Three home remedies for better sleep – tested!

Better sleep without medication!

That’s something a lot of us could use this time of year.  Or any time of year, really.

You know the feeling – laying awake in bed, willing yourself to fall asleep … then glancing at the clock and getting that panicky feeling “well if I fall asleep now I can get a good 5 hours…”, then 4 hours, then… Followed by the painful next day trying to be alert when you’re really exhausted!

I hear this complaint from so many people.  SO MANY.  If you don’t struggle with sleep, consider yourself very lucky.  At least in my 30’ish female demographic, sleep troubles are rampant.  (Although unfortunately I can’t help you if the cause of your sleep deficit is a small child… that is another blog altogether!)

Here at Vintage Amanda we like to be healthy and balanced.

And we like inexpensive, DIY solutions that really work.

So when faced with repeated questions about home remedies for better sleep – I took action and started The Sleep Experiment.  This 2 week experiment lets you test remedies at home and report back the results which I’ll share here.  These are just preliminary results – so if you have trouble sleeping some nights, sign up today!

And now onto the results.  Remember, the sleep experiment isn’t scientific, it’s just interested readers testing remedies and sharing their experiences.  So if you’re feeling curious about a remedy, give it a try yourself (and then report back the results to us!)

Easy Home Remedies for Better Sleep

 

1. Chamomile tea:

If you haven’t noticed, I LOVE herbal teas, especially chamomile.

And not just for the taste – but because teas are gentle, safe remedies for a number of common ailments that we can use at homeCheck out my love affair with chamomile here. 

The only catch with this remedy is that you’ll want to drink the tea about an hour before bed … because drinking a big mug of liquid right before bed might interrupt your sleep with toilet breaks!

One reader who tried this remedy said she slept much better than usual:

“Definite improvement with staying asleep – I slept very well (quite unusual for me!). I only had one night where I didn’t sleep and had quite a lot on my mind that night. I would therefore conclude it helped me with mild sleep problems but isn’t strong enough to knock me out if I am particularly worried about something.”

Totally agreed.  Herbal teas are gentle remedies, so if you’re particularly stressed you might combine several remedies for a bigger effect.

 

2. Warm lavender bath before bed:

Taking a warm bath (or shower) about an hour before bedtime is a great way to wind-down, relax yourself AND ease into a good night’s sleep.  Why?

Apparently the drop in body temperature makes you sleepy (so take a warm bath to raise your body temp, then after the bath your temp drops and you get sleepy!)

“It feels relaxing, and indulgent, both of which I need right now.  The scents don’t bother my beloved, and they are cheap and easy. One other important bit (for me!) is that the warmth of the bath/shower also helps soak out the ache of the day, making me feel even more relaxed for bed.” -Steffie

 

3.  Start a simple meditation routine:

Easy visualization and breathing exercises get you out of your head (and your worries) and bring you into the present moment.

Stopping that soundtrack of worries and to-do lists in your head lets you fall asleep more quickly.

Lissa who had never meditated before said that she fell asleep faster than usual, although she “remembers lying in bed” while trying to fall asleep – this makes sense because when you mediate, you become aware of where you are (rather than lost in your thoughts).

Your ability to meditate and the effectivness improves with time – so stick with it.   And it’s a useful skill, because meditation is also great for stress relief!

 

By far the most commonly tested remedy was chamomile tea – with positive results and the majority of people saying it was easy to use.

The one suggestion that no one tested – no one at all – was eliminating caffeine from your routine.  Scary, I know!  But would be really curious if someone is brave enough to try it.  After the first few days of detoxing, I think you would really notice a difference.

If anyone is up for the no-caffeine challenge, let me know!  I’ve just given up coffee myself as a test – so would love to share that experience with someone else!

 

The Sleep Experiment is going to continue to test remedies & collect your results – so if you’re interested in testing these remedies and more yourself, please sign up here today!

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11 Responses to Three home remedies for better sleep – tested!

  1. Hi all,

    I’ve done the giving up coffe, which I did for lent. I have not drank any coffee since February 2014. This I can say has helped in me sleeping much better and my moods have improved also, a slite observation I noticed about two weeks after no coffee, I did not realise how addicted I was until a week or so ago, when I felt like one, I decided against not having another one as my body does feel great since the elimination of it from my life in Februay, I have only just read this experiment so was not privy to it until just now, mine was not an experiment I just wanted to save money, and it has helped. (I was a Starbucks drinker, £2.85 per day if not more, you all get my point). Hope this helps with your feedback on experiments.

    Kind regards

    Michelle (London UK)

  2. George says:

    I personally use the supplement: Magnolia Bark. It’s a natural stress reliever used for thousands of years. I also use the fake yawning technique – which also activates the relaxation centers of the brain… Give them a try and you’ll see for yourself.

  3. joseph john says:

    could not find this tea in kerala

  4. girish says:

    WHERE I COULD PURCHASE THIS TEA

    • Amanda says:

      Chamomile tea is available in any grocery store. I’ve found it all over the world. Shouldn’t be hard to find.

  5. veena says:

    Say some fairy stories to you kid, relieve all stress by spending more time with kids, Learn to think simple , laugh as they laugh and remain happy, with no big reason. Be a child and sleep like a child. Trust god as a caretaker and be carefree in life.

  6. Ishta says:

    Eliminated coffee 3 yrs before when I found out I was pregnant. The results were so good, I never went back to it. Though I still allow myself 1 cup in a month.
    Regarding chamomile tea..I must say its just amazing. I sip on it about an hour before bed..and must say……….I sleep like my baby :)
    The only addiction I need to work upon is black tea…I like it with milk and sugar :|

    • Amanda says:

      I love a cup of chamomile tea in the evening too! (Sometimes I mix it with some rose petals or mint for a little change…)

  7. Shirley says:

    Bothe eliminatin caffein and exercise has worked for me. Also, someone once told me when I go to bed to just imagine an empty black board and every time my mind wanders to just bring it back to the black board. I suppose this is a form of discipline and meditation. It’s very relaxing and soon I fall to sleep.

  8. Steffie says:

    Caffeine elimination? Already did it, but months ago when I found out I was pregnant. I can definitely notice a difference in my sleeping (and waking!) habits if I drink a coke. After a few months though, the initial “oh I can shut my mind off, hooray” effect palls, and insomnia can return. Then you feel like trash the next day and reach for some coffee to stay awake, and the cycle is born again…. Or you forget and have a coke at a party or something. Can you tell I’ve done that before? Caffeine free for me is a comes n goes thing, but I feel better off it, so I try to have it early in the day if I’m going to at all.

    Since it’s a longtime affair for me, I didn’t feel it was fair to do it for the sleep study.

    Yes, good exercise does make a difference! Good one Laurie! The worst part about a new exercise routine is the soreness of the first week (potassium is my best friend), and then pushing past the third and fourth week until it’s an old and established habit. Honestly though, if no one is sitting on me to do it (Navy PT anyone?) I am very lax about it, maybe bothering with a pilates video once a week or a walk to the store. You’re a better person than me!

  9. Laurie says:

    This is a great study and thanks for sharing. It got me thinking…

    I don’t have sleep problems and haven’t for at least a year or two, but I used too! I had terrible trouble sleeping and tried many things–even sleeping pills which I don’t really agree with but was feeling desperate. So what changed? One thing that I think has improved my sleep is regular vigorous exercise. I now run 3-4 times a week for intense or long-distance runs. I sleep like a baby and often jump up in the morning full of energy, even before my alarm goes off. I also try to get 8 hours as thats what I need. Could be good to give this one a try. Good luck with sleep solutions. Happy sleeping! ;-)

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