We’ve always heard that getting eight hours of sleep a night is key for good health and mental alertness, but what about those who have trouble falling asleep? What about those who struggle with staying asleep? Insomnia can be a significant problem.

Sometimes we joke about falling asleep after stuffing ourselves with a big Thanksgiving dinner, but it’s true that turkey makes you tired. It contains tryptophan, an amino acid that is found in a variety of foods from turkey, chicken and tuna to soy, spinach and whole grain crackers. These may be good food choices for your evening meal.

bed-cabinOf course, if consuming foods high in tryptophan is wise before bedtime, then avoiding caffeine at that time is also a good idea if you are having trouble sleeping. In fact, it is recommended to stay away from caffeine-laden foods and drinks for eight hours before sleep.

It’s also recommended that alcohol be enjoyed in moderation and not within two hours before turning in. While conventional wisdom would label alcohol as a depressant, it can negatively affect your sleep patterns, especially if consumed too close to bedtime. Read more here. http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/news/20130118/alcohol-sleep

Another consideration is the use of supplements. According to the book Prescription for Natural Cures, Hydroxytryptophan is an amino acid that can help promote serotonin in the brain for relaxation. However, don’t it use with pharmaceutical antidepressants. Another choice is trying Melatonin half an hour before bedtime, thought it’s important to realize that this option is best used only short-term.

However, something you can enjoy every night is a ten-minute, warm foot bath, which can draw blood toward limbs and away from your head to aid sleep. Also, essential oils like lavender, chamomile or ylang-ylang can be placed on your pillow, infused into an evening bath or used in massage to help you sleep.

If you struggle with insomnia, hopefully one or more of these suggestions will be helpful; but there’s always one more option. At Body Healing Power, we offer various types of body work, all of which will help you relax and unwind. We can also help you find aromatherapy or flower essences that help your mind and body calm at night. Because we know that sleeping is key for healing and your well-being. At Body Healing Power, we help your body heal itself naturally.