Insomnia is a common health issue, and millions of people face difficulties when trying to fall asleep and get the rest their body craves for.
According to the National Sleep Foundation insomnia can be caused by psychiatric and medical conditions, unhealthy sleep habits, specific substances, and/or certain biological factors. Recently, researchers have begun to think about insomnia as a problem of your brain being unable to stop being awake (your brain has a sleep cycle and a wake cycle—when one is turned on the other is turned off—insomnia can be a problem with either part of this cycle: too much wake drive or too little sleep drive).
Due to insomnia, it is estimated that as much as $63 billion are lost in terms of in work performance annually.
Most insomnia patients use prescription medications to help themselves, but these drugs cause multiple side-effects, such as heartburns, attention issues, constipation, and dizziness, and are potentially addictive.
On the other hand, there are extremely effective, natural alternatives to these pharmaceuticals, which can help you fight insomnia and get a long, comfortable, and sound sleep.
All you need are a few natural ingredients, and you can forget about the struggle you go through every night.
Natural Sleep Aid Recipe
- 6 ounces of organic, hormone- free milk
- 1 teaspoon of honey
- 1 drop of pure vanilla extract
In a saucepan, heat the milk, but pour it warm into a glass before it boils. Then, add the vanilla and honey, stir, and drink it slowly before going to bed. And that’s all, folks!
Its effectiveness is due to the miraculous effects of its ingredients. They promote healthy sleep patterns and help the body relax and enter a sleeping mode.
Foods high in protein, such as milk, contain tryptophan, an amino acid which helps sleep. Namely, it stimulates the production of serotonin and melatonin, and thus causes mild sedative effects.
A recent double-blind, randomized and placebo-controlled study has confirmed that honey has potent rest-improving properties. It actually promotes the production of the compound glycogen, which is essential for a proper function of the liver while we rest.
As its levels get reduced during the day, it might trigger the brain to wake and cause cravings for glycogen-containing foods during the night. Honey also stimulates a chemical reaction which improves the release of melatonin in the brain.
Pure Vanilla Extract
Insomnia is aggravated by racing thoughts, but a study conducted in 1991 confirmed that the vanilla aroma relaxes the mind. The tests included MRI scans of 85 participants, and all of them showed significant amounts of brain activity linked to relaxation and reduced anxiety.
Insomnia might also be a result of a respiratory illness like sleep apnea, and vanilla is extremely beneficial then as well. A French study found that the exposure to vanilla on the very first day reduces the episodes of sleep apnea by 36%.