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20 Natural Remedies to Help You Sleep Well Slideshow

20 Natural Remedies to Help You Sleep Well Slideshow


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Steer clear of strong medications with undesirable side effects and try these calming solutions instead

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20 Natural Remedies to Help You Sleep Well

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You’re lying awake, night after night, wide-eyed and restless. Fast forward to the next day and you’re sitting in your office, nodding off just as your boss decides to walk by your desk.

Ugh. You’ve been trying to get a full night’s sleep for weeks now, but for some unknown reason, you can’t seem to fall asleep. At this point, you’ve tried it all. You’re running on empty and a measly five hours, chugging coffee after coffee in an attempt to stay alert through the fog of fatigue. Nothing’s worked, but you don’t want to turn to strong medication just yet.

You know that although sleeping pills may work for you, there’s no guarantee they’ll be effective — and whether or not they do the trick, they could initiate a whole host of undesirable side effects. Sleeping pills have the potential to cause constipation, diarrhea, dizziness, headache, heartburn, and even (ironically) drowsiness.

There are more natural, less extreme ways to get your fix of peaceful slumber. If you try out a few of these natural remedies, you’ll avoid the uncomfortable (and expensive) side effects of sleeping pills.

Ashwagandha

It’s new. It’s hip. And these days, all the cool kids are adding it to their smoothie bowls. Ashwagandha is an Ayurvedic herb valued for its ability to reduce symptoms of stress. Stress can chronically exacerbate insomnia, and could be the culprit behind your lack of shuteye. Ashwagandha comes in various powders and supplements. Simply add it to your smoothie, oatmeal, or other food and drink.

Avoid Processed Foods

Foods high in sugar and sugar replacements can be energizing in the moment, but cause a major crash later on. The spike in blood sugar and disruption of your body’s normal rhythm could affect you all day, even once your head hits the pillow. Real, whole foods like fruit, nuts, meat, and other plants are much better choices for snacking and for providing lasting energy.

Chamomile

Though there is no scientific data that proves the correlation, chamomile tea has been used as a sleep aid for centuries. Something about cozying up with a warm cup makes you drowsy and ready to doze off. Make a relaxing cup with this simple recipe before you go to sleep to help wind down after a long day.

Clean Up

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Don’t Snack Before Bed

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Essential Oils

There are naysayers, but essential oils have been proven by science to work wonders for stress levels, overall mood, and even falling asleep. One study at Wesleyan University showed that men who sniffed lavender before bed slept more soundly and felt more energetic in the morning than men who did not. Add some lavender to an essential oil diffuser or invest in a lavender-scented pillow spray to feel the effects for yourself.

Exercise

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Hops

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L-theanine

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L-theanine is an amino acid that can help keep you alert during the day and appropriately drowsy at night. It exists naturally in green tea, but in such small doses that it doesn’t have much effect. However, it’s sold at higher concentrations in drug stores and pharmacies as an over-the-counter remedy and sleep aid. The compound boosts REM sleep to help your brain get the most out of your precious hours of rest.

Magnesium and Calcium

Yes, these belong on the same slide — you need to take them together! They’re both mild sleep aids, but they complement each other to become more effective and minimize the risk of malabsorption of calcium when it’s taken alone. Check whether calcium and magnesium are already part of your multivitamin, and if they’re not, consider adding the supplements to your routine.

Meditation

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Meditation has been paraded as a natural, inexpensive, and calming solution to many physical and mental health challenges (even smoking addiction!). It also has been scientifically proven by a study conducted at Harvard to aid in providing restful sleep. There are many free app options for guided sleep meditations and even more how-to guides online for meditating on your own. A little mindfulness goes a long way.

Melatonin

Terry Putman/Shutterstock.com

This is perhaps one of the most common supplements for sleep aid, and for good reason. It’s actually the hormone that controls sleep naturally in your body — so providing an extra boost of it is sure to knock you out. Taking too much melatonin, however, could result in drowsiness the next day or prolonged periods of depression. So keep your doses low — studies show it’s more effective that way, anyway!

Regulate Your Sleep Schedule

Try to accustom your body to going to bed at the same time each night. You probably wake up at the same time for work each day, regardless, so figuring out the time you need to be in bed could be a valuable experience. Once your body is used to going to bed at that time, you will naturally start to get tired as the hour approaches.

On the other hand, if you chronically go to bed too late, you won’t get tired until much later. Don’t set yourself up for failure — create a more disciplined sleep schedule as best you can.

