Best Natural Remedy to Help You Sleep
Sleep sometimes seems to be a luxury we can't afford in our fast-paced, modern world. Yet, achieving a good night's sleep is vital for our physical, emotional, and mental well-being. We've heard the risks from countless health gurus: lack of sleep can lead to chronic health issues, reduce cognitive function, and spike our stress levels.
The good news? Mother Nature has provided us with a treasure trove of natural remedies to aid in catching those precious zzz's.
This article will explore tried-and-true natural remedies, their benefits and side effects, and practical tips to create a peaceful slumber sanctuary. So, say goodbye to sleepless nights and dozing off at your morning meetings—let's dive into the fascinating world of natural sleep aids!
- Having enough sleep is essential to staying healthy, both mentally and physically.
- Insomnia and other sleeping disorders can affect your daily life, leaving you feeling groggy, unfocused, and fatigued.
- Natural remedies are available that can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. They are usually safer than prescription medication and cause fewer side effects.
- Some of the best natural remedies for insomnia include taking magnesium supplements, practicing yoga and meditation, avoiding caffeine and alcohol, exercising regularly, and using essential oils.
- Before you add any natural remedy to your sleep routine, talk to a healthcare professional. They can provide guidance on what might work best for you.
- If these natural remedies do not improve your sleep quality or if you experience severe symptoms like extreme fatigue, it is important to talk to a doctor about possible prescription medications.
Best Natural Remedies to Help You Sleep
Below are some of the best natural remedies to help you sleep:
Regular exercise helps to regulate your body’s natural sleep/wake cycle, improving the amount of sleep you get each night. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins that make you feel calm and relaxed. It also helps to reduce stress, tension, and anxiety. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity most days of the week.
It's worth mentioning, however, that while exercise can help you relax and feel more alert during the day, it’s best to avoid exercising too close to bedtime. Late-night workouts can make it harder for you to fall asleep. Therefore, it is best to exercise in the morning or afternoon.
Aromatherapy has been used for centuries as a natural way to help improve sleep quality and reduce insomnia symptoms. Certain essential oils, such as lavender and chamomile, have sedative properties that may help you relax and fall asleep faster.
You can use a diffuser to disperse essential oils into the air or apply them directly to your skin. You can also add a few drops of essential oil to your pillowcase, sheets, or bathwater.
Minimize Screen Time
The blue light emitted from electronic devices can disrupt the natural circadian rhythm and make it harder for you to sleep. This is because blue light suppresses melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate sleep.
When you're trying to get a good night's sleep, it is best to avoid screens at least an hour before bed. You can also use blue light filters on your electronic devices or switch to night mode if available.
Create a Schedule and Stick to It
With a consistent sleep and wake schedule, your body will become used to when it should be winding down for the night. This means setting an alarm at the same time every day and going to bed around the same time every night.
Even on weekends or days off, try to stick to this schedule as much as possible so that your body can get into a routine and understand when it is time to sleep.
Additionally, try to avoid naps during the day. If you feel like you need to sleep, go for a walk instead. This will help your body stay alert so that it knows when it's time for bed for the night.
Cut out Stimulants
Caffeine and other stimulants can interfere with your sleep. Caffeine is a powerful stimulant and should be avoided in the late afternoon or evening. It can take up to 8 hours for the effects of caffeine to wear off. Limit your consumption or switch to decaffeinated beverages in the afternoon and evening.
Another natural remedy to help you sleep is to manage your worries. Anxiety before bedtime can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. If anxiety is keeping you up at night, try writing down your worries in a journal right before bed and then let go of them until morning.
The next morning, re-read what you wrote and make a plan to tackle your worries. This simple exercise can help to clear your mind before bedtime and allow for better sleep.
Take a Warm Bath
A warm bath can be a great way to relax and prepare for sleep. Research shows that taking a hot bath or shower about 90 minutes before going to bed helps your body temperature drop and sleep easier. The relaxing effects of a warm bath can help you drift off into dreamland more quickly.
