6 Natural Sleep Aids and Home Remedies to Fall Asleep

 A bad night’s sleep is like reaching into an empty cookie jar! You’re disappointed, frustrated, and your day is ruined. Okay, that may be a tad dramatic but a lack of sleep can make you equally upset. Experiencing disturbed sleep every now and then can slow you down but otherwise has no long-lasting negative effects. But, long term insomnia can lead to illness and a decline in mental wellbeing. 

A holistic approach to treating sleep disorders could be just what the doctor ordered. Let’s talk about natural sleep remedies and how to get better sleep tonight, naturally.  

Why use Natural Remedies for Insomnia?

Homeopathic sleep aids generally have little to no side effects as they are made with natural herbs and flowers. Check with your doctor to ensure the remedy does not interact with current medication. A natural sleep aid could be less groggy than pharmaceuticals, more easily available, and gentler on your system. 

Natural Sleep Aids 

Natural remedies to fall asleep include: 

  • Valerian Root: a common herb to treat depression, anxiety, menopause, and insomnia. Can be found in most health food stores at a reasonable price. 400-900 mg of valerian extract taken 2 hours before bed may be ideal for those suffering from insomnia. 
  • Melatonin: a naturally occurring hormone in the body that signals to your brain when it’s time to sleep for the night. Your internal body clock relies on melatonin to regulate your sleep/wake cycle, melatonin is one of those sleep supplements that can be taken by almost anyone and could improve your quality of sleep. 
  • Magnesium: a vital mineral that has important functions in the body that maintain brain and heart health. Magnesium relaxes muscles and induces sleep, works well with melatonin. Low levels of magnesium in the body is linked to insomnia.
  • Glycine: An amino acid that improves sleep quality and nervous system health. Glycine is a natural sleep aid that lowers body temperature, alerting your body to bedtime. Those who take glycine report having a clear head and lots of energy the following day.

Home Remedies to Fall Asleep 

1. Exercise

One of the best home remedies to fall asleep is exercise. Strength training and cardio are some of the best exercises you can do and works wonders on insomnia. Although, not an instant cure. It could take 1-2 weeks of regular exercise to see the sleepy benefits. For an instant fix, try some gentle stretches or light yoga before bed. 

2. Meditation

            Photo by Lesly Juarez on Unsplash

All together now...Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo. Mindfulness meditation is one of the best natural sleeping pills (or mantra) and perfect when restful slumber is at arms reach. Most people suffer insomnia due to stress and mind racing with thoughts and worries. Bringing your attention to the here and now through deep breathing techniques and reciting mantras, (in your head or out loud) clears your mind of stress and calms your body for sleep. You could make up a mantra of your own, reciting a positive statement can bring your attention to positive thoughts and feelings. 

3. Tea

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Chamomile tea with honey and lemon is a delicious and calming drink to enjoy before bed. In fact, any herbal tea will fill your belly with hot sleep-inducing liquid. Stay away from caffeine after midday to ensure a restful sleep at night. Keep herbal teas in your desk at work or in your backpack/handbag so you won’t be tempted to reach for the coffee pot.  

4. Essential Oils

           Photo by Tiara Leitzman on Unsplash

Essential oils such as lavender is a wonderful herbal sleeping remedy. Essential oils for sleep include valerian oil, sandalwood, ylang-ylang, bergamot, peppermint, and jasmine. Put a few drops under your pillow or add a few drops to a diffuser for calming effects.  

5.  Hot Bath or Shower

           Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash

Essential oils such as lavender is a wonderful herbal sleeping remedy. Essential oils for sleep include valerian oil, sandalwood, ylang-ylang, bergamot, peppermint, and jasmine. Put a few drops under your pillow or add a few drops to a diffuser for a soothing scent.  

6. Snuggle With a Pet (or Hot Water Bottle)

           Photo by Farfallina on Unsplash

Pet snuggles are awesome and release oxytocin (the feel-good hormone) into your brain as you snuggle your beloved pet, calming your mind to a sleep-induced state. If you don’t have any pets, put a hot water bottle in your bed. The addition of heat in your bed triggers a primal response of protection that can bring restful sleep. 

Check out these 28 Tips, Tricks & Strategies to Fall Asleep Fast.

Tips on how to Fall Asleep Quicker at Night

Insomnia remedies include: 

  • Adjusting your thermostat: 60–67°F (15.6–19.4°C) is an ideal bedroom temperature, ensure you’re under some cozy blankets too as your body temperature will drop when you fall asleep
  • No devices: keep cell phones, laptops, and tablets out of your bedroom. The blue light of electronic screens trick your brain into thinking it’s day time, disturbing those sleepy signals
  • Keep a schedule: a sleep schedule will reset your circadian rhythm (internal body clock) that will help you regain quality sleep, learn how to reset your sleep schedule, here
  • Enjoy a dark bedroom: a blackout blind or blackout curtains encourage quality sleep by keeping pesky sunlight at bay, when you’re ready to wake up, bathe your bedroom in sunlight
  • Gentle stretches: unleash your inner yogi for ten minutes before bed, gentle stretching limbers you up for a glorious night of relaxed quality sleep.

Conclusion

There are many pharmaceutical Insomnia cures but most will cause morning grogginess and even daytime fatigue. The best sleep aid is regular exercise and a healthy diet. Keeping your body in tip-top shape is the best thing you can do for your physical health, sleep health, and mental wellbeing. 

However, a quick natural sleep aid can be found in your pantry. Herbal tea (especially chamomile tea) is calming and yummy. The best herbs for sleep can be found at your local health food store, are reasonably priced, and should have no negative effects, unlike pharmaceutical drugs. Consult your doctor before embarking on your natural health journey, to be sure any current medication does not interact with the herbs.     

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