According to the CDC, more than one-third of U.S. adults don’t get enough sleep on a regular basis. The culprits that keep us awake can range from caffeine and screen-induced stimulation to stress, anxiety and other lifestyle factors.
If you find it difficult to fall asleep and stay that way, you know how frustrating it can be. No one wants to toss and turn all night long, staring at the alarm clock and wishing for the morning.
Thankfully, there are solutions that can help you address your insomnia. Today, we’re sharing some of the best natural sleep aid solutions.
What Are the Best Natural Sleep Aids?
While there are plenty of over-the-counter medications that promise to help you drift off into dreamland, you can go a more organic route if you prefer. When you trust your sleep cycle to natural sleep aids, you can avoid some of the unnecessary ingredients that drugstore brands tend to include.
Your body naturally produces melatonin. It’s a hormone that signals to your brain that it’s time to go to sleep. Normally, your melatonin levels are higher in the evening and lower in the morning.
Melatonin supplements can jumpstart this cycle, especially at times when your natural melatonin production is disrupted (such as jet lag or hours in front of a blue light close to bedtime). Over the years, it has become a popular sleep aid heralded for its ability to help you get to sleep faster. It can also increase your total amount of sleep time, which means fewer unannounced wake-up calls during the night.
Valerian root is a type of herb found in Asia and Europe. The root of this herb is known to have a naturally calming effect, which is why it is often used as a holistic treatment for a range of emotional health issues, including anxiety and depression.
When taken before bed, Valerian root can induce feelings of relaxation, which can promote a healthy sleep cycle. Researchers have found it to be especially effective in menopausal and postmenopausal women.
Standing for gamma-aminobutyric acid, GABA is a special type of amino acid that gently reduces the activity of your brain cells by targeting specific receptors. If you have ever felt like you simply couldn’t “turn off” your brain enough to fall asleep, GABA supplements may be right for you.
When taken regularly, GABA can help keep your brain from getting overwhelmed. To this end, it can also be taken to support optimal brain health and functioning.
An essential amino acid present in food, tryptophan triggers your body to make a chemical called 5-hydroxytryptophan (or 5-HTP for short). Once the tryptophan converts into 5-HTP, it changes again into serotonin.
A chemical transmitter believed to act as a mood stabilizer, serotonin helps regulate your emotions and behavior. It is known to have a positive effect on your sleep and can also help curb anxiety, appetite and even pain. Taking 5-HTP dietary supplements helps raise the serotonin levels in your brain, which can promote healthier, more restful sleep.
Magnesium is a mineral that is used in hundreds of processes throughout your body. It affects many different systems, from your brain to your heart. When taken as a supplement, it can help calmyour mind and relax your muscles, which makes it easier to fall asleep.
Some of this effect may be due to magnesium’s ability to help regulate your body’s natural melatonin production. For this reason, you’ll often see it listed as an ingredient alongside other types of natural sleep aids like GABA, melatonin and glycine.
If you have ever relaxed in a bath filled with lavender-scented Epsom salts, you know how truly soothing this scent can be. The lavender plant, which can be found on almost every continent, makes purple flowers that have a variety of uses when dried.
Whether used in bath bombs and lotions to soaps and body oils, the lavender fragrance is exceptionally powerful. If your insomnia is mild, you may discover that simply inhaling the scent before bedtime can help you relax and drift off more easily. Your sleep disturbances may also become less frequent.
Glycine is a natural amino acid that helps regulate your nervous system. While researchers are still examining the exact way it helps improve your sleep, it is believed to help lower your body temperature at bedtime. This sends a signal to your brain that it is time to go to sleep.
In one study, participants who took a low-dose glycine supplement before bed found that they fell asleep easier and woke up feeling fresher and less fatigued. They also felt livelier and more clear-headed throughout the day.
Passionflower is one of the most common herbs used to help people sleep better at night. Most of the time, the leaves of this plant are dried and made into an herbal tea. While it’s cultivated throughout Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa, the varieties most closely associated with sleep support are found in North America.
When you sip passionflower tea before bedtime, you may notice that your sleep quality gradually improves. This means waking up fewer times during the night and sleeping more soundly overall. In addition to addressing insomnia, passionflower can also help gently soothe feelings of stress and anxiety.
Remember tryptophan? You can also take it alone as a standalone supplement to help you tackle your sleep issues.
By increasing the amount of tryptophan in your diet (or through supplements), you can enhance the amount of melatonin present in your body, which improves sleep. Tryptophan can also reduce the time it takes you to fall asleep.
Tart Cherry Juice
Did you know that tart cherry juice contains both tryptophan and melatonin? If herbal teas aren’t your preferred beverage or you’re just looking to try something different, this is another sleep-inducing drink to enjoy before bedtime.
Around two 8-ounce glasses a day can help regulate and improve your sleep schedule. In addition to containing melatonin, tart cherries are also packed full of potassium, iron and antioxidants!
Are Natural Sleep Aids Safe?
Before you begin taking any of the supplements listed above, it’s important to know that minor side effects can occur with each one. From diarrhea and constipation to irritability and decreased appetite, these are usually mild in nature, but it is still important to talk to a trusted physician before adding them to your routine.
While these side effects do exist, there are studies that show that natural sleep aids are traditionally safer than those you can purchase over the counter. As long as you do your due diligence and only obtain your supplements from a trusted source, you could start experiencing better sleep.
Discover How an EvexiPEL Certified Practitioner Can Help
In addition to the options listed above, you might want to take a look at EVEXIAS B Complex. This nutritional supplement contains eight key B vitamins and can help enhance sleep patterns and improve restfulness, among other health benefits.
When you meet with an EvexiPEL Certified provider, you can get a custom treatment plan that can help improve your sleep.. While some sleep issues may be addressed with these supplements, other sleep issues may be part of a bigger problem. Sleep issues that are the result of adrenal fatigue, thyroid disorder, or a hormonal imbalance may also be identified and treated. EvexiPEL Certified providers are trained to take a whole body approach to health and get to the root cause of your symptoms–sleep issues being among the most common when your hormones are out of balance.
Click here to find a EvexiPEL Certified provider near you today and discover how to enjoy better sleep, greater vitality, and optimal health.