Do you struggle to sleep? Do you frequently wake up in the middle of the night? Do you feel groggy and tired throughout the day? If you answer yes to any of the questions, then you have come to the right page.
Many of us can sleep through anything and wake up most morning refreshed. Unfortunately, more than 30% of people suffer from insomnia and related sleep disorders.
Green Gayle, an author of Insomniac, comments that “sleep is the fuel of life.” Those who have difficulty sleeping at night are often found to be groggy during the daytime. That has an adverse impact on their energy, mood, concentration, productivity, and of course – overall health.
Most people who experience mild insomnia often tackle their sleep disorder through various home remedies such as:
- Sticking to a daily routine
- Drinking a glass of warm milk before bedtime
- Taking a warm bath before bedtime
- Consuming a healthy diet and limiting the intake of alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco
- Limiting the noise and light in your bedroom
- Restricting the intake of water a few hours before bedtime
- Limiting screen time 1-2 hours before bedtime
- Following relaxation techniques such as meditation and yoga
Of course, these old-school remedies are not very effective for those who have sleep-related problems on a regular basis.
On the other hand, most people are wary about using prescription sleep medication or over-the-counter sleeping pills as they can be harmful as well as habit forming and once a person starts taking them, there is no way to sleep without them.
An alternative solution for individuals with insomnia is herbal supplements. Made from natural ingredients, these supplements absorb well in the body and are completely free from any adverse side effects.
Below, is a list of 10 herbal supplements that have the ability to treat insomnia. These work gently in the body to help users doze off in the night without giving a hangover. But remember, herbal supplements can interact with certain medications.
We highly recommend that you inform your health care provider before using any supplement.
Just like any other medicine, the herbal supplements should not be taken by women who are pregnant, nursing and of course children without seeking permission from their respective doctors.
1. Valerian Root
Valerian root is a sedative herb that has been used for centuries to treat insomnia. The supplements are helpful in calming the nerves and reduce anxiety, thus promoting better sleep. Unlike prescription sleep medications, valerian root has mild to none side effects and is less likely to result in morning drowsiness.
In a double blind study conducted by the Foellinge Health Center of Sweden, 44 percent of the participants reported sound sleep while 89 percent reported improvement. Additionally, no side effects were experienced by the users.
Recommended Supplement – Nature’s Way Valerian Root. Available at www.Amazon.com, one capsule should be taken half an hour before bedtime.
Melatonin is a normally occurring hormone that is released by the brain in cycles throughout the day. It plays a critical role in our sleep-wake cycle and is the most studied sleep aid.
According to the health expert, our body controls how much melatonin our brain makes but usually the levels of the hormone rise in mid-to-late evenings and a decrease in the early morning hours.
Those who don’t have high melatonin levels can replenish them through supplements.
Recommended supplement – Source Natural’s Melatonin. The recommended dosage is one capsule daily, a half hour before bedtime. The tablet should be kept under the tongue where it will gradually dissolve.
It is also advised to alter the position of the tablet to avoid contact with the same area for extended periods of time.
The commonly used ingredient in green teas, L-Theanine is an amino acid that is known to enhance relaxation, reduce stress, and improve the quality of sleep. However, drinking green tea might not give the same effect as taking the L-Theanine supplement because green tea contains caffeine which may disrupt your sleep cycle more.
Recommended supplement – Suntheanine® L-Theanine. The soft gel capsules are non-GMO and are free from allergy causing ingredients such as dairy, fish, peanuts, gluten, wheat, yeast, and egg.
4. Holy Basil
Holy Basil is an Ayurveda medicine and has been used for centuries to reduce anxiety and depression. According to a health expert, the main culprit behind waking up in the middle of the night and not getting sufficient sleep is cortisol. The cortisol is a hormone associated with stress levels. When you are below stress, the cortisol level increases and disrupt the sleep cycle.
