Best Natural Sleep Remedies

 

 

Best sleep supplements on amazon

Sometimes when we have “exhausted” all other avenues and the blackout curtains and fans and sleep masks don’t work, we need to resort to some mild supplements for assistance with our sleep. Sleeplessness is a common disorder and even more so for graveyard shifters. Let’s look at the list of some tried and true best natural sleep remedies that have been reviewed and found to work.

 

The number one sleep supplement

Melatonin supplements amazon.com

Melatonin has been mentioned over and over in any article you read on how to get quality sleep and have improved sleep cycles. Melatonin is a naturally circulating endocrine hormone that is found in animals, plants and microbes and is known as a synchronizer of the biological clock. It is regulated by the light and dark that enters the body through the retina of the eyes, which then sends signals to the brain and the pineal gland to release the melatonin. The release of melatonin induces drowsiness. Melatonin has also been shown to interact with the immune system and has an anti-inflammatory effect.  More recently, it has been shown that in moderate amounts, melatonin may offer some resistance to the Covid-19 virus. It has been studied to treat GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), cancer, immune disorders, depression, cardiovascular disease, insomnia in the elderly (as our melatonin levels decrease with age), seasonal affective disorder, and circadian rhythm sleep disorders. These are all awesome benefits, especially for a night shifter who probably has more than one of these issues.

Melatonin has been used in numerous studies to increase the quality of sleep in many ways. It is a natural supplement, and is available over the counter in pretty much any drug store or grocery store chain and is easily ordered online. There are so many to choose from, but click here for one of the best melatonin supplements on the market.  As with any natural supplement it is best to start with a small dose as melatonin has been known to increase vivid dreams and sometimes can cause nightmares and grogginess. I personally tried it and had that side effect. Most people can take it without a problem although it is not recommended in pregnancy.

Magnesium

Amazon.com best selling magnesium

Everyone is familiar with magnesium. It is a completely naturally occurring mineral that is vital to our well-being. Being deficient in magnesium can have many drawbacks including anxiety, sleep disorders, irritability (and I’m irritable when I’m tired!) and heart rhythm issues. As a lab scientist, I know that this is one of the tests doctors order more frequently when determining a patient diagnosis for various issues including brain function and heart health. When taking a magnesium supplement, it can increase relaxation, sleep quality and mental health and clarity.

Other amino acids/minerals

Additional amino acids and minerals not as widely used, but that have claims for increasing sleep health are

  • L-theanine, an amino acid that improves sleep and relaxation
  • Tryptophan (for those of you that are familiar with that sluggish after thanksgiving turkey feeling!)
  • Glycine, an amino acid which may play a role in decreasing body temperature for more restful sleep
  • vitamin B6 which converts tryptophan to serotonin (widely used during pregnancy. My doctor prescribed it for me and I slept like a baby. no pun intended.)
  • GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid) which is a neurotransmitter that may aid in improving sleep as well
  • 5-HTP (Hydroxytryptophan) which is another chemical that is a byproduct of tryptophan.

 

The Best Herbal Supplements

chamomile tea amazon.com

Some of the oldest supplements are still the best.

    • Chamomile tea still tops the list for a mild sedative effect that will help you catch up on those Zzz’s. Chamomile is a herb that comes from a daisy like flower and has been used for centuries for many health benefits. The chamomile flowers contain an antioxidant called apigenin. Apigenin binds to receptors in the brain to decrease anxiety and initiate sleep. It is mostly used as a tea. Although drinking alcohol is not recommended for good sleep, the whole plant is known to be used in certain beers. Cheers!
    • Valerian root is another widely used herb for sleep, it has been used since ancient times in Rome and Greece when it was prescribed as a medicine for insomnia. It isn’t completely understood how Valerian root works, but it is thought that it works similar to a class of drugs called benzodiazepines in that it enhances the effect of GABA at the GABA(A) receptor site inducing sleep. Valerian root can be purchased in almost any drugstore or online in capsule or liquid form.
    • Passion flower is a herb that has been used as a sedative by native Americans and then adapted by European colonists. There are hundreds of species of passion flower, but the P. incarnata, also called the maypop, has leaves and roots that can be dried and used to make a tea with calmative properties.
This Luna supplement is one of the best on the market, and it offers a money back refund if you don’t like it. It has a combinaton of multiple amino acids and herbs as well as melatonin. Talk about getting your bang for your buck. Sweet dreams Rip Van Winkle!
      • Newer to the scene of sleep supplements and rapidly spreading is the use of CBD (cannabidiol) oil.
        hempzzz amazon.com

        It is derived from the same cannabis plants as THC but does not cause any of the same psychoactive effects. It can be taken in multiple ways including ingesting it in food products or capsules, topically absorbing the creams, vaporizing and inhaling it or as a tincture. The soporific effects of the CBD oil come from the way it interacts with the brain chemistries as well. It is linked to decreased anxiety, relaxed muscles, and reduction of nightmares, to name a few. It is also thought to be safe in pregnancy, which is a characteristic that a lot of other herbal remedies and supplements cannot claim. I wish I knew this when I was working night shift and pregnant with my second daughter. My sleep suffered dramatically. Like melatonin, CBD oil interacts with the sleep/wake cycle in the brain although the exact chemistry is not completely understood yet.

