6 Ways to Fall Asleep Naturally – Beat Insomnia
Do you fall into a cozy sleep on the couch while watching TV? Then later have trouble getting to sleep once you crawl into bed?
It’s a frustrating struggle for many people every night when they go to bed. Common complaints of insomnia are:
- Difficulty falling asleep
- Waking up frequently
- Waking up too early
- Not being able to get back to sleep
You are not alone…insomnia is a very common problem for many people. The National Institute of Health estimates that 30% of adults complain of sleep disruption. 33% of adults had one or more of these symptoms a few nights a week in the past year. 
Do you have daytime function impairment? 10% of adults reported signs like:
- Feeling tired and unrefreshed
- Unable to concentrate
Who is affected?
- 63% of Women
- 54% Men
What can you do? Sure, there are plenty of over the counter drugs (OTC) that you can take, but many can leave you groggy, un-refreshed and not very productive the next day.
You may want to try a more natural approach to insomnia, along with some lifestyle changes to help promote a restful sleep through the night.
L-Theanine – is an amino acid found in green and black tea leaves. Many research studies suggest that L-theanine may contribute to a good night’s sleep by promoting neurotransmitters like GABA, serotonin and dopamine that help with reducing stress and anxiety in the brain and body. Recommended doses of 250 mg and 400 mg help to promote relaxation. 
Magnesium – is a key player in regulating stress response in the body. A magnesium deficiency may be associated with feeling more stressed and you may experience anxiety. Supplementing with a magnesium supplement at bedtime may help your body to relax and unwind. Research indicates that it may improve the quality of your sleep, frequent waking, and insomnia. Healthy magnesium levels can promote a deeper more restful sleep. Magnesium can also help maintain healthy levels of GABA which encourages the body to relax. Some people find it is helpful with restless-leg syndrome. 
Melatonin – We all produce melatonin naturally in the body. Our melatonin levels usually rise about 2 hours prior to going to sleep. But you may be engaging in activities that actually inhibit the release of melatonin in the body, like looking at your cell phone, TV or computer screen. Bright lights will prevent the body from triggering the melatonin response. So put away your cell phone and computer. Sit at least 6 feet away from your TV and dim the lights in the room when watching TV. Engage in “good sleep hygiene”. Engage in relaxing activities, like no cell phones, no bright lights and allow time to unwind. Make sure your bedroom is completely dark. This will help to trigger the melatonin response in the body. If you try this for a few nights and are still having trouble getting to sleep, take a melatonin supplement, usually 1 – 3 mg is sufficient to re-train the body. Often within a few nights of taking melatonin you will re-establish your circadian rhythm. Then you will go to sleep on your own. 
Limit Cocktails & Wine – Having a cocktail or a glass of wine at the end of the day seems like the perfect way to unwind after a stressful day….right? Consuming alcohol does help to may you sleepy, but it can disrupt your sleep later in the night. 
Ritual Unwinding Time – Two hours before bedtime drink a cup of linden or chamomile tea. It will start a ritual that will help you relax your body and mind.
Read a Book – reading helps the mind to focus on one thing…reading. Your mind can let go of the stresses of the day and focus on each word. Don’t read newspapers or a grizzly novel. Keep your reading pleasant and relaxing.
For many people, allowing Unwind time is the one simple and easy step that helps them get to sleep. Pampering yourself with relaxation may be what you need.
Before you incorporate any vitamin or supplement please consult your physician or health care professional, especially if you are on prescription medication, have a health condition or are pregnant or nursing.
 “What Are the Facts About Insomnia?” National Sleep Foundation, www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/what-are-facts-about-insomnia.
 Breus, Michael Ph.D. J. “What You Need to Know About L-Theanine.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 29 Aug. 2017, www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/sleep-newzzz/201708/what-you-need-know-about-l-theanine.
 Breus, Michael J. “What You Need to Know About Magnesium and Your Sleep.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 14 May 2018, www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/sleep-newzzz/201805/what-you-need-know-about-magnesium-and-your-sleep.
 “Melatonin for Sleep: Does It Work?” Johns Hopkins Medicine, www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/melatonin-for-sleep-does-it-work.
 Mann, Denise. “Alcohol and a Good Night’s Sleep Don’t Mix.” WebMD, WebMD, 22 Jan. 2013, www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/news/20130118/alcohol-sleep#1.