If you are having trouble sleeping while living under quarantine, you aren't the only one. While some people prefer sleeping pills like Ambien to ride out the storm, there are many different holistic approaches that can make a big difference when dealing with insomnia and other sleep related ailments.
Here are the top 7 healthy alternatives to sleeping pills, as presented by FindKarma
Acupuncture is one of the oldest forms of holistic medicine on earth. The earliest known evidence of an acupuncture procedure was recorded around 100 B.C. and originated in China.
According to traditional Chinese medicine, it is thought that illnesses and disease are caused by disruptions to the flow of energy within the body.
How Does It Work?
By inserting super thin needles at certain strategic points (known as meridians) and to certain depths within the body, patients have found success using acupuncture to alleviate many chronic ailments such as pain and nausea.
With over 350 specific points throughout the body, doctors believe that acupuncture removes the blockage of energy and allows it to keep flowing.
What Does Acupuncture Treat?
The World Health Organization states that acupuncture has been proven effective at treating the following conditions
- High and Low Blood Pressure
- Chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting
- Painful periods
- Allergic rhinitis
- Facial pain
- Morning sickness
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Tennis elbow
- Dental Pain
- Inducing Labor
What Is Guided Imagery?
Guided Imagery is a fantastic relaxation technique that helps many people overcome sleep related problems by harnessing the power of the five senses of the human body. It is simple and easy to learn and can be done anywhere.
Also known as guided self-hypnosis, or guided meditation, you can use your imagination to positively improve your mental state.
How Does It Work?
According to WebMD, guided imagery focuses on images. This type of thinking allows you to create imagery that helps you harness all of your senses which include sight, taste, sound, smell and sensation. You can improve your health by using the power of these senses.
With guided imagery, you use your imagination to create relaxing or positive images and experiences. Your body interprets these as real. This can have a real impact on your physical health.
What Is The Process?
By focusing on your heart rate and breathing, you can begin to relax your body and mind and release any built up tension that could be causing undue stress.
Once you start to feel relaxed, the next step is to imagine a happy or peaceful place that you can visualize in your mind.
What Are The Benefits?
- Reduced levels of stress hormones
- Lower blood pressure and heart rate
- Improve sleep
What is Yoga?
Yoga is the practice of both mind and body, while combining meditation with breathing and physical postures. There are many ways to combine these elements to represent different styles of Yoga.
Yoga was developed over 5,000 years ago in the Northern part of India and is considered a spiritual discipline.
As a way to healthy living, one of the mail goals of Yoga is to create harmony between the body and mind. By learning how to practice yoga properly and incorporate it into your daily life, you can expect to find stress and anxiety relief that can lead to much healthier sleep schedules and put an end to the need for sleeping pills or other less healthy sleep aids.
What Is Hypnosis?
Also referred to as hypnotherapy or hypnotic suggestion, hypnosis is when you are put into a trance-like state with much higher levels of concentration and focus than normal.
Why Do It?
Under the proper care of a therapist, while in the trance-state you will feel much more calm and stress free which allows you to be more susceptible to taking suggestions.
Many people seek out this type of treatment in order to stop addictive or harmful behavior.
What Conditions Are Treated Using Hypnosis?
- Mental Health
- Side effects from cancer treatment
- Hot flashes
- Pain Control
- Changes in behavior
Why CBT over Rx?
Studies have shown that the use of cognitive behavioral therapy is significantly more effective than the use of prescription medication when it comes to addressing sleep disorders.
What Is Biofeedback?
The process of gaining greater awareness of many physiological functions of one's own body, by using electronic or other instruments, and with a goal of being able to manipulate the body's systems at will
How Does It Work?
As a treatment for sleep disorders, it uses sensors to measure specific physiological functions, such as muscle tension, breathing and heart rate. Biofeedback teaches you to recognize and control your body's anxiety response that impacts sleep patterns.
What Is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is defined as inhalation or application of fragrant essential oils for therapeutic purposes, leading to a stronger sense of wellbeing.
Why Aromatherapy For Sleep?
Numerous studies have shown that the use of certain essential oils, like lavender, before bed can help you fall asleep faster and lead to faster REM (rapid eye movement).
What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are compounds extracted from plants via distillation or another method called cold-pressing, which are then mixed with a carrier oil like olive oil. These oils retain the smell of the plant and have been found to be very useful in treating a laundry list of conditions like stress, anxiety and trouble sleeping.
How To Use Essential Oils
Inhalation - essential oils can be added to a diffuser, a bowl of hot water, or a spray bottle. This process should be done in a well ventilated area and not for more than thirty minutes at a time.
Apply directly to the skin - a popular way to apply essential oils to the skin is by massage. Many times these oils will be offered as add-ons to a professional massage. Essential oils are most frequently added to vegetable oil, nut oil or water and are found in concentrations not higher than 5%.
Added to bathwater - Just add a couple drops directly into your bathwater which will allow you to consume the oils via inhalation as well as absorption.
This one is pretty self explanatory. Sometimes you just need to RELAX. Life can be pretty stressful, especially now that we are in the middle of an unprecedented pandemic.
It is important to find easy and simple ways to relax when the day comes to an end. By getting into the right frame of mind before bed, you can calm yourself down, reduce unnecessary thinking and get to sleep without having to ply yourself with alcohol or medication.