7 Natural Sleep Aids For a Good Night’s Rest
Does getting a good night’s sleep seem more and more elusive? Do you find yourself either not getting to sleep or waking up feeling unrefreshed? This time of year many people struggle with sleep, especially with the change in daylight savings. But with all of the natural sleep supplements available, it doesn’t have to be so hard. If you’re ready to do something about it, you’re in luck! There are many natural sleep supplements that can help you regain that night of perfect slumber. Here is a list of natural sleep aids that can help you not only get to sleep but to regain that precious deep sleep you’ve been wanting.
Valerian root is a time-tested natural sleep supplement. In fact, it has been used as an herbal remedy since the time of the ancient Greeks and Romans. Today it is one of the most common sleep-promoting herbs in the U.S.–and with good reason. Valerian can act as a soothing relaxant, helping your body rest and get more restorative sleep. It is thought that Valerian also increases the amount of a chemical called GABA in the brain, which has a calming effect on the body and mind. Valerian can act as an excellent natural sleep supplement to take in combination with other sleep aids.
Probably the most well-known natural sleep aid, Melatonin is usually a go-to choice for people struggling with sleep. You may be asking, “What exactly is Melatonin?” It’s actually a hormone produced naturally by the body. It’s tied very much to your circadian clock. What that means is that melatonin is synchronized with the time of day: the later it gets, the more you produce to get you ready for sleep.
For this reason, a lot of people take melatonin who are dealing with jet lag or working 3rd shift. It can be especially helpful when you’re dealing with time zone changes (i.e. daylight savings!).
In general, taking Melatonin can help you fall asleep faster and get deeper sleep. So, if you’re struggling with sleep issues, melatonin is a great first choice for a natural sleep aid.
In my experience, 5-HTP is the sleep aid that has had the biggest impact on my overall sleep quality. In many ways 5-HTP could be seen as similar to melatonin. However, there is a key difference: 5-HTP stimulates the production of your bodies own melatonin and serotonin. If you’re shopping for 5-HTP, it’s often classified as a supplement that improves and balances mood. However, it’s also a powerful natural sleep supplement. Although not an instant or fast-acting sleep aid, 5-HTP can have an impact on your overall restfulness once it gets into your system. It can lead to deeper, higher-quality sleep, and it does this in part by regulating your natural circadian rhythms.
One of the best, most cost-effective sleep supplements, lavender has a long history of use as a natural sleep aid. One bottle of pure lavender essence will run you about $10-$15 and can last for months.
Pure lavender essence has a calming effect on the body and is especially potent when run through an oil diffuser.
Here’s a pro tip: If you really want to get strong results from lavender oil, try running a hot bath and putting 5-7 drops of lavender oil in the tub. Sitting in the tub for 20 minutes will have a hugely relaxing effect, and you will come out ready to go to bed instantly! Lavender is amazingly powerful, and a must-have natural sleep aid.
An herb traditionally used by Native Americans, passion flower has long been known for its sleep benefits. Like valerian, passion flower boosts the chemical GABA in the brain, which can promote a sense of well-being and relaxation. Passion flower is not only an oral supplement, but it can also be found in many herbal teas. So drink up!
Magnesium is a key mineral that can have a calming effect on the mind as well as help regulate the production of melatonin. In recent years, certain forms of magnesium have come to be viewed as an effective natural sleep aid. Since the body does not naturally produce magnesium, it must be consumed through diet or supplementation. Believe it or not, over half of adults in the United States are thought to be to some extent magnesium-deficient. Magnesium is thought to not only help you fall asleep and stay asleep, but to actually help a deeper, more restful sleep.
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