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Best Natural Sleep Remedies for a Peaceful Slumber

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Did you know that over 30-48% of adults worldwide suffer from insomnia? According to statistics by Sleep Foundation, adults across all races and ethnicities tend to experience insufficient sleep. Sometimes shushing your sleeplessness woes to rest seems an impossible task without antibiotics. However, there are better and natural ways to beckon your long lost slumber back on track. Natural sleep remedies can help insulate your circadian rhythms against insomnia and sleep apnea.

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While these remedies might not have immediate effects, a little patience and dedication to incorporate them into your routine can help you get some shut-eye.

Why Do We Need a Good Sleeping Routine?

Sleep is perhaps the most underrated factor which makes up for a healthy lifestyle. Often, we bash early sleepers for not being ‘adult’ enough as they do not stay up for long hours working their nights away on their laptop or binging the latest Netflix series. However, it’s time to take our words back and respect their commitment to moving towards a healthier routine.

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A well-timed sleep cycle that is nourishing and peaceful is imperative to everyone who seeks to live each moment to the fullest. Sleeping helps us recharge our batteries- a person who sleeps well, remains refreshed and more active as compared to someone who doesn’t sleep enough.

The benefits of sleeping are myriad. From improving brain health, decision-making and your creative prowess, a good, healthy slumber can help you beat risks of obesity, heart problems and others. Healthy sleeping habits go the extra mile in taking care of your systems. Apart from keeping dark circles at bay, a deep, peaceful slumber can help you fight stress and can give you a mood boost.

We all have those once-in-a-blue-moon nights when we can’t manage to sleep a wink. However, if you find yourself sitting up bolt upright in your bed at odd hours or twisting and turning in the covers regularly, maybe you should seek some informed advice on how to prevent that from happening. It might be that you have a sleep disorder like insomnia or sleep apnea and it is better to broach that topic on your next visit to your doctor.

While you will be tempted to self-medicate as you do not want to lose much sleep over why you’re not able to do so, we advise you not to rummage your bedside drawers for sleep medication. Instead, natural sleeping aids are a much better option to go for. You might have your own doubts, but hear, hear- we will tell you if these remedies actually work and why you should not let prescription medicines control your shut-eye time.

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Do Natural Sleep Remedies Work?

Natural sleep remedies are something doctors all over the world swear by. According to Dr. Charlene Gamaldo, medical director of Johns Hopkins Center for Sleep, one doesn’t need to depend on prescription medicines to induce sleep. Natural sleep-inducing agents like Melatonin, Valerian root, Magnesium and Passionflower can help deepen your sleep and can improve your bedtime routine significantly. Coupled with regular exercise, natural and herbal sleeping aids can help you revive your normal sleep, and even make it a more plentiful experience for you.

Top 10 Home Remedies for a Good Night's Sleep (Aids That Actually Work) -  Sweet Zzz Official®

Doctors advise that before blindly heading for prescription drugs, you should attempt to treat your sleeping disorders like insomnia and sleep apnea with natural sleeping aids. Natural aids do not induce drastic side-effects like their prescription counterparts do. Instead, these herbs and remedies have fewer side effects and do not induce any dependence like OTC options. However, these remedies are supposed to be used for a short time to avoid addiction and induce slumber naturally.

If you’re going for additional supplements like melatonin (which is listed here), do refer to your physician. While natural remedies cause less trouble, we would caution you from using them in excess.

Why Sleep Medications Are a Bad Choice?

People often doubt the efficacy of natural sleeping remedies, when they are confronted to seek treatment for sleeping disorders. However, prescription meds, while coming with promises of immediate effects, can be harmful in the long run.

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Heavy dependence on over-the-counter medical solutions can cause side-effects like dizziness, allergies and can even contribute to the risk of dementia. According to doctors, another reason to dismiss those pills is that they might not work anymore in the long time. A habit of treating your sleeplessness worries with a pill might make you immune to their effects. Barbiturates and benzodiazepines are some sleeping drugs that can alter the brain’s ability to receive any sensory stimulation.

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Other reasons why you should not refer to OTC options to treat your sleep disorders are pretty obvious. People who use such medication for a long time might develop an addiction. Higher doses of sleeping pills might even suppress your breathing while you sleep and exacerbate sleep apnea. Yikes!

But, if you’re still undaunted in your pursuit, here’s what can deter you. You can literally be thrown off-balance if you’ve been using pills for years. And we’re not kidding. Overdosing on sleeping pills can edge you further on the precipice of cancer as well. Moreover, sleep medication can make you feel drowsy and out of the element all day as they are quite strong.

Ever heard of sleepwalking? Maybe you have, but don’t you think that is something prescription meds cannot induce. Sorry to break your bubble, but another risk of ingesting sleeping meds like oxygen can actually channelize your inner Wee Willy Winky who runs through the town in their nightgown. (Clever reference, no? Okay, no.) Maybe you’ll not be doing rounds of your apartment, but over-dependence on OTC options can induce amnesia and sleepwalking which is a difficult pattern to break along with withdrawal symptoms.

