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Video:Natural Sleep Remedies

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In this video, learn about the best way to combat insomnia to get a good night's rest.See Transcript

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Transcript:Natural Sleep Remedies

Hello, I'm Perry Levenson.  I hold licenses in Massage Therapy and Acupuncture in New York State, and I am board certified in Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine by the National Certification Commission of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. I'm here for About.com to talk to you about natural sleep remedies.

Although it is normal to occasionally experience a difficult night's sleep or disrupted sleep,  if you experience sleep problems three or more nights per week, you may have insomnia.  If you suspect you do have insomnia consult your physician. 

Potential Causes of Insomnia

Insomnia can be a symptom of a more serious condition such as sleep apnea, diabetes, anxiety, depression, and chronic stress.  Insomnia is also often a symptom of menopause. 

Once you have talked with your physician the following natural remedies may help you to get a better nights sleep and the rest you need.

Relaxation Techniques

Relaxation techniques, such as visualization, are one of the most effective ways to increase sleep time, fall asleep faster, and feel fully rested in the morning.

Visualization involves, imagining a relaxing scene. Try this with me: close your eyes and picture yourself in a peaceful field with a waterfall nearby, allow your breathing to slow down and deepen mimicking the breathing pattern of sleep.  Just as with conscious meditation, if a thought enters your mind observe it, but let I t go and bring your attention back to what ever setting your were visualizing. OK, open your eyes.  This technique is good to try while in bed before falling to sleep. The more vivid the visualization, the more effective it will be.

Melatonin

Another popular natural sleep remedy is melatonin. Melatonin is used to help people fall asleep when the sleep, wake cycle has been disturbed. Melatonin is hormone produced in the body. Not surprisingly melatonin is produced by the neuro-transmitter serotonin. Serotonin is associated with good digestion and with mood regulation, so it is not a stretch to see how digestive disorders or mood disorders can be linked to insomnia. Melatonin can be purchased at most health food stores and drug stores. It is typically taken as a tablet about 30 minutes before the desired bedtime.

Change Your Diet to Combat Insomnia

As an herbalist, I a am a big proponent of the using food to heal, changing your diet can help greatly improve your sleep patterns.  If you are experiencing sleep problems it is important to avoid things like caffeine, sugar and sweets.  Eating a balanced diet rich in leafy green vegetables, complex carbohydrates, and lean proteins will help balance your blood sugar levels and lead to a deeper more restful sleep and more energy during the day.

I'm Perry Levenson. For more information on natural sleep remedies, visit about.com.

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