I know how easy it is to pop a pill and go to sleep. Been there done that. I'm not even talking about the hard stuff. OTC sleep medications say they're not habit forming, but I tell you, it's so much easier to pop one every night, I believe they are. This, supported by the fact that an alarming number of people this week alone have confessed to pills being their nightly go-to.
Happy World Sleep Day!
In our often desperate need for sleep, fueled by the growing awareness (and resulting guilt) of the media telling us so, we're taking what we think is the easy way out. And companies are cashing in on it.
"ZzzQuil works by blocking histamine receptors in your brain, which help control alertness. ZzzQuil can also block acetylcholine receptors; a natural chemical that affects many functions in your body, including your heart rate, muscle movement, memory, and attention." (Source: Healthline.com)
I won't give you the shopping list of side effects because no-one cares. We've become desensitized to the fast talking 'death speak' via pharma ads on TV.
The alternative? Pamper yourself.
Instead of popping a pill, drop into a bath. It's a million times more relaxing. And better for you. Add to the bath a handful of good quality salts, and a few drops of your favorite relaxing essential oil, like Lavender. Just make sure this is no closer to bedtime than an hour and a half, that way you'll cool down enough to sleep. (Indeed, the cooling-down process is actually what brings on sleep.)
Clean enough already? There are alternatives.
Meditation, aromatherapy, self or partner massage, simple yoga, breathing, using candles for light instead of LED's, and so on. (There are many ideas in our other blogs.)
The long and short of it is, if you're having trouble getting to sleep, it's nature sending you a message. Sleep is not a handbrake. Your body can't just go from totally awake to totally asleep.
Time to do something nice for yourself.