5 easy home remedies to help improve your sleep

July 29, 2015

Normally your body needs at least seven to eight hours of sleep to regenerate. But if you find yourself tossing and turning all night, here's some tried-and-true sleep Rx that's just as effective today as it was for grandma.

5 easy home remedies to help improve your sleep

Trouble sleeping

Stress, worries or hormonal changes during menopause are often the root cause of an inability to fall asleep or a tendency to wake up repeatedly.

  • Sleep disturbances are frequently temporary, but sometimes they drag on for weeks, months or even years and become a nightmare for the victim.
  • You may not be able to control all the factors interfering with your sleep, but mom was right on the money when she gave you warm milk before sending you off to bed.

Sometimes a calming drink and a change to your bedtime routine can be enough to summon the elusive sandman.

1. Try a cup of tisane

Slowly sip a cup of calming valerian, hops, lemon balm, hawthorn or St. John's wort tea before going to bed.

  • If you wish, you can sweeten the beverage with a little honey.

Sleep tea recipe

Try another sleep tea made from 40 grams (1 1/3 ounces) valerian root, 20 grams (2/3 ounce) hops cones, 15 grams (1/2 ounce) each of lemon balm and peppermint leaves and 10 grams (1/3 ounce) bitter orange peel.

  • Use five millilitres of the mixture for every 250 millilitres of tea.

2. Have a tipple

Hops produce their calming effect not only in the form of teas and scent bundles, but also in beer.

  • In moderation, alcohol adds to hops' soporific qualities.
  • A small glass (about 185 mililitres) in the evening can work wonders — but drinking more could have the opposite effect.

3. Get back to basics: warm milk

An hour before bedtime, sip a glass of warm milk containing two to three grams (2/3 ounce) of finely ground almonds.

4. Warm up

It's difficult to fall asleep if your feet are cold.

  • Warm socks can help, as can contrasting footbaths before going to bed.
  • Dip your feet into warm water (38°C) for five minutes, then into cold water (12 to 16°C) for 20 seconds. Repeat, ending with another dip in the warm water.
  • Take a warm, relaxing bath containing linden flowers about a half hour before going to bed.

5. Use essential oils

A snooze-inducing scent mixture for a scent burner consists of four drops of chamomile oil and two drops each of lavender, sandalwood and neroli oil.

  • Place the scent burner in your bedroom an hour before bedtime or add the drops to a small bowl of warm water to disperse the scent.
  • Dribble a few drops of lavender oil onto a spelt cushion and lay your head on it. Your body heat will cause the oil to evaporate gradually, bringing on drowsiness.
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