Natural Aids For Treating Insomnia
Once in a while, we find ourselves awake at 3 am, letting our deepest thoughts run wild. Making up scenarios in the head, rewinding drippy conversation over and over again, regretting the bangs you cut in high school, spending hours trying to think of the perfect opening line to send your crush. It is okay to let out a sign when half the world is asleep once in a while. But if you are lost in the darkness and the madness every nightfall, you might have a problem.
Sleeping poorly became a norm during the pandemic, many Indians have revealed that the pandemic has made their nightly slumbers worse. Chronic lack of sleep results in impaired ability to concentrate, memory loss, irritability and Marr socialising abilities. Here’s a list of herbal sleeping tablets that could lull you into a restful sleep.
Melatonin For Insomnia
Melatonin, widely known as the sleep hormone, is the crux of the body’s sleep-wake up cycle and a popular sleeping herbal medicine. The darkness usually triggers the pineal gland to release melatonin naturally in the body and helps to keep your circadian rhythm in check. But if you are having trouble sleeping, there is some evidence that favours the effect of melatonin supplements on fixing the sleep cycle (1). It can help ease sleep issues especially for people on “graveyard shifts.” If you are one of the night owls involved in the line of work with night shift, jet lags and late hours, melatonin can help to reset your misaligned internal clock.
Side Effects Include: Headache, nausea and dizziness
Recommended Dosage: 1-3 milligrams, an hour before bedtime
Valerian For Sleep
The stentch of the valerian plant is that of gym socks. This pungent herbal supplement is recommended for sleep issues from the time of Julius Caesar (2nd century). One study showed that people who took valerian noted an 85% improvement in sleep compared to those who didn’t (2). Valerian is a mild sedative that appears to help people sleep faster, better and with lesser mid-sleep awakening. Roots and stems of the plant are made into capsules, teas, extracts and tablets but researchers have generally used liquid extracts or capsules during their study.
Side effects - headache and stomachache
Recommended dosage - 300 - 600 milligrams 2 hours before bed
Glycine To Nod Off
One among the staggering array of natural supplements is glycine. It is a neurotransmitter and an amino acid that is synthesised naturally in the body. Glycine supplements have shown some potential in affecting sleep and breaking the blood-brain barrier (3). Consuming glycemic supplements helps to lower body temperature to get your body ready for bed and enhancing sleep quality. It has also shown promise in improving cognitive performance, which is probably due to its trance-inducing properties for better sleep.
Side effects - nausea, stomach upset, vomiting and drowsiness
Recommended Dosage - 3 grams about an hour before bed
Magnesium for Sleep
Using this nutrient for restful slumber is a fairly contemporary concept. The researchers do give magnesium some credit for its effects on sleep regulation but they are no guaranteed evidence to suggest its direct impact on sleep behaviour. What is made clear from many scientific studies is lower magnesium levels negatively impacts the body (4). Insufficient magnesium is associated with poor sleep quality and insomnia. You can consume them through foods or supplements. Nuts and leafy greens are usually rich in magnesium.
Side effects - cramps and nausea
Recommended Dosage - 310-320/day milligrams for women, 400-420/day for men
Lavender & Chamomile
Relax and calm your body with herbal teas, especially lavender and chamomile.
Lavender - This meek purple flower is very widely used in aromatherapy. Even the troubled Romans had little chance of succour with lavender teas. There is a mountain of evidence that highlights taking lavender oil orally can help to reduce night awakening and boosts mood (5).
Chamomile - the magical dust that outs you in slumber, chamomile has been used as a treatment option for many years. The chemical component found in this flower called apigenin induces a mild tranquilising effect. Research has shown the potential of chamomile in netter sleep quality (6).
Always take natural products with a grain of salt. Yes! Natural aids are helpful, but some natural remedies can be harmful too. Getting an expert opinion before you start your course is advised.