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Natural Sleep Remedies to Help You Fall Asleep and Stay Asleep All Night.

Updated on February 12, 2013

The Midnight Rooster

Most insomnia sufferer are very familiar with this very persistent bird, the Midnight Rooster.
Most insomnia sufferer are very familiar with this very persistent bird, the Midnight Rooster.

There are times, when I remember the title of the John Lennon/Elton John song from their legendary 1974 Walls and Bridges album, titled “Whatever Gets You through the Night.” Although those words center more on lifestyle choices, it is also what goes through my mind, when I just can’t get a good night’s sleep. It 2:00 AM, and I am still tossing and turning, the midnight rooster has paid me yet another visit.

One can try to remedy the problem by using any one of the many prescription medicines, or over the counter sleep aids. There are countless ads for these products, with the promise of getting your needed zzzz’s. I do not doubt their effectiveness, but I am concerned about the side effects, that accompany the relief, that the manufacturers of these products promise to insomnia sufferer.

Insomnia is when many of us feel, very alone, and the clock is there to remind us about how much sleep we are not getting.
Insomnia is when many of us feel, very alone, and the clock is there to remind us about how much sleep we are not getting.

There is an alternative, for those of us who do not want to take prescription sleep aids. Now the question is which natural sleep aid is best for you? There are TV ads for a natural sleep aid that is a combination of Melatonin, Valerian Root and Tryptophan. This particular sleep aid is a powerful combination, although many individuals have found relief from insomnia by simply taking only one of these natural substances. Another popular natural sleep aid is one formulated by doctors, called Sleep MD, this sleep aid also contains Melatonin blended with a herbal formula consisting of: White Willow Extract, Valerian Extract, Lemon Balm Extract, Lavender Powder, Passion Flower and Coenzyme Q10 . This one also has a powerful combination of natural substances that are more than likely help most people get their zzz’s.

Not everyone responds to sleep aids, whether it is a prescription drugs, or a natural sleep aid, in the same way. Some people respond well by taking Melatonin alone, because this is what their body is in short supply of, due to aging, or hormone imbalances. Other people respond well to herbal combinations alone, and the added Melatonin might actually keep them from falling asleep.

My naturopathic doctor once told me that if your body already has enough Melatonin, adding more to your system will actually defeat the purpose, and only worsen your sleeplessness. For those who have a shortage of Serotonin, which is the main building block of the sleep hormone, Melatonin, it might help more if Tryptophan or 5HTP is taken instead of Melatonin. On the other hand, I know from personal experience, that even though 5HTP is what Serotonin is made from, it did not make me sleepy; instead it made me feel perky and more awake. What I did as a strategy was to take 5HTP first thing in the morning, which has benefited me greatly. In order to keep my Serotonin level high enough in the evening, to manufacture the amount of Melatonin my body needs to get a full nights rest, I take 500 mgs of Tryptophan.

I also asked my naturopathic doctor, why it was that Tryptophan helped me sleep, and 5HTP didn’t, even though they are both used to make Serotonin? She went on to explain that they both were absorbed by the body differently. This absorption does make a difference, therefore it is wise to test both 5HTP and Tryptophan, to see which one is more effective, in helping you get a good night’s sleep.

I also found that digestive problems had a lot to do with sleeplessness, and so did having undiagnosed parasites. When I had both these problems corrected, I found that tackling insomnia was much easier. Another amino acid that helps calm us down is L-Theanine which works by raising Dopamine levels, and helps to increase the activity of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA.

GABA is another natural substance taken by many for falling asleep. I have taken GABA for that purpose, and although it was effective in getting me to sleep, I found that I would often wake up with some confusion in the morning. I then discovered, that on a neuro-endocrine test, I had a very high level of GABA in my system. So sometimes, some to these amino acids can build up in your system. These types of imbalance will cause problems.

As to herbal remedies, the most popular is Valerian, although it is very effective, it is not for everyone. Another wonderful remedy is Lemon Balm Extract, which is known to promote relaxation. Sometimes just smelling some lavender will bring about a state of relaxation. Certain minerals also help with falling asleep; minerals such as calcium and magnesium promote sleep for some individuals. Every night I take a 200 mg. caplet of Magnesium Citrate, coupled with a product called Lipo-Gen, which aids in the digestion of fats. I have found that this combination is very effective in calming me, and promoting a steady and restful sleep. I also recommend consulting your physician to see which sleep remedy is right for you.

Let us not underestimate the power of a hot bathtub bath, or a good back and foot rub, both very effective, and they do not require for you to take anything internally. Whatever you do, to meet up with the Sandman, make sure it is safe, and that it works with your body’s own rhythms. Listen to your body, and you will discover what gets you through the night.


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    • Internetwriter62 profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago from Marco Island, Florida

      Hi Glen, Thanks for stopping by, and I'm glad you found my hub helpful.. I'm glad you have been able to find the dose of Melatonin that is right for you.. I wish you well and that you continue to sleep well...

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 

      3 years ago from Long Island, NY

      I find it interesting that some sleep aids don't work as well as others because they have different absorption rates. This is a good explanation.

