- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
Natural Sleep Aids List
How many of us have resorted to using sleep aids now and then? Probably most of us. However the problem with sleep disorders is the fact that there’s so many products - things can get confusing. Which sleeping aids to choose can become as difficult as knowing what's actually causing your sleep problem - never mind trying to work out how to combat it.
When it comes to sleeping, many individuals prefer to avoid anything that comes in a prescribed tablet form. However, if that’s the case, at least a sleep disorder specialist can point you towards what works best - for you - at the time that you need it the most.
Natural sleep aids, on the other hand, are something else entirely. And what do you class as a ‘natural’ sleep aid anyway? Herbal remedies? Natural methods? You'd be surprised at the amount of sleep aids that are closer to home, in your cupboard and all are easy to implement.
Or at least they're worth a try.
Natural Sleep Aids
Sleep aids can be classed as one of two things: something you can physically take to help you fall asleep or something that you can do, change - alter, in order to aid sleep. Although you may be unaware, there are many things you can try or put into practice that won't cost you much time or effort.
You can adjust your diet, to include foods that contain higher tryptophan levels. Tryptophan converts to seratonin - and seratonin is a sleep hormone. A lack of seratonin is detrimental with regard to your ability to fall asleep and/ or stay asleep. The link at the bottom of this article takes you to a more detailed explanation regarding foods that are tryptophan rich.
Alternatively, you could consider some of the readily available over-the-counter sleep aids that are currently on the market. That said - it's not a bad idea to at least attempt to right your sleep cycle before you resort to medication. Just because it's readily available doesn't mean that it's the choice.
And so, here's a list of sleep aids that come under the 'easy to implement' umbrella.
creating and maintaining a sleep habit
warm drinks and foods rich in tryptophan
the right mattress
a relaxing, stress busting bath
having the right temperature setting
no ticking clock
a calm sleeping environment
Over The Counter Sleep Aids
And so to natural over-the-counter sleep aids. Just how natural are they? The way a lot of them work goes sommething like this: they contain an antihistamine, chiefly Diphenhydramine. In short they cause of drowsiness because they’re the opposite of histamine – a chemical found in our brain that encourages alertness. Pretty straightfoward and not all that complicated.
Think allergy tablets. The ones you buy when you're struck with an allergic reaction to hayfever or a rash you've developed because you've changed your washing powder. Some people experience side effects – falling asleep or being sleepy during the day for example.
The falling asleep bit's great, providing you're home in bed - and not at work in the office. Other side affects are a dry mouth and/or throat. And anti-histamines are hardly natural.
Sleep aids that contain antihistamines:
Do You Need To Rely On Sleep Aids?
Sleep aids can and do work for many people. However, do you really need them? Are you aware that you can, with time, learn how to relax, wind down, alter your surroundings and lifestyle, in order to achieve a healthy sleep cycle? Not that you should rule out the choice to make use of over-the-counter sleep remedies - only that you may not have factored in that your lifestyle may be the problem.
That said, it goes back to trial and error - what suits one etc etc. And of course I’d ask for advice prior to buying an over the counter sleep remedy. Having said that, talking about anti-histamines reminds me of the time when I was struck with a terrible allergic reaction a few years ago. I was precribed allergy tablets by the bucket load. And I was badly in need of them.
I remember (now) feeling incredibly drowsy, morning noon and night. Now I know why. I was actually on holiday and I spent most of it dropping asleep at the slightest opportunity. Maybe there is something in over the counter sleep aids after all ...
How To Sleep
- How To Fall Asleep
Knowing how to fall asleep in itself is half the problem for some individuals. This article discusses some very simple, common sense methods that should aid the ability to fall asleep.
- Sleep Better - Eat Better
How to sleep is, for many, an elsusive beast. This article relates to 'sleep foods' - foods that may help you sleep better. In short, tryptophan rich foods.