Getting a full night’s rest is important to maintaining overall health. Sleep is an essential component to every process in the body. The quality and amount of sleep you receive has a larger impact on our physical and mental health. It also affects your ability to fight disease, develop immunity, and regulate metabolism.
Not getting enough sleep can have both short term and long term consequences. On a limited amount of sleep, waking up the next day can make you feel groggy and fatigued. You also might have headaches or suffer from an inability to focus. Looking at lack of sleep long term presents more issues. Continuing a habit of poor sleep has been correlated with hypertension, obesity, diabetes, depression, decreased brain function, memory loss, and weakened immune system.
Some sleep disorders like chronic insomnia or sleep apnea should always be addressed by a healthcare professional. For less severe sleep issues, there are several natural sleep remedies to try for a more peaceful night’s rest. Here are four natural sleep remedies to try:
Melatonin is a natural hormone found in the body. Its function is to signal to the brain that it is time to sleep. When you don’t make enough or interfere with the production of melatonin by drinking too much caffeine, it can become difficult to feel sleepy. Typically, melatonin is released during the night and the levels naturally decrease by morning. This makes it a popular choice for a natural sleep remedy. Most research even shows that melatonin can also help you receive a better quality of sleep and even fall asleep faster.
Usually, taking around 3 to 10 milligrams a half hour before bed will help you get to sleep. Using melatonin for a short period of time has been proven safe in adults. Always consult a doctor first if you have any health concerns or are considering using melatonin for a child.
2. Valerian Root
Valerian root has been used historically for aiding sleep ailments. Valerian is an herb native to Asia and Europe. The root is commonly used as a natural sleep remedy and to treat symptoms of anxiety, depression, and menopause.
In the United States and Europe, it is one of the most commonly steeped roots. The results of effectiveness tend to vary between populations. Most reports verify that taking 300 to 900 milligrams of valerian right before lying down for bedtime improves sleep quality and can bring a feeling of calm to the nervous system.
As an alternative to most commonly prescribed benzodiazepines, valerian root is not reported to cause morning grogginess. In this regard, it is a great natural alternative. Still, it will not be as strong as a prescribed medication but can be used in less severe cases of insomnia. As a natural product, it is important to be aware of any allergies that you may have before trying it.
3. Lavender Oil
Aromatherapy can be a successful natural sleep remedy for many. It is a less invasive option as opposed to taking a pill or drinking tea. Often, people report that the scent brings a feeling of calm before heading off to bed. This can be especially useful for those who suffer from anxiety and feel it most before bedtime.
Lavender oil can be used in a few different ways depending on user comfort and what the objective is. It of course can be drunk as a tea, but for aromatherapy purposes there are many ways to put it to work. The first is to dab the oil at the base of the neck and behind the ears. This way, the scent is closer to the head and can be inhaled throughout the night. It can be sprayed directly onto a pillow for the same effect. Lastly, it can be diffused by an essential oil diffuser. This is particularly popular as it can be mixed with other natural sleep promoting oils. The scent typically lasts longer this way as it can often be rubbed on when placed on the skin or pillow.
4. Sleepy Patch
A sleepy patch is similar to diffusing lavender oil in that it works like an aromatherapy to promote sleep. The difference is that it is stuck to pajamas or your pillow instead of diffused or rubbed onto the skin. Sleep-centered essential oils are infused with the fabrics of the sleep patch and these can be reused if sealed in a ziplock bag. It makes for a longer lasting and more cost effective alternative to traditional oil diffusion.
A Natural Night’s Rest
There are plenty of natural sleep remedies out there to try. In deciding what is right for you, take into account your bedtime routine and sleep habits. Picking one that easily fits into your schedule and preferences will likely have the most success. Before consuming or taking any supplements, it is always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional. Hopefully, you will be on your way to a more restful night.