Discover the 9 best natural sleep remedies that really work and lead to a great night sleep. Feel refreshed, alert and ready to face the day!
To ensure optimal health and well being we need sleep. Quality Sleep.
The Science Of Sleep!
Before we introduce the remedies let’s first briefly discuss the science of sleep.
Already know enough science? Click here to go directly to our 9 natural remedies for better sleep.
How Can We Achieve Quality Sleep?
To gain quality, restful sleep and normalize our sleep pattern our body requires:
- Tryptophan, Amino Acid;
- 5-hydroxy L-Tryptophan (5-HTP), Compound produced from Tryptophan and a precursor to;
- Serotonin, Neurotransmitter;
- Melatonin, Hormone.
That may sound like a pharmaceutical nightmare however they all naturally occur within our body. All of them needed to achieve sleep and all of them interrelated.
Because of this relationship, when one is out of balance so are the others.
This imbalance is what leads to a lack of sleep, poor quality sleep and even an inability to become sleepy.
How To Harness The Science Of Sleep!
- To begin the process which leads to great 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 the neurotransmitter Serotonin.
- This Serotonin then undergoes another chemical change and converts to the hormone Melatonin.
- Melatonin is what we need for sleep.
- Our body’s clock is controlled by Melatonin. Melatonin 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.
- However, when we are exposed to light our body produces less Melatonin and so we experience feelings of alertness and become wide awake.
Tryptophan is the only amino acid that converts to 5-HTP which produces Serotonin and Melatonin.
Therefore the only way we can produce Melatonin is to increase our natural intake of Tryptophan.
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9 Natural Sleep Remedies That Really Work.
Here they are, the natural remedies that help kickstart the science of sleep and enable you to achieve a great night’s sleep!
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.
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.
This enables 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 chock-a-block 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.
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 John’s Wort
You have likely heard of Saint John’s 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 John’s 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 John’s 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 John’s 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 dedicated to 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.
Electronic devices also prove to be a distraction. They stimulate your brain sending messages of “Stay Awake”.
Even if they are turned off, you need to 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.
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 heat proof container.
To your teapot or saucepan 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, so we can use it when needed.
More importantly exercise 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 something to do just before bed. Exercise is best done during the day, not within 3 hours of when you are wishing to sleep.
Please try these 9 natural sleep remedies. They really work.
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