My days are busy. I homeschool my two teenage sons. I’ve been a homeschool blogger since 2007. I’m launching this second website. I write and sell books on Amazon. I have lots of various projects up my sleeve. By the time nighttime arrives, I’m usually more than ready for my head to hit the pillow. So imagine my angst when I went for several years without being able to stay asleep at night.
So imagine my angst when I went for several years without being able to stay asleep at night.I hear this is a fairly common problem. As women age and enter the perimenopause stage, many of them begin having problems staying asleep all night long. We don’t have a problem initially falling asleep. But several times throughout the night, we wake up. And after laying there for what feels like hours, we eventually drift off only to wake up again. After several nights of this interrupted sleep, we become extremely tired.
In my case, this went on for a good year before I finally decided I’d had enough.
The Vicious Cycle of Medication
I had a friend who was taking Benedryl at night to help her sleep… so I gave it a try as well. And low and behold, that worked for me. I continued to take Benedryl for several months and felt that I was getting a much deeper sleep at night. Unfortunately, I had a hard time waking up in the morning. And I felt extremely tired for the first several hours of the day. So, I medicated myself again to wake up more fully in the morning.
I’ve never been a coffee drinker (please don’t throw stones at me) but I did enjoy a cup or two of green tea in the morning. After taking Benedryl, however, the green tea just wasn’t strong enough. So I ended up switching to Black Tea. I have to say that there were a few mornings when I was so tired that I even tried a cup of coffee! So you know I was tired! 🙂
And then I read an article which said that taking Benedryl for long periods of time can make your risk for dementia higher. Yikes! That scared me. So I determined that I needed to find a more natural way to get a good night’s sleep. I talked to my doctor who said that she could prescribe a different, safer sleeping pill if I was unable to find any natural solutions that worked for me. I didn’t want to get hooked on sleeping pills… so I talked to some of my friends who were also struggling with sleeping and came up with a few things to try.
The Natural Path
First, I tried Melatonin. That did help me to initially fall asleep faster. But it didn’t help me to stay asleep all night long. So I also started taking Magnesium at night. After a few weeks, however, I noticed that my heart was beating oddly. It often felt like my heart was racing – or skipping beats. The only thing in my routine that had changed was the Magnesium – so I did some research and decided to try Chelated Magnesium instead. That worked much better for me!
I was sleeping some better but I still felt that there was room for improvement. So I started taking Valerian Root at night as well. That combination did the trick for me. I started sleeping through the night the very first time I took all three of them at the same time. I also woke up in the morning feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the day. That was a welcome feeling that I hadn’t felt in a long time!
Flash forward to today. I have now been getting a good night’s sleep almost every single night for over a year. Melatonin, Valerian Root, and Chelated Magnesium were what worked for me. While I can’t guarantee that combination will work for you – I would certainly recommend you give them a try.
Here are some other natural remedies that are helpful for getting a good night’s sleep:
- Consider using Essential Oils. Experiment to see which scent or combination of scents is the most pleasing to you. You may decide to diffuse them by your bed or to add them to a carrier oil and rub them on your skin. Apply them to the bottoms of your feet, your chest, or the back of your neck.
- Take a warm bubble bath with Epsom salts right before bed. The Magnesium in the Epsom Salts will relax your muscles. Also, the warm water will help all of your muscles relax and you will be in a much better frame of mind for falling asleep. You can also add a few drops of one of the above essential oils to your bath for even more of an effect.
- Remove the TV from your bedroom. If you have a TV in your bedroom, consider removing it. Some people need it to be quiet and as dark as possible for their bodies to realize it’s time to sleep. In fact, looking at electronic screens of any kind right before bedtime can hinder your sleeping patterns. Rather than watching TV right before bed, consider reading a book instead.
- Turn on a fan. Sometimes, having the white noise from a fan is an excellent way to block out other noises and to help lull you to sleep.
- Replace Your Pillow or Your Mattress. If you are having a hard time falling asleep it may be because you’re unable to get completely comfortable. For optimal health, you should be sleeping peacefully through one third of your life. Don’t you deserve to feel comfortable during this time?
Consider making a few of the above changes and hopefully you will also be able to start sleeping well again like I am. I can’t tell you how much more pleasant I am when I’m fully rested. I’m sure my family would attest to that!
How about you? Do you struggle to get a good night’s sleep? Do you have any other natural sleep aids that you would add to this list? Please leave a comment below.