Shut Down

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Blue light, the kind emitted from phone, laptop, and TV screens, suppresses the release of the sleep hormone melatonin. This is why it’s generally recommended to turn off your phones and computers after a certain time of night — and probably also is why you have a hard time turning off Netflix at three in the morning.

Give yourself a “technology bedtime” and shut down all your devices a few hours before bed. Not only will you encourage the natural flow of hormones, but you’ll decrease the amount of brain stimulation you experience before it’s time to go to sleep.

Tryptophan

You’ve likely heard people refer to this chemical when they feel sleepy after Thanksgiving dinner. The truth is, turkey doesn’t contain a high enough concentration of tryptophan to make a significant difference in energy — after such a large meal, it’s likely that you’re tired because of the extreme amount of energy your body needs to expend on digestion.

However, tryptophan is an effective sleep aid, when taken in high enough doses. Most doctors recommend one to two grams before bedtime. Some other sources of tryptophan are bananas, spirulina, eggs, salmon, and dairy.

Valerian

White Noise

This can be especially helpful if you live in a city — white noise serves to block out the surrounding distractions and noises so that you can doze off without interruption. Certain kinds of white noise, often used in therapy and psychiatry offices, are also effective sleep aids, regardless of whether or not there is background noise.

Wild Lettuce

No, we don’t mean you should munch on the raw vegetable. Wild lettuce contains compounds that help reduce anxiety, cure headaches, and mitigate muscle and joint pain. Its anxiety-reducing power can cure your late-night jitters and sedate your nerves just enough to induce sleep. Find this supplement at most drug stores or pharmacies.

Yoga

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This ancient practice has been proven to promote longevity, mind-body connection, disease prevention, healthy digestion, and a whole slew of other positive changes in the body. It can also help you sleep — not only by providing you with hormone-balancing exercise, but also by releasing tension and getting rid of stress.

If are going to try out yoga, fuel up beforehand with these foods.


16 All-Natural Sleep Aids That Will Have You Snoozing in No Time

Start sleeping like a baby with these secrets to better shut-eye.

Tossing and turning all night never feels good&mdashand most Americans are all too familiar with it. An estimated 164 million people struggle with sleep at least once a week, according to a 2016 survey from Consumer Reports. Insomnia can do worse than just tire you out the next day. If you're suffering from chronic lack of sleep, it can take a toll on your overall health.

Ongoing sleep deficiency can lower your immune system, making it harder for your body to fight infections. It can trigger mood changes like irritability, depression, and anxiety. And studies have linked insufficient sleep to weight gain increased risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes and even shorter life expectancy.

In the same vein, good sleep habits promote everything from memory (your brain needs rest to form new neural pathways to learn and retain information) to good mental health (you&rsquore better able to regulate emotions, solve problems, and make decisions when you&rsquore rested) to hormone regulation and healing.

While some may turn to prescription sleeping pills to catch some zzzs, others are wary of side effects, which include dizziness, headaches, and allergic reactions, as well as a possible increased risk of dementia. That's why we asked sleep experts to share their go-to insomnia hacks to find out the best ways to nod off at night.

But remember: It's important to talk with your doctors about consistent sleep problems. You should also let them know if you're taking any type of sleep aid, natural or otherwise, to ensure there isn't a potential risk with existing health conditions or other medications you're taking, says clinical sleep educator Terry Cralle, RN. "Like all drugs, natural sleep remedies can have side effects and risks. I think it's good to get information about them and then discuss it with a healthcare provider."


16 All-Natural Sleep Aids That Will Have You Snoozing in No Time

Start sleeping like a baby with these secrets to better shut-eye.

Tossing and turning all night never feels good&mdashand most Americans are all too familiar with it. An estimated 164 million people struggle with sleep at least once a week, according to a 2016 survey from Consumer Reports. Insomnia can do worse than just tire you out the next day. If you're suffering from chronic lack of sleep, it can take a toll on your overall health.

Ongoing sleep deficiency can lower your immune system, making it harder for your body to fight infections. It can trigger mood changes like irritability, depression, and anxiety. And studies have linked insufficient sleep to weight gain increased risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes and even shorter life expectancy.

In the same vein, good sleep habits promote everything from memory (your brain needs rest to form new neural pathways to learn and retain information) to good mental health (you&rsquore better able to regulate emotions, solve problems, and make decisions when you&rsquore rested) to hormone regulation and healing.

