Can't Sleep? 3 Natural Remedies for Insomnia & Restlessness
It was 9:30 p.m., and Molly was getting ready for bed after a very long day. She snuggled up under her covers, anticipating a good night’s rest. She closed her eyes for a few minutes, and opened them again. She began counting sheep, but sleep seemed to evade her this night. She tossed and turned, repositioned herself in bed several times, and still, nothing. Molly finally got up, and sat on the edge of her bed. She thought, “I have to get some sleep. I have an even longer day tomorrow!” Her first mind was telling her to run to the store to grab an over-the-counter sleep aid called Unisom, but she knew that it could be habit-forming, and can sometimes have unwanted side effects such as blurred vision, drowsiness, dry mouth, and constipation. She then called her friend, Shelly, who is her “go-to” for all things natural to find out what she could do. Shelly gave her three options to try, which were chamomile tea, melatonin, and valerian root.
Chamomile is a mild, natural sedative that is used to treat insomnia. It can be taken as a supplement, as an essential oil in aromatherapy or, more commonly, ingested through drinking tea.
Melatonin is naturally produced in the body by the pineal gland. Melatonin adjusts the body’s sleep-wake cycles, with your levels normally rising in the evenings and decreasing in the mornings. Melatonin supplements are used to treat jet lag and insomnia. Since melatonin is naturally produced in the body, it is not habit-forming, but do not take more than is recommended to avoid morning grogginess and low body temperature. It is safe to use in small dosages for a short period of time.
3. Valerian Root
Valerian root is a perennial plant whose rhizome root is used in dietary supplements. It is used to relieve sleep disorders, as well as the tension that causes anxiety. It has been used for centuries to treat headaches, insomnia, nervousness, stress, and trembling. Reported benefits of using valerian root are improved sleep quality, falling asleep faster, and no “hangover feeling” upon waking up in the morning.
Molly opted for a Valerian root dietary supplement. She ran to her nearest pharmacy to pick-up a bottle. About an hour after taking them, Molly was fast asleep, and woke up well rested.
Everyone is different, and what works for one person may not work for another. Restlessness and insomnia can be a pain that can adversely affect your mood and daily functionality. Over-the-counter and prescribed medications don’t have to be the only option for those who are missing out on much-needed rest. Natural remedies are available and can work just as well.