Natural Cures Insomnia Guide – Natural Sleep Remedies That Really Work
9 Natural Sleep Remedies that Really Work
Why can’t I sleep?
Like all our bodily functions there is a science to sleep! Before we discuss our natural sleep remedies that really work lets first briefly discuss the science of 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, leading to poor sleep, lack of sleep or the inability to even 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. It controls our biological clock. The way this happens is due to light source.
- The darker it becomes the more Melatonin the body produces, and starts our bodies feelings of tiredness 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 is the only way we can produce Melatonin. The key to sleep then is to increase our natural intake of Tryptophan.
Natural Cures Insomnia Guide
9 Natural Sleep Remedies That Really Work
1. Carb Snack Before Bed…
Forget those stories you’ve been told about not eating before bed and forget Dr Aitkins 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 which allows certain substances to cross through and blocks others – ultimately keeping us safe and healthy.
The issue that many people with sleep problems have 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 an easier and less competitive passage into the cerebrospinal fluid.
Natural Cures Insomnia Guide – Cherries
2. Eat Cherries – Drink Cherries
Number 2 of our Natural Sleep Remedies that really work are 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 cherry juice is a sure fire way to make sure you drift off to sleep easily.
3. Go Banana’s, Gain Magnesium
Magnesium is one of our bodies most vitally important minerals.
Magnesium has a large effect on how our GABA receptors function. Our GABA receptors are what calms our central nervous system and therefore when functioning well is responsible for allowing us to feel relaxed, calm and can aid in our preparation for sleep.
Many people, mostly unaware, have a magnesium deficiency. While we can take natural magnesium supplements one healthy and tasty way to boost our magnesium is with bananas.
Not only do bananas contain magnesium but they are full of tryptophan and potassium as well. A banana 30-40 minutes before bed will see your muscles relax, your tryptophan levels increase and boost your magnesium.
Natural Cures Insomnia Guide – Catnip
4. Puuurrfect Catnip!
I’ve talked about Catnip before as a wonderful herb for health and healing and its number 4 of our natural sleep remedies that really work.
Catnip is a member of the mint family that has a sedative effect…on humans.
While the active ingredient “nepetalactone” makes your furry friend get frisky and cutely crazy it has the opposite effect on us and helps humans to feel relaxed and 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
Just add the catnip to the water, cover, let steep for at least 10 minutes and then enjoy 30 minutes before bed.
5. Saint John’s Wort
You have likely heard of Saint John’s Wort being used to help with depression. This is also due to it helping aid disrupted 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 prepare a delicious and tangy tea!.
To prepare your tea you require
2 teaspoons of dried Saint John’s Wort, the top of the plant and its flowers
1 cup of boiling water
Again add the dried herb to your water, cover, steep for 10 minutes, strain and drink. You can take the Saint John’s Wort tea either in the morning or an hour before bed.
Natural Cures Insomnia Guide – Hops
6. A “Beer-y” good way to sleep
Sorry folks, no beer isn’t on the menu…but hops are! This vine flower, used in beer production, can also be made into a refreshing and tasty tea which calms the nerves and promotes relaxation.
To prepare you need
2 tablespoons of dried hops
4 cups of boiling water
An airtight container or jar.
Add the hops to a container and cover with boiling water.Firmly seal the lid and steep for at least 6 hours. Even better prepare in the morning and steep all day, or prepare each evening and steep overnight. The tea will keep for up to 3 days when refrigerated.
This tea can be taken chilled or you can reheat. Drink a cup half an hour before bed.
7. Your Bedroom is a Bedroom
Number 7 of our natural sleep remedies that really work is one of the most simple but proven to be one of the most effective.
Your bedroom is a place to sleep. Remove distractions and anything that doesn’t lead to a feeling of peace, calm and tranquility.
T.V. – gone. Computer – gone.
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.
Ditch them and replace with items or objects that make you feel relaxed, happy and stress free.
Natural Cures Insomnia Guide – Chamomile
8. A Cup of 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 believed that the properties of chamomile act as a sedative. This is definitely one of our best natural sleep remedies that really work.
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 – fresh is best 🙂
To prepare fresh we use only the flower heads. This is the time to dig out your favourite teapot! If you don’t own a teapot grab a large 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) is you wish.
The tea is prepared in exactly the same way if using dried chamomile.
9. Exercise – Go Get Tired!
The last of our natural sleep remedies that really work is exercise!
Exercise when done regularly not only tires us and allows us better rest but it also boosts energy. So by adding exercise to our daily routine we will sleep better and have more energy when awake. Win-Win!
This is not a remedy to use just before bed…or you will be awake! Exercise during the day and not within 3 hours of when you wish to sleep.
Please try these 9 Natural sleep remedies that really work and I would love to hear how you found them. Please leave me a message in comments or contact me directly by clicking here