While some may turn to prescription sleeping pills to catch some zzzs, others are wary of side effects, which include dizziness, headaches, and allergic reactions, as well as a possible increased risk of dementia. That's why we asked sleep experts to share their go-to insomnia hacks to find out the best ways to nod off at night.

But remember: It's important to talk with your doctors about consistent sleep problems. You should also let them know if you're taking any type of sleep aid, natural or otherwise, to ensure there isn't a potential risk with existing health conditions or other medications you're taking, says clinical sleep educator Terry Cralle, RN. "Like all drugs, natural sleep remedies can have side effects and risks. I think it's good to get information about them and then discuss it with a healthcare provider."


16 All-Natural Sleep Aids That Will Have You Snoozing in No Time

Start sleeping like a baby with these secrets to better shut-eye.

Tossing and turning all night never feels good&mdashand most Americans are all too familiar with it. An estimated 164 million people struggle with sleep at least once a week, according to a 2016 survey from Consumer Reports. Insomnia can do worse than just tire you out the next day. If you're suffering from chronic lack of sleep, it can take a toll on your overall health.

Ongoing sleep deficiency can lower your immune system, making it harder for your body to fight infections. It can trigger mood changes like irritability, depression, and anxiety. And studies have linked insufficient sleep to weight gain increased risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes and even shorter life expectancy.

In the same vein, good sleep habits promote everything from memory (your brain needs rest to form new neural pathways to learn and retain information) to good mental health (you&rsquore better able to regulate emotions, solve problems, and make decisions when you&rsquore rested) to hormone regulation and healing.

While some may turn to prescription sleeping pills to catch some zzzs, others are wary of side effects, which include dizziness, headaches, and allergic reactions, as well as a possible increased risk of dementia. That's why we asked sleep experts to share their go-to insomnia hacks to find out the best ways to nod off at night.

But remember: It's important to talk with your doctors about consistent sleep problems. You should also let them know if you're taking any type of sleep aid, natural or otherwise, to ensure there isn't a potential risk with existing health conditions or other medications you're taking, says clinical sleep educator Terry Cralle, RN. "Like all drugs, natural sleep remedies can have side effects and risks. I think it's good to get information about them and then discuss it with a healthcare provider."


16 All-Natural Sleep Aids That Will Have You Snoozing in No Time

Start sleeping like a baby with these secrets to better shut-eye.

Tossing and turning all night never feels good&mdashand most Americans are all too familiar with it. An estimated 164 million people struggle with sleep at least once a week, according to a 2016 survey from Consumer Reports. Insomnia can do worse than just tire you out the next day. If you're suffering from chronic lack of sleep, it can take a toll on your overall health.

Ongoing sleep deficiency can lower your immune system, making it harder for your body to fight infections. It can trigger mood changes like irritability, depression, and anxiety. And studies have linked insufficient sleep to weight gain increased risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes and even shorter life expectancy.

In the same vein, good sleep habits promote everything from memory (your brain needs rest to form new neural pathways to learn and retain information) to good mental health (you&rsquore better able to regulate emotions, solve problems, and make decisions when you&rsquore rested) to hormone regulation and healing.

While some may turn to prescription sleeping pills to catch some zzzs, others are wary of side effects, which include dizziness, headaches, and allergic reactions, as well as a possible increased risk of dementia. That's why we asked sleep experts to share their go-to insomnia hacks to find out the best ways to nod off at night.

But remember: It's important to talk with your doctors about consistent sleep problems. You should also let them know if you're taking any type of sleep aid, natural or otherwise, to ensure there isn't a potential risk with existing health conditions or other medications you're taking, says clinical sleep educator Terry Cralle, RN. "Like all drugs, natural sleep remedies can have side effects and risks. I think it's good to get information about them and then discuss it with a healthcare provider."


16 All-Natural Sleep Aids That Will Have You Snoozing in No Time

Start sleeping like a baby with these secrets to better shut-eye.

Tossing and turning all night never feels good&mdashand most Americans are all too familiar with it. An estimated 164 million people struggle with sleep at least once a week, according to a 2016 survey from Consumer Reports. Insomnia can do worse than just tire you out the next day. If you're suffering from chronic lack of sleep, it can take a toll on your overall health.

Ongoing sleep deficiency can lower your immune system, making it harder for your body to fight infections. It can trigger mood changes like irritability, depression, and anxiety. And studies have linked insufficient sleep to weight gain increased risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes and even shorter life expectancy.

