Best Sleep Aids for Insomnia

insomnia
(Last Updated On: May 3, 2019)

Do you have insomnia?

Chances are you’ve experienced insomnia symptoms more often than you realize. In fact, take a look at the following questions.

  • Do you sometimes find it difficult to fall asleep?
  • Do you sometimes find yourself waking up throughout the night?
  • Do you sometimes wake up earlier than you meant to, and then find that you can’t get back to sleep?

If you answered “yes” to any of the above, then you have experienced insomnia.

Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that affects just about everyone at one point or another. Some people are lucky enough to only experience sleep problems once or twice a month, or even just a few times a year.

For others, trying to get a good night’s sleep is a constant, nightly struggle. In fact, it’s estimated that as many as 10% of adults suffer from severe insomnia.

Some insomnia sufferers seem to think their sleeping problems are just something they have to learn to live with. They might consider taking sleeping pills, but this is a step many are reluctant to take.

Luckily, there are plenty of remedies for insomnia, probably more than you ever imagined. And some of them are 100% natural.

Read on to find out how you can deal with your insomnia. You’ll also learn what you can do if your child has trouble getting a good night’s sleep.

Best Natural Sleep Aids

More and more, people are turning to natural remedies for common ailments. And insomnia is no exception.

If you’re looking for a natural solution for your sleeping problems, here are 5 good ones you can try.

Natural Sleep Aid #1. Relaxation Exercises

As strange as it might sound, part of the reason you can’t fall asleep might be that you haven’t learned to do it in the right way.

There are things you can do that will help you fall asleep faster. Unfortunately, these techniques don’t come naturally to everyone.

You might have heard one of the best ways to get a good night’s sleep is to do relaxation or yoga exercises before bedtime. Or maybe you’ve tried meditation as a way to cure your insomnia.

These techniques can work, no doubt about it. But using these techniques can be easier said than done, especially for a newbie without guidance.

That’s where a product like the Dodow Sleep Aid Device comes in.

The Dodow Sleep Aid Device by Dodow is a unique product. It’s basically a metronome with a light system that’s designed to help you relax and fall asleep faster. In fact, according to the manufacturers, if it usually takes you an hour to fall asleep, the Dodow will help you fall asleep in 25 minutes or less.

If you’ve tried some of the more common insomnia remedies and would like to try something new, the Dodow might be just what you’re looking for.

Natural Sleep Aid #2. Sleep Masks

One of the most common causes of insomnia is light. And it can be any kind of light. Light from a street lamp shining through your bedroom curtains. Light from the TV your partner can’t sleep without. Even a hallway light shining under your bedroom door.

Any light in your sleeping environment can make it take longer for you to fall asleep, or cause you to wake up in the middle of the night. Light can also prevent you from sleeping as deeply as you would in a room that was completely dark.

Unfortunately, you can’t always control the amount of light in your sleeping environment, especially if you live in an urban area or are traveling. But an easy way to block out light so you can get a good night’s sleep is by wearing a sleep mask.

Sleep masks are easy to use anywhere. All you have to do is put the mask on and you’re ready to get some ZZZZZs.

If you’re wearing a sleep mask, you’re partner can have the TV or a lamp on without the light disrupting your sleep. If you’re traveling on a plane, on a train, or in a car, a sleeping mask will block out any lights that might keep you awake.

And if a car drive’s by your house in the middle of the night, you won’t be woken up by the headlights shining through your bedroom window. 

One sleep mask we really like is the Better Sleep 100% Mulberry Silk Sleeping Mask. This sleep mask is made of 100% Mulberry Silk, which many consider to be the highest quality silk on the market. And it’s not just the surface of the mask that’s made of this material. The filling is also Mulberry silk.

Mulberry silk is hypoallergenic, and the fabric is so soft that it won’t irritate your skin. The Better Sleep Sleeping Mask also has an adjustable strap, so it can fit heads of any size.