What are the Best Home Remedies for Deep Sleep?

Congratulations if you have decided to go au natural to treat your sleeplessness woes! We’ll tell you the best home remedies for your sleep disorders and we hope you won’t be googling it anymore while you are up all night!

Melatonin

Melatonin is a hormone released by our brain about four hours before our sleepy senses start to kick in. Usually, Melatonin is usually secreted upon exposure to dim lights. Remember how we automatically begin falling asleep inside a dark room (before insomnia kicked in, of course)?

Therefore, the first thing you need to do to promote your levels of this feel-good sleep hormone is to eat foods abundant in Vitamin B6 and Tryptophan.

Both of them help in boosting melatonin secretion, therefore, make sure that you are stocking up on chicken, turkey, eggs, lentils, avocado and sunflower seeds. If you are following a vegan lifestyle (which is good for the planet as well as you), you can skip the non-vegetarian and dairy-based options and substitute them with grains like quinoa, oats and rice to increase your melatonin levels naturally. Cherries are superfoods rich in melatonin. Having 10-12 cherries a day can be good for your circadian rhythms.

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However, if none of these options works effectively, you can consult your physician and ask them if you would need additional melatonin supplements. Before proceeding with the OTC variant, remember that consuming melatonin in form of pills might have minor side effects like dizziness, nausea or headache. Usually, melatonin supplements are reported to be safe for adults, but never shy from an informed input from the doctor.

Chamomile Tea

Apart from reducing menstrual pain, being a boon for hair and skin, treating cold symptoms and soothing tensed muscles- this herbal remedy is a potent natural sleeping aid. A hot cup of chamomile tea brewed fresh every night can help you beat sleeplessness. Chamomile is said to have soothing properties which keep anxiety, stomach problems and muscle pain at bay and help you relax during your bedtime.

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However, with this remedy, timing is everything. Make sure you have a cup of chamomile tea with your dinner, but not right before you go to sleep. A better way would be to substitute your daily cup of Joe with chamomile tea.

Valerian Root

Also known as the famed Ayurveda miracle- Ashwagandha, Valerian root contains various antioxidants and compounds like isovaleric acid and valerenic acid. These compounds can help you beat insomnia, as this miracle worker can prevent the breakdown of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) which transmits your brain a message to chill, slow down and relax.

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Valerian also contains hesperidin and linarin, antioxidants that have sedative properties and is a popular home remedy for deep sleep. Though studies have found Valerian to be safe enough for consumption for a short span, with regards to pregnant and lactating women, its effects are still not proved as totally safe. However, a controlled dose of valerian root in form of tea, essential oils or supplements can help you catch up on your treasured sleeping routine.

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Eat Magnesium-Rich Foods

Magnesium is another mineral that acts as one of the best natural remedies for insomnia and sleep apnea. Magnesium is known to interact with melatonin production in the human body and can boost brain and heart functions. Therefore, we recommend you build your appetite for magnesium-rich foods such as pumpkin seeds, spinach, almonds, soy-milk, all the lovely greens adorning your plate and maybe a serving or two of unsweetened cocoa powder. Sounds like a win for vegans there!

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A medical study found that people who have had magnesium supplements had seen a remarkable fall in the stress hormone cortisol. As magnesium helps calm down the nervous system, incorporating it more often in your diet is a good idea to keep sleep disorders at a distance.

Passionflower

Already a popular home remedy for deep sleep amongst insomniacs and sleep apnea affected patients, a cup of passionflower tea can help you unwind and sleep peacefully. Amongst its many species, Passiflora incarnata is a popular option to treat sleep disorders and relieve anxiety. Many Native American communities have been using this herbal remedy to treat a variety of problems like wounds and liver problems. Passionflower has also been a known herbal analgesic.

passionflower-tea | Sambad English

Passionflower is one of the most harmless natural sleep remedies to induce a fulfilling slumber. You may look for dried passionflower, soak it in boiling water for 10 minutes and consume a cup of that tea with dinner. Just like chamomile, passionflower has appeared to boost GABA levels in one’s brain. However, while studies have noted that participants have noticed improvements in their sleep quality, more comprehensive research is required to study the benefits of passionflower as a natural remedy for sleep apnea and insomnia.

Limit Caffeine, Spice and Sugar

While caffeine and sugar have become staple ingredients in our fast-paced life, beware when you choose to indulge yourself with dessert delights or multiple cups of coffee. Caffeine and sugar-rich foods are sleep stealers- and you must have been aware of it while you were hammering that college assignment onto your laptop moments before a deadline. If you can’t help but engage your obsession with expresso and doughnuts- maybe you should cut them out of your nighttime routine.

In fact, don’t stop there- keep all those packs of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and Nuclear Ramen away at night. A study in the International Journal of Psychophysiology found that spicy foods can raise your body temperature and make it harder for you to doze off. And of course, a late-night trip to the loo due to a raging fire in your insides can be pretty uncomfortable (and…painful)to deal with. Prevention is definitely better than cure sometimes, and the same holds true for natural sleep remedies.

