9 Natural Sleep Remedies To Cure Insomnia
Why Can’t I Sleep?
To ensure optimal health and well being we need sleep. Quality Sleep.
But how is quality sleep achieved?
As with all of our bodily functions, sleep being one, much scientific research has occurred and we now know there is a science to sleep!
Before we introduce our 9 natural sleep remedies let’s first briefly discuss this science of sleep.
Already know enough science? Click here to go directly to our 9 natural remedies for better sleep.
To gain a good, restful and normalized sleep pattern your body requires:
- 5-hydroxy L-Tryptophan (5-HTP),
While that may sound like a pharmaceutical nightmare they are all naturally occurring chemicals within the body and are all interrelated.
The problem is when one of these chemicals is imbalanced then so are the others.
This imbalance is what leads to lack of sleep, poor quality sleep and even an inability to become sleepy.
The Science Of Sleep
- To begin the chemical process which leads to normal sleep you need to eat or drink products which contain Tryptophan which is an essential amino acid.
- Your body then converts the Tryptophan to 5-HTP, which in turn is converted into Serotonin.
- This Serotonin then undergoes another chemical change and converts to Melatonin.
- Melatonin is what we need for sleep. Our body’s clock is controlled by this Melatonin and is directly attributable to our light source.
- The darker it becomes the more Melatonin the body produces.
- Melatonin starts the process of making our mind and body feel tired and needing sleep.
- When there is light our body produces less Melatonin and so we experience feelings of alertness and become wide awake.
- Tryptophan is the only amino acid that can convert to serotonin.
- Therefore the only way we can produce Melatonin is to increase our natural intake of Tryptophan.
Natural Cures For Insomnia – 9 Natural Sleep Remedies That Really Work
Number 1 – Carb Snack Before Bed…
Forget those stories you’ve been told about not eating before bed, and forget Dr Aitkins Diet, if you want a good nights rest!
In order for Tryptophan to aid you in your sleep it needs to cross the blood-brain barrier.
This barrier is basically a filter. It allows certain substances to cross through and it blocks others – ultimately keeping us safe and healthy.
The issue for many people who suffer with sleep problems is that the Tryptophan is competing with other amino acids to make it through the blood-brain barrier.
By having a small Carb Snack, a cereal bar or slice of bread, 15-20 minutes before bed results in your body producing insulin in response to the carbohydrates.
This insulin boost diverts the other large chain amino acids to the muscles and gives our Tryptophan easier and less competitive passage into the cerebrospinal fluid.
Number 2 – Eat Cherries Drink Cherries
A cheery thought to find number 2 of our natural sleep remedies is consumption of Cherries!
Cherries are packed full of Tryptophan.
This delicious and healthy fruit is an excellent way of naturally boosting your Tryptophan levels.
A handful of cherries or a glass of quality cherry juice is a sure fire way to make sure you drift off to sleep easily.
Number 3 – Go Banana’s, Gain Magnesium
Magnesium is one of the most vitally important minerals for a healthy body and natural sleep.
Magnesium effects how the bodies GABA receptors function. Our GABA receptors are responsible for the calming of our central nervous system enabling us to feel relaxed, calm and aides our preparation for sleep.
Many people, mostly unaware, have a magnesium deficiency.
While we can take natural magnesium supplements there is another way. A healthy and tasty way to boost our magnesium … Eat Bananas.
Not only do bananas contain loads of central nervous system calming magnesium but they are also chockablock full of tryptophan and potassium as well.
An average sized banana taken 30-40 minutes before bed will see your muscles relax, your tryptophan levels increase and a boost of your magnesium.So I think a before bed snack of banana on bread with a glass of cherry juice is possibly the best natural sleep recommendation ever! If you think so too then please share. Click To Tweet
Number 4 – Puuurrfect Catnip, For You Not Mrs Moggy!
I’ve talked about Catnip before in the post herbs for health and healing. It is a wonderful herb making it a worthy number 4 of our natural sleep remedies that really work.
Catnip is a member of the mint family and is perfect for sleep due to it having a mild sedative effect…on humans.
While the active ingredient “nepetalactone” makes your furry friend get frisky and crazy cute it has the opposite effect on us. It helps humans to feel more relaxed and decidedly drowsy.
A mug of Catnip Tea is an awesome way to get you ready for a great nights rest.
To prepare the tea you need:
4 teaspoons of dried catnip or 4 tablespoons of fresh catnip (a small handful is fine – you can dilute later)
2 cups of boiling water
Simply add the catnip and boiling water to a heatproof vessel or saucepan, cover, let steep for at least 10 minutes and then enjoy 30 minutes before bed.
Number 5 – Sleep Inducing Saint Johns Wort
You have likely heard of Saint Johns Wort being used to help with depression. A key factor in its effectiveness for the treatment anxiety and depression is because it can aid relaxation and bring a sense of calm. This in turn enables the conditions which encourages sleep.
