The tossing and turning. The restlessness in bed. The countless hours spent staring at the ceiling, counting sheep. An estimated 50-70 million U.S adults share in the nightly struggle of attaining a good night’s sleep. Suffice it to say, those same adults are always looking for a path to a restful and peaceful night’s sleep. Those with trouble sleeping have few natural options to help them get a good night’s sleep, though, with options like commercial sleeping pills overpowering the body, almost forcing it to sleep. This can lead to grogginess in the morning and can hurt productivity and leave users in a perpetual state of sleepiness throughout the day. But all is not lost: here are five natural supplements that can help you get a great night’s sleep and still feel good about what you are putting in your body.
The roots of the valerian plant, a tall flowering plant, have been used for centuries to help people achieve higher-quality sleep. Valerian root has mild sedative properties, which is great for people who have trouble staying asleep due to stress or anxiety. Take it before bedtime to ease your nerves, help you relax, and keep you sleeping through the night.
Melatonin is a hormone that our bodies naturally produce. It helps regulate our bodies’ circadian rhythm, allowing us to get sleepy when it’s dark out and to be more awake and alert when it’s light out. In this age of artificial light coming from our screens, lamps, and homes, our natural circadian rhythms have been thrown out of whack. Some studies have even shown that the blue glow of our phones and devices can actually suppress our body’s own creation of melatonin. Thankfully, melatonin is sold as an over-the-counter supplement that can help you fall asleep easier and faster.
Chamomile is an herb made from a plant similar to a daisy. Often brewed in a tea, this natural supplement can help relax your body and make it easier for you to close your eyes and drift off into a deep sleep. Chamomile tea is naturally decaffeinated, so there is no chance it will keep you up or add another substance into your body. Brew up some chamomile tea before bed and see if it helps put you in the mood for sleep.
Magnesium is an ion that is found abundantly in our bodies. It is a substance that is necessary for tons of functions and reactions within various organs and glands. In terms of helping prepare the body for sleep, magnesium acts as a muscle relaxer, soothing sore muscles and helping the body become more restful. There is also evidence that magnesium can help slow down neurotransmitters, which helps to calm the brain and ease it towards sleep.
L-Theanine is an amino acid that can help remove stress and make you feel more relaxed before bedtime. It helps to calm your nerves and deliver you into that peaceful state of bliss that is so crucial for achieving a good night’s sleep. L-Theanine can be taken as a tablet or powder to help you simplify your nighttime routine.
None of these supplements can act as a total cure-all for your sleepy-time woes. However, when they are implemented as part of an overall shift in how you prepare for sleep, they can be extremely useful parts of your nighttime routine. Used in combination with other sleep tactics, like relaxing music and cutting back on screen usage, these supplements can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep through the night.