      I also noticed how you mentioned that too much Melatonin can actually have a negative effect. I personally discovered that this is true. When I take 3mg Melatonin they have no effect. But someone once told me what you mentioned and I started cutting the pills in half. When I take only 1.5mg it works really well. I don't use Melatonin every night, only on rare occasions when I have trouble sleeping.

      Thanks for a very informative article. Well done!

    • Internetwriter62 profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Marco Island, Florida

      Which commercial?

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Help! What's the banner of the sleep aid in that commercial????

    • Internetwriter62 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Marco Island, Florida

      Thank you Hanna, I can see you are very experienced when it comes to knowing about alternative medicine. I have always gotten tested before starting a new supplement regiment and I would recommend testing for anyone who wants to take a new supplement especially Amino Acids or any other supplement that influence one's brain chemistry. I had the Neuro Endoctrine test by Neuro Science which is a company that distributes home tests that require that you collect bodily fluids and then send them to their lab by mail to be evaluated. I hope this helps you Hanna, and I hope you find a sleep solution that is both safe and effective.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Thanks for this hub. I find L-tryphtophan and glycine are two amino acids that can usually put me back to sleep. One gram of melatonin to fall asleep and an amino to put me back to sleep. I too have had sleep issues for 10 years, still working with a Naturopath to find answers. Doing a neurotransmiter test(neurosleep test by direct labs), will know more about what I am low in when the results come back. Did you do a neuro-test of some sort as well? In your hub you said you knew you were high in GABA? Good info, I too will bookmark this.

    • Internetwriter62 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Marco Island, Florida

      Thank you for your kind words Irene, I love it when others appreciate my suggestions, at least I know it is of help. Insomnia, even though it is common can drive you crazy, and sleeping pills are often a two edged sword, so it is so nice to know there are safe alternatives. I hope you and your husband do get the rest you both need. God bless you both.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Oh how I, and now even moreso my poor husband, have suffered with insomnia. It can be downright maddening! Thanks a million for taking the time and caring enough about others to share your information. May God bless you!

    • Internetwriter62 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Marco Island, Florida

      Hi Michelle,

      Thanks for stopping by and I'm glad you found this information helpful. I tend to prefer L Tritophan, but Valerian is a great herbal remedy and it does calm the nerves.

    • profile image

      Michelle Diane Cvitanich 

      7 years ago

      This is the second time I've heard about the valerian root. Seems like a good option. Thanks for the additional information.

    • Internetwriter62 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Marco Island, Florida

      Thank you Habee, I have had insomnia more than I care to remember so I learned all this from personal experience.

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      Great tips that are needed by many!

    • Internetwriter62 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Marco Island, Florida

      Thank you Dale, I appreciate the comment and that was so nice of you to include me in your blog. That was very kind of you. I understand what it feels like to have insomnia and it's very frustrating. I'm glad I could be of help. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to email me.

    • Dale Mazurek profile image

      Dale Mazurek 

      8 years ago from Canada

      I dont usually have problems with sleep.

      It is however great to know that hubbers try and help in every way possible.

      I learned a lot from this hub.

      The hub is now posted on my blog.

      You can find the link to the blog at the bottom of my profile page



    • Internetwriter62 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Marco Island, Florida

      Thanks for the feedback K Partin, I'm so glad I did this hub, since some of the suggestions can help others. I hope you are able to get your sleep patterns back in order. Melatonin is good for sleep patterns. You may want to try that one, if that doesn't work, then you may want to either try Tryptophan or a herbal combination. Whatever you do, listen to your body.

    • K Partin profile image

      K Partin 

      8 years ago from Garden City, Michigan

      Thanks for this hub. Since retiring recently my sleep schedule is all messed up. I will take this hub to heart, and try to straighten my sleep pattern out. Thanks again K.

    • Internetwriter62 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Marco Island, Florida

      Thanks for the feedback Soni2006. I know from experience that when you can't sleep for several days in a row, it can exasperating. I hope you get better. I hope some of the suggestions in the article can help relieve your insomnia.

    • soni2006 profile image

      Rajinder Soni 

      8 years ago from New Delhi, India

      A really brilliant hub on herbs and natural remedies indeed. I am unable to sleep all night for a few days and that's why I have bookmarked this hub.

    • Internetwriter62 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Marco Island, Florida

      I once asked that same question Cayden, back in 2007 because no matter how hard I tried, I could only get 3 or 4 hours and I would feel tired all day. DeGreek Thanks for the comment. I"m glad you both found the article informative, or at least amusing.

    • De Greek profile image

      De Greek 

      8 years ago from UK

      What an intersting hub. Thanks :-)

    • Cayden Ryan profile image

      Cayden Ryan 

      8 years ago from Strasburg

      What the heck is sleep? I'm too busy for that, I mean, I'm so busy I don't even know my own schedule, lol

      Enjoyed the hub!

    • Internetwriter62 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Marco Island, Florida

      Thank You, MyWebs, I can sympathize, I have had insomnia for a good number of years, and I felt it was important to share with others how I finally got relief.

    • MyWebs profile image

      Anthony Goodley 

      8 years ago from Sheridan, WY

      I know this midnight rooster well. Quite often I'm just going to bed sometime during the morning well after the sun is up.

      Can't I just kill the midnight rooster and fry him up? Mmmm fried chicken. Who is making the biscuits?

      Very informative hub. Bookmarked so I can try out of some these natural remedies.


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