5 Naturally Powerful Sleep Aids
Getting enough quality sleep is the foundation for your overall health. Sleep is when your body heals and your brain can sort of reset, so the fact that 40% of Americans consider themselves sleep-deprived is a significant problem. Poor sleep is linked to weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and even brain disorders.
Before We Talk Sleep Aids…
There are many dietary and lifestyle factors that will improve your sleep:
- Be active during the day.
- Eliminate sugar.
- Stay hydrated.
- Turn off your electronics well before bedtime.
- Maintain a sleep-wake cycle more closely matching sunrise and sunset. For most people, that means going to bed earlier so they can wake up with the sun.
The key to good sleep in the long run is to address the underlying factors that prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep in the first place. The list of things I just mentioned is a good place to start.
Then there are some highly effective nutrients that can support your sleep as well…
Melatonin is a hormone that your body produces to help you fall asleep at night. You’ll also find it as an ingredient in a lot of sleep aids or sleeping support supplements. However, your natural production of melatonin can be disrupted by things like alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, and artificial light (blue light) from a TV, a computer, or a phone screen. You should limit your exposure to artificial light in the hour or so before you want to fall asleep.
If you take a melatonin supplement about an hour before bedtime, it can help bring on the feeling of sleepiness. Some people are more sensitive to melatonin supplementation than others, so an adult should start with between one and two milligrams. If that’s not effective, try three milligrams the following night and four milligrams the next. If four milligrams doesn’t help, you can try five milligrams, but that’s about as high as you want to go as an adult. The idea is to take only the minimal amount necessary to help you fall asleep. After you get several nights of good sleep in a row, decrease the dose or see if you can use the melatonin supplement less frequently than every night and still get consistently good sleep.
This amino acid stimulates the release of neurotransmitters in your brain, particularly gamma-aminobutyric acid, which is abbreviated as GABA. GABA produces a calming effect on your body. L-theanine also helps you relax by enhancing alpha brainwaves that are present during REM sleep, which is your deep sleep.
One of the interesting things about L-theanine is that it decreases brain chemicals that contribute to some of the mental chaos that can keep you awake. So it’s sort of a natural anti-anxiety nutrient, producing a calming effect.
For short, it’s called 5-Htp. Your body naturally makes 5-Htp and it helps you produce more serotonin, the neurotransmitter that regulates the sleep/wake cycle. As you age, your body makes less 5-Htp, but you can get it in supplement form, or at least find it as an ingredient in supplements that support sleep. Maybe you noticed the “tryptophan” in 5-Htp’s name. You know the saying about how turkey makes you tired after Thanksgiving dinner – because turkey meat has tryptophan in it. The tryptophan in the turkey converts to 5-Htp and serotonin after you eat it, sending you into sleep preparation. (Better hope the table gets cleared and dishes get washed first!)
4. Valerian Root
This herb can help you drop off quickly and achieve a deep and quality sleep. It works like the amino acid L-theanine by supporting the neurotransmitter GABA. Studies have shown that valerian root is as effective as prescription sleeping pills for many people, and doesn’t produce grogginess in the morning or other side-effects.
If you use valerian root alone (as opposed to in combination with other sleep support nutrients), you might consider a dosage between about 250 and 500 milligrams about 30 minutes before bedtime.
I can’t wrap up without mentioning this a super-important nutrient that the majority of people are deficient in. Magnesium relaxes your muscles and helps calm your mind. A 2012 study in the Journal of Research in Medical Sciences stated that magnesium is an appropriate supplement for reducing insomnia symptoms and making it easier to get up in the morning.
Is There A Way To Easily Get All 5 Sleep Aids?
Yes, absolutely! I’ve included all five in my formula called Vitamin Zzzz, along with 11 other ingredients that I chose to help you fall asleep more quickly and to get into a really deep and healthy sleep.
If you’re wondering how much sleep you should be getting, check out this video.
So… let’s aim for at least seven hours of quality sleep tonight and I’ll catch you for more tips when you wake up feeling more refreshed.
"Zzzzzzzzzzzzz... That is all i can say about this. Love the extra vitamins for cold season. Haven't gotten ill yet (knock on wood). As far as putting me to sleep... Yep, it works... Great product..."
Jonathan | ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
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