Life without sleep: How to get healthy sleep without drugs

The problem of insomnia is familiar to everyone. It won’t do any harm. But what if you are chronically unable to sleep? The bad news is that: more often than not, it results from a poor lifestyle. Good: It’s easy to fix.

A brief bout of insomnia can occur due to stress or a change in daily routine. For example, a child was born, or you switched to a new work schedule. Once you find a way to deal with the situation, your sleep patterns will return to normal.

But sometimes the problem gets worse. The reasons can be quite serious: from depression to sleep apnea (stopping breathing) in a dream. But the root of the trouble is most often an unhealthy lifestyle. Banal bad habits are to blame for everything: heavy meals in the evening, uncomfortable bedroom furnishings, or addiction to gadgets. 

Lack of sleep leads to irritability and lack of energy during the day. Over time, problems such as obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes can develop. However, there are many ways to get healthy sleep back. 

Why You Should Avoid Insomnia Medications

Sleeping pills solve the problem only for a short period. There are also unpleasant side effects (headaches, muscle pain, constipation, dry mouth, daytime fatigue, problems concentrating, dizziness, etc.). Many would rather have insomnia than such effects of treatment. 

But, even if you are lucky to avoid the “side effects,” the benefits will not be long-term. The body of most people quickly gets used to sleeping pills. As a result, you have to take ever higher doses, or the medicine stops working altogether. Taking sleeping pills is like a strict diet. Both can work in the short term. But healthy habits are needed for sound, restful sleep for a lifetime.

Life without sleep. How to get healthy sleep without drugs

Insomnia. What to do?

  • Exercise

Physical activity is essential for good sleep. Even 30 minutes 3-4 times a week will give results. It is advisable to train in the morning. This positively affects blood pressure and ultimately leads to better sleep. 

Sport is necessary for the body as a whole. But why is exercise so helpful in combating insomnia? Exercise promotes relaxation and reduces stress, anxiety, and depression. Staying active also helps to establish a natural sleep-wake cycle. Outdoor exercise is especially effective.

Life without sleep. How to get healthy sleep without drugs
  • Sunshine

The sun makes you wake up in the morning. But it also helps to get a restful sleep at night. The body relies on natural light to determine the time of day. So the body understands which hormones should be produced: energize or relax. Daylight sets the natural internal clock. When the body senses a change in light, it increases or decreases the production of the sleep hormone melatonin. It is not produced during the day. That is why you feel energized. 

This is a very simple way to get back to a healthy sleep pattern. Fill your body with light as soon as you get out of bed. Open curtains or blinds. Practice outside or at least on the balcony. In the fight against insomnia, a simple walk with the dog every morning can be beneficial. Maintain natural light throughout the day. Please arrange your workplace near the window. Take a walk during your lunch break. Plan a picnic or hike on the weekends instead of a couch and TV. 

  • Stress management

It is unlikely that you will be able to fall asleep if you go to bed with a feverishly working brain. And due to lack of sleep, a person feels exhausted during the day. There is more stress, anxiety, and irritability. Over time, this turns into a vicious circle. 

Try starting with any meditation that catches your attention. Fortunately, there are plenty of options on the Internet. Another way is to keep a diary. Write down every evening all the impressions and emotions accumulated during the day. Most of the time, just talking is enough. The stream of thoughts will flow into this channel and free your brain. 

  • Guided imagination

Get into bed. Imagine yourself in a calm, safe place. Watch the incoming images. Such mind games will help you fall asleep faster. And over time, such fantasies will signal to your brain that it’s time for sleep. 

Life without sleep. How to get healthy sleep without drugs
  • Muscle relaxation

Switching the brain is a highly effective method of combating insomnia. But the relaxation of the physical body is no less useful. Try to tense and relax your toes. Mentally count to ten and tighten your muscles more and more with each count. On the count of 10, relax sharply. Repeat this with every muscle in the body. Move from bottom to top and finish with the muscles of the face. Let the eyes be last. This simple exercise will help you release the accumulated energy and move into a state of sleep.

  • Go to bed early

It sounds counterintuitive, but going to bed early will make your worries disappear on their own. Owls are more prone to repetitive negative thoughts. 

Products for insomnia

Food and drink also play an important role in promoting healthy sleep. Many foods contain chemicals that will make you feel relaxed and sleepy. Add them to your dinner menu or snack on them at night.

Life without sleep. How to get healthy sleep without drugs
  • Cheese

Cheese is rich in tryptophan. It is essential for the production of serotonin. And your relaxed and sleepy state depends on the latter.

  • Almond

It also contains tryptophan. In addition, almonds are a good source of calcium and magnesium. They are essential for quality sleep.

  • Salmon 

It is a source of Omega-3. Its sufficient level is also the basis for good sleep. You can choose other fish: tuna, sardine, or mackerel. 

  • Whole grain crackers

Carbohydrates raise blood sugar levels. It plays a role in regulating your body’s sleep and wakes hours. A giant plate of pasta will only bring stomach pain and extra pounds. But an easier option in the form of a handful of whole-grain crackers will help you fall asleep. 

  • Cherry 

These berries are the only edible source of the sleep hormone melatonin. Consider eating a full bowl for dinner. In the absence of fresh, buy frozen or drink a glass of tart cherry juice. 

  • Skimmed milk

Heartburn is a common cause of insomnia. Try a glass of milk at night as a remedy. In addition, it is a good source of calcium, which helps control melatonin production in the body.

  • Bananas

This fruit is rich in carbohydrates and tryptophan, necessary for sleep, and contains potassium and magnesium. They help to relax the muscles.

What contributes to insomnia:

  • coffee and other foods rich in caffeine (black tea, cola, dark chocolate);
  • spicy food;
  • fatty food.

Avoid these foods and drinks at least after 5 p.m.

Herbs for insomnia

Life without sleep. How to get healthy sleep without drugs
  • Chamomile

Chamomile tea has been used as a relaxation aid for centuries. It helps to calm the nerves, reduce anxiety and alleviate insomnia. You can pour two or three bags of boiling water at once for a full effect.

  • St. John’s wort

It is used for depression and insomnia. 

  • Valeriana

It helps you fall asleep faster and sleep better. However, there may be better options for long-term use. Talk to your doctor before taking valerian.

  • Mint

Mint has a beneficial effect on blood pressure, dilates blood vessels, and helps to relax. It is also used for headaches and migraines. As a result, it helps to fall asleep. 

  • Dusica

The essential oils contained in it have a hypnotic effect. This is one of the simplest and most affordable means.

  • Thyme

It improves blood circulation and calms the nervous system. 

  • Melissa

Another natural sedative. It is recommended for neurosis and heart and nervous system disorders.

  • Cypreus

Cure for migraines and stress. As a result, sleep improves. It is recommended to drink a cup of this drink at night.

Other Tips for Healthy Sleep

  • turn off gadgets an hour before bedtime;
  • take a shower in the evening;
  • smell lavender before going to bed (options are rose hips, frankincense, myrrh, or sage);
  • ensure a comfortable temperature in the bedroom; buy a heater and air conditioner;
  • work on soundproofing (an alternative is earplugs);
  • buy a comfortable mattress and bed;
  • choose to bed made from natural fabrics (cotton, wool, silk, bamboo, and linen).

In conclusion

One of the keys to our health is quality sleep. Violation in this area can adversely affect the physical condition as a whole. And this will entail social problems and a decrease in the quality of life. An ideal treatment option is an integrated approach. Physical activity, exposure to fresh air during the day, proper nutrition, herbs for insomnia, and nervous system relaxation. 


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