Vogue reviews some of the most popular natural insomnia remedies, including meditation, calming music and journaling.
“Sleep deprivation is real and can be very harmful. As someone who has struggled with sleep, I’ve learned to make it a goal. I create a daily schedule that includes naps and bedtime,” Knight says. That schedule also includes making a worry list right before bed. “It’s been a great way to release and create room for rest in my brain.” Tia Clinic’s chief medical officer Stephanie McClellan, M.D., suggests journaling before bed to “address your [anxieties] directly.”
Meditation comes in different forms. You can do yoga to connect the breath to the body, or simply sit still and practice mindful breathing. “Some nights I also do stretching and listen to guided meditations,” Knight says. McKenzie adds that the art of practicing breathing exercises has helped her doze off quickly at night. Great meditation apps include Headspace, Calm or, Knight’s favorite, the Liberate Meditation app, made for Black, Indigenous, and other people of color. “The app features a list of meditations specifically for sleep and brings me great comfort.”
“During the days when I’m having trouble resting, I look to apps such as Spotify play slow and relaxing R&B music, which usually lulls me to sleep,” says McKenzie. Dr. McClellan tells her patients, “If you wake up, don’t turn the lights on. Instead, turn some music on that speaks to you in a joyful way. Visualize the happiness that it brings up in you, and it can help you fall back asleep.”