Finally, relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises, and guided and progressive muscle relaxation can help reduce stress and prepare your body for sleep. Spend some time before bed, closing your eyes and focusing on each part of your body, starting with your feet and working up to your head.
Once you’re completely relaxed, it will be easier to drift off into a peaceful slumber.
Other relaxation techniques include mindfulness meditation, visualization, and yoga. These activities will help you clear your mind, focus on the present moment, and reduce any anxiety or stress that may be preventing you from drifting off to sleep.
All these remedies will help you sleep better and boost energy levels at work. This is because a good night’s sleep leads to improved memory, concentration, and cognitive performance.
Beverages to Help You Sleep
Now that we've looked at some of the best natural remedies to help you sleep, let's look at some of the beverages that can help promote relaxation and aid in quality sleep.
One of the most popular natural remedies for sleep is drinking warm milk before bed. Milk contains an amino acid called tryptophan, which helps the body produce serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps induce sleep.
Milk also contains calcium, magnesium, and potassium, all important minerals for muscle relaxation. And best of all, research shows that drinking a glass of warm milk before bed can be comforting as well as nourishing.
Another popular beverage to help you get a good night’s sleep is chamomile tea. Chamomile has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for insomnia, and many find that it helps them drift off into a peaceful slumber.
Chamomile acts on the brain in much the same way as benzodiazepines, which are commonly prescribed for insomnia. It binds to the same receptors in the brain as benzodiazepines and helps relieve anxiety, tension, and restlessness. Chamomile also has anti-inflammatory properties that calm the mind and body – just what you need after a long day!
In addition to helping with sleep, this beverage can also reduce stomach problems, menstrual cramps, and anxiety. One study also found that people who drank chamomile tea regularly had lower levels of cortisol – a stress hormone – than those who didn’t drink it.
To make the most of this natural remedy, brew yourself a cup of chamomile tea about an hour before bed and sip it slowly. Avoid adding sugar or honey, as this will likely make you more alert instead of helping you sleep.
Tart Cherry Juice
Tart cherry juice is becoming increasingly popular as a natural remedy for insomnia. Research suggests that drinking tart cherry juice can increase melatonin levels and help regulate your sleep-wake cycle.
To get the most out of this remedy, drink a small glass (around 8 ounces) of tart cherry juice an hour or two before bedtime. You can also add honey or other natural sweeteners to improve the taste.
Natural Supplements for Sleep
Below are some of the best natural supplements for sleep:
Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland in response to darkness. It helps regulate the body's circadian rhythm, or sleep/wake cycle. Low levels of melatonin have been linked to difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep.
Studies suggest that supplementing with melatonin can help increase total sleep time and improve sleep quality. If your schedule requires you to sleep during the day, studies show that melatonin boosts daytime sleep quality and makes it easier to stay asleep.
Combined with other natural ingredients such as Rhodiola rosea root, melatonin can go a long way in helping you relax and drift off to dreamland.
Valerian is an herb that has been used as a natural sedative for centuries. It contains compounds such as valerenic acid and isovaleric acid, which are known to have a calming effect on the nerves. Valerian root extract also has antispasmodic properties, making it helpful for relieving muscle tension and cramps.
Studies have shown that valerian can help people fall asleep faster, increase sleep quality, improve sleep duration, and reduce the number of awakenings during the night. Valerian may also help reduce anxiety levels, which may help people find it easier to relax and drift off to sleep.
One of the supplements that many experts recommend is magnesium. It helps to relax the body and reduce stress levels, which can be beneficial for those suffering from insomnia or broken sleep patterns.
Magnesium also has a calming effect on the nervous system and helps regulate cortisol, the hormone released when feeling stressed or anxious. Low levels of this mineral have been linked to insomnia, so taking a supplement may help restore the body’s magnesium balance and promote better sleep.
This mineral has also been shown to increase gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) levels. GABA is a neuronal transmitter that regulates our circadian rhythm and the production of melatonin, which helps us sleep.
Lavender is a herb renowned for its calming properties and ability to soothe the mind. It has been used as a sleep aid for centuries, with studies showing it can improve sleep quality and reduce wakefulness during the night.
