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The Best Natural Sleep Remedies

Updated on November 25, 2009
Willow Sidhe profile image

Willow Sidhe is a nature enthusiast with over a decade of experience creating natural health and beauty products for herself and her family.

Natural sleep remedies are typically not sedating, but they will help an insomniac fall asleep and stay that way, as well as improve the quality of sleep. Many natural remedies that are effective sleep aids also help reduce pain because of their muscle relaxing properties. This is good news for sufferers of insomnia caused by pain or painful medical conditions.

Regardless of what's causing your lack of sleep, natural insomnia remedies can fix the problem without unnecessary side effects. If, however, the problem persists for longer than a week and natural remedies aren't helping, consult your physician for further treatment. Home treatment is never a substitute for adequate medical care, particularly in the case of serious insomnia.

Have insomnia? Natural sleep remedies could help.
Have insomnia? Natural sleep remedies could help.
Wild Lettuce
Wild Lettuce

Natural Sleep Remedies: Wild Lettuce

Wild lettuce is a traditional herbal remedy for treating anxiety, headaches, joint pain and muscle pain. It has been used for decades as a natural sleep remedy and works wonders for relaxing the body and mind. More recently, the herb has been used to effectively treat restless leg syndrome (RLS).

Take 30 to 120 milligrams about 30 minutes before bedtime for the best results. Start with a smaller dosage and increase as necessary. The more you weigh, the larger the dose of wild lettuce you'll need to help you fall asleep.

Natural Sleep Remedies: Jamaican Dogwood

The extract of Jamaican dogwood is another of the most effective natural sleep remedies. The herb is a proven muscle relaxant and helps individuals fall asleep quickly while calming the nerves.

One traditional story suggests that Jamaican fisherman used the herb to help them catch fish. They would throw large amounts of the herb into the water near their fishing boats and wait for the fish to fall asleep before hauling them in. This may be only anecdotal, but there is usually a kernel of truth in a myth. Try taking 12 to 48 milligrams of Jamaican dogwood extract about 30 minutes before bed and see if it works for you.

Hops is an effective natural sleep aid.
Hops is an effective natural sleep aid.

Natural Sleep Remedies: Hops

Everyone knows that hops is used to make beer, but many people don't realize its potential for treating insomnia and other sleeping problems. Although if you think about it, this certainly makes sense!

The herb has a long history of treating insomnia and anxiety disorders due to its mildly sedative properties. In addition, it has been used to reduce hot flashes in menopausal women and suppress the occurrence of many types of cancer. Most importantly for the insomniac, hops helps relax the muscles, calm the mind and get the body to sleep quickly. Take 30 to 120 milligrams of hops extract just before bedtime for the best results.

Buy Valerian Root Extract

Natural Sleep Remedies: Valerian

Valerian is one of the best natural sleep remedies available. It has been used for centuries to treat insomnia, pain, anxiety and other nervous conditions. It improves the quality of sleep, helps induce deep sleep and helps the patient fall asleep fast without side effects or grogginess the next day. The benefits of the herb are most pronounced when it is used for extended periods.

Take 200 to 800 milligrams of valerian extract before bed time for the best results. Start with a low dosage until you understand how this powerful herb will affect you. In some cases, valerian may have a stimulating effect and should not be used as a natural sleep remedy. If you're one of these few people, try taking valerian during the day so you'll be more inclined to sleep at night.

Safety of Natural Sleep Remedies

The herbs discussed above are generally regarded as safe for human consumption. It is always best, however, to discuss taking any new herbs with your primary physician to make sure there is no risk of complication or drug interactions. Never take natural sleep remedies with prescription sedatives, as serious complication may arise.

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    • profile image

      Michelle Diane Cvitanich 

      7 years ago

      Are there any side effects? I've been taking melatonin and even that seems to b effecting my sleep when I don't take it. I might have to try the valerian root. Thanks for the info.

    • Willow Sidhe profile imageAUTHOR

      Willow Sidhe 

      9 years ago

      Hi, Fit Kid. Thanks for your comment! Actually, exercise and a healthy diet are a fantastic way to beat insomnia. However, the herbs I've mentioned here cause no harm and help ease the body, mind and spirit. Herbs are not medication, as they've been provided for us by Mother Earth, not manufactured in a lab. While they are no substitute for a healthy lifestyle, they can assist an insomniac in overcoming their condition.

      I often use herbs when I have a hard time sleeping and I can highly recommend it. Of course, I am well-versed in their use. I find many times that unyielding supporters of allopathic medicine are simply ignorant of the multitude of ways herbs can improve the health - emotional, spiritual and physical.

      In answer to your question, Valerian root extract is simply Valerian root that has been steeped in alcohol until all of its healing properties have been "extracted." Valerian has an extremely strong taste and this makes it more palatable. One could most definitely take the fresh root, but most people can't handle the taste or the smell, which is reminiscent of stinky feet! :)

    • profile image

      Fit Kid 

      9 years ago

      I think that the best natural remedy for insomnia is exercise and a healthy diet. Most people respond well to a change in eating habits with more healthy, nutritious foodss, combined with regular exercise. You should certainly try this before taking medication of any kind, "natural" included. And what exactly makes Valerian Root Extract natural? Sounds processed to me.

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