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Natural Sleep Aids
For those of you who face Insomnia (lack of sleep on a regular basis), occasional sleep loss or just want something to increase the quality of their sleep without resorting to medication or other drugs such as alcohol then we have some of the more popular natural sleep supplement available. The benefits of a herbal or natural approach is that you tend not to have any groggy side effects the next morning that can be a side effect of some prescription medications or if those medication are taken too late in the evening.
They have also not been linked to addiction and generally cheaper in price. However some people claim they do not work that well, others swear by them, so it could be up to each individual to determine if it is effective or not. Before you look to a natural sleep alternative, we would recommend you visit your doctor to ensure you are not facing other conditions related to sleep loss. Certain ailments such as depression, sleep apnea, diabetes etc can be responsible for sleep disturbances.
Melatonin is a natural hormone that is released by your body close to when you go to sleep. If your body is not producing enough it could cause you to stay up unwillingly. Melatonin can be purchased in most health food stores but it does have some warnings associated with it. Due to interactions it is generally not recommended to be used for people suffering from schizophrenia, depression, autoimmune diseases, pregnant or nursing women. Some people have reported more vivid dreams while taking it. Different reports state different times when to take it before bed, some say 30 minutes, some an hour and others upto an hour and a half. Consult a health care provider or experiment a little yourself. General dosages are between 1mg to 5mgs. You can find Melatonin in pill, capsule and liquid forms.
Valerian has been used for hundreds of years to help people sleep and to calm anxiety. Many claim that it needs to be taken for a few weeks before the full potential of the sleep aid is achieved. On the flip side, this herb should also not be taken for longer than 3 months at a time before taking a break. This product is available in capsule, liquid, and tea forms. Consult your supply for more information because it is usually not taken with other sleep aids or substances that could cause drowsiness. Also consult your health care provider about possible interactions with other medications or if you have any health conditions.
Other favorable herbs and natural sleep aids used are Passionflower, Hops, chamomile, SAMe, Tryptophan, peppermint, lemon balm, calcium, magnesium, warm milkůOften some of these herbs will be combined in a herbal sleep pill available at your health food store.
Although not supplements for the aid in sleep, be sure to keep caffeine to a low during the day, studies have shown that caffeine can still keep you up 8 hours after being taken. If you take this in the later afternoon it could disrupt your ability to fall asleep. Also keep sugary foods to a minimum as they can alter your blood sugar and interrupt your sleep patterns. Some claim that carbohydrate snacks before bed may help you sleep as well as any food with tryptophan or magnesium. Also try to relax before bed, do things like turn down the lights, listen to relaxing music, take deep breaths, drink some chamomile tea, even keep some lavender around as the smell of it aids in relaxation and sleep. Also be sure you are getting some exercise during the day, but be warned that intense exercise just before bed can actually keep you from sleeping. If you are going to exercise intensely, do so during the morning, afternoon or early evening, hours before going to bed.
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