If you’ve ever experienced insomnia, you know how stressful it can be. You desperately want to sleep, but your body or your brain will not shut off to allow you to do it. And the stress of knowing you’re missing out on sleep can make the insomnia even worse. There are several medications and prescriptions you can take, but there are also quite a few home remedies for insomnia that you can try on your own.
Many of these ideas are free or quite cheap, and natural home remedies for insomnia are less invasive and certainly less habit forming than a prescription drug. You’ve probably heard of some of these insomnia remedies before, but hopefully there are some new ones you can can add to your arsenal of ways to fall asleep more easily. Not every remedy will work for everyone, so you can pick and choose which ones to try until you find one or two that can help you sleep. With that said, here are 26 home remedies for insomnia.
1. Take a Warm Bath or Shower: Warm water raises your temperature, and when your temperature drops back down, it can help you fall asleep easier. You can also try adding Epsom salts to the bath: 1-2 cups in the water will soothe your muscles and help you relax.
2. Put Some Music On: Soothing music can be calming and help you get your mind off any stress and worry you may have picked up during the day. Classical music or other soft music without lyrics usually works best.
3. Aromatherapy: Different scents have been used for ages to create moods. Using a candle or an essential oil with the right scent can help relax your brain. Lavender and chamomile are two essential oils that are used for this purpose.
4. Use White Noise to Treat Insomnia: Using a fan or a machine that makes white noise can help block out other sounds and can definitely help you get to sleep.
5. Drink a Glass of Warm Milk: Warm milk is a home remedy that has been around forever, because it does tend to work. You can also add honey to the milk for an added bonus.
6. Have a Bedtime Snack: Eating something at night, especially if you eat something with carbohydrates (like toast), can give you that tired feeling (like after you eat a carb-laden lunch), so it may help you fall asleep.
7. Get a Massage: A massage helps relax the muscles and ease tension in the body, and both of those thing can help you get to sleep a bit easier. If there’s someone in the house who can give you a massage before bed, try it out.
8. Drink Some Herbal Tea: Chamomile tea or passion flower tea can be used as a mild sedative if taken about 30 minutes before bedtime.
9. Get More Exercise: By exercising during the day (not near bedtime), your body gets many benefits. Exercise releases tension in the body and also helps ensure that your body is fatigued by the end of the day.
10. Practice Yoga: This specific type of exercise is especially well suited to relaxation. Many yoga practices have a spiritual component that can also aid with relaxation and well-being.
11. Acupuncture: This Eastern remedy may not be for everyone, but many have found it to be effective for insomnia. A practitioner inserts tiny needles into the area of your body that will trigger the right response. The treatment generally does not hurt and many find it relaxing.
12. Increase Magnesium: A magnesium deficiency can cause insomnia, so eat more green vegetables, beans, and nuts or take a supplement to be sure you get enough of this important mineral.
13. Prepare your Sleeping Space: This tip is good advice for anyone who wants to get a good night’s rest. You want to make sure your bed is comfortable and that you only use it for sleep and sex. Also make sure your room is sufficiently dark, that there are no illuminated clocks in the room, and that the temperature is slightly cool.
14. Feng Shui Your Bedroom: Feng shui is based on the principle that energy can move or be stagnant depending on where you place things in the room. It may be worth a try!
15. Avoid TV & Media Before Bed: Viewing T.V., the Internet, or video games before bed can wake up your brain, so try to avoid any media for about an hour before bed.
16. Meditation and Deep Breathing: Meditation can help clear your mind and help you get to sleep faster. Deep breathing techniques can do the same thing.
17. Limit Alcohol and Caffeine: Both alcohol and caffeine can cause wakefulness at night, so it is best to limit both if you are experiencing insomnia.
18. Keep to a Schedule: Sticking to a routine is good for your body, because you get used to going to sleep at the same time every day. As a rule, don’t sleep in late, go to bed on time (and at the same time every day), and avoid naps if you can.
19. Try Melatonin: Melatonin is naturally made by the body and is essential for sleep. You can take a supplement, which many people say is very effective for insomnia. Check out another article we wrote about using Melatonin for sleep.
20. Chew Some Valerian Root: This herbal remedy stabilizes the sleep cycles, and it works as a mild sedative. It may take a few weeks for the herb to take effect.
21. Keep a Sleep Journal: Some people find it helpful to keep a sleep journal so they can track what they are eating and doing during the day and how they do each night. This helps them spot patterns or problems that may contribute to insomnia. Treating insomnia isn’t the only reason you should start keeping a sleep journal either, it has many other healthy uses.
22. Treat Your Depression and Anxiety If You Have Them: If you have serious depression, anxiety, or any other medical condition that may interfere with sleep, get it treated by a doctor. These things can all contribute to insomnia.
23. Lose Weight: Being overweight can contribute to sleep apnea and may also interfere with hormones that are crucial for sleeping.
24. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: A therapist can help you change your thought patterns, which can help you deal with your thought process while falling asleep.
25. Get Sunlight During the Day: Sunlight on the skin helps the body make vitamin D and is important for the body to function. Getting sunlight early in the day helps the body regulate itself.
26. Get Up if You Can’t Sleep: If nothing seems to work and you can’t sleep, get up and do something for a few minutes and then go back and try again. If you haven’t already, check out our step-by-step guide on how getting out of bed works when you can’t fall asleep.
Just about everyone has experienced the frustrations of insomnia symptoms at least once. If you are experiencing insomnia on a regular basis, you should probably see a doctor for help. And these homemade remedies for insomnia are great for any time you need a little help getting to sleep.