Natural Sleep Remedies

12 Best Natural Sleep Remedies that Really Do the Trick

The Sleep Association opines that 50-70 million adults in the United States suffer from some form of sleep disorder. The same paper orates that insomnia tops the list of sleep disorders that affect people. According to the CDC, we should sleep for seven hours every night for good health.

What happens when you cannot clock the 7 hours? Insufficient sleep, which is a global problem according to this study, causes an array of mental and medical dysfunctions. This paper claims that lack of adequate sleep is associated with an increased risk of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular conditions, and heart disease.

12 Natural Sleep Remedies
Image Source: Terry Cralle

In addition to using natural sleep remedies, you should try the following strategies to improve your sleep hygiene:

  • Maintain a frequent sleep schedule
  • Refrain from taking heavy meals, alcohol, and caffeine before bed
  • Exercise regularly several hours before bedtime
  • Avoid using your phone or any other gadget with artificial light late in the night
  • This study from Harvard University recommends meditation for improving sleep and fighting insomnia
  • Practice mind-body therapies

12 Natural Sleep Remedies

Having established some facts and highlights about sleep, let us now have a look at some natural sleep remedies:

1. Valerian Root

Valerian is one of the most effective natural sleep remedies. By taking this tall, and flowering grassland plant, you’ll not only enjoy falling asleep faster but will also relish an improved quality of sleep.

Natural Sleep Remedies Valerian roots
Image Source: Terry Cralle, RN

According to this study, valerian root extracts are handy for enhancing sleep quality and inducing sleep. In addition to being a natural sleep remedy, this Europe and Asia herb native can also be handy for handling issues related to menopause and depression.

This research established that postmenopausal and menopausal women experienced improved sleep disorders and quality symptoms once they took valerian.

Rich Sources of Valerian

Valerian root extracts are available as supplements. You can take them in liquid or capsule form. Another way to administer valerian root extracts into your body is by adding it in your tea.

2. Chamomile

Chamomile is another efficient natural sleep remedy according to this study. Chamomile is delicious, simple yet highly effective.

Natural Sleep Remedies Chamomile
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This popular herbal sleep aid has been utilized for centuries mainly due to its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. While some take as a tea, others consume it as a tincture. Both forms of consumption boast a calming effect, making you not only feel more relaxed but also more prepared to sleep.

The trick with chamomile is to make sure you brew it properly. To enjoy the full, sleep-promoting effect, you can use 2-3 tea bags, and place a lid on your pot. This ensures that it boils thoroughly to give all the medicinal and sleep benefits you need.

Note: Are you allergic to ragweed and its related plants? Are you nursing or expectant? You should use chamomile cautiously if you fall into any of these groups. Find more information about the effects of different herbal teas on pregnancy in this article by the American Pregnancy Association.

Rich Sources of Chamomile
  • Chamomile is mainly taken in tea. Roman and German chamomile tea are the two main variations.
  • Chamomile is used as a flavoring agent in cosmetics, soaps, mouthwash, and food.
  • Chamomile oils and supplements are also available.
Know More: Is It Possible Chamomile Tea To Improve Your Sleep Quality?

3. Melatonin

Melatonin, a hormone, is secreted by the body in reaction to darkness. It is highly essential for better sleep. Melatonin supplement is among the best-researched and most-used sleep supplements.

Contrary to the opinion of many people, melatonin isn’t a sedative. It is a highly powerful bio-time regulator. Exposure to darkness is what triggers the production of this hormone.

Natural Sleep Remedies melatonin food
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So how does melatonin help with sleep? This hormone shortens the time taken to fall asleep. On top of that, it increases your overall amount of sleep. Adequate melatonin levels in the body not only reduces fatigue but also daytime sleepiness.

It enhances the quality of your sleep by strengthening the sleep-wake cycles of the body. By having stronger sleep-wake cycles, it means you’re able to enjoy consistent sleep routine.

Each time you have an in-sync bio clock, you’ll enjoy an improved mood, energy levels, daytime performance, and overall health. Other benefits include enhanced appetite, better digestion, and regulated metabolism.

Melatonin is also handy at reducing jet lag effects. If you take it roughly 90 minutes before bedtime in your new time zone, you’ll experience an improved sleep even in the new region.

If you have neurodegenerative diseases and cognitive impairment, you can turn to melatonin to improve the symptoms.

Also Read: Can You Overdose On Melatonin?

Rich Sources of Melatonin

Some of the rich sources of melatonin include:

  • Seeds and nuts – flaxseed, mustard seeds, sunflower seeds, peanuts, and walnuts
  • Vegetables and fruits – grapes, olives, pomegranate, tomatoes, asparagus, corn, tart cherries, broccoli
  • Grains – rolled oats, barley, and rice

4. Kava

Kava also goes by the name kava kava. Many people have used it in the past to combat anxiety and stress. Kava is also a powerful natural sleep remedy, this study opines.

Natural Sleep Remedies Kava
Image Source: Terry Cralle, RN

Of great importance to note is the fact that Kava employs a different mechanism in how it works to help you sleep better. It induces relaxation without hindering motor function or memory.

