Sleep Disorders, Sleep Remedies & Insomnia Relief


7 Sleep Aids To Help You Sleep

Do you find yourself lying in bed at night, hoping for sleep? If you suffer from occasional bouts of insomnia, here are seven sleep aids that can help send you off to night-night land.

1. Special sleep-friendly pillows. With the increased awareness of the importance of receiving a good night's sleep, a number of sleep-friendly pillows are now available for sleep-hungry individuals. Some pillows are specifically designed to help reduce the frequency and intensity of snoring. Snoring is one of the greatest detractors to a good night's sleep. The new PillowPositive is a special patented cervical pillow. Clinical trials have shown its efficacy in helping reduce snoring. PillowPositive encourages the user to position their head in order to avoid positions that leave the airway passages vulnerable to snoring.

Another sleep-friendly pillow is the Nelson Sound Sleeper. The Nelson Sound Sleeper is an ergonomically designed pillow that has built-in speakers that allow relaxing music to be funneled to the user. The Nelson Sound Sleeper is made for the whole body. It supports a healthy inclined position that reflects the body's natural curvature, and which supports the spine. The Nelson Sound Sleeper is designed to support and distribute equally the user's body weight, regardless of what side or sleeping position the sleeper has taken.

2. The scent of sleep: aromatherapy sleep aids that will send you off to dream land sweetly. Although many people scoffed when aromatherapy first caught the public's attention, research shows that essential oils can be quite effective in alleviating all sorts of medical conditions. Lavender has proven to be the most popular choice for inducing sleep.

There are several ways you can use lavender to fall asleep. You can purchase a special aromatherapy diffuser that you can use to expel the aroma in your bedroom before bedtime. You can place a few drops in your hot bath, or you can purchase lavender massage oil and rub it into your skin before nighttime. Whatever you choose, you will want to remember that essential oils can be surprisingly powerful—a few drops goes a long way. You can also create a small sachet filled with lavender potpourri that you can place in your pillow. Some people have also reported success with the use of jojoba oil, marjoram, and ylang-ylang.

3. White noise machines. White noise machines can be particularly effective if you need to fall asleep during the day, where distractions and noise are more prone to keep you awake. Popular models include the Norelco Natural Sound Selector, the Burltech Ultra Heart and Sound Soother, and the Marpac line of Sound Conditioners. Most of these white noise machines are outfitted with several modes and sounds from nature that are designed to send you off to sleep.

A simpler way to gain a similar effect is to use a fan on a low setting, or to set the radio on the classical music station at a very low volume.

4. Sleep inducing music. Like essential oils, music is another great way to calm the senses and prepare the body for restful sleep. Many musical CDs specifically designed to send you off to sleep are now available. The SleepNowCD, for instance, contains sonic biofeedback that is designed to minimize anxiety and induce sleep. Another option for insomniacs is the Easy Sleep Tapes for Insomniacs from Hypnosis Concepts. These tapes contain two hypnosis sessions aimed to ease you into restful sleep.

5. Calming, sleep-inducing herbal teas. Certain herbs have been proven to induce sleep. Special nighttime or sleepy time teas can be a powerful yet natural method to induce sleep. Chamomile, valerian, and ginger teas are recommended for sleep-seekers. Make sure to drink these hot teas at least an hour before bedtime.

6. Over the counter sleep aids. If you find yourself experiencing transient insomnia due to travel or temporary stressors, over the counter sleep aids can help you get the rest you need quickly and easily. Over the counter sleep aids are no substitute to natural sleep, and their use should be discontinued as soon as possible. These drugs are designed to provide fast relief from sleeplessness, but they lose their effectiveness if used for too long.

7. When all else fails: prescription sleep aids. With the variety of non-drug sleep aids now available, prescription sleep aids should be avoided, if possible. If you suffer from severe chronic insomnia, visit your doctor to make sure you are not suffering from an underlying disorder or illness. Many sleep aids carry the risk of side effects, and some can even be addictive. Proceed with caution when it comes to prescription sleep aids.

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