Perhaps the most well known and oft-recommended natural sleep aid is melatonin. You can pick up melatonin at any pharmacy, or you can buy supplements online. But did you also know that melatonin is actually a hormone produced naturally by your own body? The production of the hormone is influenced by the time of day, your exposure to light, and even the time of year—typically, more melatonin is produced and released into your system as it gets later in the evening, subsequently making you sleepy.
The problem arises when you get older, and the production of melatonin begins to recede. Then you may find yourself turning to a melatonin supplement as a natural sleep aid.
Melatonin is available in different doses depending on your needs. It usually works to make you feel sleepy fairly quickly, as well as provides a more restful slumber throughout the night. Start with a small dose, and if you still have trouble falling asleep or sleeping through the night, try a larger dose.
Used as an herbal remedy for centuries, chamomile contains an antioxidant called apigenin which has been shown to decrease anxiety and relax you, enabling you to fall asleep easier.
It is pretty easy to find chamomile tea in nearly any supermarket, and some brands or natural and herbal teas often market a sleep aid tea that contains chamomile and other herbs that soothe the mind and induce sleep.
You can also find chamomile in the form of an extract or an ointment, though these products are utilized for other health purposes. Opt for a cup of chamomile tea in the evening, which should help you enjoy a good night’s sleep.
Another traditional medicinal herb, valerian root is well known as a stress and anxiety reducer, as well as a natural sleep aid. Like chamomile, you can find valerian in the form of a tea, as well as an ingredient in many sleep aid teas. However, it is also sold in pharmacies as a natural supplement in both capsule form and liquid form.
Studies have shown that valerian root can help you fall asleep faster as well as provide a better quality of sleep. It is recommended that you take valerian root about 2 hours before you are ready to go to bed. You might also need to take valerian root daily for a few weeks before you see any noticeable effects.
Note: Some people do experience side effects when taking valerian root, such as headaches or sluggishness.
Lemon balm is another medicinal herb often utilized to ease the symptoms of various digestive problems. However, lemon balm also contains chemicals that help to relieve stress and anxiety and improve sleep. It is often an ingredient in many sleep aid teas, but you can also purchase lemon balm as a natural sleep aid supplement in pharmacies and online.
Although the mineral magnesium is present in many foods, most of us don’t consume of it daily. That’s a shame, because it is an essential mineral for proper cell and organ function. Additionally, a lack of magnesium can cause sleep problems. Having enough magnesium daily can help you to relax and receive a better sleep, since it helps to regulate the production of melatonin in the body.
You can easily find magnesium supplements in capsule form—500 mg is a suitable amount, although you can also find natural sleep aid supplements containing a combination of melatonin, magnesium, and zinc.
Before taking any natural sleep aids for better rest and sleep, talk to your physician.