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Restless Nights: Alternative Methods Without Using Sleep Aids

Sleep Aids, Sleep Medication

Ours is a stressful society, causing many of us to suffer from lack of sleep. There are many sleep aids available, but all for a price. Not only are they expensive, but some sleep aids may cause serious side effects. Availability of sleep medication runs from over the counter to prescription. Honestly, you can’t read a magazine today, or watch television for the evening, without being enticed to buy a medication that will help you sleep better. The advertisements look and sound so peaceful.

There are many ways to get a good night of sleep without buying expensive sleep aids. What’s the secret to a relaxing night of uninterrupted sleep? The key is to clear your mind of all the clutter. The reason most of us have difficulty sleeping is that our minds are so busy. We’re thinking, planning, plotting and solving. We have lists to create, appointments to make, and deadlines to meet. If only we could forget everything and fall asleep. A good night of rest would make us sharper, happier, and more productive. Unfortunately, most of us either can’t fall asleep, or we wake up during the night and can’t get back to sleep. We lay awake, checking the glowing numbers on the alarm clock, telling ourselves that we have to sleep …but we can’t.

How can we clear our minds and have a peaceful night of rest? The oldest trick in the book is to count sheep. As silly as that may sound, it does work. You just have to believe that it does, and really concentrate. Concentration is the key word here. Envision those fluffy little critters hopping over the fence. In your mind, look at each face, notice the ears, and eyes, and even give each one a name if you want to. If you really concentrate on the sheep, you’ll soon be drifting off to sleep. The second you let those worries and woes creep back into your mind, you’ll be tossing and turning again.

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If you really don’t like the old fashioned idea of counting sheep, try to think of something else that will relax you, and clear your mind of all the clutter. Imagine yourself in a small row boat, leisurely rowing down a beautiful stream. Notice the sights and sound that surround you. In your mind, envision a bird chirping softly in the branch above. Let your mind take you away and before long you’ll be drifting off to sleep.

Remember, the key is to completely clear your mind of what’s bothering you. Think of something you consider peaceful and let you mind dwell on it.

Other sleep aids that some people find helpful are devices that help you relax by using your senses. If noises are bothersome to you, find a way to mask them. The simplest and cheapest way to mask sound is to play a radio softly, or run a fan on low. If you prefer, you can purchase a compact disc and listen to the soothing sounds of a rain storm, babbling brook, chirping birds, or crickets. There are also sound machines available, which offer a variety of sounds to help you relax. These are available with volume control, and a timer.

Most of us find pleasing scents soothing and relaxing. You can purchase many kinds of plug in, and oil type air fragrances. For a more soothing effect, spritz your pillow with your favorite body spray. Breathe in the soft smell and clear your mind of thoughts and worries.

Another easy tip is to turn your pillow over to the “cool” side. This might sound strange, but the underside of your pillow is cooler. If you’re having trouble falling asleep, simply turn your pillow over. The coolness will feel refreshing and just might help you nod off.

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Whether you already use medications as a sleep aid, or are being tempted by those dreamy commercials, consider trying some more natural methods for getting a good night of sleep.