Being unable to get to sleep easily is a very frustrating issue, and the feeling of tossing and turning and being unable to switch off is unpleasant. Another niggling issue that affects many people is brittle nails that chip, split or peel easily. They can be unsightly and lead to painful infections. What are people supposed to do about these problems?
Fortunately, home remedies exist to alleviate both issues without resorting to medication. Sometimes it’s as simple as adjusting your diet or making some small changes to your lifestyle. Read on for 10 tips to solve these frustrating problems:
1. Increase magnesium intake to aid sleep. Research has indicated that even a minor deficiency in magnesium can prevent the brain from settling down at night. WebMD recommends trying to get more magnesium from your food; good sources are leafy greens, wheat germ, pumpkin seeds and almonds. You can also take magnesium supplements but consult your doctor first.
2. Experiment with lavender. Lavender oil can encourage sleep, according to Prevention. Try spritzing the diluted oil onto your pillow or adding a couple of drops to a hot bath before bed. Use an infuser in your bedroom, if you have one. Always use essential oils only as directed and be careful to read the warnings first as they’re not safe for everyone. Alternatively, buy pillows with dried lavender inside or make one yourself.
3. Make lifestyle changes. It’s not easy to break bad habits, but according to WebMD, these may be the most significant factors in your difficulty sleeping. You should turn off the TV as certain blue-light sources can hinder meletonin production and stop you from settling. The same applies to the phone and the laptop. Try putting them all away a couple of hours before bed and reading a book instead. Likewise, good exercise encourages healthy sleep but you need to do it at the right time. Research has shown that exercise in the morning is linked to better sleeping patterns than exercise later in the day or at night.
4. Create the perfect sleeping environment. This means decluttering your bedroom and removing anything that might cause stress, such as piles of laundry or bills to pay. WebMD also recommends wearing the same thing to bed every night (even if that means your birthday suit). This signifies to your brain that it’s bedtime. Make your room as dark as possible, and try to reduce any noise. If you live in a noisy area, try a white-noise machine or relaxing background music. Invest in a quality mattress and sleep on breathable linen.
5. Take a break. Not being able to sleep can be quite stressful, and this can create unhealthy links between being in bed and feelings of frustration and wakefulness, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Its experts recommend that if you haven’t fallen asleep and you feel yourself becoming frustrated, take the pressure off. Get out of bed, read a book and relax. Come back to bed when you feel tired again. Just don’t be tempted to switch on the television.
6. Try almond or coconut oil for healthier nails. The Health Siterecommends mixing a teaspoon of almond oil with a little lemon juice and massaging it into your hands and nails. Alternatively, soak your fingertips in the mixture for two minutes. Almond oil is rich in antioxidants and nutrients and it provides nourishment to nails, helping to reduce breakages. Top 10 Home Remedies suggests doing the same with coconut oil, which both moisturizes nails and prevents infections. The massaging action encourages blood flow to your nail bed.
7. Soak nails in apple cider vinegar. This is a common home remedy. The vinegar is full of nutrients such as calcium, iron and potassium, according to Home Remedy Hacks. Mix equal parts apple cider vinegar and water, and then soak your nails. Try doing it for a few minutes daily.
8. Go easy on the nail polish. WebMD suggests that nail polish can actually help to protect nails from losing moisture. You should be careful, however, not to remove and reapply more than once a week as nail polish remover is seriously harsh on nails.
9. Use sea salt. According to Natural Living Ideas, Dead Sea Salt contains more than 20 minerals that are effective for nail health. Dissolve a few tablespoons of salt into a small amount of warm water, and soak nails for 10 to 15 minutes. Increase the heath benefits (and the luxury factor) by adding a couple of drops of moisturizing oil such as Vitamin E or flaxseed, or add a drop of essential oil like lavender or lemon. Repeat a few times [er week for strong, healthy nails.
10. Massage nails with tea tree oil. If you think your nails might be brittle because of an underlying fungal nail infection, tea tree oil is a powerful antiseptic, according to Top 10 Home Remedies. Use the pure oil or mix it with olive oil or Vitamin E oil (you can break open a Vitamin E supplement capsule or buy this oil from the pharmacy), and massage it into your nails.
If you think your nail weakness or sleeping issues might be related to a more serious health issue, or if they persist or worsen significantly over time, then you should consult your doctor. But before you reach for expensive products from the pharmacy, try these home remedies. They’re quick, simple and healthy for your body.
RESOURCES HEALTHLINE, WEBMD, PREVENTION, NATIONAL SLEEP FOUNDATION, A DELIGHTFUL HOME, TOP 10 HOME REMEDIES, HOME REMEDY HACKS, WEBMD, AND NATURAL LIVING IDEAS