Natural Sleep Aid #3. Noise Masking Headphones

Like light, sound can also keep you from getting a good night’s sleep. And, like light, it can be hard to control the amount of noise in your sleeping environment. If your bedroom faces a busy street, a car driving by at night could wake you up.

Hearing other people move around your house could make it hard for you to fall asleep. And if your partner snores, you’ve probably experienced many sleepless nights.

An easy way to block out unwanted noises is to wear noise cancelling or noise masking headphones.

Different “sleep headphones” deal with noise in different ways. Some work by actually canceling sounds so that, as far as your ears are concerned, those sounds don’t exist. Some work by “plugging up” your ears, effectively blocking out unwanted sounds. And still others work by using soothing sounds (like nature sounds or ambient noise) to mask or cover up the more disruptive noises in your environment.

If you want a really good pair of noise masking headphones that were especially designed for sleeping, try the Bose Noise Masking Sleepbuds from Bose. 

Bose was a pioneer when it came to noise cancelling technology. But their more recent research showed that, when it came to getting a good night’s sleep, noise masking worked better than noise cancelling. The Bose Noise Masking Sleepbuds were designed with that in mind.

The Bose sleepbuds use soothing engineered sounds to cover up (or mask) unwanted noises that might disrupt your sleep. The extra small headphones fit comfortably in your ear, and will stay in place while you sleep. And you can use the Bose Sleep app to adjust settings, and choose from a library of pre-loaded sounds.

Natural Sleep Aid #4. Essential Oils

Sometimes, just being able to relax can help you fall asleep faster. And there are plenty of essential oils that have been shown to help relax both the mind and the body. One of the most common essential oils used to promote sleep and relaxation is lavender.

Lavender can help you feel less stressed at any time, whether you’re trying to fall asleep, or trying to wind down after a busy day. And, like many essential oils, lavender is versatile. Not only can lavender help you to relax, it can also help to reduce inflammation.

There are many ways to use essential oils. But the easiest way to enjoy the full benefits of these fragrant compounds is by using an essential oil diffuser.

An essential oil diffuser diffuses an essential oil, releasing it into the air as a fine mist or vapor. As the essential oil fills the room, you’ll get to enjoy its lovely scent. And the scent will be stronger and last longer than if you used scented aromatherapy candles or incense.

The diffused essential oils will enter your body by being inhaled, or by being absorbed through your skin. And then they will work their magic.

If you suffer from insomnia, try putting an essential oil diffuser in your bedroom. About 15 to 30 minutes before you intend to go to bed, add the essential oil of your choice to your diffuser and then turn it on. By the time you turn in, the diffuser will have spread the essential oil throughout the room. And once you lay down, you might be surprised by how fast you fall asleep.

One of our favorite essential oil diffusers is the Better Sleep Essential Oil Diffuser with Bluetooth Speaker.Not only does it diffuse essential oils, it also acts as a humidifier, which those experiencing the unpleasant effects of dry air will appreciate.

This diffuser has a tank capacity of 300ml, a good size for a diffuser meant for home use. The generous tank capacity means the diffuser can run for hours before you’ll need to refill it.

The diffuser has an Auto Shut Off feature. When the water runs out, the device will shut off automatically, so you don’t have to worry about it overheating because it’s running on an empty tank.

One of this diffuser’s most unique features is its Bluetooth Speaker, which can easily establish a connection with any Bluetooth enabled device. So not only can you use the diffuser to diffuse essential oils, you can also use it to listen to your favorite music at the same time.

Natural Sleep Aid #5. A Good Mattress or Mattress Topper

Trying to sleep on a bad mattress can be a miserable experience. In fact, if your mattress is thin, hard, lumpy, or saggy, it’s probably been a while since you had a truly good night’s sleep.

Instead, you might find yourself tossing and turning all night, trying in vain to find a comfortable position. Even if you manage to fall asleep, you probably won’t sleep all that deeply, especially if rolling over onto a particularly hard lump wakes you up.

