Natural Sleep Aids: Fall asleep naturally with proven home remedies, herbal tea, and relaxing nature aids for a guaranteed night’s rest. No need for sleeping pills.
Did you know that almost half the UK population struggles to fall asleep at least once a month? And when we do drift to sleep, how many of us get the correct sleep quality that we need to endure a full day?
While prescription sleep aids are an option, they can often cause further sleep disorders and problems with our natural sleep patterns. Although not new, natural sleep remedies are finally taking the floor to improve sleep quality worldwide.
Using complementary and integrative health techniques, anyone with sleep problems can now monitor their sleep disorder symptoms and identify what natural sleep remedies could help improve their sleep quality.
By following a sleep-promoting diet, consuming some simple dietary supplements, and adding some of these natural remedies to your bedtime routine, you’ll be falling asleep in no time!
Note: If you have any underline health issues or you take medication, it’s always best to consult with your doctor.
How Can I Solve My Sleeping Problem Naturally?
Don’t stress; there are many forms of natural sleep aid that can help curb your insomnia symptoms.
In this article, we’re going to tackle home remedies to help you get a good night’s sleep. However, you can do many other things to improve your natural sleep-wake cycle.
From doing regular exercise to practicing mindfulness and meditation to eating a wholesome diet, the quality of sleep we experience has to do with various factors.
These activities reduce cases of high blood pressure and help with lowering body temperature, both of which are connected to treating insomnia.
Related: How to prioritize self care
What is the Natural Drug That Helps You Sleep?
There are a bunch of natural drugs that can help promote sleep.
I like to refer to these as supplements rather than drugs to avoid confusing them with clinical sleep medicine. They’re typically safer to take and have fewer (or no) harmful side effects.
The leading supplements that are known to be natural sleep aids include:
- Melatonin supplements – Melatonin is a hormone that controls your circadian rhythms. For chronic insomnia, melatonin supplements can help you get to sleep faster and improve the quality of your rest.
- Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) – when taken together, these two amino acid supplements can increase serotonin levels in the body. Aside from being a natural remedy to reduce stress and anxiety, research suggests that GABA and 5-HTP can help you sleep deeper and for longer.
- Magnesium supplements – Magnesium is a mineral that can be found in many foods. It activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps you feel more relaxed. This mineral also supports GABA neurotransmitter receptors in calming your mind. Simply speaking, magnesium in a pill form prepares your body for rest and offers enhanced sleep quality for those who have trouble falling asleep.
- Glycine supplements – Glycine is an amino acid found in red and white meats, peanuts, and seeds. Research shows that taking this supplement before bed can help you fall asleep quicker, improve your sleep quality, and decrease daytime sleepiness.
What Can I Take to Help Me Sleep Instead of Melatonin?
If you don’t feel like splurging on supplements, there are a bunch of natural remedies to help with jet lag, poor sleep quality, or an occasional sleepless night.
(Note that if you’re struggling with sleep apnea, sleep disturbances, sleep latency or have a risk of heart disease or allergic reactions, you should seek professional medical advice and consider drug administration from a medical doctor. You might even be advised to give cognitive behavioral therapy a try, which is a structured sleep program designed for primary insomnia.)
These herbs and flowers are known to improve sleep and treat sleep problems. We’ll dive into these in more detail in the rest of the article:
- Dried chamomile flowers
- Valerian root
1. Enjoy a Tart Cherry Juice Nightcap
Not only is it refreshing and delicious, but cherry juice is also a source of antioxidants that can help reduce inflammation and swelling and boost immunity.
Combined with its anti-inflammatory properties, this wonder fruit also has a high melatonin content. Together, this makes for a great sleep aid to help your stay asleep for longer.
If melatonin supplements aren’t in your price range, or if you would just prefer a natural aid to insomnia, cherry juice (or a snack of fresh cherries) is a great alternative to melatonin or valerian.
