While there are many prescription and over-the-counter sleep aids on the market, there are also several home remedies for insomnia. These include avoiding certain foods, adding certain foods to the diet, altering sleep environment, and modifying daily activities.
One of the most important home remedies for insomnia involves reducing or eliminating the amount of caffeine consumed on a daily basis. While it may not necessarily be an issue to have a daily cup of coffee in the morning, those who suffer from insomnia should work to avoid any caffeine consumption between lunch and bedtime. Caffeine is not just in coffee and sodas, but in items such as chocolate as well. High-sugar or starchy foods should also be avoided for at least two to three hours before bedtime. Alcoholic beverages can also encourage insomnia and should be avoided whenever possible.
Other home remedies for insomnia involve adding specific foods and beverages to the daily diet. One of the oldest known home remedies for insomnia is the classic glass of milk before bedtime. Items such as honey, cinnamon, and vanilla extract can also be added to the milk for some variety. There are also several caffeine-free herbal teas on the market containing various herbal sleep aids, such as Valerian root and poppy seed extract, which can help reduce or relieve the effects of insomnia.
Where a person sleeps at night is also as important as how he sleeps. While it may not seem like it would make a big difference, altering the setup of the bedroom can be one of the most effective home remedies for insomnia. At night, as much light as possible should be eliminated from the room, including nightlights. Room-darkening curtains are also recommended, as they help to block out external lights from street lamps and passing traffic. Noise distractions should also be kept to a minimum, although there are many people who cannot sleep without some form of noise in the room, such as the whirring from a ceiling fan.
When it comes to day-to-day activities, there are several modifications that can be made to create effective home remedies for insomnia. Any exercise routines should be done early in the day. Dinner should be eaten as early in the evening as possible, allowing at least a few hours before bedtime once the meal has been completed. It should also be the lighter meal of the day, when possible, with breakfast and lunch serving as the two heavier meals. Another of the classic home remedies for insomnia that still proves effective is a nice hot bath before turning in for the night.