The aroma of lavender essential oil is thought to stimulate processes in the limbic system, which affects emotions and helps to reduce stress and anxiety. Research has found that lavender essential oil has a sedative effect when inhaled and can even help reduce symptoms of insomnia, such as difficulty falling asleep or nighttime wakefulness.
Have you ever heard of reishi for sleep? Well, even though many people rely on mushrooms for brain fog, fatigue, and other things, many people don’t realize they can also be incredibly beneficial when it comes to sleep.
Mushrooms are known as adaptogens since they help the body adapt and cope with stress better. Reishi mushroom is particularly effective for helping you fall asleep quickly and for increasing overall sleep quality.
Additionally, research suggests that supplementation with reishi mushroom extract can help improve sleep quality and reduce insomnia symptoms, such as difficulty falling asleep or nighttime wakefulness.
Also known as passiflora incarnate, passionflower has been traditionally used to reduce anxiety, restlessness, and insomnia.
Research suggests that passionflower may combat mild to moderate insomnia. It works similarly to benzodiazepines, a class of drugs often used for sleep disturbances, but without the same levels of sedation and risk for dependence.
Recent studies indicate that passionflower extract may help increase overall sleep quality when taken right before bedtime. Furthermore, it appears to be safe if used in the short term and is generally well-tolerated.
One way passionflower works to promote sleep is by increasing levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain.
Research suggests that consuming 240mg of ginkgo biloba extract daily can improve sleep quality and quantity. It is believed that this may be due to its ability to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, which are linked to poor sleep quality.
This natural supplement contains a variety of compounds, including flavonoids, terpenoids, and glycosides. These are thought to provide numerous health benefits for the body, which can help improve sleep quality.
Ginkgo biloba is also believed to increase serotonin production in the brain, which helps regulate mood and sleep patterns.
One supplement that has been gaining a lot of attention recently is cannabidiol (CBD). CBD is a compound derived from the cannabis plant, and it can be in several different forms, including oils, edibles, and creams
Studies have shown that CBD may help with sleep by promoting relaxation and reducing stress. For instance, one study found that a single dose of CBD was enough to reduce anticipatory anxiety and cognitive impairment in people preparing to give a public speech.
In addition, the study found that taking CBD improved sleep quality.
This makes sense since CBD is known to stimulate the endocannabinoid system, which plays a key role in regulating sleep. In fact, it has been seen that people with insomnia tend to have lower levels of anandamide - one of the main cannabinoids found in CBD.
Additionally, CBD may help reduce inflammation and chronic pain, both of which can interfere with sleep. For instance, it has been shown to reduce pain intensity and improve the quality of life in people with multiple sclerosis and cancer-related pain.
CBD may help reduce stress levels by interacting with the body’s serotonin receptors. Studies have found that CBD can effectively reduce cortisol levels - a hormone released in response to stress.
Lower cortisol levels may lead to better sleep, as it can help you relax and reduce anxiety.
Before incorporating any of the above supplements into your lifestyle, speaking with a medical professional is important. This is especially true if you are taking any medications or currently experiencing any health issues.
Also, it's worth mentioning that these natural remedies can be very beneficial in promoting better sleep, but they should only be used as part of an overall plan to get a good night's rest. Use them alongside the natural remedies outlined earlier (calming environment, light exercise, avoiding caffeine, etc.) for the best results.
Finally, if you're still having trouble sleeping after trying all the natural remedies listed in this article, it may be time to seek help from a sleep specialist. They will be able to recommend treatments and lifestyle changes that can help you get a better night's rest and improve your overall health.
Ideal Temperature for Sleep
According to the Sleep Foundation, the ideal temperature for sleep is between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. Maintaining a cooler temperature in your bedroom can promote better sleep because it mimics our body's natural circadian rhythm.
When we are sleeping, our core body temperature drops to its lowest point of the day, usually around 4 AM. This drop in temperature signals to our bodies that it's time to sleep.
By setting your thermostat to a lower temperature in the evening, you can encourage this same drop in body temperature, promoting better quality and more restful sleep. Additionally, keeping your bedroom cool helps with other issues that can disturb your sleep, such as night sweats caused by menopause or fever-related ailments.
