Natural Sleep Remedies

Everyone knows that having a regular sleep routine and reducing screen time in the evening helps with sleep issues, but what are some other natural remedies you can use to help you doze off? I’ve compiled a list of ideas to try! 

Lavender

Lavender is well known for its soothing and calming effect. How can you use it to help you sleep? Try these ideas:

  • Use a spray bottle to spritz some lavender oil mixed with water onto your pillow 
  • Dab a few drops on your temples, wrists or neck before bedtime
  • Use a diffuser that sprays a fine mist of water and essential oil into the air as you sleep
  • Take a nice warm bath with a few drops of lavender oil added before you hit the hay
  • Use a lavender-scented body lotion before bed
  • Apply a couple drops of lavender oil onto your pajamas

 

Melatonin 

Melatonin is a hormone that tells your brain when it’s time to sleep. Our body’s melatonin levels should naturally rise in the evening, so melatonin supplements have become a popular sleeping aid. 

It may improve overall sleep quality, as well as duration of sleep, and one of the main effects it has is to reduce the amount of time it takes to fall asleep. I have personally found it to be a game-changer, since I was finding that I was still totally awake at 3am most nights and it would take me hours to fall asleep, but when I take 2mgs of melatonin about an hour before bedtime, I can fall asleep within 15 minutes! 

How can you get melatonin? As mentioned, the easiest way is to take melatonin supplements, which are thought to be safe for short-term use. Foods that are high in melatonin include goji berries, cherries, eggs, milk, oily fish, pistachios, and almonds. 

 

Passionflower

Passionflower is a herbal remedy used to treat insomnia. How effective it is depends on the form taken. 

In one study, people with insomnia took passionflower extract over the course of 2 weeks, and they reported significant improvements when compared with a placebo group. However, there are mixed results from other studies, so more research is needed to determine whether it really works.

Passionflower can be taken in the form or tablets, capsules, extract, or in the form of herbal tea. 

 

Magnesium

Magnesium is a mineral which supports brain function and heart health. It also helps to regulate the production of melatonin, so it can help to relax the body and mind, aiding sleep. 

One study found that a combination of magnesium, melatonin, and vitamin B was effective in improving sleep in people suffering with insomnia. Other studies have found that low levels of magnesium may lead to problems with sleep. 

How can you get magnesium? It can be found in many foods, such as dark chocolate, avocados, nuts, legumes, tofu, seeds, whole grains, fatty fish such as salmon and mackerel, bananas, and leafy greens! You could also look into a magnesium supplement. 

 

Glycine

Glycine is an amino acid that is found in our nervous system, and it seems to play a role in improving sleep. This may be because it lowers the body temperature. 

Some studies have also shown that people who took glycine felt less fatigued when they woke up in the morning, as well as having improved sleep quality, and falling asleep faster. There was also a noticeable improvement in sleepiness and fatigue during the day when their sleep had been restricted at night when they took 3g of glycine (when compared with those who were given a placebo). 

You can get glycine supplements in pill or powder form, and it can also be found in many foods, such as: animal products (bone broth, meat, fish, eggs), beans, spinach, kale, cabbage, and some fruits (e.g. bananas and kiwis).