The one thing we all need, but is elusive to some of us.
Well in this final chapter of our series, we will explore several fast acting remedies that help to deliver a more restful and complete nights sleep. Using nervines, aromatics and adaptogens, you’ll be armed with natural remedies to combat: insomnia, trouble falling and staying asleep, restlessness, and waking up in a haze.
Herbal Solutions for Insomnia
Now that we’ve learned how to better arm ourselves against the cold and flu using alteratives, expectorants, diaphoretics; let’s talk about another common malady that very much affects our overall health and well being: sleep (or lack thereof). Sleep is one of the most important factors affecting mood and peace of mind. Heck, a good night’s sleep can change your entire day, and consistent healthy sleep patterns can change your life (for the better!).
Sleep disorders manifest themselves in many ways. Some include but are not limited to:
- trouble falling and staying asleep,
- and waking up in a haze.
If you suffer from a sleep disorder, or find yourself occasionally unable to achieve a good night’s sleep, it can take a huge toll on your life and hinder your general well being.
Consistently not getting enough sleep has been known to cause many ailments such as:
- poor digestion,
- weight gain,
- higher risk of stroke,
- poor immune function,
- and premature aging.
Sleep is not something to be taken for granted and is key for achieving an overall better quality of life. Many of us know this, however, 60 million Americans still aren’t getting a good night’s sleep. That’s 60 million people who aren’t living to their full potential!
If you find yourself to be one of these people, these suggestions are for you. And I guarantee you won’t lose any sleep trying to add these to your nightly routine 🙂 Using aromatics and adaptogens we can create an herbal blend to send you soundly into dreamland.
Aromatics are absolutely wonderful to use if you’re having trouble sleeping. As the name suggests, these are herbs identified by their strong aromas and are used for their volatile essential oils.
Lavender is probably one of the most popular herbs among the aromatic family- and for very good reason. It possess a gentle and versatile smell that is enjoyed by many and has been for centuries. It has many wonderful uses, but its ability to calm and induce sleep is certainly the most renown. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, “studies have reported that lavender essential oil may be beneficial in a variety of conditions, including insomnia.”
Lavender is easy to use and requires little to no preparation. In fact one of the quickest ways to use lavender to help with sleep is to soak a cotton ball with its oil and simply place it on a nightstand next to your bed. The aroma will soon make its way to your airways and eventually put you in a more relaxed state, making it easier to fall asleep. Lavender also makes a great massage oil, by simply adding 1-2 drops of the lavender oil to about a tablespoon of base oil (almond, coconut etc) and gently massage into skin.
Valerian and Hops Tea
There are, of course, many many teas that have the ability to induce sleepiness and prepare the body for a much deeper more restful sleep. We’ve already explored how valerian root can be used as a mild sedative for anxiety, but this nervine also has the ability to help you fall asleep, especially when mixed with other sedative herbs. For a potent brew, I like to mix valerian with the very powerful hops.
Simply mix one tbsp of hops with one tbsp of valerian in a pot with two cups of water. Simmer for 10 minutes, strain and enjoy before bed. Hops can be a bit bitter, so add a bit of honey to taste and voila: you have yourself a strong sedative, proven to get you to bed and feeling more rested in the morning!
Hops is a very powerful herb when it comes to tackling insomnia or restlessness. Combined with valerian, this brew has the ability to deliver quick and powerful results. Many studies have been conducted on the use of valerian and hops together, and they all indicate that the combination can improve sleep and decrease the time it takes to fall asleep.
Another fun way to use hops is to make a sleep pillow. All you need to do is place dried hops into a small satchel and place it in your pillowcase. The smell alone helps to send you into a deeper, more relaxed and natural sleep. If you don’t care for the smell you can add a bit of lavender. Or omit the hops and fill your small pillow with lavender or the ever calming chamomile.
Natural Brain Boosters for Insomnia
The chemicals melatonin and 5-HTP have been proven very successful when it comes to treating various sleep disorders. Since melatonin and 5-HTP are compounds already produced by the body naturally, adding them to your nightly routine may be the boost needed to get your sleep cycle on track. Studies conducted by the University of Maryland concluded that “…people who took 5-HTP went to sleep quicker and slept more deeply than those who took placebo.”
Melatonin, which is the “light switch” in your brain, lets your body and mind know that it is time for bed. Which is something many of us have a hard time distinguishing on our own. Boosting these signals has also been proven to help deliver a more restful sleep without waking up groggy.
Our Sleep Fast Enhanced Melatonin Spray is a lovely supplement that contains not only melatonin and 5-HTP but a supporting cast of herbal extracts (valerian root, chamomile, & more!) that help to battle sleeplessness on all levels. What sets this apart from the many natural sleep aids available is the fact that it is a sublingual spray. This allows the formula to enter the bloodstream a lot quicker than when taken orally.
Not getting a good night’s sleep can impact our lives immensely so it’s important to get into a routine that promotes calm and rest before bed.
While these recipes and formulas work to get you to sleep, it is also important to create an atmosphere that welcomes sleep. Staying away from caffeine and sugar, getting adequate exercise, and having a healthy diet can all positively impact your sleep cycle. As with most ailments, the inability to achieve a proper night’s sleep is very serious and can be debilitating if not addressed.
Hopefully one of these suggestions will help to get you the sleep that you not only need, but deserve!