According to a study by The John Hopkins University, over 60 million people in the country do not get enough sleep and over 40 million of the country’s population struggles with sleep disorder symptoms. Lack of sleep can affect a person’s daily routine and it is important to know about natural sleeping aids that can help you increase the quality of your sleep.
Why do you need to sleep well?
An individual ideally requires between seven to eight and a half hours of sleep each night, but this figure can differ based on a number of factors. Every person has a natural internal clock or circadian rhythm that controls sleep patterns and helps a person know when to sleep and when to wake up. Moving away from this pattern can cause sleep deprivation that can negatively affect a person.
The effects of sleep deprivation range from poor physical and emotional health to difficulty in concentration and memory. It can also lead to major health conditions such as depression, heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
It is important for a person to enjoy good sleep quantity and quantity and natural sleeping aids can go a long way to boost this process.
The most beneficial natural sleeping aids
Melatonin is a hormone released by the brain that helps in regulating a person’s circadian rhythm. Studies have shown that this hormone helps in improving sleep patterns and can also help increase the length of sleep. Melatonin has also been found to be effective in decreasing the jet lag levels while traveling. However, just like many other natural supplements, melatonin supplements are is tested and regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and it is best to consult a doctor to know if it is suitable for you.
Extracted from herbs, this is one of the most popular natural sleeping aids in the treatment of insomnia and anxiety. People who use valerian found that they did not feel groggy in the mornings unlike benzodiazepines, a sleeping drug. Although there are conflicting reports about the positive effects of valerian, its use over a period of few weeks promises to show results. As the side effects may include headaches or difficulty in thinking, it should not be used together with sedatives or alcohol.
This is a mineral vital in regulating the health of the brain and heart. Additionally, it may help quieten a person’s mind and body, providing a calming environment for a person to fall asleep. Research shows that this may be due to magnesium’s ability to control melatonin in the body which helps with a person’s cycle of sleeping and waking up.
An amino acid in the body, glycine is vital in regulating the nervous system. It may also be useful in inducing sleep. Researchers are not certain about how the process works, but it is believed to bring down the body temperature which makes the body realize it is time to go to sleep. Glycine supplements are known to help people sleep faster and better. The food sources of glycine include meat, eggs, bone broth, beans, spinach, and kale.
This is another amino acid that helps in improving the quality of sleep. It is essential in the formation of serotonin, a neurotransmitter which helps in the regulation of a person’s sleep, memory, mood, and other behaviors. Milk contains tryptophan and warm milk before going to bed has been known to create a soothing sleeping effect. However, taking tryptophan as a natural supplement led to the death of some people a few years ago. Researchers are still in the process of determining the complete side effects of tryptophan.
Herbal remedies for better sleep
There are a number of herbal remedies that can help a person sleep better. These natural sleep remedies can provide a soothing and calming effect which can enable a person to sleep faster and for a long period of time.
This herb has been used as a natural sleeping remedy for many years and is available in the form of tea, ointment, and extract. Known for its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits, chamomile is mostly used in the preparation of herbal tea that is taken just before bedtime. It helps people feel calm and relaxed. However, there is no in-depth research on the effects of chamomile in the treatment of insomnia.
The soothing fragrance of lavender aromatherapy has been used to improve sleep, especially in women and young people, and initial reports seem to show fewer side effects.
This herbal remedy was widely used to provide relaxation and relief from stress and anxiety. However, the use of kava led to over 20 reports of liver cirrhosis, liver failure, and hepatitis in Europe, making it unsafe for consumption.