What Are The Herbal Remedies And Supplements For Better Sleep?

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There might be numerous techniques offered in the market for better sleep. Nevertheless, if you are looking for natural ways for you to sleep soundly at night, you might try using your melatonin, chamomile, or lavender. Check below how can these herbal remedies will help you.

Body’s Natural Hormones

Melatonin (chemically named 5-methoxy-N-acetyltryptamine) is a naturally occurring hormone in humans.  The pineal gland, a tiny organ at the center of our brains, secretes melatonin at night to help our bodies maintain a sleep schedule.

The body’s internal clock that tells us when to sleep and when to wake up is the body’s circadian rhythm.  This rhythm is regulated by melatonin.

Darkness encourages the pineal gland to release melatonin, while light represses the release of melatonin.

Researchers have found that the pineal gland’s release of, and the production of, melatonin decreases as we get older.

This explains why young people typically have less sleep-related problems than older people.

Scientists have synthesized naturally occurring melatonin, and it is now available over-the-counter as a supplement.

No prescription is needed, and the supplement is available in drug and health food stores in the United States.

Melatonin is not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or any other government agency. Since it is naturally occurring in some foods, the U.S.

Dietary Supplement & Education Act of 1994 permits it to be available as a dietary supplement.

Melatonin is has proven to be successful when used to treat sleep problems.  Two of the sleep situations most helped by melatonin supplementation are insomnia related to jet lag and delayed sleep-phase disorders.

How much melatonin should you take? 

Each individual should begin with a small amount of melatonin (about 1 mg), and increase their dosage if needed.  Melatonin comes in pill form and range most commonly from 1 mg to 3 mg.

When should you take melatonin? 

For maximum effectiveness, take melatonin about a half an hour prior to bedtime.  If you regularly sleep during the nighttime, you should not take melatonin during the day because it can impact your circadian rhythm.

The opposite is true if you sleep during the day and work at night. If you want to prevent jet lag when traveling across many time zones, take a dose prior to flying and another second dose 30 minutes before going to bed.

As with any supplement, there are several issues to consider.  Although melatonin has been used for a long time without problems or side effects, it is not FDA-approved and is unregulated by any regulatory agency.

Anything you ingest that is not FDA-approved does not have a seal of approval regarding the supplement’s safety or purity, and the effectiveness of the product cannot be guaranteed.

Another concern is the lack of study and information regarding interactions with other medicines.

Consult a doctor before taking melatonin if you have diabetes, a depressive disorder, an auto-immune disease, epilepsy, lymphoproliferative disorder, leukemia, or are taking an MAO inhibitor.

This product should be used by adults only and is not for use by children, teens, or pregnant or breastfeeding women.

natural remedy

The Benefits of Chamomile

Matricaria camomilla, commonly called “Chamomile”, is native to southern and central Europe.

This flowering plant is now widely grown in the United States, Argentina, Australia, Egypt and northern Africa.  The leaves and flowers are dried and used as a tea, either in tea bags or in loose tea form.

For centuries, chamomile has been used as a sleep-promoting supplement. One of the benefits of using chamomile as a sleep aid is that it does not need to be taken over a long period of time to be effective.  Chamomile can be used to treat anxiety and insomnia on the spot.

There are a few ways to use chamomile.

It can be placed in a sachet under the pillow.

Try brewing a tea and drink it 30-45 minutes prior to going to sleep.

Chamomile is most effective in treating transient (or mild) insomnia.

The naturally occurring chemical in chamomile that promotes drowsiness and encourages sleep is called chrysin. Chrysin is also found in passion flower (Passiflora incarnates), which is another herbal sleep aid and anxiety reducer.

If you find your insomnia is due to congestion and/or allergies, chamomile works as an antihistamine to reduce swelling from allergies and help you sleep better.

However, chamomile can create a similar allergic reaction to that of ragweed and other plants in the same family like aster or chrysanthemum.  Avoid taking chamomile if you have these allergies.

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Chamomile Tea Recipe 

What do you need?

1 cup water

1 teaspoon dried chamomile flowers

lemon juice

honey

How to prepare?

1. Add the chamomile to boiling water either using a tea infuser or directly into the water.

2. Cover and boil for 35-40 seconds.

3. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the tea steep for one minute.

4. If using loose tea, remove with a strainer.  Serve with honey and a twist of lemon.

5. For an added calming effect, use a few leaves of Lemon Balm, also called Melissa officinalis, instead of the lemon juice. Makes 1 serving.

lavender

The Soothing Properties of Lavender

Lavender originated in the western Mediterranean and Arabians are believed to have been the first to domesticate the flowering shrubbery.

