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Natural Ways to Sleep Without Medicating Yourself
By Dr. Tracie Yautz

Adults in America sleep 20% less than 100 years ago. The effects of drowsiness include irritability, memory loss, difficulty concentrating, depression, weight gain, impaired judgement, irregular heartbeat, increased risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and decreased immunity. According to the CDC, more than 9 million Americans use sleeping pills, which have additional troublesome side effects. If you want to achieve restful sleep without medication, here are some simple, safe and natural solutions:

Change Your Diet
Many sleep issues are the result of imbalances within your digestion or adrenal system. Keep a food journal for a few weeks to track and see if certain foods cause trouble sleeping. Sometimes eating too close to bedtime causes sleeplessness. Try and have your last meal of the day at least three hours before going to sleep. Avoid caffeine after 1pm and include plenty of healthy fats and proteins in your meals throughout the day. Avoid sugars, vegetable oil, gluten, grains and processed foods. Instead of sugary snacks, enjoy antioxidant-rich fruits, vegetables and herbs such as clove, cinnamon and turmeric.
Adjust Your Lighting
Adults and children today are starving for sunshine. It’s recommended that you enjoy 30 minutes of sunshine each day for optimum melatonin levels at night. Avoid artificial light, especially after the sun goes down. This includes the TV, computer, night lights, alarm clock lights, phones and other electronics. If needed, use blackout curtains or drapes to keep your room dark.

Reduce Stress
Disengage from negative news and social media to help you relax in the evenings. Take a soothing bath, read a book, pray, meditate or write in a journal to relieve stress before bed.

Have a Consistent Sleep Routine
Create routines to let your body know that it is time to rest. Go to bed and get up at the same time every day, including weekends.

Naturopathy is not a magic cure, though many do report rapid results.

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Dr. Tracie Yautz, ND is a traditional naturopathic doctor at Divine Health Naturally Wholistic Wellness Center located just north of Pittsburgh in Harmony.  Learn more at www.DivineHealthNaturally.com.

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