7 Natural Sleep Supplements That Work
Sleep is always taken for granted. A lot of people don’t think very much of sleep since it is an ordinary part of life. However, if you cannot sleep or if you experience insomnia, it can be a big problem.
When someone cannot sleep or doesn’t have enough sleep, natural sleep aids come to mind. Sleep remedies are as old as sleep problems. Ancient doctors used poppies and mandrake root to aid with people’s sleep issues. Many people who do not want to take prescription sleeping pills because of its known side effects turn to natural supplements to help with their sleep issues.
If you have troubles falling or staying asleep and you are looking for natural sleep remedies, below are natural supplements to help you.
A melatonin supplement is a popular natural supplement to promote sleep. Melatonin is a principal sleep hormone that signals the brain once it is time to take some rest and head to sleep.
A study by Luthringer, Muzet, Zisapel, Staner to elderly patients diagnosed with insomnia concluded that nightly treatment using 2 mg of prolonged-release melatonin (PRM) effectively influenced sleep and improved the quality of sleep of patients with insomnia. The study also posits that PRM is better than placebo and has no evidence of rebound effects.
Melatonin does not have any withdrawal effects for users. A study conducted by Geijlswijk, Mol, Egberts, and Smits showed that long-term melatonin treatment in children did not cause significant deviation on their quality of sleep, puberty development, and even mental health.
Taking melatonin supplement is one of the easiest ways to fall asleep, even if you have insomnia. It helps improve the quality of your sleep and energy the next day.
Valerian Root is recommended to reduce the amount of time it takes you to fall asleep. If your mind is racing causing you to wake up in the middle of the night, taking Valerian root can aid you in staying asleep.
Although there is no single compound in Valerian that can be identified as an active agent, the National Institutes of Health reported that it might have sedative properties that may increase the amount of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA is the brain’s compound that prevents the spreading of nerve impulses. It inhibits and reduces the activity of the nerve cell. It also controls your body’s response to anxiety and stress.
Valerian is a sleeping aid that can help with insomnia because it increases the amount of GABA in your body that promotes calmness and relaxation.
Another natural supplement to promote sleep is magnesium. Magnesium is one of the most common minerals in the world and can be found in several foods. It is important for the human health and is responsible for more than 600 cellular reactions in the body.
Magnesium activates the parasympathetic nervous system, the system that is responsible for making you feel relax and calm. It regulates the sleep hormone melatonin, cortisol, and blood pressure. It also aids in the increase of GABA in the brain. However, according to an article published in PubMed Health, taking magnesium in the form of supplements can cause side effects such as diarrhea, cramps, troubled breathing or nausea.
Magnesium helps activate the neurotransmitters in the body which is responsible for preparing your body and mind to feel calm and promote sleep.
L-Theanine is an amino acid derivative that can be found in green tea that can help you snooze immediately. It is known to prompt the release of GABA in the brain. Once released, GABA activates the neurotransmitters which reduce stress and anxiety and promotes relaxation. A study by Lyon, Kapoor, and Juneja to 98 male children diagnosed with ADHD showed that taking L-Theanine helped improved some aspects of their sleep quality.
L-Theanine generates and regulates the alpha waves in the brain that occurs during the time of deep relaxation. When the alpha wave activity increases, L-Theanine also reduces your stress and tension.
L-Theanine helps extend the duration of your sleep because it decreases your alertness and energy levels when it is time to take some rest. When you are calm and focused, you can concentrate on getting a good night’s sleep.
5-Hydroxytryptophane, more popularly known as 5-HTP, helps add some extra hours of sleep to your nights. As a more modern natural supplement, 5-HTP came from the seed pods of the West African medicinal plant called Griffonia Simplicifolia. Europeans started using 5-HTP to help treat their sleep problems and depression.
5-HTP is a building block for serotonin which helps regulate mood, sexual behavior, memory, and happiness. Serotonin converts to melatonin. It is also responsible for the breakdown of Tryptophan and convert it to 5-HTP and then to serotonin and melatonin to reduce calmness, happiness, and reduce stress and anxiety to fall asleep better during the night.
5-HTP improves your ability to get a good night’s sleep because of the boost in the levels of melatonin and serotonin in the body which enhances sleep quality and helps you achieve a deeper state of sleep for longer periods.
If you are under stress and that hinders you from sleeping at night, holy basil is a natural supplement to help you. It’s known as the “Queen of Herbs.”
Holy basil acts as an adaptogen or a natural substance that assists your body in adapting to stress and to promote mental balance. If you are waking up in the middle of the night, it can be due to the stress hormone cortisol. Holy basil has the ability to lower down cortisol and regulate your blood sugar, which will normalize your sleep cycle.
Holy basil has antidepressant and anti-anxiety properties. With lower levels of anxiety and stress, you can have extra hours of sleep, and you will no longer experience the cases of rising in the middle of the night.
Lavender is a plant mostly used for the production of essential oils and aromatherapy that assist in sleeping. Lavender can also temporarily relieve you from anxiety. Although it does not have a sedative effect, using lavender as aromatherapy or inhalant can help improve your sleep quality and reduce insomnia.
Several studies proved the effects of lavender to sleeping. A study conducted to women college students suggest that using lavender fragrance helped with insomnia and depression. Another study on young men and women also asserted that lavender serves as a mild sedative to promote deep sleep.
Lavender is a natural sleep aid that contains no sedation and no other chemicals and drugs. It keeps your mind free from stress and anxiety which will help you sleep better and faster.
Instead of taking sleeping pills which have proven side effects, using natural sleep supplements can aid you with your sleep problems. Remember that what works for others may not work for you so it is important to understand the supplements before taking them. Know what you put in your body by consulting a sleep expert, such as a dentist specializing in sleep problems, about the benefits and risks of these natural supplements.