That feeling of being wide awake in the middle of the night, when everyone else is asleep, is not a good one. The fatigue you’ll feel the next day when you’re trying to live your life is even worse.
But help is at hand. For those who don’t want to turn to manufactured sleep aids, there are plenty of science-backed natural sleep supplements out there to try.
These can be just as effective as prescription pills. Finding the right one will help you get that refreshing deep sleep you need. And you can rest easily at night, knowing that you’re using healthy, natural formulas to get you to sleep.
Here are 11 of the best natural sleep aids you can use to get a great night’s rest.
Chamomile is perhaps the best known natural sleep supplement. If you’ve ever been out to dinner with someone who, while you’re ordering a cappuccino at the end of the meal, is asking for a chamomile tea, there’s a reason.
Made from daisy-like flowering plants, this species is affectionately known as the ‘Water of Youth.’ It’s a popular choice for tea drinkers looking to unwind, relax, and enjoy a restful night’s sleep.
It has a very distinct flavor, which is why it’s become an extremely popular type of tea. The two most used species of the plant are thought to have medicinal purposes, opposite to that of caffeine.
Drinking a hot cup of chamomile tea before bedtime will help you get to sleep and stop disrupted sleep patterns too.
Lemon balm is a herb that scientists are constantly unearthing new natural uses for. Since it’s commonly used to help anxiety, it’s relaxing effects can, therefore, help with sleep.
The herb is scientifically proven to relieve insomnia, decrease alertness, and increase a feeling of calm.
You can get creative with the way you use lemon balm as a sleep supplement.
Some methods include using it as a cordial in water, or as a garnish on desserts or fruit salads. You can also use it as a rub for roast chicken, or infuse it into tea. Smoothies are a good choice too.
Combining lemon balm with valerian root or leaf extract is more useful than using either of these alone.
Popularly used by natives of the South Pacific islands for centuries, kava kava is a herbal sleep supplement made from the roots of the Piper Methysticum plant. It’s actually mostly used as a recreational beverage, much like drinking a glass of wine, thanks to the effects it has.
Like alcohol, the crushed roots dissolved in water will give the drinker a feeling of ease. Its name literally means ‘intoxicating pepper.’
The kavapyrones in kava act in the same ways as alcohol, giving you a contented feeling, relaxing the muscles, and calming you down. This makes it an extremely effective sleep supplement that’s both traditional and organic.
A lack of magnesium can lead to increased alertness, over-excitation, and lack of sleep. Recent research has proven that magnesium supplementation improves both hormonal and electrical patterns in the brain during sleep.
Magnesium supplements can be purchased at any health store, and should be taken with food. You can also boost your intake by eating more magnesium-rich foods. These include Swiss chard, spinach, pumpkin seeds, almonds, bananas, and dark chocolate.
Figs, avocados, and black beans, as well as yogurt, are all a good choice.
Similarly to chamomile, passion flower often comes in tea form. It’s proven to calm anxiousness and aid with symptoms of insomnia.
Passion flowers – which produce the more commonly-known passion fruit – grow on vines, or as small shrubs or trees.
Using them as a sleep supplement boosts GABA in the brain. This means that brain activity is calmed, quietening the mind and helping with sleep deprivation.
Passion flowers became widely used in the Victorian era and have continued to be used widely in the west ever since.
Gaba – mentioned above as something the passion flower can promote – is an amino acid. It’s the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in your central nervous system. This means the body uses GABA to calm nerve activity in the brain, which promotes relaxation.
You can use GABA sleep supplements, or you can increase your levels naturally by taking on various pre-bedtime habits.
Switching the TV, phone, or computer off an hour before sleeping can help. The same goes for taking a bath in the evening, adjusting the temperature in your bedroom, and blacking out all light when you sleep.
Certain foods, such as sea vegetables, grass-fed meat, cheese, pastured eggs, wild-caught fish, ripe tomatoes, and mushrooms helps too.
Studies indicate that GABA produced by fermentation shortened the time it took to fall asleep and also increased non-REM sleep time by five percent. This proves how effective this compound is.
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender essential oil calms the mind and body. This makes it a perfect sleep supplement, thanks to the variety of ways you can use it.
Many drip a few drops of lavender oil onto their pillow before settling in for a night of rest. Others wash their linen in a lavender scent and store it with lavender sprigs too.
Rubbing the oil into your skin is another method. You can also drip some into hot water and inhale it as a relaxant.
Taking a lavender-infused bath helps. Other options include drinking lavender tea or simply keeping an actual lavender plant in the bedroom when you sleep. This proves effective in the summer when you might sleep with a window open, which allows the scent to diffuse into the air.
Milk can help people fall asleep thanks to the hormone melatonin. It also contains an amino acid called tryptophan.
The general view is that it should be warmed. While some consider this an old wives’ tale, others think that the aforementioned substances can be elevated further by the milk being heated.
On top of this, there’s a comforting psychological significance when it comes to drinking warm milk before bedtime. Similarly to having a hot bath an hour before going to bed, the coziness of a glass of heated milk helps with winding down and sleeping well.
Eating tart cherries or drinking cherry juice has been proven to be an effective organic sleep supplement. This is thanks to the fact that cherries are one of the limited natural sources of melatonin.
Melatonin regulates the body’s internal clock as well as the sleeping and waking cycles. A bitter cherry also features a good dose of anthocyanins that, when combined with melatonin, can improve sleep.
Drinking cherry juice twice a day is thought to extend sleep time by 84 minutes. Start a routine where you do this every morning and every night to fully reap the benefits.
L-Theanine can be found in certain teas, including green tea. It increases alpha wave activity in the brain, which ends up mimicking brain waves while you sleep. This means that the levels of dopamine, serotonin, and GABA will go up, leading to a more restful sleep.
Used to treat those with ADHD, this amino acid is also thought to prevent nightmares. Plus, it improves your mood the following day.
This traditional herb is a moderate sedative. It can relieve insomnia and help you fall asleep easily. This makes it one of the best sleep supplements out there.
The root of the valerian plant can be pressed to make a delicious juice, or blended with other juices (such as the above-referenced cherry).
It can also be freeze-dried and made in a powder, or purchased as tea. You can get tinctures and dried powder supplement capsules as well.
The use of natural remedies that have the valerian plant in them dates back hundreds of years to the Romans and the Greeks. People from all around the world use valerian as a safe, effective cure for sleep disorders.
Why Choose Natural Sleep Supplements?
Pharmaceutical sleep supplements are not organic and carry potential side effects. In the long run, they may cause addiction.
Natural sleeping aids are better for your body. They also help with your overall wellness and sense of health. And the extra sleep you’ll be getting will make you feel fantastic too.
Using vitamins, herbs, minerals, certain foods, juices, and teas can dramatically improve your sleep. This natural element does something pharmaceuticals won’t necessarily do. Plus, there are no side effects or adverse reactions to worry about.
You’ll then begin to feel your energy rise, and your daily mental and physical performance will be higher. This, in turn, helps the mind look more positively at things, which will reflect on your daily life.
If you have any home remedies or tips, feel free to share them below! We want to hear back from you.