If you’ve been keeping up with the latest news and developments, you are probably already aware of the many side effects of sleeping pills. If you’re not inclined to take one of those, you’re in luck because there are natural sleep aids which are much safer yet just as effective. What’s even better is there are a lot of these aids so you can pick and choose.
No discussion of herbal sleep aids will be complete without mentioning melatonin, because it is one of the key elements to getting a good night’s rest. Melatonin is a hormone that comes from serotonin, and your brain produces it when there’s less exposure to light, i.e. at night.
Due to stress, aging and environmental conditions, melatonin production in the body drops, and that’s where these supplements will come into play because they will ensure the levels are regulated. As long as your melatonin levels are normal, you need not worry about sleep deprivation, because it produces a chemical reaction in your body that leads to drowsiness and sleepiness.
There is evidence to prove that melatonin not only improves the quality of rest, but it also increases morning alertness and even relieves insomnia. A study was conducted wherein 170 insomniacs where given melatonin pills and another group placebo, and after the trial period those that took melatonin reported improvements in their patterns.
Relax the Mind and Body
Apart from natural sleeping aids and tablets, you should also consider meditation, visualization and other methods to relax your mind and body. The link between stress and lack of sleep has been sufficiently established, so by reducing your stress levels, it will go a long way towards improving your stress levels.
There are lots of ways to meditate, but while the methods differ the end goal is the same, and that is slow and control your breathing, which is essential for lowering stress hormone production. Meditation simply means focusing your attention on a specific object, your breath, a word or sound, and the purpose of all this is to calm your mind, and that’s what you need to get to sleep.
Related to meditation is visualization, and it’s not so difficult. Just lie in bed and focus your mind on a scene you like, an island for instance. Visualize the sky, the blue seas, the white sand, and feel the breeze against your skin. The more you practice this, the more relax you will feel, making it easier for you to sleep.
Yoga began in the East and while it’s based on Indian philosophy, you don’t need to learn this to benefit. Yoga is now taught throughout the US in various classes, and this is understandable because it offers a lot of health benefits including insomnia relief. In addition, yoga reduces the number of times you wake at night and improves sleep quality.
You can practice on your own or take part in a yoga class, it’s up to you. What’s important is that you practice on a daily basis you will benefit. While yoga might not seem directly related to sleep, it is, and you will feel the difference in a matter of weeks.
Aromatherapy has long been used in alternative medicine, and today there is some evidence that lavender essential oils increase sleep time and even promote deeper levels of sleep. If you want to try this out, just put a sachet of this essential oil in your pillow, or better yet you can go for a lavender bath.
There are a lot of herbal sleep aids available today, and one of the most popular is vitex agnus castus (chaste tree), which has been proven to reduce insomnia especially in women suffering from PMS. Valerian is another herb that has been proven to promote sleep whether it is taken as a supplement or a tea.
Initially there was some skepticism about the efficiency of valerian, but several studies have shown how well it works, and this is due to the fact that it influences the way your neurotransmitters function. In addition, valerian provides relief for muscle aches and pains especially if taken an hour before sleeping. For valerian to work however, you must take it during the evening, otherwise it will leave you feeling drowsy the rest of the day.
Lemon balm is an herbal supplement (also available in tea form) that provides relief for your nerves and reduces anxiety, making it an ideal treatment for insomnia. While lemon balm has long been used as an alternative medicine, it’s only now that researchers have determined that lemon balm promotes sleep, reduces anxiety and stress.
Get More Light
Another possible reason why you’re not getting sleep is lack of light exposure, so just wake up early and get more morning sun, preferably for 30 minutes a day.
One of the reasons for insomnia and other sleep disorders is diet, but that’s easy enough to fix. All you need to do is eliminate caffeine from your diet as well as nicotine, as both of them generate restlessness and insomnia. Apart from coffee, soft drinks and tea, you should avoid other foods and substances that have caffeine such as chocolates, cold and cough medicine.
- Reduce your sugar intake: sugar can produce a short energy burst, but too much of it isn’t good for your blood and will disrupt your sleep.
- Aside from avoiding certain foods, you should also eat foods that are rich in carbohydrates.
- Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables because they are rich in vitamins and minerals especially magnesium.
When it comes to natural sleeping pills, the best option available today is Lunar Sleep. While there are several natural sleep aids available, Lunar Sleep is a premium product that was formulated specifically to induce sleep quickly. More than that, it contains the exact amount of melatonin, 5 HTP and GABA required to regulate your sleep cycle, and it also ensures you don’t wake up dizzy the following morning. Finally, it doesn’t come with any side effects like pharmaceutical pills.