Kava is usually handy as an alternative to sleep medications mainly because of its calming and soothing effects. From the study we have outlined earlier in this section, it was established that it is efficient in promoting better sleep hygiene.

Rich Sources of Kava

You can take kava in liquid form, powder form, capsule form, and in tea. Just like chamomile, to enjoy the benefits of kava in tea, make sure you give it time to boil properly in not water.

Experts opine that your daily intake of kava should not be more than 250 mg.

5. California Poppy

The last thing you want to feel during the day is lethargic and sluggish. If you want to avoid these feelings, you should try taking California poppy before heading to bed. All you need to do is put the bright orange leaves inside hot water and leave them for 10 minutes.

Natural Sleep Remedies California Poppy
Image Source: Terry Cralle, RN

Taking tea made of this plant not only erases your anxiety, but it also makes you feel relaxed for better sleep according to this study.

If you don’t like taking it as tea, you resort to its tincture form. For those that prefer this alternative, you should grab it in tiny doses every fifteen to thirty minutes for two hours before bedtime.

As a sedating herb, California poppy can be used to solve other issues such as:

  • Migraines
  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Neuralgia

Do you have any form of pain that makes it difficult to sleep? Well, the medicinal ingredients contained in this herb are magical at blocking nighttime pain thus allowing you to sleep peacefully without having to worry about getting awake because of musculoskeletal pain.

California poppy can also induce sleep thus allowing patients in pain to not only fall asleep but also remain asleep throughout the night.

Rich Sources of California Poppy

California poppy is available in supplements and as extracts. Lactating and expectant women should not use it.

6. Magnesium

Magnesium is not only important for sleep but your general health too. Sadly, many Americans suffer from magnesium deficiency. To be specific, 50% of the American population is magnesium deficient according to Science Daily.

Some of the negative effects of magnesium deficiency include:

  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • Muscle cramps
  • Generalized weakness
  • Tiredness
Natural Sleep Remedies magnesium deficiency
Image Source: Terry Cralle, RN

Having established the important nature of magnesium to the body, let us narrow down to the role it plays to improving your sleep. Well, for starters, according to this study, magnesium is one of the most important ingredients for enjoying peaceful and uninterrupted sleep.

As a mineral, magnesium boasts a range of scientifically-backed links to sleep. It necessary in the regulation of the melatonin and the body’s bio clock. The mineral is also magical when it comes to sleep disorders related to restless leg syndrome.

If you are grappling with mild-to-moderate depression and anxiety, magnesium can help you relax and rest better.

Rich Sources of Magnesium

Some of the rich sources of magnesium include:

  • Pumpkin seed
  • Brown rice
  • Almonds
  • Soymilk
  • Spinach
  • Cashews

Other sources are:

  • Fortified breakfast cereals
  • Oatmeal
  • Baked potato with skin
  • Cooked black beans
  • Shelled and cooked edamame

Magnesium supplements are also available at local drugstores.

7. Magnolia Bark

From de-stressing, and calming to soothing, anxiety relief, and sleep, countless benefits are touching on magnolia bark. Unfortunately, few people are aware of the powerful nature of this plant especially about matters of sleep. Undeniably, it comes loaded with innumerable health perks.

Natural Sleep Remedies Magnolia Bark
Image Source: Terry Cralle, RN

Despite its under-the-radar status, many traditional health experts have utilized this herb for centuries for different reasons. In native China, this flowering tree was utilized as a therapeutic compound. Koreans and Japanese traditional sleep experts used it to promote relaxation and sleep. Others utilized it to combat asthma and allergies.

It is full of bioactive compounds that are anti-allergy, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory.

Extracts of the magnolia tree play a big role in sleep according to this study. Sleep experts use magnolia extracts directly as a sedative that directs helps to help patients fall asleep.

Its anti-stress properties also play a role in enhancing sleep, at least indirectly. Another property that makes magnolia bark enhance sleep is the fact that it is a GABA booster. GABA is a natural neurotransmitter that is powerful in exerting a calming effect. When the body experiences increased production or activity of GABA, it quiets excitatory neurons within the brain thus helping reduce anxiety as well as promote sleep.

The extracts are also magical when it comes to your brain health, memory protection, weight management, and stress-reduction.

Rich Sources of Magnolia

The tree’s extracts can be present in creams, tropical oils, toothpaste, tea, and supplements.

8. Lavender

The Mediterranean region is home to Lavender. It then spread to parts of Europe, from the 13th century onwards. Farmers extensively cultivated it for its medical properties and visually pleasing appearance. In addition to that, lavender has been popular over the years as a powerful natural solution to assist you to let go of stress, unwind, and relax.

Natural Sleep Remedies lavender
Image Source: Terry Cralle, RN

This research study established that lavender has a role to play when it comes to promoting better sleep. Another study pointed at the beneficial nature of lavender aromatherapy in improving sleep.

Lavender increases your sleep-wave sleep that is highly instrumental at relaxing muscles and slowing heartbeat all of which aid better sleep.

