Getting a good night’s sleep is important for your health. If you are struggling to sleep, there are natural remedies that can help with the problem and improve your overall sleep quality. Some of the most popular options are herbs and supplements that can promote relaxation, which leads to sleep. These remedies have a much better safety profile than most pharmaceuticals. They can also provide better results for many people. Natural sleep aids are also cheaper and less likely to cause side effects than some other solutions. However, some of these alternatives have not been extensively researched and may have different results in individual people. It is best to consult with your doctor before beginning any new supplement or herbal remedy.
Melatonin is one of the most popular natural sleep aids. It’s a hormone our bodies produce naturally and can be taken in small doses before bedtime to help people with sleeping disorders. Typically, people taking melatonin fall asleep faster and stay in sleep longer. Melatonin can also be used to help with sleep issues caused by jet lag or shift work.
Passionflower is an herb that produces chemicals that can have a calming effect and make people feel sleepy. It is sometimes combined with lavender, chamomile and other herbs in herbal teas that are designed to help people sleep better. Some studies have found that this herb can help people with anxiety, stress and depression as well.
Chamomile has been used as a natural sleep aid for centuries due to its sedative properties. It has been shown to improve the length of time people spend in deep sleep and reduce the number of nighttime awakenings. It is usually found in a combination with other herbs such as lemon balm and melatonin.
Valerian root is an ancient herb that has been shown to increase the production of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which is a neurotransmitter that helps control sleep and wakefulness. It is often found in herbal teas and can help people fall asleep faster and sleep longer. It can have some mild side effects such as drowsiness and can interact with certain medications, including antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs.
Other herbs that can be used as natural sleep aids include kava, which has been shown to improve insomnia in people who have stress-related problems. It can also have serious side effects such as hepatitis and liver damage, which is why it should only be used under close medical supervision. Lavender can be used as a calming aromatherapy and might decrease sleep disturbances, especially in elderly adults. It can be added to a soothing bath or used as a pillow mist. It can have some side effects such as dizziness and drowsiness. It’s best not to use more than one natural sleep aid at a time and to follow usage directions carefully. Increasing or decreasing dosages can cause problems, and stopping use abruptly can lead to rebound insomnia. It’s a good idea to keep a sleep diary, which includes documentation of the date and time you took a particular herbal or natural sleep aid and any immediate or delayed side effects.