What if getting a good night’s sleep could be achieved without having to put chemicals in your body? Well, the key to ending all that nighttime tossing and turning could be found in natural herbs and supplements. There’s no question about the importance of sleep. Not getting a restful sleep could be a disaster on an important day. Getting less eight hours of sleep often makes us feel like less than our normal healthy selves.
Why sleep is so important?
According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, not getting enough sleep can affect one’s mental and physical health along with your quality of life and even safety. Sleeping helps the body to maintain a healthy brain function which in turn affects one’s physical health. Sleeping is even more important for children and teens since they are still growing and developing. Not getting enough sleep is linked to chronic health problems like heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke.
Sleeping also allows your brain to prepare new pathways so that you can learn and remember information. So, sleeping technically helps to make you smarter. It is known to enhance your learning and problem-solving abilities. When we don’t get enough sleep, we have trouble regulating our emotions and behavior. It also affects our ability to make good decisions and cope with change.
But getting a good night’s sleep doesn’t mean you have to start stuffing your self with prescribed or over-the-counter medications. There are lots of natural supplements that can help lull you into a cozy slumber. And more importantly, they’ll make sure that you stay asleep.
Melatonin is one of these natural supplements. It’s a hormone that your body naturally produces and tells your brain that it’s time for bed. Melatonin levels are naturally released by your body at night when it’s time to go to bed. That why melatonin supplements are often used when one’s sleep cycle is disrupted, for example, in instances of jet lag. It’s also used by shift workers to get a good night’s sleep during the day.
Magnesium is a naturally occurring mineral in the body. It helps brain function, heart function, and plays a role in hundreds of other bodily functions. Magnesium helps to relax your body by increasing aminobutyric which tells your brain to relax. Taking magnesium is known to help give you a longer and more restful sleep.
Glycine is an amino acid that lowers our body temperature at night. This signals to our body that it’s time to hit the hay. So, it helps us to fall asleep faster. Those who took glycine supplements in a study reported feeling more refreshed and peppy when they woke up. They also reported feeling more clear-headed.
Valerian root is an herb that is used to promote sleep as well as ease anxiety, depression, and menopause symptoms. It grows naturally in Asia and Europe and is the most commonly used herbal sleep aid in Europe and the U.S. Its calming effects helps one to fall asleep faster.
Lavender is a very common flowering plant that grows all over the world. It’s known for its soothing fragrance. That’s why it is used in aromatherapy to help lull us to sleep. There are edible lavender supplements but those have sometimes been linked to nausea and stomach pain in some instances. That’s why it’s mostly used via aromatherapy.
Ginkgo biloba is an herbal supplement used for all kinds of things like reducing anxiety, dementia, vascular disease, PMS, dizziness, and even schizophrenia. Its calming effects are also associated with helping to improve sleep quality by promoting a deeper level of sleep.
Passionflower, also known as passiflora incarnata and maypop, is a flowering plant native in North America. It is believed to work best in humans when consumed as a tea. The tea is taken before bed to help ease the mind and body so one can fall asleep.
While all of these supplements were proved to be safe for short-term use, there aren’t studies to confirm the effects of long-term use. You should always talk to your doctor before taking any type of supplement.