Inhaling lavender oil not only gives you more energy, but it also leaves you more relaxed. The plant also boasts positive effects in reducing blood pressure, respiratory rate, and heart rate. Lavender is handy in altering brain waves which goes miles in improving your sleep patterns.

Also Read: Can Lavender Oil Help You Sleep?

Rich Sources of Lavender

You can purchase lavender over the counter from your local drugstore. Some versions of the plant are tailored to add flavor to foods such as baked products.

Lavender oil is highly regarded for beauty and skin enrichment.

Note: Lavender Oil is also featured in 8 Best Essential Oils for Each Type of Headache

9. Ginseng

Ginseng has been an effective traditional Chinese medicine for over 2,000 years. Some of its uses comprise of increasing strength and appetite, as well as improving physical performance and memory. You can also trust ginseng to reduce fatigue and improve the quality of your sleep.

Natural Sleep Remedies ginseng
Image Source: Terry Cralle, RN

This study suggests that supplements of ginseng improve sleep quality. Some of the sleep aspects that ginseng can improve include:

  • Sleep efficacy
  • Sleep stages proportion
  • Wakefulness after falling asleep
  • Overall sleep quality

Taking ginseng drastically reduces total wake time and increases sleep efficacy. On top of that, the supplement of the plant reduces the slow-wave stage. Finally, yet importantly, it hugely increases REM sleep.

The plant’s restorative effects on your nervous system are perhaps the most concrete explanation of its power to help with sleep. With the taming of frazzled nerves and soothing of run-down sluggishness, you are primed to enjoy a great night’s rest.

Rich Sources of Ginseng

Of great importance to note is the fact that there aren’t any food sources for ginseng. Sometimes, it is added to energy foods and drinks. You can also take it as a supplement.

When it comes to ginseng supplementation intake, taking a 1500mg dose of thrice per day will help you log more REM sleep. In addition to that, you’ll spend less time being awake.

10. Tryptophan

Tryptophan is a crucial amino acid in the body. In addition to playing the role of nitrogen balancing and growth, it is also the precursor when it comes to the serotonin synthesis or production inside the brain. What does this mean?

It simply means that tryptophan is necessary when it comes to the formation of stable serotonin. Serotonin, this research holds plays a role in sleep induction.

Natural Sleep Remedies Tryptophan
Image Source: Terry Cralle, RN
Rich Sources of Tryptophan

Tryptophan is contained meals containing high protein levels such as cheese, eggs, and milk.

Other rich sources of tryptophan include:

  • Chicken
  • Fish
  • Turkey
  • Sesame seeds and pumpkin
  • Peanuts
  • Soy and tofu
Related: L-Tryptophan Dosage For Sleep And Sleep-Related Disorders

11. Passionflower

Passionflower also goes by the name maypop. More than 500 species of this plant exist in the world today. Passionflower is a powerful natural sleep remedy known to increase your overall sleep time according to this study.

One of the reasons that it enhances your sleep is because it acts as a GABA receptor in the brain. As we earlier mentioned in this primer, this compound lowers activities in the brain which goes miles to not only making sure you relax but also sleep better.

Natural Sleep Remedies maypop
Image Source: Terry Cralle, RN

This trial that was contained in Phytotherapy Research, participants that took herbal tea containing extracts of this plant reported huge improvements in their sleep quality. Researchers suggested that the plant might assist participants to manage their mild sleep irregularities better.

The plant has come in handy for treating different conditions in native America. Some of the issues that it can help reduce symptoms include liver issues, ear-aches, wounds, and boils.

On top of being handy for sleep issues, passionflower can also be used to combat complaints related to nervous gastrointestinal complaints.

Rich Sources of Passionflower

In terms of its intake, you can take it as herbal tea. Other forms of intake include tablets, capsules, and liquid extracts.

In beverages and food, you can use it for flavoring.

12. Glycine

Glycine also goes by the name 2-Aminoacetic Acid. In addition to being a neurotransmitter, it is also an amino acid. While our body can produce the amino acid on its own, supplementation is necessary if you want to achieve certain reasons.

Natural Sleep Remedies Glycine
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Glycine oral supplement, in addition to improving your sleep quality, increases insulin sensitivity and improves memory. In topical form, you can use it to treat skin ulcers and heal wounds.

When it comes to sleep, glycine plays a role in two ways. If you have optimum levels of this amino acid, you will:

  • Raise your sleep efficiency
  • Fall asleep faster
  • Reduce insomnia symptoms
  • Enhance the quality of sleep as well as promote deeper and more restful sleep

The fact that it works to raise the body’s flow of blood means it mitigates core body temperature. Fluctuating body temperature plays a big role n your sleep-wake cycles coupled with the ability of the body to fall asleep. A minimal drop in the temperature of the body is vital towards the physical progression of falling asleep.

Glycine triggers a reduction in body temperature which helps you fall asleep quickly according to this research study.

Rich Sources of Glycine

As earlier mentioned, our body can produce glycine on its own. Other rich sources of glycine include:

  • Legumes
  • Dairy products
  • Fish
  • Meat

You can also boost glycine levels in the body by consuming collagen protein supplements.

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