The holy basil can help moderate the cortisol levels in the body, thus improving the quality of sleep that you get in the nighttime.
Recommended supplement – New Chapter’s Holy Basil Force. Also available at Amazon.com, the supplement comes in soft gel form. Each bottle contains 60 capsules, and the users are advised to take 1-2 capsules daily before bedtime.
5-HTP is produced by the body when the amino acid known as Tryptophan is broken down in the liver. Tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin which is known as the “happy hormone” and is responsible for improving the quality of sleep among other mood-related functions.
Tryptophan can naturally be found in turkey, beans, and fish. However, those who don’t take enough of these foods or have low levels of tryptophan should take a supplement to improve mood and sleep.
Recommended supplement – Nature Wise 5-HTP Plus. Sleep aid apart from treating insomnia is beneficial for suppressing appetite, reducing stress, and enhancing well-being.
Kratom comes from a tropical deciduous tree that is native to Southeast Asia, specifically Thailand. Kratom leaves are widely used for medicinal purposes including pain relief, sexual dysfunction, energy booster, and the improvement of heart health. Kratom leaves are also known to be effective in reducing stress and anxiety which in turn helps the users fall asleep easily.
Kratom is known as a substitute for opium, a highly addictive and dangerous drug – however, the leaves are perfectly harmless and men in Thailand are known to chew 10-60 leaves each day between meals. In fact, the leaves are not at all addictive which is why they are used to treat several health conditions.
Recommended supplement – Kratora Quality Ethnobotanicals. Kratom powder is available in different varieties while each blend has a different dosage as well.
Most of us are familiar with the benefits of chamomile tea and periodically make the soothing, herbal tea for relaxation. Recent studies show that chamomile, an inexpensive herb also works as a mild sedative and helps users fall asleep quickly.
While researchers have not yet confirmed the relation between insomnia and chamomile, a recent study conducted on sleep-disturbed rats showed that chamomile did work as a tranquilizer and helped them fall asleep quickly.
Recommended supplement – Nature’s Way Chamomile Flowers. The supplement available at Amazon not only promotes sleep but also eases away stomach-related problems.
8. Lemon Balm
Extracts from the lemon balm plants have long been used for its soothing properties. The plant native to European countries is now grown all over the world to use as natural medicine.
According to health experts, lemon balm alleviates stress and puts the users in a good mood. Lemon balm can also be used as a sedative and even given in mild dosage to babies suffering from colic.
Recommended supplement – Lemon Balm Force by New Chapter. Each soft gel capsule contains pure and potent lemon balm extract. Users are required to take one tablet daily 1-2 hours before bedtime.
9. Lavender Oil
Lavender oil is often added to shampoos, perfumes, bath oils, and soaps for its pleasant smell and soothing properties. It is also considered to purify the mind, body, and soul.
To treat insomnia, lavender oil is usually used in aromatherapy and massages where it provides a calming effect and promotes relaxation. Lavender tea can also be taken to lessen restlessness and anxiety.
However, lavender oil cannot be taken orally as consuming the herb can cause digestion problems and headaches.
Recommended Supplement – Majestic Pure Lavender Oil. Made with 100% natural extracts, the oil should only be used for aromatherapy or carefully diluted with carrier oils like coconut and almond.
10. Gingko Biloba
Gingko Biloba is an ancient plant that has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. In fact, it is one of the top-selling herbal treatments worldwide. The herb not only helps lessen depression and anxiety but is also helpful for treating libido, migraines, and asthma.
Regular intake of gingko Biloba is also known to treat insomnia by agitating the nerves and de-stressing the mind and body.
Recommended supplement – Gingko Biloba by Sports Supplement. The nootropic improves mental clarity and relieves stress and anxiety.
Those of you who struggle to fall asleep at the end of the day or are jolted awake in the middle of the night should give the above-mentioned supplements a try. Select one herb from the list and use it consistently. With regular use, we are sure that you will have a better time falling and staying asleep.