The female brain is wired for juggling. You fulfill multiple roles day in day out. You keep piling on work and crowd out sleep to fit everything in.

Bad idea! You need your “beauty” sleep to give your mind and body a well deserved rest.

Is your insomnia causing you grief? Pick up Your Complete Guide to Better Sleep and rid yourself of your sleep worries.

Here are 4 pointers to help you fall asleep once your head hits the pillow

Maximize your sleep time before the alarm rings!

1. Avoid using any stimulant after 4PM. You will be amazed about what comes under the stimulant umbrella; caffeine in any form; energy drinks, Sudafed and a fair amount of herbals.

2. Don’t fight with your spouse or partner just before bedtime. It took me a decade to learn this fact. Bringing up thorny issues around bedtime will keep you up and upset past your bedtime.

3. If you are overweight, if you snore and if you wake up to an anxious bed partner who says that you stopped breathing during sleep, do yourself a favor by asking your doctor for a sleep study.

If you come back positive for sleep apnea, you will be provided a machine with a face mask known as the CPAP to sleep with. This apparatus pushes positive pressure into your airway to prevent the tongue from falling back and getting in the way of airflow during sleep.

4. Avoid exercise late in the evenings. Exercise gets you stimulated and it could take a little longer to wind down from an exercise high. I have been told I could seep in water but find it a little harder falling asleep when I exercise later in the day.

So…you have tried all of the above and you think you could use some more help and you are terrified (as you should be) of the high powered prescription sleep medications.

4 Healthy Alternatives

Below are 4 easy options you can try; all available at your local grocery store or health food store, no prescriptions needed.

Chamomile Tea

Herbal remedy that comes as a brewed tea used for centuries to lull people to sleep. Moderation is the key here. You don’t want to drink too much and have to wake up every hour to go to the bathroom.

Unisom

The downside to the sedating anti-histamines is that they can have a residual effect of grogginess the next day.

You can limit this side effect by allowing 8 hours of sleep time, meaning that you don’t take Unisom at 11PM when you need to be up by 5AM the next day.

Unisom or any one of it’s clones like Tylenol PM, Advil PM or good ‘ol Benadryl all contain anti-histamines that just by the way make you sleepy.

Melatonin

Your brain produces melatonin naturally and the level peaks at night to tell the body to shut down for the night. Supplementing your body’s production of melatonin could help you fall asleep. Healthgist Bonus Tip: Melatonin works wonders for jet lag.

Valerian Root

An herbal supplement that works well for getting you to sleep.

Caveats:

You don’t want to depend on sleep aids on a long term basis because they all stop working with prolonged use.

You don’t want to consume alcohol with sleep aids; they both suppress brain activity.

Do all these before asking for prescription sleep medications. Less is better regarding medications.

About the author

Dr. Bola

Dr. Bola

Family physician. Works for the "man" by day, wife & mom 24/7.
Loves the work of translating "medicalese" to plain english.

18 Comments

Leave a Comment