Natural Sleep Aids
Natural sleep aids can be an effective alternative to over-the-counter medications or prescription drugs to help you achieve restful sleep. 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 and herbal supplements aren't regulated by the FDA, which makes it difficult to tell exactly how safe or effective they are. If you are experiencing sleep issues, it is important to talk with your doctor first before trying natural remedies and herbal products.
Herbal Remedies for Better Sleep
Following is a list of natural sleep aids for adults that are derived from herbs and plants.
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 a popular herb 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.
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. As noted above, always consult your healthcare provider about your sleep issues and before trying natural sleep aids.
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