The truth is that people who try to sleep on bad mattresses rarely feel well rested when they wake up in the morning.

If you think a bad mattress is the cause of your insomnia you have two options. You can get a brand new, more comfortable or a luxury mattress.

Or, you can get a comfortable mattress topper to put on top of your current mattress. Either could be a quick and easy way to instantly improve the quality of your sleep.

If you’d like a new mattress, there are some great ones on the market now days. One we like is the Avocado Green Mattress by Avocado Green. These all natural are made of 100% natural, organic certified cotton, latex rubber, and wool. Avocado Green also offers a vegan mattress that’s made without wool.

These luxurious mattresses are firm enough to give your body the support it needs, but plush enough to offer you a comfortable sleeping experience.

If you’re not quite ready to invest in a new mattress, maybe you’d like to try a mattress topper instead. One of our top picks is the Sleep Innovations Gel Memory Foam 4-inch Dual Layer Mattress Topper by Sleep Innovations.

This pillow top mattress topper has two layers. First there’s a 2 inch layer of quilted fiber fill. And, secondly, there’s a 2 inch layer of memory foam. The result is a mattress topper that combines comfort with pressure relieving support, whether your sleep on your back, your side or your stomach.

Sleep Aids for Kids

Adults aren’t the only ones who can have trouble getting a good night’s sleep. Children can suffer from insomnia too.

For the most part, children can benefit from the same natural insomnia remedies that can benefit adults, and vice versa. But there are some products that have been specially designed to be kid friendly.

So if your child has trouble getting to sleep, or they often wake up in the middle of the night, here are some remedies you can try.

1. Sleep Headphones for Kids

As with adults, sounds can keep a child awake at night. But sometimes it can be for different reasons.

Noise can keep a child from falling asleep, or wake them from a sound slumber. But noise can also trigger their curiosity…which can be enough to keep a kid awake. If they hear other people in the house moving around, they might want to get up and see what’s going on. Even if they don’t get out of bad, wondering about what’s causing the noises they hear can keep them from falling asleep.

If noise is keeping your child awake, for whatever reason, then sleep headphones might be the solution.

Sleep headphones are very similar to the noise masking headphones we mentioned above, but the construction is different. Rather than having earbuds that your child must place in their ear, most sleep headphones consist of a headband with speakers inside the band.

The band is pulled down over the child’s ears, and sounds delivered through the speakers help to mask potentially disruptive noise.

What Type of Snorer Are You?

There are 3 types of snorers and each need their own treatment. Take our 40 second test to see what type you are.

Most sleep headphones designed for adults will also work for children. But the CozyPhones Kids Headphones by CozyPhones were designed specifically for children. These extremely comfortable sleep headphones have a soft, fleece headband.

They also have volume limiting speakers, so the volume can’t accidentally be turned up high enough to damage little ears.

CozyPhones Kids Headphones are also available in kid friendly designs.

Sleep headphones for adults are usually available in solid colors, like black, dark blue or gray. But the CozyPhones Kids Headphones are colorful and designed to look like cute, cartoon animals.

If you’d like to try sleep headphones for yourself, CozyPhones makes a more sophisticated version of their sleep headphones for adults: CozyPhones Sleep Headphones with Travel Bag.

2. Essential Oils for Kids

Another good sleep aid for kids is essential oils.

Essential oils commonly used to promote sleep, like lavender, have been found safe to use around children.

And using an essential oil diffuser in a child’s bedroom can be.

If you have reservations about using an essential oil diffuser in your child’s bedroom, many of these devices are designed to be safe to use around children, even old ones. And you can always place the diffuser up high, out of your child’s reach.

There are essential oil diffusers made especially to appeal to children, like the ZAQ Sky Aroma Essential Oil Kids Diffuser by ZAQ. This isn’t just an essential oil diffuser. It also acts as a humidifier, ionizer, and night light. And it doesn’t get hot, so you don’t have to worry about your child hurting themselves if they touch the diffuser.

