Alternative approaches to treating sleep disorders

Have you ever been sleep deprived? It makes you excessively tired, irritable, and emotional. And if you have an actual sleep disorder, it can cause you to be a danger to yourself and others around you.

There are alternate, natural ways to lessen the effects of sleep disorders. Many people focus on diet and nutrition, while others use herbs and supplements. Still others focus on exercise, relaxation, and meditation. Often, people use a combination of these approaches to alleviate symptoms.

Of course, a healthy diet is essential for optimal energy and restful sleep. Avoiding bad foods is just as important as including good foods. Eating a wide variety of healthy food and drinking plenty of water will help keep you well balanced with a stable energy level.

Avoid food that’s grown, treated, or recessed with chemicals, and limit the amount of sugar and caffeine you take in. That will help your overall physical condition, and even promote a restful sleep, relieving some of the symptoms of certain sleep disorders.

Eating certain foods before bedtime can increase your natural serotonin levels, which acts as a sedative. Those include foods rich in tryptophan, including chicken, turkey, cheese, cottage cheese, fish, milk, nuts, avocados, and bananas.

Another option is herbs and natural supplements. It’s important to know how specific options act on the body, as well as how they will affect your specific sleep disorder. For example, many people with restless leg syndrome have an iron or folic acid deficiency. An iron supplement can often help with those symptoms.

Many herbs are well known for promoting a natural, restful sleep. A calming chamomile tea or lemon balm can be very relaxing to some people with sleep disorders.

Exercise and relaxation techniques can be used separately or together, and can reduce stress and muscle tension. Many people suffering from sleep disorders use these techniques right before bed. They not only ease physical tension, but calm the mind and prepare the body to sleep. These techniques include mindful exercise, progressive muscle relaxation, breathing exercises, and yoga.

Meditation and visualization are also used by some sufferers of sleep disorders to calm the body before sleep. Two common forms of mediation are meditation on the breath and mantra meditation. Both of these types can have a positive effect on relieving stress and calming the body. Many people focus their energy on a healing visualization as a method of alternative therapy for their sleep disorder.

Of course, these techniques will vary in effectiveness from person to person. And you may need to use them in conjunction with traditional medication.

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