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Natural Sleep Aids that Can Guide You to Dreamland

Jan 17, 2008
If you find yourself counting shadows on the ceiling or watching the numbers tick by on your alarm clock, then you are definitely not alone. Millions of people all over the world have problems sleeping. With some, it is a recurring problem called insomnia and with others, it might be the occasional night or two, every so often. Regardless of how your sleep problems came to be, you have a plethora of options in regards to sleep aids. However, if you are reluctant to ask your doctor for prescription sleep drugs or other medical alternatives, there are some natural sleep aids that can guide you to dreamland.

Natural sleep aids through the use of herbs have been around for a long time. The Chinese, most notably, have been big proponents of herbal remedies for centuries and stand by their effectiveness. It is just in the past decade or two that herbs have been scrutinized more closely for their beneficial properties in treating everything from stomach aches to colds and to, of course, sleep problems. If you decide to try one or more of herbal remedies please note that you should discuss them with your doctor first. Other medications you are taking might adversely react to the herbal remedies. In addition, you should also know that these herbs are not sleep cures and will not always work the first time you take them. It may take a few times before you might notice the effects.

One of the oldest and commonly tried and true methods of falling asleep is the cup of herbal tea before bedtime. Chamomile is known for its soothing properties. Ginseng and catnip are other herbs that make for a great, soothing cup of tea with light sedative properties. Valerian is also another herb that is popular as a sleep aid. It comes in various forms, including tea. However, if you are not a tea person, valerian is also available in supplement form. Research studies into valerian show that for the most part, it does not have any side effects for the general population. It is important to note that valerian is one of the herbs that might take a few weeks for it to really take full effect in your body, so patience would definitely be a virtue in this instance.

Melatonin supplements also help with guiding you to dreamland. It is a naturally occurring hormone in the brain that is produced at night to help you feel drowsy enough to sleep. Now, you can receive melatonin naturally through consuming foods loaded with tryptophan. Tryptophan is an amino acid found in such foods as turkey, soy and milk products. That is why you always hear about a glass of warm milk inducing sleep sometimes. It seems that this amino acid tryptophan kicks off the production of melatonin, which helps you sleep. If you do not eat enough of the foods that have tryptophan, then chances are that you would need boost in the form of melatonin supplements.

There are other herbal remedies that many people tout for their sleep enhancing properties. Teas made from passion flower, red clover, peppermint or lemon balms are sometimes consumed before bedtime. In addition, supplements of St. John's Wort, kava kava and hops have some firm believers in their properties too. Or course, natural sleep aids do not necessarily mean herbal remedies. They could also mean non-traditional methods like acupuncture, self-hypnosis, meditation and acupressure. Changing lifestyle habits and routines are a non-medical, natural way to help engage a more restful sleep too.

Missing out on a restful night's sleep brings people to a number of various measures to try and help them deal with the sleep deficit. It could be something as simple as incorporating exercise into your daily routine or rearranging your furniture to follow feng shui practices of harmony. Perhaps practicing deep breathing exercises might help your body and mind relax enough to fall asleep. Visual imagery and muscle relaxation techniques are also other natural alternative sleep aids.

You really need to sit down and determine what factors may be causing your sleepless nights. Depending on what your problem might be, you would then be able to base your choice on the best alternative natural sleep aid that would suit your needs.
About the Author
http://www.natural-cures4u.org provides
articles that discuss alternative treatments for a variety of chronic illnesses
including Irritable bowel syndrome and
acid reflux disease.
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