We have all suffered from bouts of insomnia at one time or another, whether it be from worrying about exams in school, loss of a job and other financial worries, fear of losing a loved one, or even world events, etc., which can prey on your mind preventing it from relaxing enough to get some sleep.
Other causes of insomnia can be more physically related, from chronic pain to hypoglycemia, breathing problems such as sleep apnea, to systemic disorders involving lungs, heart, liver, kidneys, pancreas, digestive system, and the endocrine system, to certain medications. Even a lack of nutrients such as calcium and magnesium can cause people to wake every few hours. While these conditions require the attention of doctors, there are certain holistic methods that can be employed to help relatively healthy people get a good night sleep.
Most people who have trouble falling asleep are generally are savvy enough to know that they should avoid caffeine and sugar (including chocolate) before bedtime. However, they may not realize that other foods such as pork products (i.e. ham, bacon and sausage) can interfere with sleep, as can sauerkraut, wine, spinach, eggplant, potatoes and tomatoes. This is because they contain tyramine which acts as a brain stimulator.
On the other hand, foods high in trytophan such as turkey, bananas, figs, dates, tuna, yogurt and whole grain crackers help promote drowsiness. So does eating a half of a grapefruit. Herbs recommended for insomniacs such as valerian root, catnip, lady slipper, passionflower and skullcap can also prove effective.
Other aspects to consider when trying to fall asleep are whether the room is cool enough, and how comfortable your pillows may be. In fact, bed-size microbeads (aka squishy) pillows are some of the best pillows for helping people get good nights sleep whether at home or traveling, while larger body pillows can offer good back support.
The pillows, noted for their comfort, contain small round polystyrene beads generally about 0.1-.03 inches in diameter that are encased in either spandex or synthetic nylon shells, are made so that they automatically adjust to match your body shape and weight without “sinking in” as you apply pressure to them, while at the same time providing firm support, then regaining their original shape quickly once the pressure is released. Many people also finding them ideal for use during meditation, as well as for relaxing during long trips on planes, trains or even in cars and buses, etc.
Microbead pillows are easy to maintain. While most people generally hand wash and air-dry them, some brands can be thrown into washing machines and dryers for quick cleaning. However, if using machines be sure to use delicate and low heat settings.
Another advantage is the fact that the microbeads are hypoallergenic, which means that they are safe for people who may be allergic to materials used in pillows stuffed with feathers or other standard materials. They also seem to last longer and do not get worn down over time the way feather or foam pillows do.