Do you struggle to get a good night’s sleep?
You’re not alone!
Up to 70 million people struggle with sleep disorders in the United States. That’s a huge number of us going with insufficient levels of this key well-being requirement.
Indeed, sleep is essential to our physical, mental, and emotional health.
The short term effects of inadequate slumber include tiredness, trouble focusing, irritability, and low mood. In time, the problems worsen. High blood pressure, heart disease, anxiety, and depression are just a few long term issues that can arise.
Thankfully, there are numerous supplements for sleep that can help!
Good sleeping habits (such as maintaining a particular routine and avoiding video screens before bedtime) can make a difference. However, they don’t always work to full effect. Throw in the right supplement, though, and you can be on your way to a blissful sleep in no time.
Sound good? It’s time to find the right supplement for you.
Keep reading to discover 10 supplements that’ll improve your sleep.
Melatonin is a go-to supplement for sleep-deprived individuals around the world.
You might have heard of it already. Indeed, melatonin’s a naturally-occurring hormone that’s produced in our body.
It’s also influential in regulating the sleep cycle. The release of melatonin occurs in relation to the time of day. A cyclic effect occurs: levels spike as evening time rolls around, while morning time means lower levels.
In simple terms, the release of melatonin tells your brain that it’s bedtime! It makes sense, then, that using melatonin as a supplement should support your sleep.
Popping some melatonin supplements should help you fall asleep faster and for longer.
You might find them of particular value when your natural sleeping pattern has been disturbed somehow. For example, few things in life are more disruptive to sleep than a long international flight. Taking melatonin should counteract the impact of jet lag.
Magnesium’s something of a magic mineral.
It’s essential for over 300 biochemical bodily reactions! It’s key for your bone strength, immune system health, and muscle function, to name just a few. With enough magnesium in your system, your brain and body function better.
However, you’ll also enjoy the calming effect it can produce.
Take magnesium and you’re likely to feel less stressed out and more relaxed. That, as you might imagine, is good news when you’re trying to fall asleep. After all, it’s common for people to be kept away by anxiety and racing thoughts.
Relaxing your body and mind before bedtime naturally facilitates slumber.
Thankfully, you get magnesium in your food anyway. Eating fruit, nuts and whole grains, for example, will keep your magnesium levels up.
For an added boost, though, you could think about taking it as a supplement.
3. Cannabidiol (CBD)
CBD has received a lot of attention in recent years.
As a by-product of the cannabis plant, it remains somewhat contentious. However, a growing body of evidence is showing how valuable CBD can be for a wide range of ailments.
CBD is one cannabinoid (a type of chemical compound) of many that you find in cannabis. Unlike other cannabinoids, such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), though, it has no psychoactive effects.
In other words, it won’t get you high!
Take CBD and you enjoy a number of physical and mental health benefits, without the intoxicating effect you’d get from marijuana. Everything from anxiety and depression to chronic pain can be improved.
Thanks to the widely-reported calming effect it has, CBD might help you sleep better too.
Supplements come in a number of forms. You can find CBD oil for cooking or topical application, edible snacks, tinctures to use sublingually, and more.
4. Valerian Root
Valerian root’s another common sleep supplement that’s used around the world.
Native to Europe and Asiatic countries, this ancient herb is a natural remedy for a number of issues, including anxiety and depression.
It’s frequently prescribed to help with sleep quality (and quantity too). Again, valerian root’s calming effects are at the heart of its supposed sleep benefits.
The calmer you feel, the better your sleep will be.
It’s worth taking this one with a pinch of salt though. Indeed, the evidence behind this particular supplement is up for debate. Though countless people say valerian root helps them sleep, further scientific research is required to validate their claims.
Glycine is another sleep-enhancing element that’s found in our food.
A vital amino acid with a role in our overall physical and mental health, it’s also actually produced naturally in our bodies. However, consuming high-protein foods such as meat and eggs helps top our levels up!
