6 Most Effective Natural Sleep Aids
A good night’s sleep is essential for your overall health and wellbeing. Unfortunately, millions of people around the world struggle with various sleep disorders like insomnia. According to estimates, 10% – 30% of the global adult population suffer from chronic insomnia.
Now, there are scores of over-the-counter sleep pills that you can use to keep insomnia at bay. However, many of these pills are infamous for leaving the user nursing a slew of unpleasant side effects, including nausea and anxiety. The good news is that numerous natural sleep aids are just as efficient as conventional sleep medications.
This post reviews the six most effective natural sleep aids worth trying out.
Passionflower is an effective herb that you can administer as a sleep aid. The plant produces various species, many of which have been cited for their sleep-boosting benefits.
In a recent study examining the potential of passionflower for treating insomnia, participants received passion flower extracts for two weeks. At the end of the study, researchers observed a general improvement in insomnia symptoms among the group that consumed passionflower. Meanwhile, the placebo group showed no improvements at all.
This study also concluded that passionflower could improve various sleep parameters, including sleep duration, wake time after sleep onset, and sleep efficiency.
Cannabis needs no introduction. The plant’s extracts have been used from time immemorial to treat various illnesses, including pain and anxiety. Recent findings now suggest that marijuana might also be an effective sleep aid.
As a natural sleep remedy, cannabis is famous for its ability to shorten sleep latency (the duration it takes to fall asleep) while enhancing sleep duration. Other studies suggest that consuming certain marijuana strains might reduce or eliminate rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.
REM sleep is the sleep phase marked by rapid eye movement within the sockets, elevated heart rate, and heightened mental awareness. Sleep experts believe that most dreams occur during REM sleep. So, by eliminating or reducing REM sleep, cannabis ensures that you dream less, translating to restful sleep.
Cannabis might also relieve insomnia by treating some of the core triggers of the condition, including post-traumatic stress disorder and REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD). RBD is a medical condition where a person acts out their dreams. The best thing about cannabis is that it comes in numerous variants. You can buy weed from the best shop. All you have to do is determine your preferred delivery method, then order your products from established retailers.
You’ve probably already encountered lavender in your laundry products, shower gels, or deodorants. The primary reason the plant appears in many household products is its incredible soothing abilities, which researchers believe might help relieve anxiety and insomnia.
Like cannabis, passionflower, and other herbal extracts, lavender boosts sleep by shortening sleep latency and prolonging sleep duration. The plant also enhances sleep efficiency. Plus, it presents fewer side effects compared to conventional sleep pills. However, it’s worth noting that lavender is only recommended for aromatherapy. Oral ingestion might trigger a host of side effects, including nausea and abdominal pain.
4. Limit exposure to blue light
Exposure to digital screens like laptops, smartphones, and television, particularly late in the evening, might interfere with your circadian rhythms. That’s because these devices emit blue light, which increases the body’s signaling of the hormone cortisol. Apart from increasing stress levels, cortisol is also associated with heightened mental alertness. A spike in cortisol corresponds with a drop in sleep-inducing hormones like melatonin.
So, if you must watch a movie, play a video game, or go on social media, consider doing so at least two hours before your regular sleep time.
5. Practice healthy sleep hygiene
While several underlying medical conditions like chronic pain and post-traumatic stress disorder can trigger insomnia, many sleeplessness cases result from poor bedtime hygiene. For instance, drinking too much caffeine before bedtime might trigger insomnia, considering that caffeine is a stimulant.
Here are some healthy bedtime habits you can practice to keep insomnia at bay:
- Avoid alcohol or nicotine before bedtime.
- Eat light dinner.
- Set and follow a consistent sleep routine.
- Have regular bedtime rituals, such as yoga and meditation.
- Exercise regularly.
- Keep daytime naps short and far between.
6. Feng shui your bedroom properly
Have you ever slept with your bed in the middle of your bedroom or aligned with the bedroom door? If yes, how was the experience compared to sleeping with the bed against a solid wall?
Now, placing your bed in the middle of the room is considered bad bedroom feng shui and might negatively impact your sleep quality. Also known as Chinese geomancy, feng shui refers to a traditional pseudoscientific practice that relies on energy forces to create harmony between individuals and their surroundings.
In addition to sleeping with your bed against a solid wall, other tips to feng-shui your bedroom include;
- Sleeping on a super-sized bed or mattress
- Using adjustable blinds to maximize airflow
- Eliminating clutter, including bookshelves and electronic devices
- Investing in a bed with a bedside table on both sides
Should you opt for herbal remedies, remember to start with low doses. That way, you’ll avoid experiencing any side effects that often result from an overdose. Furthermore, it is important to acquire pieces of vital information regarding such natural remedies.