For many people, the only relief for a sleepless night comes through a bottle of sleeping pills. Whether they’re over-the-counter medications or prescriptions such as Ambien or Lumenesta, when used in moderation these pills are safe and effective. But, when used inappropriately, they can cause addiction and are very dangerous. In rare cases, prescription sleep medications have led people to episodes of sleep walking and sleep driving.
If you’re having difficulty falling asleep and would like a safe way to correct your problem, here are a few things to consider:
Is it Sleep Apnea?
If you feel like you’re waking up throughout the night, your problem could be sleep apnea. People with this potentially-fatal sleep disorder have episodes where they stop breathing while they sleep, resulting in hundreds of mini wake-ups every night. If you’re having difficulty with sleep deprivation, excessive daytime sleepiness and slow reflexes, you should consult a doctor because you may have sleep apnea.
Get Some Exercise
A recent report published by the Journal of Mental Health and Physical Activity found that as little as 150 minutes of moderate activity a week can improve sleep quality by as much as 65%.
Is it Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)?
This disorder causes a strong urge to move your legs. When the legs are sedentary, suffers from RLS feel the need to move them in order to reduce the unpleasant tingling sensation. This can make it very difficult for people to fall and remain asleep.
Eat Your Way to Sleep
While a glass of warm milk or some tryptophan-rich foods are a classic nighttime snack staple, there are other kinds of treats that can help you get a good night’s sleep. Chlorophyll-rich foods like leafy green veggies and microalgae promote sleep and are very healthy for the body and digestive system. Whole grains such as wheat, oats and brown rice can be soothing when eaten a few hours before bedtime and are also relaxing for the mind.