Difficulty Sleeping? These Natural Sleep Aids are for You
Do you find yourself lying in bed at night overthinking about the day? Do you spend hours making to-do lists in your mind instead of getting the 6-8 hours of sleep that you need? Do you want to get to sleep quickly without using sleep aids or over-the-counter pills? Here you will find information about all natural sleep aids that can help you get over the difficulty of falling asleep and keep you asleep for the hours of sleep that you need.
1) Tart cherry juice – A study published in the European Journal of Medicine found that giving participants two 1 oz servings of cherry juice a day napped less, slept for a longer duration, and spent more of their time in bed sleeping than participants given a placebo. When they switched the groups, the result was the same. This is because the cherry juice converted into melatonin, a hormone that helps to regulate sleep cycles, in participants’ bodies. While some recommend drinking a cup of cherry juice 90 minutes before bed, this juice can be enjoyed at any time of day to increase sleep benefits.
2) Valerian – valerian root is a natural plant remedy that has been used in many ways to decrease anxiety and as a sleep aid. Valerian is thought to increase the amount of GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid) in the body which regulates nerve cells giving a calming effect on the body. Multiple studies have found that valerian root can reduce the amount of time it takes for you to fall asleep and can even improve the quality of your sleep. Valerian is available as a tea and in capsule form.
3) Chamomile – chamomile is an herb that has been in use for centuries to increase health and wellbeing. It is thought that chamomile contains a chemical called apigenin, which binds to GABA receptors, which regulate nerve cells and enhance relaxation. This is especially helpful if you have difficulty falling asleep. Chamomile is available as a loose leaf or bagged tea and should be consumed 30-60 minutes before bed.
4) Kava – kava is a root found in the South Pacific islands which has been used as a medicine and sleep aid by islanders for centuries. Kava, usually taken as a tea, powder supplement, or tincture, has been shown to produce brain wave changes similar to those observed when someone takes Valium. Kava is traditionally used to relieve anxiety, help with sleep, decrease muscle tension, promote deep sleep and increase number of hours of sleep. While kava is a wonderful, natural sleep aid, it is important that you don’t use prescription drugs while using kava. If you have questions you should contact your health care provider.