*Nothing in this article constitutes medical advice. Seek the guidance of a physician if you have any questions.*
While the ideal amount of sleep can vary from person to person, it is recommended that adults get between seven to nine hours of sleep per night for adequate and restorative rest. Sometimes, that is easier said than done.
A significant number of people struggle with falling and staying asleep, which can be the result of a wide range of sleep problems.
It’s understandable that many people are apprehensive to seek medication to address these sleep problems, as there can be unwanted side effects and sometimes dependency. Fortunately there are some natural alternatives to medications that can help with improving the quality of your sleep.
Natural aids to try for better sleep
The natural sleep aid melatonin is perhaps one of the most well known supplements out there. Melatonin is a naturally-occurring hormone that is imperative to the body’s sleep-wake cycle and orienting the circadian rhythm. As sunlight decreases in the evening, your body naturally starts to release more melatonin. As it gets lighter, your body stops producing as much.
In more recent years, melatonin supplements have become a popular option for use as a sleep aid, and it can be picked up on store shelves and without any type of prescription.
Studies have indicated that melatonin seems to have the greatest benefit for adults with Delayed Sleep-Wake Phase Disorder and jet lag. There is some evidence from these studies that melatonin can help reset the sleep-wake cycle.
Not all melatonin supplements are created equally. Consult with your physician before deciding to try a melatonin supplement.
Valerian, an herbal supplement, has been used since the times of early Greece and Rome and was often used for anxiety and insomnia back in those days. Presently, it is widely available in capsule and liquid form from a variety of retailers.
How does valerian work exactly? Research suggests the compounds in valerian may help reduce the breakdown of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) in the brain. Low GABA has been linked to chronic stress and poor-quality sleep.
Valerian also contains certain amino acids that have sedative-like properties.
Just like melatonin, the risks and benefits of taking an herbal supplement should be reviewed by your doctor. Don’t take any supplement without first seeking medical advice.
“Night time” tea
A cup of hot tea at bedtime is another natural sleep aid that can help you improve your slumber. There are plenty of “night time” varieties of tea that contain herbal blends intended to soothe and calm before bed. Commonly, these blends contain chamomile, lemon, and even valerian root!
Even if the herbal blends themselves don’t induce sleep, the routine of sipping on warm tea before bed can be helpful in training the mind and body to relax and decompress, improving your ability to fall asleep and unwind at night.
Magnesium is a mineral that is essential for many processes in the body. Magnesium depletion has been linked to low levels of melatonin, which is crucial for regulating sleep.
Studies have also shown that magnesium has been effective in reversing age-related neuroendocrine sleep disruptions, noting that supplementation can be helpful.
Like every other natural remedy, it’s important to consult your doctor before trying any supplement or treatment, especially if you have any medical conditions or take any other prescription drugs or supplements.
Other reasons for poor sleep
A common sleep disorder that affects over 20 million Americans is sleep apnea. In obstructive sleep apnea, the soft tissue in the back of the throat relaxes and collapses during sleep, blocking the airway and interrupting normal breathing.
Obstructive sleep apnea is often treated with CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure), which offers relief to so many who suffer from this disorder. Untreated sleep apnea can lead to a slew of health problems, so it’s imperative that this condition is treated promptly and appropriately with proper medical intervention.
If you suffer from daytime sleepiness, headaches, snoring, or witnessed periods of no breathing during sleep, seek an evaluation from your doctor for sleep apnea.
Properly cleaning CPAP equipment
The old-fashioned methods of cleaning CPAP tubing and equipment can be tedious and time-consuming. Soap and water can take a long time to dry and it can be difficult to clean the entire surface area of your tubing and mask.
Cleaning with ozone
Fortunately a convenient and functional alternative exists to traditional cleaning methods, and that is ozone. Ozone is a highly reactive gas composed of three oxygen atoms that completely sanitizes surfaces it comes in contact with.
The Sleep8 device makes cleaning your CPAP equipment easy and worry-free. Simply place your washable parts in the bag, connect to the Sleep8 module and turn it on! The device will do its job while you go about your day. Your CPAP parts will be sterilized and ready to go when you are ready for bed.
Find out more at https://mysleep8.com/pages/faq.
Written by: Amanda Peterson