Natural Sleep Aids
Healthy Lifetsyle Mental Health Selfcare

Getting Some Sleep can be Easier with Natural Sleep Aids

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Sleep disturbances can affect more than just your physical and emotional health: they can affect your overall well-being. Your memory, concentration, mood, and heart health are all negatively impacted, and you’re more likely to develop depression, obesity, diabetes type 2, and high blood pressure as well.

Can a natural sleep aid help me sleep better?

Sleeping problems are common. Sleeping problems are common among many people, especially for a short period of time.

A sleep hygiene improvement can often resolve this problem. This includes the following:

  • Taking no more than 30 minutes of a nap during the day
  • Maintain a daily exercise routine of at least 10 minutes
  • Be sure to avoid caffeine and other stimulants before bed
  • When it comes to heavy foods, such as fatty or fried meals, avoid them before bed.

If you experience sleep problems only occasionally, you might consider using an over-the-counter (OTC) or home remedy. There are some people who prefer to use a natural alternative rather than medication.

Sleep aids that do not require a prescription are generally considered natural. Their relaxing effects, ease of anxiety, and ability to promote sleep contribute to their effectiveness. Other health-promoting behaviors have also been linked to natural sleep aids, such as better digestion and relief from pain.

Simple changes to routines, diets, or habits may help you get enough sleep. Whenever possible, try nonmedical, non-herbal approaches before turning to medication.

Sleep aids derived from natural sources are more effective than those traditional ones?

There is generally believed to be less risk of side effects from natural sleep aids than OTC and prescription medications. It is due to their lower side effects rate compared to prescription drugs.

There is a concern that a person will become dependent on prescription medication if they use it. Then, if they decide to stop using the drug, they will likely experience withdrawal symptoms. After stopping the drug, they might have a challenging time falling asleep.

Short-term use of natural sleep aids rarely leads to dependence. The side effects of natural sleep aids are usually minimal, especially if they are used for a short period of time.

Natural sleep aids like herbs aren’t regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which is why you should be cautious when using them.

Any herbs you plan to use and any medications or medical conditions you take should be discussed with your doctor.

1.     Chamomile as a Natural Sleep Aid

Chamomile
Chamomile

Herbal remedies such as chamomile have a calming effect. In addition to promoting relaxation, it also promotes sleep. According to a study published in 2016, chamomile tea helps postnatal women improve their sleep quality. As well as reducing depression symptoms, it also improves mood.

Although there isn’t a typical dose of chamomile, you can use it in a few ways:

  • Chamomile flowers can be used to make tea by drying them
  • Tea bags can be bought from your local stores
  • Embrace the benefits of chamomile essential oil by inhaling it or applying it topically
  • In the form of a tablet or capsule

Among the benefits of chamomile are:

  • Digestion aids
  • Provides soothing and healing properties to the skin
  • Muscle relaxation
  • A headache reliever

It’s not recommended to use chamomile if you’re allergic to rags or anything else in the daisy family, as it may also cause allergic reactions. Hence, consult an allergist or your doctor before using.

Make sure you don’t exceed the recommended dosage when taking capsules or tablets of chamomile. You may vomit and feel nauseated if you do so. Using chamomile for a hormonal condition is also not a good idea.

A carrier oil, such as olive oil, should be used to dilute chamomile essential oil. Patch-testing essential oils before applying them to your skin are recommended.

The process involves rubbing a dime-sized amount of diluted essential oil onto the inside of your forearm. Unless you experience irritation within 24 hours, you can apply it elsewhere without fear of causing harm.

In case of unusual symptoms, stop using the product. Symptoms should be addressed by a physician if they persist.

Internal use of essential oils is not recommended.

2.     Passionflower as a Natural Sleep Aid

Passionflower
Passionflower

Plants such as passionflower contain compounds that are calming. The plant induces sleepiness and relaxation, as well as being combined with other plants for herbal blends.


Passion flowers are known to exist in about 500 species. The Passiflora family includes these plants. The medicinal benefits of some species have been suggested by some studies. Insomnia and anxiety may be treated with Passiflora incarnata, for instance.

Various conditions have been treated with passionflower by Native Americans. A list of these conditions includes boils, wounds, earaches, and liver problems.

Passionflower was introduced to Spaniards by native Peruvians. It was named for the crucifix-like appearance of the plant.

Restlessness and agitation have been treated with P. incarnata in Europe. It is also used to treat anxiety in some people. There are also beverages that use fruit as flavoring.

Herbs can be consumed in capsule form or made into tea before bedtime. Before going to bed, liquid passionflower extract is recommended at a dose of 10 to 30 drops.

