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What Are the Most Popular Natural Sleep Aids?

Updated on September 6, 2018
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Sara has been a Freelance Writer and Editor since 2007, currently in Cincinnati, OH. With a lifelong dream of writing this is it for her!

Introduction: Natural Remedies Are Available

I don’t know about the rest of you out there, but there are plenty of nights when I find it very difficult to either fall asleep or just get a good, full night’s rest and can’t seem to wake up refreshed in the morning. Sometimes I know I toss and turn after a stressful day, no matter how tired I may be and I just wish there were a simple way out there to make sure I could get a fulfilling night’s sleep. I know there are plenty of over-the-counter drugs available to knock you out, but if you are like me and take other medications then it can be a bit of a reluctant decision to put additional drugs in your body if you don’t absolutely have to. Sometimes I take melatonin, but it doesn’t always work. So I was thinking about natural sleep remedies available out there and what I might be able to do to get some better rest after some of those rough days and start a bit of a better night-time cycle.

Cherries Improve Melatonin Production

I know I was surprised when I read 8 ounces twice a day for two weeks could improve natural melatonin production and sleep cycles.
I know I was surprised when I read 8 ounces twice a day for two weeks could improve natural melatonin production and sleep cycles.

Melatonin is the Most Commonly Recommended

Since all of these natural products are untested and unregulated by the FDA there is no real information on their possible side effects or risks, although there is always a chance of those causes. The most popular is obviously melatonin since it is the chemical released in the brain that tells the body it is time to go to sleep. In pill form it is a reproduced form of melatonin, even though it is the natural chemical that the body produces, so it is not exactly human melatonin. There are, however, other ways to help the body induce its own melatonin production that I was able to find in some other places in my research. Acupuncture was one method that seemed to have been found to induce the brain’s own production of melatonin and help the body return to a more regular sleep cycle. One food that appears naturally high in melatonin are cherries, and if for two weeks one is to drink eight ounces of sour cherry juice in the morning and eight ounces in the evening it can also help regulate the body’s sleep cycle.

Tryptophan Helps Sleep Cycles Greatly

Another commonly recommended natural sleep aid is tryptophan. This is another item that does not have to be purchased specifically off the store shelf, as it can be added into your diet through certain fish and seafood like shrimp, cod, tuna and halibut. You can also try a carbohydrate and protein combo close to bedtime as milk is rich in tryptophan and whole grain foods, like a whole grain cereal, are rich in tryptophan as well. Plenty of other foods are rich in tryptophan like foods with plenty of vitamin B6, wheat germ, sunflower seeds and bananas.

Eat Fish for Tryptophan

Certain fishes provide the necessary levels of tryptophan needed to help regulate sleep cycles and can help you fall asleep well at night.
Certain fishes provide the necessary levels of tryptophan needed to help regulate sleep cycles and can help you fall asleep well at night.

Overall Diet Tips to Improve Sleep Cycles

There are some overall diet tips that have been offered throughout the years for those who have been looking for better sleep regimens. Some include aromatherapy in the bedroom using English lavender in the evening before bedtime. Another is a diet including Magnesium-rich foods such as leafy-green vegetables, wheat bran, almonds, cashews, blackstrap molasses, brewer’s yeast and whole grain. There are teas to be made before bedtime out of lemon balm or sage, or pre-packaged teas of chamomile or valerian.

Conclusion: There is Plenty I Can Do Without Drugs

So the more I looked, the more I realized that there are plenty of natural options out there to help me with my restless and sleepless nights and that I just need to do my research and make sure I am prepared to possibly to a little cooking and make sure I am eating right and putting the proper nutrients in my body. So, sleep well everyone!


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