Power-Down at Nights

Our nightly routine should ideally be free of all the devices. According to experts, devices which emit blue light are not only harmful to your eyes, they keep your mind active and averse to sleeping. A good natural sleep remedy for insomnia is to avoid exposure to tech and T.V. at least an hour before bed. Keep your devices on the Do Not Disturb mode, switch on reading mode after certain evening hours on your phones and tablets.

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It will also help if you resist the urge to watch the latest episodes of The Witcher or whittle away your hours scrolling down your social media feed. Schedule a time when you won’t admit any devices (including the T.V.) in your bedroom.

Lavender

Lavender does more than keep your body odour away. One of the premier natural sleep remedies, lavender can improve your slumber. With an extremely pleasant fragrance, make way for some lavender oil-based aromatherapy to help you relax. Scents can affect our mood drastically, and with lavender’s ability to ease your anxiety- not only will your shut-eye time become peaceful, but it can also potentially lengthen how long you doze off. You can use a lavender spritz on your bed linens for a more calming effect or just soak it in by putting a few drops of that essential oil into your bath.

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However, DO NOT ingest that essential oil at all. While lavender has proven positive effects on how well you might sleep, upon ingestion, the oil can give you serious oral and gastric trouble. Also, do read the instructions about using the essential oil before using it for your head massage, aromatherapy or bath routine as it needs to be dissolved with a carrier oil.

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Kava

This Pacific-Island root can help you beat insomnia like a pro. Kava is relatively unheard of- unlike chamomile, lavender and passionflower. However, it is slowly catching up as one of the best herbal and natural sleep remedies currently. It has received its due share of popularity for being a relatively more effective option than sleep medications.

In many studies, it was found that kava can help reduce anxiety, which is one of the key causes of sleep disorders. However, since it is a recent discovery, though it has been in use in Pacific cultures- kava’s benefits as a natural sleep remedy are not discovered fully.

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But, many researchers have also been establishing continuously that kava extract is an excellent choice instead of OTC medications to induce deep slumber. A research study has also noted that kava does not have any major side effects like any other prescription medication or some natural sleep remedies. Often, kava’s effects on reducing insomniac tendencies also come from the fact that it is a stress-reliever.

However, we would like you to tread with caution- excessive long term use of kava extract might birth some sleep deterrents like headaches, rashes and indigestion. Therefore, engage in some informed conversation with your doctor to steer clear of any allergies.

California Poppy

This is another tea-based natural sleep remedy that can help you alleviate the sluggishness you feel due to a lack of sleep. California Poppy is a good natural sleeping aid and there is a bonus too! If all-night toilet trips are what prevents you from sleeping for a long stretch, brew some California poppy into your nightly tea and watch it cure your nocturia over some time!

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There hasn’t been much research to back the claim that the bright-orange flower can treat insomnia fully, however, we advise you to stay on a safer side and avoid using it when you’re pregnant, lactating or are suffering from any other major disorder or disease.

Yoga for Sleep Apnea and Insomnia

A good natural remedy for sleep apnea as well as insomnia is to engage your muscles in a good night-time Yoga routine. In fact, a better and healthier approach to treat sleep apnea is to check your weight- as it is common in cases of obesity. Natural sleep remedies might not work their magic if you do not have an active routine- therefore, exercise and a good, balanced diet can help you tackle these challenges.

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Yoga is a good way to go about a healthier sleep routine. Hit that mat, or you can even do basic yogic postures on your bed before you sleep. Yoga has proven effects on improving respiratory function and blood flow which can help you relax and catch up on your missing sleep. As Yoga also improves the circulation of oxygen, your circadian rhythms might not be frequently interrupted like before.

Conclusion

While sleep disorders are a huge pain to deal with as they can leave you drained for days, and nights alike- we recommend these natural sleep remedies to help you recover your circadian rhythm and power your immunity.

Catching up on sleep is a cherished goal for people who experience a lack of it- therefore, if you have been battling the urge to sleep when your body tells you it’s time to wake up, ironically so. Timely action and an honest conversation with your physician can help you discover the full extent of your situation.

Avoid blindly heading for prescription medications for sleeping, attempt to maintain a healthy routine and steer clear of any bad eating habits. As we said before, natural sleeping remedies might not be as effective if they are transformed into addiction. Also, you cannot cheat your way out of an unhealthy diet, even if you are honest with your preference for natural sleeping aids and daily workouts.

Therefore, the root to treating insomnia, sleep apnea and other sleeping disorders is not just in natural sleep remedies- it is also in your commitment to stay wary of dependence on OTC options, diagnosing your symptoms and getting an informed opinion on how to treat your sleeplessness troubles.

For more updates on how to pursue your lifestyle and groom yourself while you’re helping our planet hold out for long- keep checking in with us, here at Be Zen.

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