If you struggle to get a decent night’s sleep but don’t want to turn to medication, there are many natural alternatives that are proven to help.
Struggling to get to sleep, or even waking up throughout the night can
cause huge problems with our daytime functioning, so securing a good
sleep every night is essential. The National Sleep Foundation recommends getting seven to nine hours of sleep a night.
Here are 6 natural remedies to try if you’re having difficulty securing a good night’s sleep.
1) Valerian Root
Valerian root is a well-known sleep remedy because of its sedative properties; studies have shown that it has a positive impact on sleep habits. The downside is that it doesn’t taste or smell great, but we think for a better sleep, it might be worth putting up with.
2) St John’s Wort
St John’s Wort is most commonly used to treat anxiety and depression – however it’s also a sleep aid dating back to Ancient Greece. Although it’s not completely clear how it helps secure a good sleep, it is thought that it helps stimulate the GABA receptor – a key gateway for sleep inducing chemicals in the brain – and also stimulates production of serotonin. You can take St John’s Wort in capsule form, as a tea or in liquid drops.
Multiple studies have shown that lavender increases deep sleep and slow-wave sleep – making you feel more energetic in the morning. It’s also been found to improve the quality of sleep and helps people fall asleep more easily. Lavender is available in many forms, from room fragrances to candles, but one of the best ways to use it is as an essential oil – so simply add to your hot bath before bed or put a few drops on your pillow.
Chamomile is well known for its sleep-inducing properties, whether you want to take it in tea form before bed, or use it as an essential oil. Studies have shown that patients fell into a deep sleep after taking chamomile tea and that chamomile oil helps to reduce the production of stress hormones in the brain – so if you think external stresses may be the cause of your insomnia, chamomile tea might be the answer.
Kava is a slightly more controversial option for inducing sleep, as some people compare the effects to the similar sleep haze you get after consuming alcohol. Kava has also come under question as some reports suggest that it can lead to liver toxicity, however other studies suggest this is in fact false. If you’re considering using Kava, consult your doctor first.
6) California Poppy
California poppy contains mild sedative properties that help calm your nervous system and help you get to sleep faster. Some research has suggested that it improves both sleep length and quality. California poppy can be taken as a tea or as liquid drops.