A capsule contains 90 milligrams if you prefer to take it that way. The recommended duration of passionflower use is two months at a time.

Among the other benefits of passionflower are:

  • Assists with menopause symptoms
  • Relief from anxiety
  • Pain relief
  • Inflammation

The passion flower can cause the following symptoms:

  • An altered state of consciousness
  • Uncertainty
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Coordination problems
  • Muscle contractions are irregular
  • Blood vessels that are inflamed

Pregnant or breastfeeding women should not take passionflower. There are also reports that this herb can interfere with many medications, such as blood thinners and sedatives. Passionflower is not recommended for people on certain types of antidepressants.

In case of unusual symptoms, discontinue use. Please consult your doctor if you don’t feel better after a few days.

3.     Lavender as a Natural Sleep Aid

Lavender
Lavender

Lavender oil, perfume, and medicine are all made from this aromatic plant. Well-being and health are thought to be improved by it. As a result of its calming effects, it can assist in assisting sleep.


Its fragrance and color are the two traits most commonly associated with lavender. Despite this, lavender oil and the lavender flower have been used in herbal medicine for hundreds of years.

Lavender derives from the Latin root “lavare,” which means “to wash.” Lavender was first used in ancient Egypt. For mummification, lavender oil was used.

The ancient Persians, Greeks, and Romans used lavender in baths as a bath additive later on. Body and mind were believed to be purified by lavender in these cultures.

The following are some ways you can use lavender:

  • Make your bed more relaxing by adding some essential oils to a diffuser
  • You can rub diluted essential oil around your nose and forehead
  • Spritz your pillow with essential oil
  • Make scented bags or tea from dried lavender

The use of lavender may be beneficial for:

  • Skin and scalp can be disinfected
  • Providing pain relief
  • Dispel discomfort in the abdomen
  • Respiratory ailments are alleviated
  • Circulate the blood better
  • Headaches are relieved

The lavender essential oil should always be diluted with carrier oil, such as olive oil, before use. If you plan to use diluted essential oils on your skin, please conduct a patch test first.

Try rubbing a dime-sized amount of diluted essential oil on your forearm before using it. It should be safe to use as long as you do not experience any irritation within 24 hours of using it.

Please discontinue use if you start experiencing any unusual symptoms. Symptoms that persist should be discussed with your doctor.

It is not recommended to take essential oils internally.

4.     Valerian as a Natural Sleep Aid

Valerian
Valerian

Plant roots are used to make Valerian herbal medicine. Sedative properties have been reported for this herb, however, more research is needed. If you plan to use Valerian, you should check with your doctor first as it may interact with some medications.

A study published in 2011 found that valerian could help postmenopausal women with insomnia and improve their sleep quality. The study participants took valerian extract twice a day for four weeks, 530 milligrams each time.

There are a number of herbs that can be used with Valerian, including hops, lemon balm, and others. Your dose should be gradually increased over time. It’s recommended that you use valerian for two to six weeks after sleep improves.

One can use it in the form of tea also.

Whenever you discontinue using a drug, reduce your dose gradually. It is possible to experience withdrawal or anxiety symptoms after abruptly stopping use.

Additionally, Valerian can help ease:

  • Stiffness and cramping during menstruation
  • Pain in the muscles and joints
  • Headaches
  • Mood disorder

A possible side effect of Valerian is:

  • Headaches
  • Mental impairment
  • Stomach upset
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Feeling irritable

When experiencing unusual symptoms, do not use Valerian. Symptoms that persist should be discussed with your doctor.

5.     Ginseng as a Natural Sleep Aid

Ginseng
Ginseng

A rich source of antioxidants, ginseng is used in herbal medicine. In addition to its potential benefits for brain health, immunity, and blood sugar control, it may also provide other benefits as well.

Traditionally, Chinese medicine has used ginseng to treat a variety of ailments.

In terms of how long it has been grown, this short, slow-growing plant can be classified in three ways: fresh, white, and red.

During the first 4 years of its life, fresh ginseng is harvested, while white ginseng is harvested between 4 and 6 years, and red ginseng is harvested after at least 6 years.

Sleep and immunity are believed to be improved by it. As herbs are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), they should be used with caution. Make sure you speak with your doctor before using the product so you can find out if you need to take any precautions against side effects.

Taking powdered ginseng daily at a dose of 800 milligrams to 2 grams is recommended. The alternative is to take a tincture three times a day in the amount of 10 drops.

Ginseng can be taken for a maximum of three months at a time. If you plan to take ginseng again, you should wait one week before taking it.

