While an occasional bout of insomnia is normal, night after night of sleeplessness can wreak havoc on your health and well-being. If you are suffering from regular insomnia, try some of these natural sleep aids and see if you can start enjoying a more restful night.
Natural and Herbal Sleep Aids
Kava – Kava is a plant that has been used as a natural sleep aid for thousands of years. This herbal sleep aid gently promotes sleep and reduces anxiety. There are many kava supplements on the market today.
Melatonin – Produced by the pineal gland in your brain, the hormone melatonin regulates the circadian rhythms in your body. There are dietary supplements available that contain melatonin that may help you fall asleep faster and increase the duration of your sleep. Melatonin is usually taken about 30 minutes prior to bedtime. It should not be used by pregnant women or by people with autoimmune diseases, schizophrenia or depression. Melatonin is frequently used by shift workers and people who have jet lag.
Valerian – Valerian is an herbal sleep aid that has been shown to help people manage insomnia. Valerian is taken about an hour before bedtime and takes approximately 2-3 weeks to begin working and should only be used for three months at a time. Valerian can cause some side effects including headaches, dizziness, palpitations and mild indigestion and should not be taken with alcohol or by people with liver disease.
Chamomile – For centuries the gentle herb chamomile has been used as a natural sleep aid. Considered safe for adults and children, chamomile has a soothing effect that promotes sleep and is usually consumed as a tea.
Magnesium – Studies have shown that the mineral magnesium helps promote deep, interrupted sleep by decreasing the release of cortisol which is known to disrupt sleep. Magnesium has a calming effect and helps the body relax.
Disclaimer: These statements and products are not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease. Always consult your physician regarding any sleeping disorders.