Good sleep habits are the keystone to a good life. Second to that, enjoying a natural, healthy lifestyle also contributes to good living. In this age of chemical adjustments prescribed by doctors for nearly every aspect of life, it is important to seek out natural herbal sleep aids that will help you continue to live a healthy lifestyle.
Before adding supplements to your diet, consider the benefits of learning methods of relaxation. These can include meditation, yoga, and any variation of intentional muscle relaxation. All of these are easily learned by using video tapes that you can usually find at, or order through, your local library.
If simple relaxation does not work, there are several natural herbal sleep aids you can add that might help you sleep. The most popular natural sleep aids include Chamomile, Tryptophan, Melatonin, Valerian, and Kava. The following paragraphs will give a short description of each supplement.
Chamomile is an herb that has been used for centuries as a calming agent. When steeped into a tea, many people find that it helps them relax enough to sleep. Another benefit of chamomile is that it has a tendency to calm upset stomachs. This is a great added benefit.
Tryptophan is the ingredient in turkey that makes you fall asleep after Thanksgiving dinner. An amino acid that works in conjunction with serotonin, Tryptophan might give your body the nudge it needs to fall to sleep.
Melatonin is a natural hormone that your body produces during dark hours. If you are in an area in which there is not enough dark (summer hours might reduce a body’s natural melatonin levels) or if you are trying to transition away from a prescription sleep aid, Melatonin might be one of the natural herbal sleep aids that may be helpful to you.
Valerian is another herb that can be used for sleep. It is highly effective and, as with many herbs, can be used long-term. Overdosing on Valerian, however, can produce unpleasant side-effects, so be sure to read the label carefully before using Valerian.
Kava is somewhat controversial at this time because it’s been linked to serious liver ailments. At this point, the FDA has issued a warning, but it is still available in many areas.
As with any supplement, before you begin to take any natural herbal sleep aids, be sure to speak with your doctor first.