The active ingredient in Saint Johns Wort is “hypercine” which is believed to help raise the serotonin levels in our body.
As we know the more serotonin we have the more melatonin we produce and this leads to better sleep.
Saint Johns Wort is available as a herbal supplement or, if you can source the actual plant, you can prepare a delicious and tangy tea!.
To prepare your tea you require:
2 teaspoons of dried Saint Johns Wort, the top of the plant and its flowers
1 cup of boiling water
In the same way we prepared the previous Catnip Tea, simply add the dried Saint Johns Wort herb to the boiled water, cover, steep for 10 minutes, strain and drink.
You can take the Saint John’s Wort tea an hour before bed. For faster impact I recommend you also take it first thing in the morning which enables the body to convert more of the serotonin into melatonin during the day.
Number 6 – A “Beer-y” Good Way To Sleep!
Sorry folks, simply a teasing title. I’m afraid that a bottle of beer isn’t on the menu…but hops are!
This vine flower, which is best known for its use in beer production, can also be made into a refreshing and tasty tea which calms the nerves and promotes relaxation.
Heavenly Hop Tea
- 4 tablespoons of dried hops
- 4 cups of boiling water
- 1 heatproof and airtight container or jar.
- Step 1 Add the hops to the container.
- Step 2 Cover with the freshly boiled water.
- Step 3 Firmly seal the container with an airtight lid.
- Step 4 Let steep for at least 6 hours.
- Step 5 If time allows it is even better if left to steep longer. Prepare in the morning and steep all day or prepare in the evening and steep overnight.
- Step 6 The tea will keep for up to 3 days when refrigerated.
- Step 7 This tea can be taken chilled or you can reheat.
- Step 8 Drink 1 cup half an hour before bed.
Number 7 – Your Bedroom Needs To Be A Room For Sleep
Number 7 of our natural sleep remedies is one of the most simple. It is vitally important to implement and is extremely effective.
Your bedroom needs to become a place of peace and a room for sleep. For those with difficulty sleeping we cannot have a bedroom which is actually an extension of the family or living room!
Remove all potential distractions, meaning anything that doesn’t lead to a feeling of peace, calm and tranquility.
T.V in your room? – Gone.
Computer? – Gone.
Cellular or mobile phone? – Gone.
Tablets and e-Readers – Gone.
Blue light found in electronic devices (televisions, computers, cell phones, e-readers) – Gone.
LED and fluorescent light bulbs – Off!
Having these items in your bedroom leads to stress. Look at the TV and think about the news…stress. Look at the computer and worry about that email…stress.
They also prove to be a distraction – they stimulate your brain sending messages of “Stay Awake”
Even if turned off… check if any are emitting light (commonly referred to as blue light). Even the light which emits from a charging cell phone is enough to mess with your melatonin.
Remember melatonin production is affected by light. More light equals less melatonin which equates to stay awake brain messaging.
Ditch these devices and replace with items or objects that make you feel relaxed, happy and stress free.
Number 8 – A Cup of Calming Chamomile
Chamomile, thanks to the active ingredient “apigenin” relaxes your muscles, possibly also binding to your GABA receptors and thereby having a calming effect.
It is also recognized that the properties found in chamomile act as a sedative. This is definitely one of the best natural sleep remedies.
While you can buy Chamomile Tea from the store it is easy and delicious (and in my opinion much more effective) when made fresh.
To prepare the chamomile tea you need:
1/4 to 1/2 cup of fresh chamomile flowers or 2 generous tablespoons of dry flowers – but fresh is best 🙂
To prepare fresh we use only the flower heads. This is the time to dig out your favorite teapot! If you don’t own a teapot grab a saucepan or large heatproof container as you need to add 4 cups of boiling water and let steep for 5-6 minutes.
This tea is best served hot and you can add lemon, honey (or even milk) if you wish.
The tea is prepared in exactly the same way if using dried chamomile.
Number 9 – How To Ensure You Are Tired? Exercise!
The last of our natural sleep remedies is exercise!
Exercise boosts our energy. Now perhaps it doesn’t seem a wise suggestion, surely we don’t want an energy boost if we are trying to rest, relax and sleep … right?
Actually our body is brilliant. Exercise will boost our energy and apply it when needed but more importantly it also tires us. When regular exercise is added to your day you will naturally feel tired, and natural tiredness allows us to achieve better rest.
So by adding exercise to our daily routine we will sleep better and have more energy when awake. Win-Win!
To be clear this is not a remedy to use just before bed. Exercise during the day and not within 3 hours of when you are wishing to sleep.
Please try these 9 natural sleep remedies. They really work.
I would love to hear your feedback and how effective you found them. Please leave me a message in the comments section below or contact me directly by clicking here