Listen up my red-eyed-heart-racing-can't-shut-off-the-brain friends - I've got some healthy, natural insomnia remedies for you! I've had my fair share of sleepless nights. And no, I don't even have kids yet. I've always been a night owl, plus I have Type A disorder + thyroid issues + a creative mind. And all that = extremely restless nights. Followed up by very crabby days. In years gone by, I would pour a nice glass of chilled wine from the box in my fridge, swallow some over-the-counter blue thingys and eventually, my mind would shut off. Unfortunately, that's not a good long term strategy. And with the removal of alcohol and any sort of medications from my life, I had to look for alternative help.
We all know the importance of sleep. I don't need to go on about that. But, you should know it's probably THE most important thing for cell rejuvenation and recovery. And since I'm on a major path to recovery, I absolutely need to get proper sleep. If I don't, I have no reserves in the adrenal tank to keep me going and so I'm just useless.
There are TONS of natural insomnia remedies and sleep aids out there, and I've tried almost all of them. So I'm just going to highlight the ones I keep going back to that WORK with minimal undesirable effects. For example, Melatonin, makes you feel groggy all the next day and nobody needs that. It also prohibits the body from producing it's own Melatonin over time, which is bad news.
(This post DOES NOT contain affiliate links. I'm not a punk. These are my opinions only!)
Magnesium: the ultimate natural anti-anxiety medication! I seriously have chilled out so much since I started taking this. Magnesium is a macro-mineral, meaning it is needed by the body in LARGE amounts. Magnesium regulates over 300 biochemical reactions in the body - and is very important for generating ATP (the basic unit of energy in the body). It's also essential to glucose metabolism, production of proteins and antioxidants, creation of DNA, and cholesterol production.
Bottom line here is you should take this REGARDLESS of insomnia. As a whole, it is estimated 80% of Americans are deficient in magnesium. Check out this great article by Dr. Mercola that goes into the symptoms and dangers of magnesium deficiency. BONUS: this is also a great supplement if you suffer from migraines, cramps, or regular headaches. I completely rid myself of ocular migraines after starting to take Magnesium every night.
How to take it: in powdered form, such as above, mixed with a tiny bit of hot water until it dissolves (like Alka Seltzer) and then pour into larger glass of water to dilute. Take an hour before bed - will have a very calming effect and can also be taken throughout the day in smaller doses to help with anxiety. A common brand is Natural Calm, but I have found this Vitacost version to perform the same and be much cheaper!
Warnings: Ease up to the suggested dose. Too much too soon can cause loose stools in some people.
Valerian Root: is a flower that has been used medicinally for centuries. In other words, it's safe. It is long regarded as a natural anti-anxiety and sleep aid. This will literally put you OUT!
How to take it: as directed - but try one pill first and see how you do. The maximum dose is three. You can pick both of these up at almost any grocery or health food store.
Warnings: in some people, Valerian Root can cause intense dreams to occur. The smell/taste of the pills is a little off -putting, but doesn't linger in your mouth.
Chamomile: is also a flower (daisy family) often used for settling digestive issues or as a natural sedative. It has a calming effect but not as strong as Valerian Root.
How to take it: as directed.
Warnings: people should avoid Chamomile who have ragweed, chrysanthemum, or aster allergies.
Passionflower: a flower (shocker!) extract that promotes calmness and relaxation of the nervous system. Can also be used to treat digestive issues, muscle spasms, and anxiety disorder. I get this one on Amazon. This is probably my favorite product! No side effects. No groggy feeling in the morning. No stomach upset.
How to take it: a dropper in 2 oz of water a half hour before bed.
Warnings: do not take if on any sort of pain medication. It does NOT taste good. But since you're only taking drops in 2 oz of water- just chug it like shot and no biggie.
Aura Cacia essential oil sprays: these are awesome for spraying on your bedding or the air in your bedroom. Very relaxing.
Traditional Medicinals Organic Nghty Night Tea: This works better than ANY nighttime tea I've ever tried. Plus, it's organic. And you don't want to drink non-organic teas. They are highly irradiated and sprayed with chemicals, so you're basically paying to drink concentrated toxins. I pick this up cheap on Vitacost or at my local grocery store.
Other tips: Lastly, my insomniacs, the most effective thing I have ever implemented in getting tired at night was shutting of my technology at 9:00pm. Literally, put the phone in your room to charge and let it go. Ditto for computer. The constant barrage of blue light from technology tricks your body into thinking it's still daylight and you won't start producing the Melatonin needed for sleep. But Melatonin isn't just needed for sleep - it is an important antioxidant, protecting you from disease. Here is an alarming study from Harvard Health about blue light, Melatonin, and it's correlation to diseases and cancer. Also, don't eat right before bed as the body can't truly rest when it's digesting.
•Don't eat after 8pm.
•Put phone/computer away at 9pm and chug passionflower, valerian, or chamomile.
•Prepare magnesium or nighttime tea and drink it up until bedtime.
•Sleep in as DARK of a room as possible. Get blackout curtains -they help tremendously.
•Use a phone app called Sleep Stream- you can select all different sounds, which helps drown out any "noises" that would otherwise wake you.
•Put phone on airport mode, so you won't even get vibrations.
With the above changes, I get tired around 10:30 and sleep through the night!
Sleep tight my beautiful friends!
Wondering who's the mysterious wordy genius behind these posts? Follow this little rabbit trail to read more About Me! The use of the term genius is open to interpretation.