Sex, exercise and other home remedies that can treat insomnia

By KATE HALIM

Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that can make it difficult for someone to fall asleep and stay asleep until it’s time to wake up.

Although the amount of sleep needed varies from person to person, most adults need at least seven hours of sleep a night. If your sleeping patterns are affecting your quality of life, home remedies may be able to help.

Some of the home remedies you can use to treat insomnia include exercise, yoga, magnesium tablets, melatonin tablets and lavender oil.

Exercise

Exercise boosts overall health. It can enhance your mood, give you more energy, aid in weight loss, and promote better sleep.

Participants in a 2015 study exercised for at least 150 minutes per week for six months. During this time, researchers found that the participants experienced significantly fewer symptoms of insomnia. They also showed reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety.

To receive these benefits, you should engage in moderate exercise for at least 20 minutes per day. You may add in some strength training or vigorous aerobic exercise a few times per week. Find the time of day that best suits your needs and that has the most positive effect on your sleep.

Magnesium tablets

Dr. Gabriel Omonaiye said Magnesium is a naturally occurring mineral. It can help muscles relax and relieve stress. Taking magnesium tablets encourage healthy sleep patterns.

He said: “Men may take up to 400 mg daily, and women can take up to 300 mg daily. You may choose to divide your doses between morning and evening or take your dose before bed.”

Omonaiye, however, noted that one shouldn’t take magnesium supplements constantly. Doctors advise that people need to take a break for a few days every two weeks and they shouldn’t take more than the recommended dose.

Yoga

According to a study, Yoga has a positive effect on sleep quality. Yoga may also alleviate stress, improve physical functioning, and boost mental focus.

The most important thing is to choose a style that focuses more on moving meditation or breath work as opposed to difficult physical movements. Slow, controlled movements allow you to stay present and focused. Yin and restorative yoga are great options.

Strive to do a few longer sessions each week, and at least 20 minutes of daily self-practice. Performing the postures before bed can help you to relax and unwind.

If a pose doesn’t feel right for you, don’t force it. Forcing it may result in injury. It’s important to do what feels good for you and your body, and that varies from person to person.

Melatonin tablets

Melatonin can help you to fall asleep more quickly and enhance the quality of your sleep.

Researchers in a 2016 study found melatonin to significantly improve sleep patterns in people with cancer and insomnia. Sleep quality was improved even more between seven and 14 days.

Taking 1 to 5 mg 30 minutes to two hours before going to sleep improves sleep. However, higher doses may cause side effects dizziness, headaches, stomach cramps, irritability and depression.

Lavender oil capsules

Dr. Omonaiye told Saturday Sun that Lavender oil capsules are used to improve mood, reduce pain, and promote sleep and taking it orally is more effective.

Results of a 2014 study showed that lavender oil capsules were beneficial in improving sleep patterns in people with depression. People also showed lowered levels of anxiety, which made them sleep better.

Omonaiye said that people who have trouble sleeping should take 20 to 80 mg of lavender orally each day, or use as directed. They may also add lavender essential oil to a diffuser or spray it on their pillows. Lavender tea is also an option when treating insomnia at home.

“Lavender is usually safe to use. Taking lavender orally may cause headache, constipation, or nausea, Omonaiye noted.”

Sex

Sex releases hormones that facilitate sleep. (Prolactin levels spike the most when orgasm occurs during sexual intercourse.) After sex, these hormones tend to act like sedatives, causing both men and women to feel sleepy and relaxed. Sex also decreases the amount of circulating cortisol in the blood; cortisol is a stress hormone associated with the fight-or-flight response. 

Some other tips that will help you sleep well

• Avoid chemicals that disrupt sleep, such as nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol.

• Eat lighter meals at night and at least two hours before bed.

• Stay active, but exercise earlier in the day.

• Take a hot bath at the end of your day.

• Avoid screens one to two hours before bed.

• Keep your bedroom dark and cool, and use it only for sleeping.

• Get into bed only if you are tired.