We’ve all been there: it’s 3 a.m. and your head is spinning with the next day’s work (as well as the leftover tasks from the day before). Those layovers of stress can wreak havoc on your sleep patterns and those over-the-counter or prescription options really only compound the problem for two reasons.
1. Risk of dependency
2. You’ll be groggy and unproductive the following day.
Basically, conventional sleeping medications will do much more harm than good. Luckily, there are plenty of natural sleep aids out there. Trysome of these natural sleep aids for yourself, and don’t let any naysayers talk you out of it. Your sleep depends on it.
Lavender for Insomnia
Lavender (Lavandula officinalis) is one of the most common natural sleep aids; you can use dried lavender buds in sachets or pillows or use the essential oil in a spritzer.
Lavender filled pillows and sachets are ideal to help babies and children in sleeping; in the past, dilly pillows (fragrant filled pillows of lavender and dill) were used to lull children to sleep in Europe. Today, you can use lavender filled sachets in much the same way, by slipping the sachet under baby’s pillow or leaving it on the nightstand. In addition, adults can heat up a lavender filled pillow and place it over the eyes to relax before going to sleep. You can also make up a water based spritzer with lavender essential oil (and chamomile) and spritz it lightly on your pillow before going to sleep as a simpler natural sleep aid.
Chamomile as Natural Sleep Aids
Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) is another well known herb that is often used as a sleep aid. Available in herbal format from health food stores, you can also take it as a tea or use it in essential oil format. If you are using it as an essential oil, blend it in a water based spritzer as discussed above. The essential oil is gentle enough to be used with children, if you administer it correctly and dilute it before use.
Chamomile is an ever-green perennial herb with daisy-like flowers; it has an apple-like scent. It has been used medicinally for thousands of years and was one of nine sacred herbs in use by the Saxons (source: The Aromatherapy Garden, Julia Lawless).
Valerian as Natural Sleep Aids
Valerian is a herb that is often referred to as the “natural alternative” to the prescription drug valium. There is in fact no relation between the two commodities but it is believed that they both work in similar ways and are used for similar conditions and as natural sleep aids.
Valerian (Valeriana fauriei) is commonly used to treat anxiety, stress and insomnia. Some people may actually fall asleep faster with the use of valerian and have a better night’s sleep too. You can take it as a herbal supplement in capsule form, as a tea or in an alcohol (free) base as a tincture. It has a strong taste.
Valerian is a perennial herb with purple-white flowers and thick, gray colored roots that has been used since Medieval times; it is the root which has the odor and the part of the plant that is used medicinally. You can also use valerian as an essential oil.
Melatonin as Natural Sleep Aids
Melatonin is one of the most common kinds of natural sleep aids. Naturally produced by your body and helps to regulate your body clock, a supplement of melatonin is required to help your body re-adjust to its natural rhythms and to help you get a better night’s sleep.
Melatonin produced by the body decreases with age Melatonin production is also affected by light and requires darkness to produce more effectively; a disruption to the body’s natural cycle, such as jet lag or night shift work, will affect melatonin production too. Melatonin is usually taken in capsule or tablet form to help with insomnia. – Source
Although melatonin is one of the most effective natural sleep aids, t’s important to remember that treating your insomnia naturally is only half of the solution. The decisions you make during the day will have a drastic impact on the shut-eye you get at night. Making healthy choices will be returned to you in the form of better sleep and more productive every during the day. Check out what Dr. Frank Lipman has to say about staying on top of your game during the day.
Recharge your batteries with an adaptogen
Try adding an adaptogen formula to your morning routine – but consult your doctor first to check for allergies or possible interactions with any medications you may be on. For centuries, Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine have used adaptogen botanicals as energizing herbal tonics to naturally support the body’s ability to cope with anxiety, fatigue and the aging process. They also rejuvenate and tone the adrenal system, which in turn promotes the healthy regulation of cortisol, the “stress hormone”. Armed with the unique ability to “adapt” their function to your body’s specific needs, Panax ginseng, Ashwagandha and Rhodiola are my favorite adaptogens. In fact, I’m such a fan of their rejuvenating, re-energizing effects, I’ve combined all three into my fatigue-fighting Be Well Adaptogen formula.
Green Drinks as Natural Sleep Aids
When you’re fatigued, what you’re eating makes a massive difference in how quickly your body will recover its strength. To super-charge your diet and energy reserves, you can’t beat “green drinks” as natural sleep aids. Why? Because they deliver nourishing, high-octane, drinkable doses of phytonutrients, antioxidants and digestive enzymes to every system in the body, quickly, easily and efficiently. The effects? Nothing short of wonderful: Concentrated green powdered drinks boost immunity, aid digestion, sustain energy, promote mental clarity and enhance overall well-being. Add powdered greens to smoothies or just add water and swig ‘em on the way to work – you’ll arrive energized, alert and naturally powered-up, instead of amped and jittery from caffeine. I have made it convenient and delicious for people on the go with my single serving packets of Be Well Greens. It’s a simple and transportable way to keep your energy engine humming.