The Romans later spread the growing and cultivation of the plant across Europe. The Pilgrims brought lavender to America. Lavender was also one of the first plants brought to Australia in the 1800’s.

Many herb gardens contain garden-grown or container grown lavender. Lavender is grown in somewhat alkaline soil, in a sunny location with good drainage.

Lavender’s essential oils act as a tranquilizer to calm the central nervous system, making it highly effective as an herbal remedy for insomnia.

The dried flowers and leaves can be brewed and drunk in a tea, or the plant’s essential oils can be extracted from the plant. Essential oils can be applied to the skin as a muscle relaxant, or the scent can be inhaled as used in aromatherapy.

Since the feet are known as an area of the body that quickly absorbs topically applied products, massaging lavender oil into the feet will have a calming effect.

The essential oil can be vaporized in a vaporizer or added to a warm bath and inhaled.

You can also create a sachet of the dried leaves and flowers, sprinkle with essential lavender oil, and slip it under your pillow.

Some people who apply lavender topically have experienced an allergic reaction when the oil contacts the skin.  Always conduct an allergy test on a small patch of skin to test for sensitivity prior to using a full application.

It’s also important to note that not all lavender species have the same calming effects.  Spanish lavender, for example, is used to invigorate and wake up the body.

Lavender & Mint Tea 

What do you need?

1 teaspoon fresh lavender flowers (or ½ teaspoon dried)

1 ½ – 2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves (or 2 teaspoons dried)

1 cup water

other herbs like rosemary, lemon balm or lemon verbena, or rose geranium for added flavor

How to prepare?

1. Using a teapot, mix the lavender and mint.

You can use a tea infuser or simply add the loose leaves and strain it later.

2. Add boiling water and let it steep for five minutes. Makes 1 serving.

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Handmade Lavender Sachet

What do you need?

dried or fresh lavender

lavender oil

a cloth or handkerchief

1 large needle to fit a ribbon, 1 regular sized needle

thread, ¼” wide ribbon

How to prepare?

1. Prepare your handkerchief by folding in half, then folding in half a second time, creating a pouch.  If you prefer a crisp look, iron the edges.

2. Using the threaded needle, sew three of the four sides.

3. Fill the pouch with lavender through the unsewn side.  Use enough of the lavender to fill the pouch, but don’t overstuff it.  The final product will resemble a bean bag.

4. Add approximately 8-10 drops of essential oil to the dried lavender.

5. With the larger needle threaded with ribbon, loosely sew the open side to keep all of the sachet contents inside.

6. When sealed, knot the ribbon and enjoy your homemade sachet!

 

 


POINTS TO REMEMBER

Melatonin – body’s natural hormones

  • Darkness encourages the pineal gland to release melatonin while white light represses its release.
  • Start with small amount and increase the dosage if needed.
  • Take melatonin about half an hour prior to bedtime for maximum effectiveness.

The Benefits of Chamomile

  • Chrysin is the naturally occurring chemical in chamomile that promotes drowsiness and encourages sleep
  • It can be placed in a sachet under the pillow or drink as a tea 30 – 45 minutes prior to going to sleep

The Soothing Properties of Lavender

  • Lavender’s essential oils act as a tranquilizer to calm the central nervous system, making it highly effective as an herbal remedy for insomnia.
  • Note that not all lavender species have the same calming effects.

The Medicinal Use of Valerian Root

  • The herb must be taken regularly over a period of about one month to see results.
  • Higher doses cause grogginess without being more effective.
  • Valerian root is used to provide relief from anxiety disorders, and acts as a sedative to encourage restful sleep.

Other Herbs

  • Kava
    Kava’s effective daily dose is between 70 and 200 mg of kavalactones.
  • Lemon Balm
    Try a lemon balm tea by adding 2 teaspoons dried lemon balm to 1 cup of boiling water.
  • Passion Flower
    Passion flower is not addictive and provides relief from sleeplessness.
    Dried passion flower makes a highly effective tea.
  • California Poppy
    It contain protopine that has a similar effect as morphine on the brain.
  • Hops
    Hops come as dried stobiles, capsules, and tablets, and are commonly used as a relaxing tea or as a sachet placed underneath the pillow.
  • Honey
    Try mixing honey into warmed milk or herbal teas to benefit from its sedating qualities.

TAKEAWAY QUESTIONS

– Have you tried any of the herbal remedies mentioned above?

– What other herbal remedies you know that are beneficial aid for sleeplessness?

– What other ways you do to help you sleep?


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