2. Eat a Dinner Rich in GABA
GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acids) is one of the amino acids found in the brain that help to reduce anxiety, tension, and stress. As a result of feeling calmer, this natural product helps us sleep better.
GABA supplements are available at most pharmacies. You can also increase your GABA levels by exercising regularly and eating certain foods. For example, fish, eggs, mushrooms, tomatoes, and broccoli contain GABA.
3. Drink Calming Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea is one of those common sleep aids that we have all heard of. It’s a herbal remedy known to reduce inflammation and stress and improve sleep quality.
Its contribution to sleep improvements is linked to the flavonoid content found in the chamomile flower.
4. Practice Aromatherapy with Patchouli Oil
I’m a huge fan of essential oils and aromatherapy before bed. Patchouli oil is a concentrate made from a plant with a woody, sweet and spicy smell.
Like cherries, the flower has anti-inflammatory properties that can help us stay calm and relaxed. And let’s be honest, one of the most significant barriers to a good night’s rest in older adults is stress!
Whether you prefer to inhale the oil through a steamer, put it in your favorite oil burner or diffuser, or rub it on your temples, it’s worth giving this natural anti-inflammatory a try.
5. Make a Tasty Tea from the California Poppy
If you’re not getting insufficient sleep, have issues relaxing before bed, or generally suffer from depression or mental exhaustion, try drinking some tea brewed from the Californian poppy flower.
This flower works with your brain’s GABA receptors to promote relaxation, and it’s particularly useful for sleeplessness caused by anxiety and stress.
6. Have a Bedtime Snack of Almonds and Bananas
Another one of the leading supplements used to treat insomnia is magnesium. If you’re on the hunt for natural supplements to help you sleep, try eating foods rich in magnesium.
My favorite bedtime combination is chopped bananas and almonds.
Bananas are high in magnesium, tryptophan, vitamin B6 and potassium. Almonds have a high magnesium and calcium content.
As a result, melatonin production in our bodies helps regulate our sleep cycles.
This dietary magnesium supplement is a tasty option for a bedtime snack that won’t break the bank or cause any bedtime stomach issues.
7. Brew Valerian Root Tea
Valerian root is a herbal sleep remedy known to help us quickly fall into a deeper sleep, and experience an overall more restful sleep.
Commonly added to dietary supplements, you can also easily brew valerian root tea to sip on a few hours before bed.
This remedy was used in ancient Greece and Rome to help with insomnia, stress, and anxiety.
8. Calm Your Nerves with Lemon Balm
Lemon balm is another natural treatment that has sleep-promoting effects. Like many other herbal remedies, this citrus-scented plant has treated insomnia since the Middle Ages.
Aside from improving general mood and cognitive functioning, about 600 mg of lemon balm in a capsule form per day can act as a mild sedative and significantly impact your stress and anxiety levels.
Alternatively, try making a tasty tea combining lemon balm and valerian, or find a good teabag version at your local grocery store!
9. Rub Lavender Oil Into Your Temples
Lavender oil is another essential oil that is commonly used to induce sleep and increase rest quality. When tested on live participants, research shows that lavender increases the amount of slow-wave and deep-wave sleep.
However, not only is it known to calm the mind and ready you for bed, but it has also been linked to increasing your energy levels in the morning.
Lavender can also be used to ease allergies and eczema.
10. Boil Passionflower to Make a Natural Sleep Medicine
Also known as incarnate, passionflowers have a range of health benefits that include helping people fall asleep faster.
Passionflower is another herb that boosts your brain’s GABA levels. As a result, this slows the activity in your brain and readies you for bed.
If you have trouble sleeping, passionflower can calm your mind and set you up for a good night’s rest.
It’s always a good option to try a natural sleep aid to improve sleep quality. Supplements are a top option for those with a budget, but even natural sleep aids can hugely impact subjective sleep quality.
For more sleep hacks, watch the video below:
If you have severe issues with sleeping or experience severe insomnia, I recommend contacting your doctor to provide medical advice.