How to Start Sleeping Without Prescription Sleep Pills

Two Methods:Trying Some Natural RemediesBeing Relaxed and Tackling Stress

If you've had trouble sleeping and find yourself more dependent on prescription sleeping pills than you'd like to be, you can try some alternatives. There are natural ingredients and supplements that you can try, as well as relaxation techniques. Creating a peaceful environment and allowing your brain time to calm down before bed will help you get to sleep more easily.

Method 1
Trying Some Natural Remedies

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    Try melatonin. Melatonin is an over-the-counter supplement that some claim can help tackle insomnia and sleeping difficulties. Melatonin is naturally produced by your body, and is released into your bloodstream in large amounts overnight. Taking the supplements increases the amount in your blood, and may help you get to sleep.
    • The scientific evidence proving the effectiveness of melatonin supplements in combating insomnia is, however, lacking.
    • It is thought that older people will experience more significant benefits.
    • Melatonin use is considered safe for a few weeks, but the safety of longer-term use is unclear.[1]
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    Take some valerian. Valerian is another dietary supplement available in health food stores and online which is marketed and sold as a sleeping aid. Valerian has a mild sedative effect, but there is a lack of in-depth scientific study of its usefulness in tackling sleep problems. You should talk to your doctor before trying valerian.
    • There may be a connection between long-term use of valerian and liver damage.
    • If you have been using valerian, you may experience withdrawal symptoms when you stop.[2]
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    Consider acupuncture. There is some evidence that acupuncture can help people with insomnia and sleep disorders, but more research is required to prove its effectiveness. During a session, you will have many thin needles placed into your skin by an acupuncture practitioner. Talk to your doctor, and if you decide to try acupuncture, be sure to ask for a recommendation to help you find a qualified and well-regarded practitioner.[3]
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    Try a warm drink. There are also some more straightforward remedies you can try at home to help you sleep. Have a warm milky drink, or a cup of relaxing herbal tea before you plan to go to bed.[4] A glass of warm milk can help your body to produce melatonin.[5]
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    Cut down on stimulants. You should be thinking of what not to consume as well as what remedies might help you to sleep. Stimulants like caffeine and sugar can make it much harder for you to get to sleep, so try to cut these out, especially before you plan to go to bed. Don’t have any tea or coffee for at least a few hours before bed.[6]
    • Cigarettes are a stimulant that will not help you get to sleep.
    • Alcohol will not give you a restful night’s sleep. It may make you dehydrated, and you may have to get up in the night to use the bathroom.[7]

Method 2
Being Relaxed and Tackling Stress

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    Try meditating. There is increasing amounts of evidence that suggests that meditation can help you to tackle stress, which could in turn help you sleep. Research shows that practising twenty minutes of meditation a day can reduce stress and cortisol levels.[8] Start slowly and just try to incorporate 3-5 minutes at a time. Meditation can seem strange or alien, so it’s important that you don’t put pressure on yourself.
    • If you don’t feel like sitting cross-legged and reciting a mantra, you could try walking meditation.
    • While walking, concentrate on the feeling of your body walking,
    • Then focus on the feeling of your breath, and then the air and wind on your skin.[9]
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    Practice yoga. Yoga can help you to relax your body and mind before you go to bed. Keep the routine slow and controlled, and don’t over exert yourself. A simple routine of five to fifteen minutes, with only simple poses, is all you should do.[10] Some of the basic poses to try include:
    • Standing bends. Standing up straight, raise your hands above your head. Feel the stretch in your spine, and then gently bend down. Keep your back straight.
    • Child’s pose. Sit on your heels, and place your arms out either side of you. Lower your body over your knees and as you do this gently bring your forehead down towards the floor.[11]
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    Use muscle relaxation techniques. One good way to try to relax your body and help you get to sleep is to practice some progressive muscle relaxation techniques. Lie in bed and then tense a muscle, contracting and flexing it, for around ten seconds. Don’t put too much strain on the muscle, but feel the tension building up. Release the muscle and relax. Now move on to the next muscle and repeat the process all over your body.
    • You can start from your feet and work all the way up your body. Finish by tensing and relaxing your face.
    • Try visualising the muscle that you are tensing as you go.[12]
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    Try breathing exercises. Doing some deep breathing exercises can help you to lower your heart rate and relax. If you are struggling to sleep and are becoming anxious, deep breathing can help. The effects of deep breathing are often more psychological than physiological, but it can help you to calm your heart and breathing rate in times of stress or anxiety.
    • Breathe in deeply for three or four seconds, with your hand on your chest so you can feel your heart beating.
    • Then breathe out for three or four seconds.
    • Keep doing this until you feel your heart rate slowing.[13]
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    Tackle sources of stress. Sleeping problems are often associated with stress, anxiety and depression. If you are regularly having trouble sleeping, consider what other factors might be contributing to this.[14] If you are particularly stressed out about an upcoming deadline, try to manage your workload and understand that’s normal to get stressed sometimes. Positive thinking can help you to be more relaxed and get a better night’s sleep.[15]
    • A stressful lifestyle can result in higher levels of cortisol in your body, which in turn can cause sleeplessness.[16]
    • If you have nightmares that disturb your sleep, these may also be connected to stress or emotional trauma.[17]
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    Create a peaceful sleeping environment. Ensuring that your bedroom is as calm and soothing as possible will help you get to sleep without any pills. Avoid bright colours on the walls, try not to have a TV or computer in your room, and make sure that it is dark. You can get some blackout curtains if there is light coming from outside your window, and if necessary, try wearing an eye mask.
    • The temperature of your room is also important. A temperature of between 60 and 65°F (16 and 18°C), is considered the ideal for peaceful sleep.
    • If it is noisy, try wearing ear plugs to block out the sound.
    • Having pictures of friends and family, or works of art, around your room may make you feel more relaxed and at ease.[18]


  • If you feel like you cannot sleep, try counting from 135 backwards.
  • Wake up at approximately the same time every morning and go to sleep at approximately the same time every night.
  • Write your thoughts down,and get them out of your head that way you're not thinking so much.


  • Don't alter your medication plan without speaking to your doctor first. There may be other methods that are equally effective and available for you.
  • Melatonin can cause some people to have bad dreams and have even more sleep problems. If your body cannot take normal sleeping pills, it may not take the melatonin supplement.

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Categories: Sleep Disorders