A whopping 70% of adults in America struggle to fall asleep at least once every month. This translates to millions of Americans who need help to sleep at night once in a while. For 11% of American adults, this is an everyday struggle.
Most likely you are familiar with the drill. You get to bed, toss and turn, and toss and turn again, until rays of the dawn begin to peer through the curtain. It is time to wake up, yet you barely fell asleep.
Is there a remedy for poor sleep?
The good news is that for most people this problem can be easily overcome. Science has shown that anxiety and stress are leading causes of insomnia and other sleep disorders. In a survey that was carried out by the American Psychological Association, 75% of Americans claimed that “their stress levels are so high that they feel unhealthy.” With the right relaxation techniques, one can have a good night’s sleep every night.
The relaxation response can be used to reduce stress levels. Studies have also shown that moderate amounts of cannabis can provide better sleep. This article offers expert advice on how to improve sleep naturally and thereby improve health and wellness.
Reducing Stress and Anxiety Naturally
About 4% of adults in America use sleeping pills to help them fall asleep every night. These drugs, known as sedative hypnotics, include drugs such as Ativan, Valium, Xanax, Librium, and Halcion. While these drugs may be effective at the start, long-term use is associated with adverse effects.
Side Effects of Sleeping Pills:
- Daytime drowsiness
- Poor balance
- Poor appetite
- Mood swings
- Next day fatigue
Most people are wary of sleeping pills because of the above mentioned adverse effects. Natural relaxation and anti-stress techniques are preferred because they are effective and safe.
If you learn how to relax naturally before bedtime you will be able to boost your chances of falling asleep at night. But before we get there you first need to create he right sleeping atmosphere.
5 Easy Tips For Better Sleep
To get us started, here are some 5 easy tips to improve sleep.
1. Right Ambience
Ensure that your bedroom is not stimulating. Limit activity in the bedroom, use cool colors for walls and bedding, and limit bright lights at bedtime.
2. Limit Noise
Create a quiet sleeping environment that is free from noise. Avoid having TVs or playing stimulating music that causes noise in the bedroom. You can use white noise like a fan.
3. Get appropriate sleeping gear
Get a comfortable mattress, bed sheets, and pillows. Also adapt an appropriate sleeping position
4. Check what and when you eat
Limit foods that will give you an energy surge at night. Also limit foods that take a long time to be digested. Have your last meal at least an hour before you sleep
5. Avoid alcohol
Limit your intake of alcohol, caffeine, or any stimulating drink just before bedtime
Practicing the five tips above will improve your chances of having better sleep at night. However, that may not be enough if you are among the 75% of adults in America who are highly stressed out. Given the fast-paced nature of the modern world, it is important to find ways to relax naturally and hence reduce stress levels.
Simple Relaxation Techniques To Boost Sleep
Relaxation is important if you are going to improve your sleep. Relaxation should be a deliberate effort that is aimed at quieting the mind, relaxing tense muscles, and building inner peace. Having the body and mind are relaxed will not only help you fall asleep but it will also ensure that you wake up refreshed and rejuvenated. Here are three relaxation techniques that you can do from the comfort of your home?
1. Practice controlled breathing
Controlled breathing involves taking slow and deep breaths in a rhythm to clear your mind and get rid of anxious thoughts. It is believed to be an effective method to reduce stress and to get the brain ready for sleep. It is also called panoramic breathing.
It is very simple to practice, even for beginners. This makes it ideal for those who are just getting started with relaxation techniques.
How to do controlled breathing:
- Take a deep breath though the nose and hold for 15 seconds
- Now exhale slowly through the mouth
- Repeat the cycle
2. Practice Mindfulness
This involves focusing on the present moment and savoring it without making any judgment. Science has shown that this practice can help to reduce rumination and anxiety and consequently improve sleep. This works for people with a decent level of self-discipline.
