Getting a good night’s sleep is imperative for your health, both mentally and physically. Many factors can give rise to sleep disturbances, including stress, anxiety and depression, pain, medications for conditions such as hypertension, heart disease or thyroid issues, or certain lifestyle habits including drinking alcohol or eating late at night. Though we may not be able to control certain factors contributing to sleep disturbance and insomnia, there are certain practices and steps we can implement into our routine that may aid in better sleep. Here are 5 tips to improve sleep:
- Meditation. Mindfulness meditation is a specific type of meditation that focuses on breath work and being aware of the present moment, which can be a great practice to implement before bedtime to help slow down intrusive thoughts and clear the mind. Listening to a guided meditation can be especially helpful if your mind tends to wander or you have trouble keeping focus. To get you started, a short guided meditation can be found here.
- Acupuncture has proven to be highly effective for treating insomnia and other irregular sleep patterns. Whether you’re experiencing mental restlessness, pain, or waking for unknown reasons, acupuncture can help reset the body’s internal clock by selecting points that calm the nervous system and activate neurotransmitters that may have sedative properties, allowing your body to reach a natural state of calm and relaxation.
- Massages can offer many health benefits, including improving quality of sleep. Massage therapy can help reduce blood pressure and cortisol levels as well as increase levels of serotonin and dopamine, which can lead to stress relief and better sleep. Pain can also significantly impact our sleep, receiving deep tissue massages can ease muscle tension and promote blood and oxygen circulation, leading to lower pain levels and improved sleep quality.
- Essential oils have been associated with providing various healing properties, especially when it comes to aiding with sleep. Here are some all-time favorite essential oils that can promote calming, sedative factors which ultimately may promote better sleep:
- Lavender is widely known for its calming effects and combating anxiety. Not only is it a great option for stress relief and promoting relaxation, it can also help improve the quality of sleep and is especially helpful for individuals who wake up frequently throughout the night.
- Clary sage is a natural sedative known to have antidepressant properties to
reduce cortisol levels, also known as the stress hormone.
- Ylang ylang is also a natural sedative and can reduce symptoms of anxiety.
- Sandalwood also carries sedative properties that aid in relaxation and calm anxiety.
- Herbal teas. Adding a caffeine-free tea to your nighttime routine is also a great option for improving your quality of sleep.
- Chamomile tea has been a popular choice when it comes to choosing a tea with calming effects. Containing multiple active chemical compounds, one compound called apigenin binds to the benzodiazepine receptors in the brain, which can produce highly sedative effects and put you in a state of tranquility.
- Valerian root is especially good for individuals who experience high anxiety and/or mental restlessness as it does contain natural sedatives known as valepotriates and sesquiterpenes.
- Lavender can be used not only as an essential oil, but it also makes a delicious, floral tea! As mentioned, lavender produces highly sedative effects which can help not only promote better sleep, but also improve the ability to achieve deep sleep.
- Lemon balm tea is a citrus blend known for calming the nervous system. This is also a great option for individuals with racing thoughts or inability to slow down the mind.
We are Dedicated to Our Patients
If you’ve been struggling with sleep and have been searching for “acupuncture near me”’, look no further than Essence Acupuncture & Wellness. Our clinic in Alamo Heights area is currently open for patient visits from 9:00 am. to 6:00 p.m. Monday thru Friday and Saturday 9:00 am. to 1:00 p.m. Our Licensed Acupuncturist and Herbalist are also available for phone consultations and can ship herb orders if needed. Please do not hesitate to call us at 210.236.5862 or send us a message with your questions and concerns.