We often hear people say “sleep well” or “sleep tight” before bed. When you care about someone it’s natural to wish them a good night’s sleep—you know they will feel better when they’re well-rested.
A good night’s sleep is key to feeling our best—relaxed, energized, cheerful, and it keeps our bodies strong and our immune systems in tune. It often means the difference between having a good day or bad day, feeling positive or feeling low, having a helpful conversation or a confusing one, a productive day or wasting time. In other words, good sleep is essential for quality of life.
It’s practical…we need rest
Not only do we not feel good when we don’t sleep well, but it’s hard to keep up. According to an assessment provided by the National College of Health in 2013, the second major damaging factor that students said affected their academic performance during the course of a year was difficulty in sleeping. The runner up was stress which we all know can be closely connected to poor sleep.
We need support
It’s horrible to lie awake at night knowing that the next day you need to wake up early and take care of things. Those who have difficulty in sleeping often find themselves frustrated and the cycle perpetuates itself. With such a large percentage of people searching for support, it’s not surprising that Pew Research Center listed sleep disorders as one of the top 10 medical conditions that people “google”. Because of that need for relief from insomnia many people take sleeping pills.
But at what cost?
According to the center for Disease Control and Prevention over 9 million adults in America today use a prescription sleep aid and the numbers are increasing. As use of these drugs increases so does use-related emergency room visits. A recent report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration observed that emergency room visits related to Zolpidem (an active ingredient in Ambien and other prescription sleeping aids) have dramatically increased. The study did not include instances of suicide or drug overdose which can also occur.
People want natural solutions
Considering the risky side effects, the emphasis on finding natural ways to improve sleep has grown and simply searching “natural sleep aids” brings up an assortment of people offering natural solutions and alternatives. One article that I read recently lists several alternative supplements and herbs that one can try to support restful sleep. The author urges his readers to “Stay away from synthetics and stimulants, and try the following natural sleep aids instead:
- Essential oils
- Passion flower
- Valerian root
- St. John’s wort
You can also try the guided relaxation techniques on my Yoga Nidra product, which offer simple methods for reaching a deeply restful state. In addition, consider using a journal to track the results so you can better determine what works for you, and make sure you get a good night’s sleep every night. Your health depends on it!
Wishing you well,
Related Content on this Topic
Heal and Dissolve Stress with Yoga Nidra
Heartfulness for Deeper Sleep
Yoga for Stress Relief
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Introduction to Yoga Nidra
Yoga Music of the Heart
Rest and Relax CD