaths through your nose as you’re falling asleep….works like a charm!
- I have the same problem. I am seeing an Integrative medicine MD to talk about this. I will share what I learn. I am told though that meditation, turning off electronics before sleep and magnesium help. I will try anything to take this naturally, but medication. Is helpful to get you through the phase where you are looking for answers.
- Have you ever been checked for sleep apnea? It is a disorder that can be treated effectively once it is diagnosed.
- So helpful. I struggle with staying asleep–fall asleep easily but wake up at 2 or 3. Daily meditation has helped some.
- If your client hasn’t already discussed this with a physician, that would be a good thing to do. They may have some non-drug related ideas or might order a sleep test. There are some medical conditions that can cause sleep issues. Other ideas – I know people that have been helped by chamomile tea or other “sleep” teas. Acupuncture has helped me sleep better.
- I agree wither starting with a version of magnesium. Might be Epsom salt or a powder form at whole foods. My wife uses natural calm. But start at a really low dose. Or nausea and diarrhea will ruin your experience.
- And melatonin is only for regulating your body when to go to sleep. Not sleeping through the night. It been market as a natural sleep aid to sell more. Be careful.
- Reflexology and magnesium.
- Valerian tincture (or tea) has been known for centuries to calm the mind and relax the body. It was given during the 1800 in England to children as an afternoon tea so they could take a nap. Many countries in Europe today use it as a sleep aid.
- What about an underlying anxiety or depression symptoms. These definitely disrupt sleep…
- Have you thought about a sleep study there might be something that you are missing? Another thought might be anxiety.
- C1 (atlas) misalignment can be a factor also and very important for many other vital areas. Check with a reputable chiropractor. Good luck.
- Many people have stress and anxiety and do not even realize they are in a constant state of flight or flight. It might be worth exploring with someone to see if there are some underlying stressors, anxiety that this person isn’t even aware of anymore. (Speaking from experience here as someone who for years was anxious and didn’t even know it.)
- Acupuncture, yoga, essential oils.
- 48. I would start with the simple: no sugar before bed or caffeine. How about a snack like full fat yogurt plain with berries? Something with casein protein that takes longer to absorb and keeps you full through the night?
- I would actually look into a weighted blanket. It helps a lot of light sleepers.
For those of you who struggle with sleep issues, I hope some of these suggestions are helpful.
- You still have a few more days to sign up for our 2nd Wildtree Freezer Meal Workshop on February 28th at 4:30 at the TC. Our January workshop was so successful and we’ve been hearing awesome comments from clients who are enjoying the tasty and healthy meals they prepared.
Use this link to sign up: http://goo.gl/forms/iof0XwcrZp
PPS. We’re offering an online freezer meal opportunity, too, for our clients that do not live in Madison. We’ve partnered with Wildtree to make this service available to FM4L because I know this is an issue that so many women struggle with. Our first online workshop will be Sunday, March 6 at 7:30 PM Central. Learn more and save your spot here: https://ia175.infusionsoft.com/app/page/online-freezer-meals