The benefits of ginseng include:

  • Stress management
  • Enhance energy levels
  • Impotence can be treated

There are several possible side effects associated with ginseng:

  • Cardiovascular problems
  • Problems related to menstruation
  • Stomach issues
  • Headache
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Agitation

Any unusual symptoms should be reported to your doctor immediately.

6.     Hops as a Natural Sleep Aid

Hops
Hops

The hop plant has female flowers called hops. Herbal medicines and beverages use them to flavor beverages.

Sleep has been shown to be improved by hops. Since at least the 9th century, hops have also been used in herbal medicine. There have been many traditional uses for these plants, including treating indigestion and Hansen’s disease (leprosy).

In the years after hops became an increasingly vital ingredient in beer, scientists started researching their effects on the body. The potential for hops to help treat sleep disorders is one of the most studied areas of the plant. Researchers believe hops may be helpful in improving sleep quality, however, more research is needed.

Valerian and hops are sometimes combined. It is recommended to take 0.5 to 2 milliliters of the liquid extract daily. A powdered extract can be taken three times a day at a dose of 1 gram. Moreover, Hops in non-alcoholic beer can also be consumed.

In addition to these, hops may also:

  • Assist with digestive problems
  • Cholesterol reduction
  • Provide antibacterial protection
  • Effortlessly reduce irritability

Nevertheless, depression may be exacerbated by hops. In the case of hormone-sensitive conditions, hops shouldn’t be taken. In the event that you experience any unusual symptoms while taking this remedy, you should discontinue its use. Please consult your doctor if you have experienced these symptoms for a long period of time.

7.     Melatonin as a Natural Sleep Aid

Melatonin
Melatonin

Pineal glands produce the hormone melatonin. Circadian rhythms are controlled by it. The use of melatonin supplements can accelerate the process of falling asleep and improve the quality of your sleep.


Natural hormones like melatonin are produced by the body. High levels can help you fall asleep, making it referred to as the sleep hormone. Despite this, melatonin itself doesn’t make you sleepy. Essentially, it tells your body that it’s time for bed, allowing you to relax and sleep more easily.

Jet lag and insomnia are common reasons people take melatonin supplements. A number of countries allow the sale of melatonin supplements without requiring a prescription.

Additionally, this hormone suppresses inflammation and has antioxidant properties.

In addition to the above, melatonin may also:

  • Defend yourself against inflammation
  • Provide relief from jet lag symptoms
  • Strengthen your immune system

The effects of melatonin include:

  • Feeling irritable
  • Feeling depressed
  • Cramps in the stomach
  • Awakening in the middle of the night
  • Feeling groggy

Any unusual symptoms should be reported to your doctor immediately. Do not hesitate to contact your doctor if these symptoms persist.

8.     5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP)

5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP)
5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP)

The amino acid 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) comes from the body naturally. This amino acid is derived from tryptophan. Increasing serotonin levels is one of its uses.

The chemical messenger serotonin sends signals between nerve cells in your body when you ingest it.

Among other health problems, depression, anxiety, insomnia, weight gain, and sleep disorders are associated with low serotonin levels.

Serotonin has a variety of benefits, so increasing your body’s production may be beneficial.

Consequently, 5-HTP supplements that produce serotonin are becoming more popular.

In capsule form, 5-HTP can be purchased. It is recommended to take 150 to 400 milligrams per day, but it is best to follow any instructions on the label. Do not take 5-HTP for longer than six weeks.

The following may also be improved by 5-HTP:

5-HTP may cause:

  • A lack of appetite
  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloating

Do not use it if you experience any unusual symptoms. Symptoms that persist after stopping use should be discussed with your doctor.

WARNINGS AND RISKS

It’s not a good idea to use natural sleep aids if:

  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • There are prescription drugs you are taking, such as sedatives, antidepressants, or others.
  • In the near future, you will undergo surgery.

A natural sleep aid should only be used if you have no existing health conditions. The use of natural sleep aids by children and the elderly may pose a danger.

You can also discuss any potential risks with your doctor when confirming the recommended dose.

What do Healthierfolks want to say?

Things one must consider before opting for any of these sleeping aids.

Find the underlying cause of your sleep problems before you begin treating them. Take notice of what’s causing you to have difficulties sleeping, such as stress, noise, or discomfort. Analyzing your sleeping habits through a sleep journal can help you improve your sleep.

Natural sleep aids are only effective for short periods of time. An underlying medical concern may be behind your sleep problems if they persist.

When sleep troubles persist or become more severe, it is highly advisable to see your doctor. Keep a sleep journal with you on the way to meeting your physician. This will help your doctor with diagnoses as diagnoses can be made based on your observations.

Remember that side effects and risks are possible even with natural products. Always use a reputable brand. Also, speak with your doctor if you have any concerns or questions.

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