The diffuser is made of BPA free materials. And it has a design that will to match the decor of a kid’s bedroom.

3. Melatonin for Kids

Melatonin is a hormone produced naturally by your body when it starts to get dark. One of this hormone’s jobs is to make you start feeling sleepy at night. The more melatonin your body produces, the sleepier you will feel, and the faster you will fall asleep at night. And if your body isn’t producing enough melatonin for some reason, you can use melatonin supplements to make up for the deficiency.

It is considered safe for both children and adults to take melatonin supplements. However, before giving melatonin to your child, you might want to consult his or her doctor. The doctor can tell you whether or not it’s safe for your child to take melatonin, and in what dose.

There are actually children’s vitamins available that contain melatonin. One of them is Zarbee’s Naturals Children’s Sleep with Melatonin. These vitamins are available as chewable gummies with a pleasant, fruity flavor. The pleasant taste of these vitamins makes it more likely that your child will actually take them.

Recommended for children ages three and up, these supplements are safe, effective, and drug free. In fact, many pediatricians recommend Zarbee’s Naturals Children’s Sleep with Melatonin.

Melatonin as a Sleep Aid

You’ve probably heard of melatonin, and how it can help you fight insomnia so you can get a good night’s sleep.

But what exactly is melatonin?

Melatonin Basics

Melatonin is a natural hormone produce by your brain. As it begins to get dark outside, your brain increases its production of melatonin. As a result, you will start to feel sleep, which will help you fall asleep faster.

As morning approaches, and it starts to get light outside, melatonin production will begin to decrease. By the time its full daylight outside, you will feel more awake and alert.

As a rule, you’ll feel more awake and alert when you wake up at 7 am than you would if you woke up at 2 am, even if you sleep for the same length of time.

If you suffer from insomnia, you’ve probably been told to turn down the lights in your environment about an hour before you go to bed. That’s because bright lights can inhibit the amount of melatonin your brain produces.

If you spend the hour or so before bed in a brightly lit room, it will take longer for you to fall asleep once you turn in. But if you spend the time before you go to bed in a dimly lit room, you will fall asleep faster.

Melatonin Supplements

You can buy melatonin supplements over the counter. Many people have started using these supplements to help them fall asleep at night. And some see them as a more natural alternative to taking sleeping pills. Studies have found that melatonin supplements are safe, and taking them doesn’t appear to have any serious risks.

While melatonin supplements can help anyone fall asleep faster, they seem to work best in specific situations.

If you work the night shift, and have to go to bed during daylight hours, you’ve probably experienced some sleep difficulties. Taking melatonin supplements before you go to bed might help you fall asleep faster. The supplements can also help you sleep more deeply. 

And if you do a lot of traveling which requires you to cross time zones, it can throw your sleep cycle out of whack. Melatonin can help you sleep better during your trip. In fact, it’s often recommended that you start taking melatonin supplements several days before your trip begins.

We suggest trying the all natural Melatrol Melatonin Supplement.

Melatonin and Insomnia

For some people who suffer from insomnia, there can be a hiccup in the production of melatonin.

In some cases, the brain doesn’t produce the typical amount of melatonin, if it produces melatonin at all. In other cases, melatonin production is delayed. In either case, the result is that you might not get drowsy as bedtime approaches, and it could take a while for you to drift off. And, if your melatonin levels fluctuate, you might find yourself waking up in the middle of the night, and being unable to get back to sleep.

Studies have found that taking melatonin supplements can help insomniacs fall asleep faster, although how much faster can vary from one person to the next.

There’s also some indication that melatonin supplements can help you stay asleep through the night.

Melatonin supplements are largely considered safe, even with long term use. However, many suggest talking to your doctor before taking melatonin supplements.

