Thursday, June 11, 2009

Natural Alternatives to Caffeine and Sleeping Pills

In our drug culture, where people demand a pill for every ailment, it is nice to know there are alternatives to drugs to two of the most common problems - drowsiness and insomnia. If you have trouble waking up in the morning, and feel that you have to gulp down several cups of coffee to wake up, and still drink several more throughout the day, in addition to other caffeinated beverages to stay awake, then this post is for you. If you have trouble sleeping at night and feel the need to take sleeping pills to go to sleep, then this blog is for you. Or maybe you suffer from both of these problems, such as difficulty falling asleep and then difficulty waking up once you are asleep; then this blog post is definitely for you.

I myself have absolutely no problem either falling asleep or waking up, and I do it all naturally without ingesting any pills. What I am going to share with you all however might be a little shocking to the system, but it does work! You see, God did not create us to be drugged into living. He did not create us to be drugged to sleep, and to be drugged to wake up, or stay awake. If we would just obey the natural rythmns of our bodies, then there would be less need for substances to keep us awake or make us fall asleep. Here are some tips that can be tried.

To wake up:
  1. End your morning shower with a blast of cold water. Cold water is invigorating to the body and will eliminate effectively all feelings of drowsiness. I myself do this from time to time, but I work into the cold shower. I start with hot, then lukewarm, then cold.
  2. Avoid sugary breakfasts, such as Danish, donuts, sugary cereals, etc. They do nothing to satisfy the appetite and make you feel even more hungry. Also avoid heavy breakfasts that are loaded with lots of carbs and fat. They weigh down the digestive system, and make you feel sluggish. How many times have you fallen asleep after eating a heavy meal? It is a common experience for most people. I try to eat a breakfast that is light, yet filling. In the mornings I have hot cocoa made with milk, and a piece of fruit; or yogurt and fruit, with herbal tea; sometimes hot oatmeal made with milk or yogurt, and fruit; or eggs, tea, and citrus fruit; on weekends I sometimes "splurge" and have turkey bacon, eggs, tomato slices, whole grain bread, hot cocoa with milk, and fresh squeezed orange juice.
  3. Engage in some physical exercise in the morning. Exercise stimulates body organs to be more active. It increases activity in your muscles, joints, heart, lungs, skin, circulatory system, digestive system, etc.
  4. If you live in the countryside or in the suburbs, use birds as a guide as to when to wake up and start your day. Try waking up with the birds. Birds will start singing well before daybreak, and roosters crow intermittently throughout the dark hours of the morning before daybreak.

To sleep:

  1. Go to bed early, preferably before midnight. Nature tells us that days are for work, and night is for sleeping. Thanks to the invention of artificial lighting, however, many of us stay up way too late past sunset before we go to sleep. Consequently,do not get enough sleep, and wake up feeling drowsy.
  2. Do not go to sleep with a full stomach. This will make your sleep restless.
  3. Take a hot shower or warm bath before bedtime.
  4. Turn off the TV before bedtime, especially the news. All the negative news reporting can give you nightmares!
  5. Listen to relaxing music, especially spiritually, uplifting music.
  6. Sleep in a comfortable bed. Don't be afraid to spend money on things to make your bed comfortable, such as bed toppers, blankets, pillows, etc. Heat and massage too if that is what it takes to make you sleep. Having a good night's sleep is worth every penny.

All the above tips are given from personal experience and first hand knowledge, tempered with my professional experience. If you all have any tips to share, please go ahead and share with me.


Anita C. McCants said...

Great Tips!
Thanks for sharing. :~)

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Hi Anita,
I am so happy to share.