There are few things I find worse than laying there, staring at the ceiling, mind racing and unable to fall asleep. Sleep is essential to maintain good health. Sleep is also restorative for the brain. Think of it like powering down your pc for the night. When your sleep is off, everything else seems to rapidly go awry. Over the counter sleep aids, while effective, can also be pretty harsh. I’ve found that they help me to sleep (in an almost coma like manor) but then I am walking around like a lethargic zombie the next day. That sort of defeats the whole purpose. Two things that I have started doing are wearing these to bed and listening to nature sounds on Pandora. Here are 8 more natural remedies you can turn to:
Magnesium and calcium
Magnesium and calcium are both sleep boosters, and when taken together they become even more effective. Plus, by taking magnesium you cancel out any potential heart problems that might arise from taking calcium alone. Take 200 milligrams of magnesium (you can lower the dose if it causes diarrhea) and 600 milligrams of calcium each night.
If you’ve suffered anxiety, headaches, or muscle or joint pain, you might already be familiar with wild lettuce. It’s also effective at calming restlessness and reducing anxiety, and may even quell restless legs syndrome. When using a wild-lettuce supplement, take 30 to 120 milligrams before bed.
Beer fans are already familiar with the calming effect of hops, the female flowers used in beer making. For sleep purposes, this extract has been widely used as a mild sedative for anxiety and insomnia. Take 30 to 120 milligrams before climbing under the covers.
Melatonin is the hormone that controls sleep, so it’s no wonder that it naturally induces sleep. Studies show that lower doses are more effective — plus, there’s concern that too-high doses could cause toxicity as well as raise the risk of depression or infertility.
Yoga and Meditation
Choose gentle yoga or stretching, not vigorous power or ashtanga yoga, which could energize you instead. Try easy yoga stretches in bed followed by simple meditation. Close your eyes and, for 5 to 10 minutes, pay attention to nothing but your breathing.
This amino acid comes from green tea, and not only helps maintain a calm alertness during the day but also a deeper sleep at night. However, green tea doesn’t contain enough L-theanine to significantly boost your REM cycles, and might make you wake up to go to the bathroom. Instead, buy pure, active L-theanine (some brands have inactive forms of theanine that block the effectiveness), and take 50 to 200 milligrams at bedtime.