According to the National Sleep Foundation, we all need at least 6-10 hours per night. This amount can vary depending on the individual’s needs and age. Children need more sleep than adults. Newborns get over 20 hours of sleep per day.
It is not always easy to get sleep, even though it should be. Some people experience insomnia daily, while others have it occasionally. You may need to see your doctor if you experience sleepless nights that interfere with your ability for normal functioning.
Although doctors often prescribe sleeping pills to help those who have trouble falling asleep, they can also cause side effects. Reliance on the pills is one of these side effects. There are many natural options for Natural Sleep Aids. Here is a list of some:
All About Natural Sleep Aids
There are plenty of helpful supplements that can induce sleep. Many of them work without causing you to suffer from grogginess the following day like prescription sleep aids tend to cause. Some common sleep aids natural are :
- 5-HTP – short for 5-hydroxytryptophan, this amino acid has been used to treat obesity, fibromyalgia, depression, anxiety, and chronic headaches, in addition to insomnia. 5-HTP induces sleep by creating serotonin and melatonin, and it can be purchased over the counter at health food stores and pharmacies just about anywhere.
- Melatonin – This is a natural hormone produced by the body’s pineal gland. As it becomes dark, most people’s bodies naturally produce adequate amounts of melatonin and they because drowsy enough to fall asleep. However, if your pineal gland fails to produce enough melatonin, then you can purchase it in supplement form from your local drug store. In most cases, melatonin helps significantly.
- GABA – short for gamma-aminobutyric acid, this primary neurotransmitter in the brain, is used to treat anxiety, depression, PMS and symptoms of ADHD. GABA can also induce sleep, and Who can use it in conjunction with other supplements or alone.
- Skull Cap is a herb derived from a flowering plant within the mint family that has been used for centuries to treat anxiety, nervous tension and stroke, and especially insomnia. It can be found at pharmacies and health food stores, often in combination with other sleep-inducing herbs.
- Valerian – this herb is derived from the root of the valerian plant. It treats hysteria, anxiety, stress, tension, and various sleep disorders, including insomnia.
Teas & other drinks
If you’re not a fan of taking supplements, then you have the option of drinking tea that can be used as a natural sleep aid for adults. There is a tea that Who can purchase from your local grocery store called “Sleepy Time Tea.” This tea is a concoction of chamomile, spearmint and lemongrass.
Most people love the taste, and you could mix in a bit of honey and drink a hot cup about an hour before your regular bedtime. You should feel yourself becoming very tired by bedtime.
Decaffeinated green tea is also a good choice, as it is high in the amino acid theanine, which reduces stress levels and can therefore contribute to sleep.
Some people may believe that since drinking large quantities of alcohol can make you “pass out”, it can be great for insomnia . However, the complete opposite is true, as alcohol will cause you to bypass the first stage of sleep, REM (rapid eye movement) and fall into a deep sleep.
Sleep occurs in stages for a reason, and if both stages aren’t experienced, you will suffer the consequences. In addition, since REM is considered the stage when the body restores itself, you will feel fatigued, suffer from forgetfulness, feel irritable, etc., after a night of drinking alcoholic beverages close to bedtime.
If you’re looking for a drink to help encourage better sleep patterns , warm milk works for some people. However, it might be more of natural sleep aid for children since most adults might need something a bit more potent. A more potent sleep-inducing beverage might be a large glass of tart cherry juice.
You can purchase your cherries and run them through your juicer, or you can purchase tart cherry juice from your local health food store. Tart cherry juice has been studied extensively, and in addition to its natural anti-inflammatory properties, it also induces sleep due to its natural melatonin properties.
Pure coconut water is another healthy and effective sleep-inducing beverage. With high levels of calcium and magnesium, which can relax muscles, and B vitamins, which can minimize stress, coconut water is an excellent sleep tonic .
Lifestyle changes & activities
- Exercise – although exercise can give you energy initially, it can work wonders as one of the best natural sleep aids for adults and children. There is no need to take any pills or see a doctor, as exercise can be easily performed anywhere, at any time. However, it would help if you aimed for a minimum of 30 minutes a day, five days a week. Also, it would help if you exercised earlier since exercise too close to bedtime can interfere with sleep.
- Meditation – Meditation and deep breathing can work wonders for inducing sleep and curing insomnia. If you’ve never meditated before, it will likely be tough to quiet the mind enough to derive any benefit. Luckily there are a host of guided meditations available, which enable you to focus on the speaker’s voice as they guide you through a relaxing “adventure.” You can find guided meditations online at various sites like Amazon.com and more.
- Yoga – not only can help you tone your body, but the deep breathing exercises that are required with the physical exercises can help your body to relax naturally, making sleeping easier.
- Ensure comfort levels – when attempting to fall asleep, your bedroom must be at an optimal temperature level. If you are too cold or too hot, then it will make it difficult to fall asleep. Even if you’re able to fall asleep initially, you will find it difficult to remain asleep, and Who will lower your sleep quality. The ideal sleeping temperature should be around 67 degrees Fahrenheit. If that is too chilly, you might want to cover it up with a light blanket instead of turning up the thermostat.
- Minimize and eliminate pain – if you suffer from chronic pain conditions and experience pain while trying to sleep, this will interfere with your ability to sleep. It will help if you minimize your pain as much as possible before bedtime. Try taking painkillers well before bedtime. If pain relievers fail to eliminate all of your pain, then you might try a heating pad. If regular pain relievers and other tactics don’t work, you need to see your doctor assist you with managing your pain.
- Electronic devices – cell phones, tablets and similar items can disrupt sleep by encouraging “wakefulness” due to the light that is emitted from them. Not only can this cause your quality of sleep to be lessened, but it can throw your sleep/wake cycle out of whack. This can lead to long-term insomnia. If you must have your cell phone near your bedside at night, it’s best to stick it in a nearby drawer. That way, it will be close enough if you receive an important call, but the light emitted from it will not affect you since it will be inside the drawer.
- Stress reduction – if you are experiencing a high amount of stress contributing to your sleep issues, then getting to the root cause of your stress can cure your insomnia. For example, if the source of your stress is work-related, you might need to make some changes at work, including finding a new job. If you’re worried about finances, you need to do whatever is necessary to fix your money problems. As long as the stressor is present, then your sleep problems will likely continue.
So if you’re looking for a natural sleep aid that can teach you how to sleep, then the natural sleeping aids on this list should help you. If one remedy doesn’t work, then something else may work. Likewise, the best natural sleep aid for one person may not necessarily be the best for another.
Finding a natural sleep aid that works may take a bit of trial and error, but Who can do it as long as you keep looking. You might be surprised at how effective something as simple as deep breathing or a nice tall glass of tart cherry juice can be.
Sleep is essential in many ways, and as long as you find the natural remedy that helps you get high-quality sleep regularly, it doesn’t matter which specific remedy you find.
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