25+ Sleep Crutches to Help with Insomnia
Sleep is by far the number one most important thing that we need to stay healthy. While we sleep, our bodies heal and allow us to detox and heal. Without sleep we become sluggish, angry, brain-fogged, and just plain hard to deal with! You can read my whole post on dealing with insomnia here which goes into more long-term solutions for busting insomnia. For now I just want to list as many sleep “crutches” as I can. It is helpful to rotate through these things for the times you really can’t get good sleep but most of them are only short term solutions.
- Yoga- everyone knows about yoga, but not everyone likes doing it. Yoga has been one of the most popular ways to help de-stress for a long time. Even finding a few yoga positions that help you can help immensely. I like legs-on-the-wall, child’s pose, cat-and-cow, and corpse pose
- EFT (aka Tapping)- Emotional Freedom technique is not new, but it has been garnering a lot of attention over the last few years in the natural health field. This method used meridian tapping to harness your body’s energy to heal itself
- Buteyko breathing- A friend introduced me to this method this year, and I will forever be grateful. It truly is a great way to calm yourself down before bed, or if you wake up in the middle of the night. It actually helps the healing of a lot of different ailments as well!
- Read a physical book (not an ebook!) before bed.
- Limit screen time at night and try to cut it off completely about an hour or 2 before bed; or get blue-light apps (f.lux for Android, or Night Shift on iPhones 5s and above, which comes automatically with the phone now) or blue light blocking glasses
- Try a meditation app or a sound machine
- Raw honey- honey is packed with minerals and can help supply our livers with a healthy sugar so it can have the energy to induce sleep
- A good snack: full-fat organic yogurt, an apple with nut butter, some almonds, etc. Some other ideas are here.
- Tart Cherry Juice- this is actually a great source of natural melatonin, but also is a sugar source. I have personally had great success with tart cherry juice to help with insomnia. You can even make tart cherry gummies!
- “Sleepy Dust”- you can read about this on Butter Believer’s page
- Castor oil packs: These are awesome for the liver and lymph system, which tend to work extra hard at night. The packs can help take some of the stress off of these systems so they can calm down a bit at night. Instructions here.
- Dandelion tea/decoction– A favorite with my Mavens and myself!
- Magnesium: If magnesium is tolerated or needed, it can help a lot with sleep. You can use a nice magnesium lotion like this one, or do mag oil foot baths before bed (try 1-2 ounces mag oil [or ½ cup to 1 cup of flakes], 1 cup of baking soda; add ½ cup of pink salt if desired. Soak for 20-40 minutes)
- POTASSIUM- If you have a potassium less than 4 on the HTMA then you are most likely in burnout and will find it hard to sleep.
- Adrenal cocktails: Sodium and potassium really need to be in balance, and some people have amazing results doing adrenal cocktails before bed. The 2 most popular recipes are: 8 ounces OJ with ¼ tsp cream of tartar and ¼ tsp of unrefined salt OR 8 ounces coconut water, ¼ tsp unrefined sea salt, and vitamin C powder. More ideas here!
- Get a massage!
- Take a relaxing bath; try epsom salts or magnesium oil/flakes with baking soda
- Check your mattress and bedding- if you are able to replace it, don’t hesitate. Look for a company that doesn’t spray their mattresses with bromide or other toxic chemicals.
- Make sure your room is clean! Dust regularly and air out the house.
- Smudge! Smudging is an ancient Native American practice that helps to cleanse the air of bad energy. There was also a study done that showed smudging helps to reduce bacteria by 94%! (source)
- Go to bed before 10PM. Every hour of sleep you get before 12AM can count for almost 2-3 hours!
- Change your detergent- if your sheets smell like the harsh chemicals you use to wash them with, then it’s time to change the soap! Look for something with less toxic chemicals- get EWG.org for ideas.
- Lemon balm, chamomile, catnip, lavender teas
- Essential oils like lavender or sleepy time blends
- Try to move during the day. If you can’t get regular exercise, try rebounding, bouncing on a yoga ball, or even yoga
- Look into homeopathy: if your insomnia is a long-standing issue, there could be an emotional aspect involved in it. Read my experience with homeopathy here.
- Practice self-care: even 5 minutes a day of doing something you love can help with your stress levels and can make it easier for you to sleep better at night. You cannot pour from an empty cup. You NEED to take care of yourself.
- Look into underlying infections like Lyme, EBV, parasites, etc- these can wreak havoc on our HPA axis! Something like Phytocalm from Herbalist and Alchemist can help a lot with this.
- Bioray now has their adult version of Sleepy: “Get Sleepy“
I’m sure I could add even more but these are the best ones I can come up with for now! I’m no stranger to insomnia and it seems to be the first thing that comes back to me when stress hits, so I also have to rotate through this list.
Happy healing! (And sleeping!) 😉