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Things to Avoid for a Good Night’s Sleep

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Things to Avoid for a Good Night’s Sleep

Photo Courtesy Of:  Creatas/Thinkstock

According to a 2010 poll from the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), about 60 percent of the US population suffers from poor or inadequate sleep. Prior to light bulbs, people slept an average of 10 hours a night. Nowadays, the average American gets less than seven hours of shut-eye during the week, and slightly more on weekends.

While I don’t believe there is a hard-and-fast rule as to how long you must sleep, it is crucial to get enough to feel well-rested—something that can be nearly impossible if you’re suffering from insomnia.

Lack of sleep can have far-reaching ramifications. In fact, you can have an excellent diet and exercise regimen, but if you’re not sleeping well, optimal health will remain elusive. I’ve previously detailed the many health hazards of lack of sleep, so for a refresher, please review the hyperlink provided.

It’s important to understand that while herbs are far less problematic than prescription sleep-aids, ultimately even these natural supplements are just symptomatic band-aids. If you’re suffering from insomnia, you are far better off seeking to correct the problem at its root, which I’ll discuss below. That said, let’s first review a couple of natural remedies that may offer some temporary help.

Can Herbal Remedies Help Insomnia?

Valerian is one of the most commonly used sleep remedies for insomnia. Studies have found that valerian improves:

  • Deep sleep
  • Speed of falling asleep
  • Overall quality of sleep

Bear in mind however, that herbs can affect people differently, and about 10 percent of people who take valerian tend to actually feel energized by it, which may keep them awake.

In the featured study above, 30 percent of the post-menopausal women participating in this randomized, triple-blind, controlled trial showed an improvement in the quality of their sleep after taking 530 mg of valerian twice a day for four weeks.  The authors concluded that:

“Valerian improves the quality of sleep in women with menopause who are experiencing insomnia. Findings from this study add support to the reported effectiveness of valerian in the clinical management of insomnia.”

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Dr. Mercola

Dr. Mercola has been passionate about health and technology for most of his life. As a doctor of osteopathic medicine, he treated many thousands of patients for over 20 years. In the mid 90’s he integrated his passion for natural health with modern technology via the internet and developed a website, Mercola.com to spread the word about natural ways to achieve optimal health.

35 comments

+ add your own
11:07AM PST on Mar 9, 2013

I have some devises near bed. I'm gonna try to change. Thank you.

9:47AM PST on Dec 11, 2011

great advice here... thanks

3:49PM PST on Dec 10, 2011

thanks

12:57PM PST on Dec 6, 2011

Super Info..thank YOU!

8:56PM PST on Dec 1, 2011

Meditation and prayer help calm the nerves before bedtime.

8:16PM PST on Nov 29, 2011

I have found ear plugs and a sleep mask resolve a lot of my sleep problems as I no longer wake up as much during the night. The ear plugs still permit me to hear the alarm go off but they block out lesser sounds that used to wake me up.

Having a set routine also helps tremendously as I get tired at the same time ever night.

6:18AM PST on Nov 29, 2011

Peggy M, I know what you mean about out-of-whack hormones! One of the "joys" of perimenopause is the chronic insomnia, and it is a DRAG. I've learned to live with it, but the bad nights are still rough.

Another minor aggravation is the fact that ever since I had kids, I've become a light sleeper. The slightest noise that's out of the ordinary puts me on alert, even something as routine as the water softener in the rec room going through its cleaning cycle (even if I shut the rec room door, that thing wakes me up-only thing I can do is keep an eye on the gauge so I know which night it's going to fire off and not be surprised when it does) is enough to startle me awake.

Traveling is also difficult-after 14 moves in 14 years, I don't sleep worth a damn my first night in a strange place-the unfamiliar noises keep my brain on alert all night. Once again, it's a case of knowing what to expect and just dealing with it.

6:16AM PST on Nov 29, 2011

thanks a lot for this informative article

5:51AM PST on Nov 29, 2011

Thanks for the article

2:54AM PST on Nov 29, 2011

Deep sleep, gr8 word.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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