Sleep is vital as it allows the body to replenish lost energy and get rid of toxins that accumulate in different tissues and organs during the day. Sleep also lowers the risk of many health conditions like diabetes, obesity, heart disease, stroke, and others.
There are many more benefits of sleep which we won’t be discussing in this article, but generally, if you want your body to stay healthy, your mind to stay sharp, and to be able to enjoy the most of each day, then the first thing you want to make sure of is that you get enough sleep each and every night.
Despite the importance of a good night’s rest, many people have poor sleep habits and thus suffer from the devastating consequences of sleep deprivation, such as physical and mental fatigue. Some cases of sleeplessness can be effectively dealt with by simple changes to one’s lifestyle or routine, while other cases of insomnia have more complicated causes and may require professional medical treatment.
Thankfully, there are numerous natural remedies that can safely help you sleep better at night. Most natural sleep aids do not cause serious side effects like prescription drugs usually do, and they are readily available at local and online health stores.
The following are seven of the most powerful natural supplements that many people have successfully used to help them achieve more restful sleep:
This might remind you of a sweet-smelling substance often present in many skincare products. Lavender is a popular plant easily found on most continents. It is recognizable by its purple flowers that can be dried and used for a wide range of purposes.
When it comes to sleep, this plant’s soothing fragrance is believed to have a positive impact. Studies have been carried out to prove and understand this. Lavender has a relaxing scent and functions as a natural sedative. It binds to your GABA receptors to reduce the activity of your nerves and promote calmness.
There are several ways to put this to good use. You can opt for aromatherapy with lavender essential oils. Inhaling the oil for 30 minutes before bedtime is said to improve sleep quality. Consuming the herb as a bedtime tea can be beneficial too.
This fruit looks as yummy as it tastes. The Jujube fruit is better known as Chinese dates. It originates from Southern Asia but is famous across the world.
Jujube is a nutrient-rich sleep booster. It is a powerhouse of minerals, vitamins, and fiber. Jujube fruit has been used to treat insomnia and health issues like stomach pain for centuries. It seems to act by calming the body and boosting the neurotransmitters GABA and serotonin. Jujube can reduce the time taken to fall asleep and lengthen sleep time along with providing other health benefits.
Like jujube, chamomile is another age-old remedy to issues like insomnia, anxiety, depression, and other sleep disorders. Incorporating chamomile tea into your bedtime routine can be of great benefit in supporting restful sleep.
Chamomile contains a good amount of the bioflavonoid apigenin. This compound has potential anxiolytic and sedative effects, which makes it particularly useful for people with anxiety-related sleep issues.
Chamomile tea is delicious, although Roman chamomile is known for its bitter taste. Don’t hold back on making a strong brew of chamomile tea and using one to three bags for a good effect. It can also be found in many OTC sleep supplement formulations.
Not only do the charming colorful flowers of this plant have a visually calming effect, consuming passion flower has also been shown to induce relaxation and improve sleep quality.
Used as a supplement or tea, passion flower acts as a mild sedative helping you drift off to a blissful night rest by reducing brain activity and increasing GABA levels. Passion flower is easily available at health food stores as a dietary supplement or in tea form.
Magnesium glycinate is a chelated mineral compound that consists of magnesium and glycine. Magnesium is important for proper functioning of the body and especially the nervous system. A deficiency in this mineral can lead to anxiety, insomnia, and other symptoms. Glycine is an amino acid and an inhibitory neurotransmitter that helps calm the brain and improve sleep quality.
Combined together in an easily absorbed molecule, magnesium glycinate is a recommended form of magnesium for people who struggle to fall asleep or stay asleep. Magnesium glycinate has higher bioavailability than other forms of magnesium, and as morris-health.com explains, it is the best form of magnesium supplements to take at night time due to its ability to promote relaxation and better sleep.
Your body produces melatonin naturally as a hormone that regulates sleep cycles. The levels of melatonin fall in the morning and rise in the evening when it is needed to signal tiredness and prepare the body for sleep.
Melatonin supplements are among the most widely used OTC remedies for insomnia. It seems to be effective for both men and women, young and old, who struggle to get enough sleep due to having low levels of this hormone in their bodies.
You can get a good amount of melatonin from foods like tart cherries, walnuts, peanuts, and others. But that would often leave you with a full belly at night. An alternative would be to take a melatonin supplement, in which case it is recommended to consult with your doctor about the right dose for you. Keep in mind that excess consumption of melatonin may have some risks and side effects, as reported by Consumer Reports.
Kava has been used to relieve stress and anxiety for centuries. This plant is native to the Pacific Islands, where locals have traditionally used its roots to prepare a sedative and anesthetic drink.
The main bioactive ingredients in kava are called kavalactones, which are natural compounds that possess psychotropic properties, including anxiolytic and sedative effects. Many people take kava supplements to reduce stress and anxiety and to help them sleep better, although studies have not been conclusive on its efficacy.
There have been warnings about potential liver toxicity linked to consumption of kava. While short-term use seems to be generally risk-free, it is not recommended to take kava for a prolonged period of time as that may lead to liver damage and other unexpected adverse effects.
Many herbs and natural substances can be beneficial to people who have a problem getting a restful night’s sleep. This article featured a few of the most successful natural sleep aids that are available for purchase over the counter. Although you do not need a prescription from your doctor to obtain and use any of these supplements, getting professional medical advice may be your best bet if you are suffering from chronic sleeplessness.