In the same vein, good sleep habits promote everything from memory (your brain needs rest to form new neural pathways to learn and retain information) to good mental health (you&rsquore better able to regulate emotions, solve problems, and make decisions when you&rsquore rested) to hormone regulation and healing.

While some may turn to prescription sleeping pills to catch some zzzs, others are wary of side effects, which include dizziness, headaches, and allergic reactions, as well as a possible increased risk of dementia. That's why we asked sleep experts to share their go-to insomnia hacks to find out the best ways to nod off at night.

But remember: It's important to talk with your doctors about consistent sleep problems. You should also let them know if you're taking any type of sleep aid, natural or otherwise, to ensure there isn't a potential risk with existing health conditions or other medications you're taking, says clinical sleep educator Terry Cralle, RN. "Like all drugs, natural sleep remedies can have side effects and risks. I think it's good to get information about them and then discuss it with a healthcare provider."


16 All-Natural Sleep Aids That Will Have You Snoozing in No Time

Start sleeping like a baby with these secrets to better shut-eye.

Tossing and turning all night never feels good&mdashand most Americans are all too familiar with it. An estimated 164 million people struggle with sleep at least once a week, according to a 2016 survey from Consumer Reports. Insomnia can do worse than just tire you out the next day. If you're suffering from chronic lack of sleep, it can take a toll on your overall health.

Ongoing sleep deficiency can lower your immune system, making it harder for your body to fight infections. It can trigger mood changes like irritability, depression, and anxiety. And studies have linked insufficient sleep to weight gain increased risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes and even shorter life expectancy.

In the same vein, good sleep habits promote everything from memory (your brain needs rest to form new neural pathways to learn and retain information) to good mental health (you&rsquore better able to regulate emotions, solve problems, and make decisions when you&rsquore rested) to hormone regulation and healing.

While some may turn to prescription sleeping pills to catch some zzzs, others are wary of side effects, which include dizziness, headaches, and allergic reactions, as well as a possible increased risk of dementia. That's why we asked sleep experts to share their go-to insomnia hacks to find out the best ways to nod off at night.

But remember: It's important to talk with your doctors about consistent sleep problems. You should also let them know if you're taking any type of sleep aid, natural or otherwise, to ensure there isn't a potential risk with existing health conditions or other medications you're taking, says clinical sleep educator Terry Cralle, RN. "Like all drugs, natural sleep remedies can have side effects and risks. I think it's good to get information about them and then discuss it with a healthcare provider."


16 All-Natural Sleep Aids That Will Have You Snoozing in No Time

Start sleeping like a baby with these secrets to better shut-eye.

Tossing and turning all night never feels good&mdashand most Americans are all too familiar with it. An estimated 164 million people struggle with sleep at least once a week, according to a 2016 survey from Consumer Reports. Insomnia can do worse than just tire you out the next day. If you're suffering from chronic lack of sleep, it can take a toll on your overall health.

Ongoing sleep deficiency can lower your immune system, making it harder for your body to fight infections. It can trigger mood changes like irritability, depression, and anxiety. And studies have linked insufficient sleep to weight gain increased risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes and even shorter life expectancy.

In the same vein, good sleep habits promote everything from memory (your brain needs rest to form new neural pathways to learn and retain information) to good mental health (you&rsquore better able to regulate emotions, solve problems, and make decisions when you&rsquore rested) to hormone regulation and healing.

While some may turn to prescription sleeping pills to catch some zzzs, others are wary of side effects, which include dizziness, headaches, and allergic reactions, as well as a possible increased risk of dementia. That's why we asked sleep experts to share their go-to insomnia hacks to find out the best ways to nod off at night.

But remember: It's important to talk with your doctors about consistent sleep problems. You should also let them know if you're taking any type of sleep aid, natural or otherwise, to ensure there isn't a potential risk with existing health conditions or other medications you're taking, says clinical sleep educator Terry Cralle, RN. "Like all drugs, natural sleep remedies can have side effects and risks. I think it's good to get information about them and then discuss it with a healthcare provider."


16 All-Natural Sleep Aids That Will Have You Snoozing in No Time

Start sleeping like a baby with these secrets to better shut-eye.

Tossing and turning all night never feels good&mdashand most Americans are all too familiar with it. An estimated 164 million people struggle with sleep at least once a week, according to a 2016 survey from Consumer Reports. Insomnia can do worse than just tire you out the next day. If you're suffering from chronic lack of sleep, it can take a toll on your overall health.