How to Darken a Room for Sleeping
Creating a soothing environment is important to achieving a good night's sleep. Many people find that darkening the bedroom helps them fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
Here are some tips on how to darken your room for sleeping:
- Install blackout curtains or shades: Blackout curtains and shades are designed with special fabrics that block out most of the light. If you have a window in your bedroom, this is one of the best ways to ensure that no light gets in while you’re sleeping.
- Invest in sleep masks: Sleep masks are an inexpensive way to block out any stray light that might be coming through. They fit snugly around the eyes and nose and help create total darkness.
- Cover your alarm clock: Alarm clocks often emit a bright light that can be distracting when you’re trying to sleep. Covering it with a towel or cloth will help block out the light and make it easier for you to drift off.
- Switch off or dim the lights: When it’s time to sleep, switch off any lights in your bedroom or dim them as much as possible. This will help you relax and prepare for a restful night of sleep.
- Paint the walls a darker color: A more permanent solution to reduce light in the bedroom is to paint the walls a darker color. Colors such as navy blue and deep purple are great for creating a cozy sleep environment.
What Aromatherapy is Good for Sleep?
Aromatherapy is the practice of using essential oils to improve physical and emotional health. Essential oils are extracted from herbs, flowers, plants, and other natural sources and can be used for a variety of purposes, including improving sleep.
When it comes to sleep, certain essential oils have been shown to help with anxiety, improve relaxation and help induce sleep.
Lavender oil is perhaps the most popular essential oil for sleep. It is known for its calming and relaxing properties and has been used for centuries to help with insomnia and other sleep disturbances.
Research has found that lavender oil can help improve sleep quality and reduce the amount of time it takes to fall asleep. It is also believed to have antispasmodic, antibacterial, sedative, and antidepressant properties.
Inhaling lavender oil or using it in a diffuser may help reduce stress and anxiety, allowing you to relax and get a better night's sleep. You can also apply it topically to the skin, usually combined with coconut or jojoba oil.
Improve Your Bedroom Feng Shui
Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese practice that promotes positive energy, relaxation, and balance in a living space. Applying the principles of Feng Shui to a bedroom can create a calming atmosphere that helps foster good quality sleep.
Below are some Feng Shui tips to improve the energy of your bedroom:
- Declutter: Clutter can create negative energy and block positive energy from flowing freely. Remove anything not essential to the bedroom, such as piles of laundry or paperwork.
- Place a mirror opposite your bed at a 45-degree angle: A mirror opposite the bed can ward off negative energy and create a harmonious space. Make sure the mirror is at an angle of 45 degrees so it doesn’t reflect directly onto your bed.
- Color: Choose soothing, calming colors like blues and greens to paint your walls, or add color via rugs, linens, and drapes. Ensure your walls are free of distracting posters, photographs, or artwork.
- Lighting: Choose soft lighting such as a dimmer lamp or candles to create a relaxed atmosphere. Keep bright lights out of the bedroom for a more restful environment.
- Purify the air: Use natural diffusers such as essential oils to improve air quality and scent the room.
- Noise: Invest in a white noise machine or app that produces calming sounds such as wind chimes, rain, or ocean waves.
- Perform relaxing activities: Before bed, practice calming activities such as taking a warm bath, reading, listening to music, doing yoga, or stretching exercises.
- Position your bed centrally: Make sure your bedroom has clear pathways. Place the bed away from walls and doorways to create a more peaceful sleeping environment.
- Get a solid headboard: Place a solid headboard against the wall to create an inviting sleep environment.
- Avoid a bookshelf in the bedroom: Even though it may seem like a great idea, bookshelves in the bedroom can be disruptive to sleep. Move it to another room in your house.
- Only use candles and low-light bulbs: Selecting a low-light bulb in the bedroom will help create a calmer atmosphere. Candles can also provide much-needed light and help promote relaxation.
These tips, combined with the natural remedies for sleep shared above, can help create the perfect sleeping environment.
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