MISCELLANEOUS & QUIRKY REMEDIES
Trying to get to sleep can be soooo frustrating, we'll try anything! These are some of the miscellaneous or off-beat remedies we've come across - but one might be 'just the thing' for you - that helps you get to sleep.
TURN YOURSELF UPSIDE DOWN - On your bed, that is. Simply put your pillow at the foot of the bed and turn the covers around, lay your head on the pillow and... nod off - we hope. A friend, who every once in a while hits a bout of sleeplessness, uses this one with great success, she says. It's something she used as a kid and it still works for her. Something about changing the environment - an intriguing, possibly important concept - might work in other ways, too...
HUG YOUR OLD "TEDDY"
If you've still got your beloved security-blanket-teddy from childhood - or a newer version - by all means hug it to you if it offers comfort and peace for your soul.
VINEGAR & HONEY
(We saw this in a book of cider vinegar remedies we thumbed through in our local health food store.) Add 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar and two teaspoons of honey to a glass of boiling hot water. Drink. Another version, from Vermont: Mix 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with one cup of honey. Take two teaspoons at bedtime. If needed, take two more an hour later.
These from Katherine A. Albert's excellent book, Get a Good Night's Sleep:
PUEBLO INDIAN REMEDY - Eat mushrooms.
CHINESE REMEDY - Make a mixture of chopped ginseng and orange peel, mixed with honey.
GYPSY REMEDY 1 - Cook lettuce in a half-pint of boiling water with a little salt.
GYPSY REMEDY 2 - Mix lemon juice, orange juice, two tablespoons of honey and hot water. You could also add some grapefruit juice.
SCOTTISH REMEDY - Oatmeal gruel with honey.
BALKAN CURE - Take buttermilk half an hour before bed.
FOLK REMEDY 1 - Raw onion on toast at bedtime.
FOLK REMEDY 2 - A teaspoon of olive oil taken with the evening meal and a second teaspoon before bed.
FOLK REMEDY 3 - Take a mixture of malted milk, olive oil and hot water no less than an hour before bed.(This group was from Katherine A. Albert's book, Get a Good Night's Sleep.)
LAVENDER - A few drops of pure lavender oil placed on the pulsepoints of the wrist and forehead can be calming and helpful. This was reported in the New York Times as being especially effective with older people suffering from insomnia. However, you must use pure lavender oil from a good source. Cheap perfume or complex blends don't do it. Also try sniffing a little fragrant herbal "pillow" stuffed with lavender. Smells great and feels calming. We have three tiny, terry teddy bears stuffed with lavender (that we succumbed to buying for a ridiculous price, as they were cute and also actually on sale) - - and we like to take a sniff before turning out the light. Does it help? Perhaps. But definitely smells great and adds a pleasant touch to the bedtime ritual. We've also read that adding rose scent, and/or rosemary can help, too.
CELERY SEEDS - Inhaling the aroma from a little cloth bag filled with celery seeds is said to help you fall asleep.
CHOPPED ONIONS? - One book of natural remedies says to chop a yellow onion and put it in a glass jar with a lid which you then place near your bed - and every once in a while take a whiff - which is supposed to help. Maybe... - we haven't tried this one yet but we pass it on in case it has some appeal. (Interesting how raw onions also showed up in Katherine A. Albert's book, Get a Good Night's Sleep (see above).)
PUMPKIN - An old folk remedy says to eat pumpkin to cure insomnia - which is a rather pleasant remedy if you happen to like pumpkin pie, pumpkin muffins or even pumpkin soup - as we do. Pumpkin soup, in case you've never tried it, can be incredibly delicious. This remedy probably works (we have yet to try it) because pumpkin is a heavy-duty carbohydrate and that helps to promote the flow of serotonin to the brain - a key facilitator of sleep.
MITTENS AND SOCKS - This just in from CNN: Put on mittens and socks to help you get to sleep! This warms extremities - hands and feet - and has something to do with blood vessel dilation, body temperature and increased blood flow throughout the body. It's supposed to help and we believe it. We ourself have terrible trouble falling asleep if our hands or feet are cold - getting them warmed up definitely helps. We were once given nice, pink wool bed-socks as a gift - years ago, when we went to school in Vermont and before down comforters were in vogue - and they really helped back then. They had a little tie woven through the cuff - and were from England, as we remember it - where people truly need to warm up their toesies.
DIRTY DISHES - An old folk remedy says that if you leave dirty dishes in the sink, don't be surprised if you have trouble falling asleep. So if you've got dirty dishes in your sink now - well, you know what to do. It might be worth a shot! Also - we're going to assume this folk remedy is partially metaphoric.
For help with dealing with the "dirty dishes" of life - troubles and problems - click for EMOTIONAL ISSUES - or check the navigation buttons to the left.
LENTIL BAGS - Paul Wilson, in his lovely little book, The Little Book of Sleep, suggests you fill a small silk bag with lentils or linseeds. "Place it over your closed eyes and feel the gentle sensation relaxation envelop your entire body."
MAKE A TINY HERBAL SLEEP "PILLOW" - Fill it will lavender, rose petals and catnip. Sniff when needed. Smells great. Might help.
HOPS - An old folk remedy says to use a pillow stuffed with hops. Apparently it doesn't smell great but it's supposed to do the trick. This is another one we haven't tried - yet. We're also not sure how one obtains hops - perhaps the farmers at the local Market can help - or maybe the local microbrewery. Or - most likely, an herb shop or health food store.
COLD WATER CURE - At a local used book sale I picked up an old book "Healing With Water" by Jeanne Keller (Parker Publishing Company, West Nyack, NY 1968) which describes the cure for many conditions through a form of cold water therapy. At first I thought it sounded kind of quirky - maybe would be a hoot to read - so I bought it (for a quarter) - but when I read the section on curing insomnia, I thought it might actually be of use for someone - if they're willing. The author's husband had been very skeptical of her water cures, but interestingly enough, found they worked quite well for his insomnia. What is involved, basically, is immersing oneself up to the neck in a bath of very cold water, for a very short amount of time - ten seconds - then, wrapping oneself in a dry towel and getting into a pre-warmed bed, with a sweater on, if desired. She claims this worked wonders for her husband. And it might very well have - as vessel dilation, blood flow and body temperature all play a role in the body's going-to-sleep mechanism. Her husband also tried, at times, the cold water cure as a sitz bath - same idea, but sitting in a large pan of very cold water placed within the (empty) bathtub - for 50 seconds (counting "one-one-hundred, two-one-hundred, three-one-hundred, etc." up to fifty (one-hundred)). She says this really worked well for her previously skeptical husband. We say it could be worth a try!
THE REMEMBERED COMMAND - Years ago, when we were a young balletomane, we read the biography of the great British ballerina, Alicia Markova, who, as a young dancer of 14, toured all over the world with the troupe of the great Russian impressario, Diaghelev. Sensibly enough, she had a devoted tutor/chaperone who traveled with her and looked after her. Though the chaperone was loving and caring, (I can't remember her name right now) she had something of a stern side to her (as I remember it). So that when Alicia had trouble sleeping during the intense ballet tours, the kindly-but-stern chaperone would simply tell the girl firmly to "Go to sleep now." Years later, when Markova would occasionally have trouble getting to sleep, she would recall those firm but loving words - and, bink! - like magic - would fall quickly asleep!
(We should only be so lucky...)
If our website is helpful to you -
(and we hope it is) -
why not visit our Sleepless Boutique and
order some goodies? -
It will help us to pay the bills.
Thanks so much.