If you are already taking melatonin supplements, talk to your doctor if you experience any of the possible side effects, like headaches, dizziness, or daytime drowsiness.

Sleeping Pills

If you suffer from insomnia, chances are you’ve at least thought about trying sleeping pills to deal with your sleeping difficulties.

Sleeping pills fall into two very broad categories. In the first category are prescription sleeping pills that you can only get with a prescription from your doctor. In the second category are over the counter sleeping pills that you can buy without a prescription.

You can usually find these sleep aids at any store that sells over the counter medications, like drug stores and grocery stores.

While the medications in both categories are meant to help improve your quality of sleep, there are actually a lot of differences between them.

Over the Counter Sleeping Pills

The thing about over the counter sleeping pills is that they are not meant to be taken long term. In fact, they are best used as a short term solution to temporary sleeping problems.

The good news is that OTC sleep aids aren’t habit forming, which is one of the downsides of some prescription sleep pills. However, there are some things you should consider before taking over the counter sleep aids.

One problem is that your body will quickly develop a tolerance for OTC sleeping pills that contain antihistamines, as most of them do. This means the pills might work fine at first, but the more you take them the less effective they will be.

And if you take an over the counter sleep aid at night, there’s a chance that you’ll spend the next day feeling run-down and groggy.

Over the counter sleeping pills can also interfere with any other medications your taking, be they OTC or prescription. For example, if you take medication for high blood pressure, you should not take an over the counter sleep aid without consulting your doctor first. 

Taking over the counter sleep aids can have many unpleasant side effects, including blurred vision, daytime drowsiness, dry mouth, dizziness, and constipation. OTC sleeping pills can also end up making your insomnia worse.

Pregnant and nursing women should avoid taking OTC sleeping pills, as should people over the age of 75. And if you suffer from any kind of medical condition, like asthma, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, liver disease or glaucoma, you should definitely ask your doctor before taking an over the counter sleep aid.

Even if you don’t take prescription medications or suffer from a medical condition like high blood pressure, you should not take an OTC sleep aid for more than two weeks. If you’re still experiencing insomnia after two weeks, stop taking the over the counter sleeping pills, and try to find some other solution.

Finally, if you’ve taken an OTC sleep aid, you shouldn’t drink alcohol. You also shouldn’t drive, or do anything else that requires you to be awake and alert.

Prescription Sleeping Pills

Prescription sleeping pills are often prescribed to patients suffering from frequent bouts of insomnia.

However, like over the counter sleep aids, some believe prescription sleeping pills should only be used in the short term. The idea is that the sleeping pills will help you get the rest you need while you and your doctor search for a better, long term solution to your sleeping problems.

There are many downsides to taking prescription sleeping pills. One problem is that some of them can be addictive. Fortunately, there are many prescription sleep medications that carry a much lower risk of addiction.

You should never take prescription sleeping pills that weren’t prescribed by your doctor. When you’ve gone a week without sleep, it can be easy to give in to the temptation of accept someone else’s prescription sleep medication.

However, when a doctor gives you a prescription for any medication, including sleeping pills, they take into account things like your weight and build, your existing medical conditions, and any other medications you might be taking.

When you take someone else’s prescription medication, you have no idea how it will affect you. In fact, it could have a devastating effect on your health. No matter how tired you are, the promise of a good night’s sleep isn’t worth the risk.

The fact that a medication was prescribed to you by a doctor doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s safe. In fact, some sleeping pills have been known to cause sleep walking, severe allergic reactions, and other serious side effects.

There are other potential drawbacks. It can be extremely dangerous to take prescription sleeping pills either before or after you’ve consumed an alcoholic beverage. You also need to be sure never to take more than the prescribed dosage of a prescription sleep medication.

For some, prescription and over the counter sleeping pills can be a good, short term solution to their sleeping problems. But it’s best to see these medications as only a temporary fix.

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The Snore Whisperer

The Snore Whisperer