(Natural News) We’ve all been there: It’s the middle of the night, and no matter what you do, you just can’t seem to fall asleep. You might feel incredibly tired and your room is perfectly quiet and dark, but sleep simply isn’t happening. This happens occasionally to everyone, but if you have a sleep disorder, you might relive this scenario night after night.
A lack of sleep is not only frustrating and a surefire way to put you in a bad mood; it’s also pretty awful for your health. After all, sleep is when your body essentially reboots itself, focusing all of its energy on healing and refreshing while there’s no need to worry about eating, thinking, talking, and moving around.
Not getting enough sleep is especially bad for your immune system, adversely impacting your body’s ability to fight off viruses and bacteria that lead to illness. It also affects your brain function, and by extension, it can impact your performance at work and your mental health.
Even with all this at stake, you might be reluctant to turn to OTC and prescription sleep aids. These bring a host of dangerous side effects with them, and no one wants to become the subject of another Ambien horror story. So what can you do to catch some much-needed slumber without putting yourself at risk? Here are some answers from Mother Nature.
All those lavender sheet sprays you’ve seen in fancy bath shops aren’t just a way to make your linens smell nice. Research shows that lavender has a sedating and soothing effect on the body, quelling fatigue, anxiety and insomnia. Pop some lavender essential oil into a diffuser, make a tea with lavender flowers, or create your own spray using lavender essential oil to help invoke a peaceful slumber.
Chamomile has been used since the Middle Ages for its ability to calm nerves and soothe digestion, and its use has expanded today as research has uncovered even more of its powers. In addition to helping you fall asleep, it can alleviate problems like muscle pain, allergies, asthma, and indigestion. Make the flowers into a soothing tea to help you relax.
Passion flower is an incredible natural anti-anxiety remedy, so if stress and anxiety are keeping you up at night, this can help take the edge off so you can get some much-needed rest. In fact, it was sold as an over-the-counter sleep aid in the past before regulators started giving herbal remedies a hard time. Nevertheless, studies confirm it can be useful for anxiety and insomnia, and researchers believe this is due to its ability to boost GABA in the brain, which lowers brain activity to help you relax. It can also help soothe stomach problems. Create an herbal tea with dried passion flower, or look for a liquid passiflora incarnata extract and follow the dosing instructions. Pregnant women should steer clear, however, as it may induce contractions.
Valerian root has been used for centuries to help people fall asleep. It works by raising the levels of anxiety-soothing GABAs in your brain, much like Valium and Xanax do but without the health risks. Studies have shown that it can help improve sleep quality significantly, reduce the amount of time it takes to fall asleep, and enhance the depth of sleep enjoyed by those who take it. It has also shown usefulness in treating restlessness, depression and anxiety, and it does all this without making people wake up feeling groggy. Taking it together with hops extract can bring about even longer and more restful sleep. Most people take valerian root as a dietary supplement or a tea.
These are just a few ways you can fight sleep disorders naturally. There are countless other natural sleep aids ranging from milk to bergamot to lemon balm. With so many safe ways to get a good night’s sleep, there really is no need to put your health and the safety of those around you at risk with pharmaceutical sleep aids.
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