In this post i’m going to talk about 16 Natural Sleeping Aids which will work if you have trouble getting to sleep. Getting an adequate amount of sleep is absolutely crucial if you want a healthy and happy life. Not getting enough quality sleep each night can effect every aspect of your daily life, and even lead to a negative impact on your health.
It is during sleep that many critical things happen for the brain. We actually remove toxins that have built up because of burning of energy during the daytime. When we go to sleep those toxins are flushed from our brain because the rate of flow of cerebrospinal fluid within the brain increases 20-fold during sleep. It is also during sleep that we integrate the new information that we have learned with information that we had previously learned.
Now you now why sleep is so important, it’s understandable why the sleep supplement business is booming, with more and more people struggling to get a decent night’s sleep. Here are 16 Natural Sleep Aids that will help you get a good night’s sleep.
Magnesium is considered one of the most natural sleep aids is amongst the foremost common minerals on Earth. The way it works is it binds with neurotransmitter receptors. The effects of this are lower stress levels and more calming moods. These are the two main components you need for a great night’s sleep.
Here’s a list of some of the top selling Magnesium supplements:
- Nature’s Wonder Magnesium 400mg:
- Nature’s Bounty Magnesium 500 mg:
- Doctor’s Best High Absorption Magnesium:
- NOW Supplements, Magnesium Citrate:
5-HTP, also know as L-5 hydroxytryptophan is a chemical which is naturally produced by the body. Eating foods high in tryptophan not only help you to feel sleepy fast, they also increase the overall length of your sleep time.
Some of the foods high in tryptophan include tofu, seeds, nuts, oats, and beans. When you consume these foods, your body tryptophan onto serotonin. The serotonin is then converted into melatonin which will help you fall asleep fast.
As described above, the best option is to eat foods which contain tryptophan but you can also get this in supplement form which is quicker and more convenient.
Jujube is a plant which contains edible fruit also known as red or Chinese date. The Jujube is loaded with nutritional value containing a source of vitamin A, C, B vitamins, minerals, calcium and phosphorus.
It is used as a natural remedy for many conditions such as stress relief, boosts heart health, and even shields against harmful cancer cells. It also contains two phytochemicals which are saponins and flavonoids, which will help you fight insomnia. The way they do this is by triggering changes to neaurotransmitters , including serotonin and GABA which will help you not only to fall asleep, but to also stay asleep.
L-theanine is an amino acid that is primarily found in green tea. It’s the only real dietary source of l-theanine, so if you’re trying to get it through your diet, green tea is your pretty much your only option. However I definitely recommend supplementing with l-theanine simply because it is a lot easier, and it is relatively cheap compared to a lot of the other supplements that are on the market.
The way it works within the body is it increases serotonin, dopamine, and GABA levels and decreases levels of chemicals associated with anxiety and stress. When you are feeling less anxiety and stress, this drastically increases your chances of having a better nights sleep.
- L-Theanine 200mg by Nature’s Trove:
- NOW Supplements, L-Theanine 200 mg:
- Suntheanine® L-Theanine 200mg (Double-Strength):
Kava is a plant and it promotes a state of relaxation by alleviating symptoms of stress and anxiety. The plant contains kavalactones which are compounds that bind to GABA receptors. The effect of this will be a decrease in brain activity which will make you feel sleepy and allow you to fall asleep easier.
#6: Passion Flower
Passion flower is a vine like plant which has been used for many years as natural herbal medicine. It was originally discovered in Peru but there are many different varieties and therefore come in all kinds of beautiful colours. These are most commonly used as a natural treatment for those who suffer with anxiety and depression by increasing GABA levels and decreasing brain activity.
- NOW Supplements, Passion Flower 350 mg
- Horbaach Passion Flower Extract
- Oregon’s Wild Harvest Passionflower Organic Capsules
Valerian is a great choice for sleeping disorders such as insomnia. As with many of the methods above, it works by raising GABA receptor levels which decreases neuron activity in the brain. This will allow you to have a peaceful nights sleep.
- NOW Supplements, Valerian Root 500 mg
- Nature’s Answer Alcohol-Free Valerian Root
- Traditional Medicinals Nighty Night Valerian Organic Tea
One hormone that plays a critical roll in your sleep cycle is melatonin. So, what exactly is melatonin? Melatonin is produced from your pineal gland. The pineal gland is a small endocrine glad found in the vertebrate brain, which is a part of your endocrine system or group of glands that regulate hormones.
