Natural sleep aids are great to have at home when you have one of those nights when your mind is racing with ideas, errands and appointments, and it just seems impossible to fall asleep. Whether a cup of tea or a natural sleep supplement, it might be just the thing to get you to relax and get that necessary shut-eye. Here are our best tips for using CBD for Sleep.
Relaxing Teas – Chamomile, Valerian and Passionflower
Before bed, enjoying a nice cup of relaxing tea is one of the easiest ways to use natural sleep aids. Sleep time herbal teas work well. Look for sleep teas with basic essential herbs in them, that will help promote sleep. The ingredients you are looking for are chamomile, valerian root, and passionflower.
Chamomile is a calming herb that has been used for thousands of years. There is not a lot of research on how efficient it really is as a sleep aid in humans, but studies of animals shows that it has some effect and is safe to use.
There has been more research done on Valerian Root, and several studies – although not all – show that it may reduce the time of sleep induction and help you sleep better.
Passionflower has been used as a sedative since the 17th century when it was discovered in Peru. Teas made with this flower can help to improve mild cases of insomnia, according to a 2011 study, but it’s effects seem to be short-term.
Valerian Root and Passionflower have the power to improve REM sleep cycles.
Supplements as Natural Sleep Aids
Most of us don’t get enough magnesium in our diets, yet this mineral is very helpful in inducing sleep. Magnesium aids our bodies going into a restful state and helps us wind down from the day’s activities. It relaxes our muscles, slows metabolic processes, lowers the brain temperature and helps regulate key hormones that makes us fall asleep. It also has a neuroprotective effect that is very important to the different stages of sleep.
Melatonin plays an important role in the bodies sleep-wake cycle and is one of the supplements often used as a natural sleep aid. It has the power to induce sleep, breaking the insomnia cycle and deal with jet lag.
Melatonin comes in a range of different doses. Over-the-counter melatonin has a much higher dosage than what your body really needs – it ranges from 3 to 10 milligrams, but the body only needs half a milligram. Check with your doctor before taking.
You can also eat cherries or drink tart cherry juice, which are natural sources of melatonin. Cherries also contain the amino acid tryptophan, which is metabolized into serotonin and then finally transforms into melatonin. Even though other foods are richer in tryptophan, the compound in tart cherries prevents the amino acid from breaking down which makes it more efficient.
5-HTP increases serotonin in the brain. A recent study published in Life Sciences showed that taken in combination with a supplement of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) it improved both sleep quality and sleep duration more than the use of either of the two alone. It is not recommended for those who are on antidepressant medications.
Scientists are not sure exactly how valerian works but it is believed to increase the amount of GABA in the brain. As mentioned above, valerian has the power to improve REM sleep cycles. Mostly, the herb is used to help people go to sleep faster. It acts like a sedative and can be very convincing as a natural trick to get the brain to relax.
Theanine is an amino acid found in green teas. It is known to activate GABA in the brain, which calms neurotransmitters that then promote relaxation. Our bodies can easily absorb Theanine while it has a harder time absording supplements with synthesized GABA.
Find the natural sleep remedy that works best for you
As you can see, there are many different approaches to natural sleep aids. You can take supplements, increase minerals, eat sleep-boosting foods or enjoy a cup of tea. Experiment with these options to determine which method works best for you. Sleep is a very important part of living. Never leave it to chance that things will get better over time. Make sure to do something about it and bring your sleep back to its natural circadian rhythm.