Ongoing sleep deficiency can lower your immune system, making it harder for your body to fight infections. It can trigger mood changes like irritability, depression, and anxiety. And studies have linked insufficient sleep to weight gain increased risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes and even shorter life expectancy.

In the same vein, good sleep habits promote everything from memory (your brain needs rest to form new neural pathways to learn and retain information) to good mental health (you&rsquore better able to regulate emotions, solve problems, and make decisions when you&rsquore rested) to hormone regulation and healing.

While some may turn to prescription sleeping pills to catch some zzzs, others are wary of side effects, which include dizziness, headaches, and allergic reactions, as well as a possible increased risk of dementia. That's why we asked sleep experts to share their go-to insomnia hacks to find out the best ways to nod off at night.

But remember: It's important to talk with your doctors about consistent sleep problems. You should also let them know if you're taking any type of sleep aid, natural or otherwise, to ensure there isn't a potential risk with existing health conditions or other medications you're taking, says clinical sleep educator Terry Cralle, RN. "Like all drugs, natural sleep remedies can have side effects and risks. I think it's good to get information about them and then discuss it with a healthcare provider."


16 All-Natural Sleep Aids That Will Have You Snoozing in No Time

Start sleeping like a baby with these secrets to better shut-eye.

Tossing and turning all night never feels good&mdashand most Americans are all too familiar with it. An estimated 164 million people struggle with sleep at least once a week, according to a 2016 survey from Consumer Reports. Insomnia can do worse than just tire you out the next day. If you're suffering from chronic lack of sleep, it can take a toll on your overall health.

Ongoing sleep deficiency can lower your immune system, making it harder for your body to fight infections. It can trigger mood changes like irritability, depression, and anxiety. And studies have linked insufficient sleep to weight gain increased risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes and even shorter life expectancy.

In the same vein, good sleep habits promote everything from memory (your brain needs rest to form new neural pathways to learn and retain information) to good mental health (you&rsquore better able to regulate emotions, solve problems, and make decisions when you&rsquore rested) to hormone regulation and healing.

While some may turn to prescription sleeping pills to catch some zzzs, others are wary of side effects, which include dizziness, headaches, and allergic reactions, as well as a possible increased risk of dementia. That's why we asked sleep experts to share their go-to insomnia hacks to find out the best ways to nod off at night.

But remember: It's important to talk with your doctors about consistent sleep problems. You should also let them know if you're taking any type of sleep aid, natural or otherwise, to ensure there isn't a potential risk with existing health conditions or other medications you're taking, says clinical sleep educator Terry Cralle, RN. "Like all drugs, natural sleep remedies can have side effects and risks. I think it's good to get information about them and then discuss it with a healthcare provider."


16 All-Natural Sleep Aids That Will Have You Snoozing in No Time

Start sleeping like a baby with these secrets to better shut-eye.

Tossing and turning all night never feels good&mdashand most Americans are all too familiar with it. An estimated 164 million people struggle with sleep at least once a week, according to a 2016 survey from Consumer Reports. Insomnia can do worse than just tire you out the next day. If you're suffering from chronic lack of sleep, it can take a toll on your overall health.

Ongoing sleep deficiency can lower your immune system, making it harder for your body to fight infections. It can trigger mood changes like irritability, depression, and anxiety. And studies have linked insufficient sleep to weight gain increased risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes and even shorter life expectancy.

In the same vein, good sleep habits promote everything from memory (your brain needs rest to form new neural pathways to learn and retain information) to good mental health (you&rsquore better able to regulate emotions, solve problems, and make decisions when you&rsquore rested) to hormone regulation and healing.

While some may turn to prescription sleeping pills to catch some zzzs, others are wary of side effects, which include dizziness, headaches, and allergic reactions, as well as a possible increased risk of dementia. That's why we asked sleep experts to share their go-to insomnia hacks to find out the best ways to nod off at night.

But remember: It's important to talk with your doctors about consistent sleep problems. You should also let them know if you're taking any type of sleep aid, natural or otherwise, to ensure there isn't a potential risk with existing health conditions or other medications you're taking, says clinical sleep educator Terry Cralle, RN. "Like all drugs, natural sleep remedies can have side effects and risks. I think it's good to get information about them and then discuss it with a healthcare provider."



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