Additional herbal supplements

Other herbal supplements that have been used, but maybe not as well-known are

      • magnolia bark, which increases GABA activity, (There is that GABA thing again!),
      • jujube, which is a fruit loaded with vitamins and minerals for natural health anyway. It contains saponins and flavonoids, both known to trigger sleepiness through their effects on the hippocampus and the GABA receptors of the brain,
      • Lemon balm is calming herb which taken twice a day can improve sleep quality.
      • St John’s Wort is used for easing anxiety, depression, and insomnia.
      • California poppy is another flower used for tea that decreases anxiety and promotes restful sleep.
      • Ashwagandha is also used to lower blood pressure and cortisol, which in turn can lead to a more relaxed sleep.

Most of these products have additional benefits including, but not limited to decreased anxiety and depression. Be careful though as risks include some drug and food interactions and interactions with pregnancy and breast feeding even with natural supplementation. Doing your research to see what will work best for you and possibly contacting your physician is a good idea before beginning any sort of sleep regime. Many of these remedies are only safe for short term use as well, although if the benefits outweigh the risks for you, it may be something you want to look into. Happy supplementing and sweet dreams.

 

10 Comments on “Best Natural Sleep Remedies

  1. Thank you for sharing these great tips, I was looking through the internet at different tips on sleep and came across your article. I will be sure to be sharing this with my cousin who has real difficulties getting to sleep each night. The consequences of poor sleep are huge and I think you have done great to share these tips, many people will benefit i am sure

  2. Hey

    I have a doubt. I hope you can solve it for me.
    Are chemical supplements or herbal supplements/medicine better for good sleep? Which one gives fewer side effects?

    Thanks for posting such useful information. I too had sleep issues and I might really consider taking medicine to improve the quality of my sleep.

    With regards,

    Faiz

    • It depends on you. All people will react differently to anything they put in their body. I generally get every single side effect from anything I take, whether its an antibiotic, a supplement, a chemical. My body is just very sensitive. also, it can vary based on your own changes. Whether you took it with food or a drink or if you are on any other medications or supplements it might interact with. Our body’s chemistry is very unique and can change daily.  If you have any specific questions, might I suggest asking your doctor. If you have any pre exisiting conditions or want to start a sleep regime, always consult with a doctor.

  3. Thanks for this wonderful article. Truly a blessing to have come across this as I have lately been experiencing a lot of trouble sleeping. Not sure whether it’s the erratic schedule due to the lockdown in the past 2 months or something else. Anyway, you’ve provided some great insight into sleep supplements & about herbal supplements so will go through them in more detail & give it a try! Thanks again for sharing this. 🙂

  4. Helo Dear, a big thanks to you for sharing this insightful and educating article on the best natural sleep remedies. Adequate sleep is very important because it enables the body to repair and be fit and ready for another day. Anyways I have been longing to get a more concised knowledge on  melatonin. I really want to know, how long should you sleep after taking melatonin?

    • There are many different dosages and people will always have a different bodily response to different supplements that they use. There is no one answer to this, although for optimal health, adults should average 7-8 hours or sleep daily. 

  5. Hello there thanks for this review it was really helpful I must say. Well it is natural to experience sleeplessness once in a while but when it becomes a daily routine then it is certainly becomes a problem. People who battle with insomnia must have gone through series of stress and anxiety. I think these product would really help in eliminating sleep disorder. But the question is are there side effects to these drugs?  

    • As with any product, people’s bodies respond differently than anyone else. Be cautious and ask a doctor before starting any type of sleep product, especially if you have any sort of underlying or pre existing health conditions.

  6. Wow! I never thought I would find a review of this product. A friend of mine has been taking Melatonin for insomnia for the last few months and it is really working for him as it has helped him with his restless legs and he’s having a good sleep now.

    Thanks to the product, I will try it out my self.

  7. Hello there! this is amazing. Since I’ve been taking Melatonin on and off for 1 year now, I have never had side effects and it works very well for me. I fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer with it and also I feel well rested in the morning.

    It is indeed an awesome product for me, don’t know about others though.

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