Natural Sleep Remedies
It’s estimated that 60 million Americans suffer from insomnia each year. Natural remedies can provide a nice, healthy break from sleepless nights. Before trying natural remedies out, it’s wise to visit a doctor to see if your insomnia is a symptom of another condition, such as depression, heart disease, sleep apnoea or diabetes.
Valerian is a natural remedy that has shown mixed results—it’s effective for some, while others have not had much success with this plant native to Europe and Asia. Valerian has been used as a natural remedy going back to the days of ancient Greece and Rome. In addition to adding in sleep, Valerian has been used to cure headaches and upset stomachs. How Valerian works is still something of a mystery. Researchers believe that the natural remedy may be effective due to the combination of compounds in the plant as opposed to a singular one. Unlike some sleep remedies, Valerian is not believed to be addictive and does not cause grogginess in the morning. Valerian can be taken in capsule form and is also found in tea and liquid extracts.
Melatonin is a very popular natural sleep remedy. Melatonin is a naturally occurring compound found in animals, plants and microbes. In humans, melatonin is produced in the pineal gland, located in the brain. Melatonin helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle. Melatonin aids in getting the circadian clock back to environmental cycles. Tart cherry is a natural fruit source of melatonin and is readily available in powder form.
Kava is yet another natural remedy that is very popular. This natural remedy is an anti-anxiety herb. Like the previously mentioned natural remedy Valerian, researchers do not yet fully understand how Kava works. Some believe the herb is effective due to active components in the root of the herb which affect neurotransmitters in the brain.
Outside of ingesting these natural remedies, there are many other types of exercises and stress-relieving activities one can engage in to aid sleep. Some natural remedies that aid in relaxation are: yoga, visualization, meditation and relaxation response. To heighten the use of these natural remedies, cutting out stimulants that disrupt sleep—such as caffeine and sugar—is also advised by sleep specialists. Foods and drinks high in sugar can send your blood-sugar levels though the roof. This can disrupt sleep in the middle of the night as your blood sugar levels crash, yet another reason to lay off sugary drinks.
The combination of combining natural remedies and meditation together is a great way to support sleep.
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