According to medical researchers, there are about 32 millions Americans who suffer from sleep disorder such as insomnia. As people age, they become more susceptible to experience difficulty in falling asleep or to stay asleep for straight hours. Due to lack of sleep, more individuals may end up feeling tired, exhausted, cranky and lethargic upon waking. There are also other symptoms linked with insomnia such as headaches, muscle pains, cramps, and anxieties.
Your body’s natural sleeping patterns are primarily affected by your biochemical rhythms. For instance, melatonin is a brain chemical that promotes or tells your body to sleep. This is affected by a wide range of factors including mood, diet, stress, age, activity and light. When your melatonin levels drop, you will be more prone to sleep disturbances and various physical and psychological symptoms linked with it.
Achieving a restful slumber can improve your health, increase memory functions, and enhance your body’s ability to fight off stress. Thus, you may want to consider taking natural sleep remedies that will facilitate peaceful sleep without promoting dependency on pharmaceutical sleep medications.
1. Consume foods that are rich in magnesium.
Magnesium is an essential mineral that works as a natural sedative. Low magnesium levels can lead to constipation, anxiety, pain, irritability, difficulty sleeping, cramps, muscle tremors and restless leg syndrome. To treat insomnia, make sure you consume magnesium-rich food items such as wheat bran, blackstrap molasses, whole grains, dark green leafy vegetables, and legumes.
2. Try aromatherapy before bedtime.
The scent of English lavender oil has been used by most people to help them sleep easily and peacefully. What’s more, researchers attest to the fact that lavender has sedative properties. Most people who have tried using lavender experience deeper sleep and longer sleep hours, which make them feel revitalized and refreshed. The effects of essential oils work much better for women because they have a keener sense of smell, although it also works on men. The best thing to use lavender is by putting a sachet under the pillow or by placing at least two drops of lavender oil on your pillow case. Other essential oils that have sedative properties are ylang ylang and chamomile.
3. California Poppy
This precious herb contains protopine that has an almost similar, yet milder effect as morphine to help you sleep better. While this plant is from the family of Opium Poppy, it is not considered as an opiate. Thus, there is no risk of developing a dependence on the herb. To prepare a relaxing and soothing tea, you may steep at least 2 grams of the herb in a cup of boiling water, and drink it before bedtime.
While hops is a natural sedative that is also a ingredient in beer, drinking a bottle of beer prior bedtime does not offer a similar effect as when you drink tea made from this herb. Alcohol tends to lull you into short hours of sleep and cause you to feel restless afterwards. On the other hand, hops can ease you into a relaxing and invigorating deep sleep. You may drink hops tea on its own or pair it with lavender and chamomile to create a delightful herbal tea.
5. Lemon Balm
This lovely lemon-scented herb of the mint family has been known to induce sleep. It also offers outstanding benefits such as decreased agitation, better digestion and healthier nerves. If you suffer form lack of sleep or difficulty sleeping, you may prepare lemon balm tea and steep at least two teaspoons of this dried herb in a cup of warm water for about 5 to 10 minutes. However, make sure you consult your doctor if you are taking thyroid medications since you may need to adjust your dosage to meet your condition.
Valerian is an excellent sleep remedy for insomnia. Several studies have discovered the ability of valerian to improve sleep quality. Unfortunately, using this herb may be less effective when used for a short period only. It is also worth noting that at least 10 percent of individuals who use this herb may feel energized and feel more awake. If this applies to you, then you should take valerian at day time instead. Otherwise, you may take at least 200 to 800 mg of valerian before bedtime.
The herb contains sedative and tranquillizing properties that can help you sleep while getting rid of anxiety without making you feel groggy in the morning. A number of passionflower varieties exist, yet these are not quite suitable for medicinal uses. Thus, make sure you are only taking Passiflora incarnate since other variations of this herb can jeopardize your health. Steep a teaspoon of passionflower leaves in a cup of warm water to make a soothing drink.
8. Wild lettuce
If you experience headaches, joint or muscle pains and anxieties, then you should consider eating wild lettuce. It is also very effective at reducing anxiety and calming restlessness while treating restless leg syndrome. A safe dosage of wild lettuce supplement is about 30 to 120 mg.
9. Relaxation techniques
Opt for gentle stretching exercises or yoga instead of power yoga that may end up making you feel energized instead of sleepy. You may also consider performing simple yoga stretches and simple meditation in bed. Simply close your eyes and breathe deeply for 5 to 10 minutes, and focus only on your breathing until you feel relaxed.
This essential amino acid is obtained from green tea, which effectively maintains alertness during daytime while promoting deep and relaxing sleep at night. The best way to ensure great results is by taking at least 50 to 200 mg before you sleep.
Other Essential Herbs to Help You Sleep
You can choose form other herbs that are notable for their calming properties such as sage, which also serves as a natural sleep remedy. Just steep at least 4 tablespoons of sage in a cup of warm water, strain and reheat to drink this delightful tea. Other sleep aids include chamomile tea and kava kava, which are safe and effective for your sleep disorder.
The National Sleep Foundation suggests getting between 7 and 9 hours of sleep nightly, so you can experience relaxation and improve your overall health. Before rushing to the nearest drugstore for an OTC sleep aid, make sure you try these natural sleep remedies that will help you relax and catch some Zzz’s quickly.