Natural Sleep Aids
Natural sleep aids can be an effective alternative to over-the-counter medications or prescription drugs. Yet, it's worth remembering that just because something is labeled "natural" or "herbal" doesn't mean it is totally without risks or is 100% safe for everyone.
Natural products, dietary supplements, and over the counter aids aren't regulated by the FDA, which makes it difficult to tell exactly how safe or effective they are.
There are a range of natural remedies available from herbal teas to dietary supplements. In addition, lifestyle changes can be instrumental in addressing sleeplessness.
Herbal Remedies for Better Sleep
Following is a list of natural sleep aids for adults that are derived from herbs and plants. Talk with your doctor before taking any herbal products since some blends may interact with medication and/or exacerbate certain health conditions.
Melatonin is a naturally-produced hormone that is thought to regulate the body's circadian rhythms (sleep/wake cycles) Some studies show that supplementing your body's natural supply of melatonin can help people with certain types of sleep problems fall asleep faster, and stay asleep longer. This natural sleep aid may also be useful in helping to prevent/overcome jet lag.
- Valerian Root (Valeriana Officinalis)
Valerian root is one of the most popular herbs used to treat insomnia. It is often combined with other sedative-type herbs like melatonin. Valerian may cause some side effects such as gastrointestinal problems, dizziness, heart palpitations, and muscle weakness.Do not use this herbal remedy if you're pregnant or breastfeeding.
Sometimes, and in some individuals, this natural sleep aid seems to have the opposite effect, acting as a delayed stimulant. After the initial calming effect there may be an energy-surge, or a feeling of restlessness. As stated earlier, talk with your doctor before taking any herbal supplement.
- Chamomile (Matricaria Recutita)
Chamomile has a long history of being used as a herbal remedy for a host of conditions - including insomnia, digestive problems, and inflammation. It may be consumed in capsule form or as a delicious herbal tea blend.
People who are allergic to plants such as ragweed or daisies may have an allergic reaction to chamomile. The herb may also interact with medications so you need to check with your doctor before taking it in any form.
- Passionflower (Passiflora Incarnata)
This is a popular natural sleep remedy that is thought to produce a calming effect and help induce restful sleep. Some consider passionflower to be one of the most potent sleep-inducing herbs. It is also used to reduce the symptoms of anxiety and even pain.
- Hops (Humulus Lupulus)
Also used to make beer, hops have been recognized for treating insomnia, anxiety, and pain. Hops are often combined with other herbs or natural remedies such as chamomile in dietary supplements or teas. Dried hops are sometimes sewn into pillows to improve the quality of sleep.
- Lavender (Lavandula)
Lavender is another plant that's people use to help with sleeplessness. Lavender is also considered useful as a natural remedy for depression or anxiety. It can be made into a tea or used in aromatherapy products.
- St. Johns' Wort (Hypericum Perforatum)
St. Johns' Wort has been around for centuries and was used by the Ancient Greeks to treat many conditions including insomnia, depression, and anxiety. Today, it's often used in combination with other herbs for help with sleep.This herb can cause sensitivity to the sun and should be avoided if you're taking a medication that contains MAO inhibitors.
- 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan)
5-HTP is derived from the amino acid Tryptophan that is naturally found in foods such as turkey, dairy products, bananas, and tuna. This natural sleep aid is purported to help with relaxation and the onset of sleep. It is also thought to help with symptoms of depression and anxiety.
When you're considering a natural sleep aid, remember that everyone is unique and what works for you may or may not work for someone else.
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Published by Jules Sowder