What are some effective natural sleep aids?
I’ve been having trouble sleeping recently and don’t want to keep having to rely on sleeping medication. What natural home remedies are available?
Depending on the season, a warm bath is a great way to relax. If you can’t take a bath, you can give yourself a foot massage with slightly warm massage oil, sesame oil, or castor oil from a health food store.
What was very helpful to me, especially when my mind was racing, was to lie in bed and listen to relaxation CDs, especially those that contain someone speaking with relaxing music in the background. Many of these CDs are available on eBay for very low prices.
A helpful technique is to relax your body one part at a time. So you could relax your feet, your lower legs, upper legs, moving up from your lower belly up to your chest, etc., etc.
Of course, guided relaxation methods can help, imagining yourself in the country, the beach, or whatever is most soothing to you.
If you have annoying thoughts or personal issues that run thru your mind when you are trying to sleep, you might have to deal with those issues first. You might want to talk to a counselor or therapist about that. I suggest avoiding prescription sleeping pills unless nothing else helps.
There are herbs that are helpful for sleep, eg, valerian root, kava kava, chamomile, hops, passion flower, skullcap. If you get the real herbs, you can make teas out of them. Otherwise get the herbs in capsule form. You can try a single herb or herbal combinations. Probably, valerian root and kava kava are the best.
You can also try trytophan, 5-HTP and melatonin (1-2 mg). I would not take melatonin for over a month. It is a hormone produced by the pineal gland. If you take too much, your pineal gland might get “lazy” and produce less melatonin naturally. Life Extension and TwinLabs are probably the best brands, in that order.