Getting a good night’s sleep is important for a healthy body. If you’re having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, there are natural sleep aids that can help you get the restful slumber you need. Many of these supplements can be found in the health food store, but you should always be aware of the potential side effects and safety concerns before taking any new supplement.
Melatonin is a hormone natural sleep aid that controls your circadian rhythms, the daily cycles that include your sleep-wake cycle. It is produced in the pineal gland at the center of your brain and peaks in the bloodstream shortly before bedtime. A small amount of melatonin can help you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly.
Valerian root is a plant native to Asia and Europe that contains an active ingredient called valerian. It works by enhancing the production of GABA (an amino acid that inhibits nerve impulses). In addition to promoting drowsiness, it is also known to calm the mind. Many people who suffer from insomnia find that consuming valerian root in capsule or tea form is helpful.
Chamomile is a flowering plant that has a relaxing aroma and is often used in herbal tea. Typically, a cup of chamomile before bedtime can help you relax and fall asleep, although it is not as effective for everyone since some are allergic to this daisy-like herb.
Lavender, a purple flower that’s often added to essential oil, can be sprayed or rubbed onto tight muscles to promote physical relaxation and help you drift off. The scent is also calming and can be found in some products, including sleep sprays, pillowcases and aromatherapy oils.
Hops, which are often found in non-alcoholic beer, are another common sedative. However, supplemental forms of this herb may cause some side effects, such as dizziness and headaches, especially in sensitive individuals.
Ashwagandha is an Indian herb that’s considered a sleep enhancer and stress-reducer. A number of studies show that it helps improve sleep quality, as well as increase energy during the day. Magnesium is a mineral that can be found in foods or easily purchased as a dietary supplement. It is known to help improve sleep quality, as it is thought to increase the absorption of melatonin and serotonin in the brain and reduce the time to fall asleep.
It’s important to talk with your doctor before trying any natural sleep remedies. They can consider your medical history and current medications to help you decide which supplements are safe for you. In some cases, they can recommend other ways to improve your sleep such as adjusting your diet or working on sleep hygiene. Sleep problems can be difficult to treat, but following these tips will help you achieve a better night’s sleep.