Melatonin is a chemical natural hormone released by your pineal gland. It is the main hormone that regulates your sleep/wake cycle and your bodies internal clock known as your circadian rhythm. During the day, melatonin production is lowered. But once the sun goes down production rises and that tired feeling starts to kick in.
Some foods contain melatonin, such as tomatoes, olives, rice, cherries and milk, which may contribute to that tired feeling after a meal. Melatonin is also offered in supplement form to help aid in sleep. But, it’s important to speak to your doctor before you do decide to take supplements. Because supplements aren’t regulated by the FDA, some can have a higher dose than a doctor would prescribe and might effect other medications you currently take.
- Carlyle Melatonin 12 mg Fast Dissolve
- Vitafusion Extra Strength Melatonin Gummy Vitamins
- Natrol Melatonin Time Release Tablets
Studies have shown that not only does glycine have a calming effect in the brain to help you wind down and prepare for sleep but also it helps lower your core body temperature at night. This is one of the things that makes your sleep more effective. When you fall asleep you get into slow-wave sleep quicker and you stay stable in that state
What happens is, you will get more quality sleep which will allow you to wake up and feel more energized during the day. The studies that have been done have used 3 grams of glycine.
Lavender has a very calming effect similar to pharmaceutical tranquilizers it can be applied in a variety of ways. It is used as an inhalant, added to material or cotton ball, or rubbed onto the feet. The feet are chosen because things are readily absorbed easily and quickly through the feet.
It can also be used as a massage oil and rubbed into other areas of the skin. Another great way is to add it to bath water. You can create a sachet by putting it in a small material bag or handkerchief or adding the essential oils to a cotton ball. It’s also important to make sure you do not have an allergic reaction before using lavender.
- Naturenics Premium Lavender Essential Oil
- ASUTRA Lavender & Chamomile Organic Essential Oil Blend
- Victoria’s Lavender Pillow and Linen Spray
#11: Sip Warm Milk and Honey
A combination of warm milk and honey contains tryptophan which is an amino acid known to help you sleep. The way it does this is by producing a natural sedative called serotonin. The role of the honey is to help transmit that hormone to your brain, enabling you to go to sleep faster.
#12: Turn Off Artificial Lights
One of the most common causes of sleeping problems is artificial lights. Especially in this modern era where we are surrounded by cell phones, laptops, and tablets. The problem with these kind of electronics are, the blue light that radiates from the screen disturbs your circadian rhythms. This makes it very difficult to fall asleep.
The solution to this is to turn off all of these devices a good hour or so before you go to sleep. The best option is to read a book instead (see below).
#13: Take A Hot Bath
Taking a warm bath around 1-2 hours before bed improves the “temperature circadian rhythm”. This means that you will fall asleep more quickly. You can also combine this with tyhe number 10 method above by applying lavender into the bath.
#14: Herbal Tea
Drinking a cup of herbal tea such as passionflower or chamomile before bed has a relaxing effect on the brain. If you want to fall asleep more quickly then Valerian tea is a great option to add to your dietary supplement. Drinking these will allow you to have a deeper more satisfying sleep and wake up the next day feeling more rejuvenated.
- Tadin Tea, Pasiflora – Passion Flower Tea
- Amazon Brand – Solimo Chamomile Herbal Tea Bags
- Tea Chamomile Citrus Mighty Leaf
General exercise and workouts will help you fall asleep faster, but when I say exercise, i’m talking more about things such as yoga and meditation. If you do around 20 minutes of yoga and 10-15 minutes of meditation before you go to sleep, you will have the best nights sleep imaginable!
You can get books and DVD’s on the subject which are obviously better, but for a quick solution, just head on over to YouTube. You will find some great videos on Yoga and Meditation which you can start following straight away.
#16: Reading A Book
It is shown through research that if you are suffering from insomnia, reading a book before you go to bed can help combat this. Even as little as 10 minutes of reading can help reduce stress levels by around 68%.
Hope you enjoyed this list of Natural Sleep Aids That Really Work. All of the methods on this list work, but give them all a try and see which ones work best for you. You can even combine a number of different methods all at once. If you tried any of the methods or have ones of your own which are not on this list, drop them in the comments section below.