(Natural News) Sleep is a fundamental process for maintaining overall health and well-being. Unfortunately, most people get less than enough sleep because they either don’t have sufficient time or they are suffering from various sleep disorders. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 70 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders, the most common of which is insomnia.
More than 60 million Americans have insomnia, which can last for just a few nights or for much longer than that. People who suffer from this condition often take sleeping pills to get their much-needed rest. However, these medications can cause side effects like heartburn, drowsiness, memory loss, and cancer. Moreover, excessive consumption of sleeping pills can also cause people to become addicted to them. Luckily, there are many natural remedies to overcome insomnia, which include the following:
- Ashwagandha — This herb, which is commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine to delay aging and to improve overall health, has been proven to alleviate insomnia by reducing stress and anxiety levels. It works by activating receptors for gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) so that it can induce its calming effects, which is said to be as effective as the anti-anxiety drug Ativan. Ashwagandha can be used either as a supplement or as a tea, which you can consume up to three cups of per day.
- Melatonin — Melatonin is the hormone responsible for regulating the sleep/wake cycles. Unfortunately, its production is impaired as a person ages and with constant exposure to artificial light from electronic devices. Because of this, it might be beneficial to take melatonin supplements to improve not just the quantity but also the quality of sleep. It is important to stay within the recommended daily dose of 0.2 to 5 milligrams per day since excessive melatonin intake can cause headaches, nausea and disrupted sleep patterns.
- Tryptophan — Insomnia has been associated with reduced levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin. To get back to the normal levels of this brain chemical you can increase your intake of the serotonin precursor tryptophan either through supplements or foods like salmon, poultry, eggs, spinach, seeds, milk, and nuts. Previous studies have shown that higher levels of this amino acid effectively reduces the time it takes a person to fall asleep and increases their overall sleep time. Moreover, tryptophan doesn’t just benefit patients with insomnia, it is also good for people with sleep apnea.
- Bioactive milk peptides — Milk from cows and goats contain bioactive peptides that activate receptors for GABA, serotonin, and dopamine to induce a calming effect. Additionally, these peptides work to improve sleep quality and reduce daytime drowsiness. By taking 150 milligrams of bioactive milk peptides per day, you can experience significant improvements in insomnia of up to 65 percent.
- Valerian — Like ashwagandha, valerian also exhibits sedative properties by utilizing the neurotransmitter GABA, but unlike natural remedies that were previously discussed, this herb will take a few weeks for it to work so it might not be the best option if you need to sleep ASAP.
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With the help of these natural remedies, you can effectively overcome your insomnia without the need for harmful medications. (Related: Beat insomnia and sleep easy with these herbs and natural remedies.)
Complications that can arise due to insomnia
When left untreated, insomnia can cause the following complications:
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Asthma attacks
- Weak immune system
- Sensitivity to pain
- Depression and anxiety
- Confusion and frustration
- Increased risk of accidents
- Poor memory and judgment
For more articles about natural remedies for sleep problems, visit Health.news.