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Natural Supplements to Treat Insomnia

Updated on October 17, 2011

Use of natural supplements for treating insomnia is also very common same as using over-the-counter medications or prescription. For more of these well advised supplements that help in treating insomnia are given below:

  • The nutrient such as 5-hydroxytryptophan or 5-HTP which change itself into serotonin. During the night, the pineal gland convert's serotonin into melatonin. In producing the similar sleep effects, this method/ therapy does not provide steady effects. When taken on an empty stomach, smaller doses are much more effective than the regular quantity of 50 mg before 1-2 hours of the bedtime. Higher amounts of this nutrient can be dangerous at times resulting into nightmares.
  • Tryptophan is another over-the-counter natural treatment for insomnia. It is basically an amino acid that converts into 5-HTP, which then changes into serotonin and finally into melatonin. It depends from a person to a person depending upon their preferences as to which of these three supplements are the best natural treatments to use namely, 5-HTP, tryptophan or melatonin. Treatment which works on one is not always necessary gives the same results when treated on another. The suggested dosage for tryptophan is 500 mg taken 1-3 hours before bedtime on an empty stomach.
  • For the treatment of insomnia several herbs are also used. The combinations of these herbs are usually far more effective than using a single one. Hops are considered as a good source of sleep inducing herb. Such herbs are generally found in tea, beer or in a form of a pill. If taken on an empty stomach, 1-2 hour before bedtime can give better results. Another one is combining hops and valerian which becomes a very nice insomnia herb. Apart from these there are many other forms of herbs, which can be used in combination with hops are kava and passion flower. For chronic insomnia kava is not suggested as it should not be taken more than 3 times in a week.
  • There are other combinations of other natural treatments, which can be very effective for treating insomnia such as Chamomile is very effective to make you relax but not suitable for the chronic insomnia, as it has a very mild effect on chronic insomnia. Along with it “Good Night RX” which is the combination of 5-HTP, GABA, melatonin, taurine, kava, hops, chamomile, valerian and several herbs has an excellent effect for the treatment of chronic insomnia. It should be taken .5 to 3 hours before bedtime on an empty stomach, comes in a capsule form. If there is a plan that you want to eat snacks in the late night, then a person should wait for .5 to 1 hour before taking these medications. This formula is much more effective in the treatment and sometimes helps in curing insomnia as in comparison to any other individual herb or nutrient.
  • Kava is better known as a relaxer than the sleeping aid. It is a plant found in South Pacific. On an empty stomach, a dosage of 300 mg of 30% extracts of Kava can be used 1-3 hours before the bedtime. It should not be used every night for the chronic insomnia, only 2-3 nights a week.
  • Another one which can also be used for relaxation is the passion flower, but it is also a very powerful sleep aid.
  • Probably, the best known herb for insomnia treatment is Valerian. Dosage of 300 mg taken 1-3 hours before bedtime and can also be effective if combined with the other relaxing herbs.
  • Use of Melatonin should be limited. Dosage of 1-2 mg 1-2 hours before bedtime can result into an effective sleep aid. It should be used 2-3 times a week. A lower dose of 0.3 mg can be taken several hours before bedtime. Sometimes it works better than a higher dose taken shortly before bedtime. This is a sleep hormone produced by the pineal gland at the dark hours of the day. Melatonin is the most effective supplement used for insomnia.


The easiest route for most people is known as the medication route, but it might not be for every person. Many of the insomnia medicines, which are good and effective require a prescription as they can be addictive. Like most of the other prescription medication, once a person gets used to the effectiveness of a medication it becomes useless to them and then a stronger medication has to be prescribed.

It strictly depends on person’s personal opinion, whether to use prescriptions or natural treatments. As every person is different and the methods that work perfectly for someone might not work for someone else.


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