How to practice mindfulness:
- Start by taking slow deep breaths and exhaling at a comfortable pace, pay attention to each breath
- Look around the room and notice your position on the bed
- Look at your legs and appreciate every sensation in your legs and feet
- Observe different parts of your body without making any judgment
- Allow your body to relax naturally as you now reflect on it as a whole
Practice Progressive Muscle Relaxation
This technique involves gradually tightening and releasing your muscles periodically while taking controlled breaths simultaneously. Research has shown that this technique can combat insomnia and even relieve pain in arthritis. However, it is not recommended for those who have a vascular condition.
How to practice progressive muscle relaxation:
- Close your eyes and take slow and deep breaths
- Face relaxation: tense the muscles in your face, hold for 10 seconds and then release
- Shoulder relaxation: tense your shoulder muscles for 10 seconds and then release
- Move to your torso; tensing for 10 seconds before you release:
- Upper arms
- Lower arms
What If I Still Can’t Fall Asleep?
Most people who succeed at relaxing before they fall asleep are able to improve their sleeping patterns. However, this may not work for some people. In such a case it is important to try out other natural alternatives, but not without your doctor’s permission.
The sleep-promoting benefits of cannabis are well known. There are dozens of marijuana products to promote sleep that are available online. While some companies make unsubstantiated claims about cannabis, a few are reputable and sell legitimate cannabis products to enhance sleep. Fortunately, cannabis is natural and well tolerated when taken in moderate doses.
Can Marijuana Help You Sleep Better?
Yes, studies have shown that consuming marijuana in low doses can provide better sleep. Marijuana may also help those who cannot fall asleep due to underlying conditions such as chronic pain, stress and anxiety disorders, and multiple sclerosis.
How Does Marijuana Work as a Sleep Aid?
Marijuana has hundreds of bioactive molecules which fall into two primary categories; cannabinoids and terpenes. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are well studied and have shown potential as sleep-promoting agents.
Research has shown that cannabinoids are able to modify the circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm is an internal system that regulates sleep and wakefulness in a 24 hour cycle. In low doses the psychoactive cannabinoid THC acts as a sedative. This effect is reversed in higher doses or when used for prolonged durations. CBD for sleep on the other hand is stimulating in low doses but may cause sleepiness when offered in higher doses.
Some studies have shown that when THC and CBD are combined in a product, CBD offsets some of the negative effects of THC. In other words, CBD can make THC more tolerable while enhancing the therapeutic benefits through the entourage effect.
Both THC and CBD can address underlying issues that contribute to poor sleep. This includes chronic pain, anxiety disorders, and obstructive sleep apnea. Most important is to find a cannabis product that is of high quality. Look for reputable vendors, and one that probably offers discounted marijuana delivery to your doorstep
Which Marijuana Strain is Best For Sleep?
Marijuana strains can be classified in two broad categories: indica and sativa. Sativa strains are known be mentally stimulating and give a potent head buzz. Indica strains on the other hand are known to be relaxing and may induce sleepiness. Therefore, indica are the best strains for sleep.
Popular indica strains to try out include:
- Hindu Kush
- Northern Lights
- Granddaddy Purple
- Forbidden Fruit
A Final Note
In as much as poor sleep is an undeclared epidemic, there are a couple of things that can be done to avert the situation. Techniques to relax the body and mind are instrumental for a good night’s rest. They include breathing exercises, mindfulness, and muscle relaxation exercises. Sleep tips such as reducing caffeine and alcohol consumption, practicing sleep hygiene, regular exercise, and taking a warm bath at night can help you sleep better at night.
Marijuana can also help you sleep better, but you have to limit the amount of THC that you consume. It is also advisable to combine THC and CBD to enhance sleep because CBD will mitigate some of the negative effects of THC. If you would like to give this a try, we recommend strains that are high in THC such as Hindu Kush and Northern Lights. As mentioned earlier, feel free to use cannabis delivery services at your convenience, all for a good night’s sleep.
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