If you don’t want to try prescription medications, because of the side effects, there are still quite a few things you can try to sleep better without talking to a doctor.
Update Your Sleep Environment
If you’re finding yourself waking up tired, waking up regularly in the middle of the night, or waking up with aches and pains that you can’t identify the source of, it might be time to take a look at your sleep environment.
When was the last time you bought a mattress? You should be replacing your bed every 5 to 10 years, according to the experts. However, it's likely that you have not been doing that. Mattresses can be expensive. However, it’s essential to find a mattress that works for you and your partner and replace it regularly. An older mattress could be causing your spine to move out of alignment simply because of its age.
If you’re waking up in the middle of the night on a regular basis, try and figure out what is waking you up, and adjust accordingly. It may be helpful to keep a sleep diary to figure out if there’s a pattern to why and how you’re waking up.
Set Your Own Bedtime and Routine
You may think that bedtimes are for kids, but they’re actually helpful for people of all ages, just like a routine is. It is incredibly beneficial to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day and to build a pattern that helps your brain get ready for bed.
If you find yourself lying in bed trying to sleep, you may find it helpful to delay your bedtime until when you find yourself falling asleep. Use the time that you were laying in bed without falling asleep to help yourself relax with a simple routine. That routine can include anything you want it to, as long as it’s relaxing and away from your electronics.
Try Natural Therapies
While you’re building the routine that works for you, you might want to look into some natural therapies, such as acupuncture or yoga. Acupuncture has been used in Chinese medicine for more than 4,000 years and has been found to help with insomnia in both humans and rats.
Yoga has similarly been practiced as part of Indian spiritual practices and has been found to reduce stress. It’s been found to reduce the impact of work stress, and will also help you stretch your muscles before bed.
If you’ve tried everything you can think of to get a good night’s sleep, but you’re still struggling, talk to your doctor. They should respect that you don’t want to take prescription medication, but it may be helpful to have a sleep study done and make sure that there isn’t an underlying issue that is causing your sleep troubles.