As a supplement, glycine’s an effective combatant against insomnia.
It should reduce the temperature of your body and help you fall asleep with greater ease. You’ll experience longer periods of REM sleep and swifter delivery to deep sleep. You wake up feeling more refreshed as a result.
Similar to melatonin, taking glycine might be of particular use following periods of sleep disruption. You can get back into typical patterns with greater ease.
6. Magnolia Bark
Looking for a tried and tested natural remedy for sleep problems?
They don’t get much better than magnolia bark. This traditional medicine has been used forever and a day for this purpose. First used in the ancient medicinal practices of numerous Asian countries, it remains a popular treatment for numerous ailments.
The compounds in magnolia bark (and its flower) have been found to reduce inflammation and anxiety. Depression, digestive issues and stress are all said to improve too.
It goes without saying that the reduction of these issues should facilitate sleep. However, active compounds and their sedative effects may directly impact the quality of your night’s sleep as well.
Here’s one that you’re probably already familiar with.
Lavender is, of course, a popular purple flower with a beautiful fragrant scent. They’re so sweet-smelling that dried lavender flowers are used as a natural air freshener.
Sniffing lavender before bed is also widely believed to improve the quality and extent of your sleep.
Again, more scientific evidence is required to validate this. All the same, preliminary research provides a compelling case for the use of lavender as sleep-inducing aromatherapy. Get your hands on some lavender essential oil, or the flowers themselves, to give it a shot.
One downside is the potential for side effects though. Some people report nausea and tummy-pain from taking lavender supplements. Always speak with your doctor before making any dietary changes.
As an aside, a weighted blanket might be of use too. Here’s how they help.
Short for 5-Hydroxytryptophan, 5-HTP is a serotonin-boosting compound that is naturally produced in our bodies.
We’ve got the amino acid, L-tryptophan, to thank for that. We get this essential amino acid into our systems via certain foods. Ingest L-tryptophan and 5-HTP is created as a by-product.
The happy outcome of that process is the boost in serotonin levels that we experience as a result.
For one thing, serotonin is a mood-enhancing neurochemical. The more serotonin in our system, the better we feel! The resulting reduction in stress and anxiety facilitates sleep.
Secondly, serotonin is also key to the production of melatonin (the sleep-inducing hormone we mentioned earlier). A lack of serotonin hinders our capacity to produce the melatonin that’s crucial to our sleep-wake cycles.
Thanks to the Griffonia Simplicfolia plant, 5-HTP is available as a supplement. Get your hands on it and sleep should come quicker and last longer.
9. Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea is another classic supplement for bettering sleep.
Imbued with an abundance of an antioxidant called apigenin, it’s been used for thousands of years for this specific purpose, among others. Indeed, chamomile’s also a well-known anti-inflammatory that’ll reduce levels of anxiety too.
Further scientific research is required to validate chamomile tea’s effects. Anecdotally, though, you only have to brew yourself a mug of chamomile to feel calmer and more relaxed.
It has a soporific effect that lends itself to stillness and sleep. Better still, there are no known side-effects. At the very least, you, your partner, and kids can enjoy a warming brew before bedtime.
Last but not least is kava.
This plant is another common anti-insomnia treatment that’s worth considering. Like other supplements on this list, it’s known for having calming effects.
Take kava and you’ll feel less anxiety and stress, thereby facilitating sleep.
Be sure to speak with your doctor before taking Kava, though, as the supplements can sometimes have harmful effects.
Time to Try These Supplements for Sleep
Sleep is an essential component of a happy and healthy life.
Unfortunately, tens of millions of people around the country struggle to get enough of it. The physical, mental and emotional repercussions can be debilitating, and exacerbate initial insomnia.
The good news is that a lot can be done to improve matters. Hopefully, the supplements for sleep that we’ve highlighted in this post will help you do exactly that.
Looking for further sleeping aids? Click here to read about weighted blankets and how to choose one.