Peaceful sleep is the key to an effective and productive day. Many people struggle to do even the simplest daily tasks, not because they are lazy, but because they haven’t got a good night’s rest.
It is an inconvenience that affects millions and millions of people worldwide. Students fail to concentrate on their studies, parents fail to go through their parental duties effectively, and employees fail to fulfill their obligations… all because of poor sleep quality.
The causes of restless, non-nourishing nights are many and most of them can be managed through a few proven natural remedies and lifestyle changes. You don’t need to take prescription sleeping pills to gain a good night’s sleep. Many natural aids can do a better job providing you with the rest that you need with little to no risks at all.
The following are five of the most popular over-the-counter sleep supplements that are both effective and safe:
Chamomile is one of the oldest herbs used in traditional medicine. It is used to treat many health issues including insomnia, infections and inflammation. It contains substances called flavonoids that act on receptors in the brain involved in the sleep function
Chamomile tea is easy to prepare, you just prepare it the same way you would make tea, with or without a natural sweetener. It’s readily available in most supermarkets and farmers’ markets, and it’s quite cheap too.
In most shops, chamomile is found in the form of tea bags, often mixed with other herbs, however, you should be careful when choosing which product to purchase. Try to avoid chamomile mixed with tea, even if it is green tea as it could contain caffeine.
You may have heard the phrase “if you are having trouble sleeping, drink a glass of warm milk.” It is not just a mere cliche, it works! Milk contains a chemical called tryptophan, which is essential in the production of serotonin: a neurotransmitter that is associated with better mood and sleep.
Melatonin is basically the sleep hormone. It is secreted in the brain in response to reduced light or increased darkness and it induces the feeling of sleepiness.
Since most people nowadays stay in well-lit areas during nighttime, be it spending time on the phone, TV or computer, the secretion of melatonin can be significantly reduced, which may cause insomnia and poor sleep quality.
A melatonin supplement can be helpful for people who suffer from low melatonin levels during the night. Most dietary formulations that are sold as sleep aids contain melatonin in addition to other herbs and vitamins that promote restfulness and relaxation.
You can buy melatonin supplements over the counter from pharmacies or health stores, however, it is recommended that you first consult with your doctor about the dosage that may work best for you.
Having low levels of magnesium has been linked to sleep disorders. Taking magnesium supplements may help you fall asleep faster and rest well throughout the night if you don’t consume enough of this key mineral in your daily diet.
If you don’t like taking pills, increasing the amount of magnesium-rich foods in your diet provides many added health benefits. Foods like nuts, seeds, whole grains and green leafy vegetables are great sources of magnesium.
Valerian root is a popular herbal remedy that is taken to reduce anxiety and treat insomnia, among several other uses. Studies show it helps decrease the amount of time needed to fall asleep and can be effective for people with sleep problems.
There are no risks involved with taking valerian and it seems to work for most people, which make it one of the leading natural remedies for insomnia used worldwide. Valerian root often comes with other sleep-promoting herbs, such as lemon balm and chamomile.
Many natural products that are available without a prescription can effectively help you gain restful and healing sleep, and these should be your first option before you consider risky prescription treatments.