Question

Healthy Sleeping

What are some home remedies that might help me sleep better?

A Answers (5)

  • AStacy Wiegman, PharmD, Pharmacy, answered
    There are many home remedies that you should try before you begin taking sleep aids. These home remedies include sleeping in a dark, quiet room, relaxing, and going to bed at the same time each evening. You should avoid wine, caffeine, beer, exercise, nicotine, large meals, liquor, and naps within six hours of going to sleep.
    Helpful? 17 people found this helpful.
  • ACharlene Gamaldo, MD, Sleep Medicine, answered on behalf of Johns Hopkins Medicine

    In general, exercising regularly, avoiding overeating at night, and avoiding stressful activities and thoughts can help you improve sleep. Also, while your sleep cycle is generally 90 minutes long, the quality of your sleep can change depending on what times you are asleep.

    The earlier in the night you sleep, the more likely you will experience deep non-REM sleep, and the later in the morning, the greater the chance of you experiencing REM sleep. Therefore, if you sleep in, you have a greater chance of enjoying a greater proportion of REM sleep.   

    For those with sleep apnea, losing excess weight, either on your own or with the help of a weight-loss program, can relieve throat constriction. In some cases, weight loss can cure sleep apnea. Check with your doctor though as untreated sleep apnea can have very serious consequences.

    Sleeping on the side, instead of on your back, also helps with apnea. When you sleep on your back, your tongue and soft palate can hit the back of your throat and block your airway. To prevent sleeping on your back, you can sew a tennis ball in the back of your pajama top.

    To keep your nasal passages open at night, you can use a saline spray. However, you should consult your doctor first about using nasal decongestants or antihistamines since these medications are generally not recommended for long-term use and are not treatments for sleep apnea.
    Helpful? 25 people found this helpful.
  • ABurke Lennihan RN CCH, Alternative & Complementary Medicine, answered

    Here are some natural products I would keep in your home medicine cabinet that can help you sleep better. Calms Forte is a combination of homeopathic medicines, one of the most popular products in my health food store years ago. It’s also good for daytime anxiety. It’s very mild, totally safe, and non-habit-forming. I would dissolve a couple of tablets in your mouth just before going to bed (if you tend to have problems with sleeping every night) and keep it by your bed. If you only have problems once in a while, take it when you’re actually having the sleep problem.

    Specific homeopathic medicines can be even more effective if you find the one that matches you best. Here are just two examples among many:

    Ignatia is called “the rehearsal remedy.” It works especially well when you’re upset and you’re lying awake thinking, “I wish I said this! I wish I did that! Next time I see him I’m going to . . .”

    Coffea works especially well when you have insomnia from happy anticipation – like the night before your wedding, or just before going on a long-awaited vacation.

    Start with a mild 6c or 12c potency and dissolve two pellets in your mouth before going to bed.

    If that doesn’t work after a few tries, you can move up to the 30c (medium) potency.

  • AJacob Teitelbaum, Integrative Medicine, answered
    Here are a few home remedies and lifestyle changes that can help improve your sleep:

    - Go to bed and wake up around the same time each day. This will set your internal clock (circadian day/night rhythm) to a healthy pattern. Your body loves routine.

    - Don’t drink alcohol right before bedtime.

    - Cut off your caffeine intake at 2:00 p.m. It’s okay to have a cup or two of tea or coffee in the morning, but switch to decaf after 2:00.

    - If you frequently wake up to urinate during the night, do not drink a lot of
    fluids near bedtime.

    - Don’t exercise within an hour of bedtime.
    Helpful? 15 people found this helpful.
  • There are many home remedies that have been tried for improving sleep, but it's not clear that any offer a real benefit. It's more important to work on "sleep hygiene" by making sure you have not had any caffeine or alcohol in the afternoon or evening, getting regular exercise and using your bedroom just for sleep, reading or sexual relations. If you want to try some home remedies, a cup of chamomile tea or warm milk might help. The health food supplement melatonin also may provide some benefit.
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