Rest Easy

Try a natural solution for insomnia.
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Try a natural solution for insomnia.
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Americans annually spend more than $3.5 billion on prescription sleep medications. Though pills may be tempting if you're one of the 56 percent of insomnia sufferers, Michael Breus, a clinical psychologist and the author of Beauty Sleep, says there are plenty of natural methods to try first.

Sleep Formula

Essential oils of lavender, chamomile, ylang-ylang, and vanilla help the brain regulate the stress hormone cortisol. In a spray bottle, mix a few drops of essential oil with filtered water. Spray on your pillowcase.

Rub Your Feet

Spend 10 minutes before bedtime massaging pressure points on the inside and outside of your heels. They can "take your consciousness into your body to relax," says yoga therapist Jnani Chapman.

Carbo Load

Four hours before bedtime, eat foods that are high in dietary sugars, such as rice cakes or potatoes. These foods contain tryptophan, which triggers the sleep hormones serotonin and melatonin.

Think Positive

When you can't sleep, write down negative thoughts. Keep a list of positive alternatives. When a negative thought appears, repeat an alternative.

For a sleep-inducing breathing practice, go here.