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Promoting Sleep with Natural Remedies

The body needs rest to be healthy and function properly. When a good night’s rest is elusive, people often turn to sleep remedies to help them rest. But for those who do not want to use pharmaceutical sleep aids, there are many natural options when it comes to sleep remedies. This article discusses some of the options available.

There are several natural remedies and herbs that people turn to when they need to get some rest. While these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, people have been using some of them for hundreds of years. However, it is always a good idea to proceed carefully and consult your doctor if you are unsure or have any questions.

 

 

Melatonin

The most popular natural sleep aid is melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that is produced in the body naturally. This hormone is produced by the pineal gland, which is located in the center of the brain[1]. Melatonin is responsible for regulating the circadian rhythms of the body. Circadian rhythms govern the sleep cycle in the body.  The levels of melatonin in the bloodstream increase around bedtime. Taking a melatonin supplement has been shown to reduce the time it takes to fall asleep, induce a feeling of being tired, and can possibly make you sleep for longer periods. Melatonin has also been used to treat jet lag.

Valerian

Valerian is also a popular sleep remedy. This herb is native to Europe and the extract is obtained by grinding up the dried root. While the effectiveness of valerian is a point of debate, people have used it a as an effective sleep aid. It is said to be more effective over longer periods versus single doses, and works better for those with greater problems falling asleep. Valerian is known to have an unpleasant odor so obtaining it in capsule form is recommended to minimize this issue.

Chamomile

Chamomile is another popular herbal sleep aid. It is often prepared as a tea and has been used for hundreds of years for its calming properties. While not known for causing sleep directly, the calming effect is helpful in helping people relax enough to fall asleep.




Hops

Hops are also used as a mild sedative and a sleep remedy as well[2]. Most people are familiar with hops effects in beer, but they do not know that they can also be useful as a sleep aid. A common dose is between 30 and 120 milligrams for uses as a sleep remedy.

Relaxation Techniques

Other ways to get to sleep naturally are not medicines or herbs but simply relaxation techniques. Getting the mind and body relaxed and prepared for slumber is a good way to speed up the process of falling asleep. Meditation and yoga[3] are two popular methods. These methods help to clear the mind and relax the body, which can help induce a restful slumber. Clearing away the stresses the day puts onto both the mind and body is helpful in putting them in a state that is more conducive to sleep.

So the next time you have trouble getting to sleep, try one of these great natural remedies, you will be surprised at the results you can get and you will not be filling your body with the chemicals found in over-the-counter sleep aids.

Guest Post by: Michelle Gordon is a sleep enthusiast and an online publisher for the latex mattress specialist www.latexmattress.org. She writes articles about natural health.


[1] http://women.webmd.com/pharmacist-11/natural-sleep-remedies

[2] http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20306715_4,00.html

[3] http://altmedicine.about.com/cs/conditionsitoq/a/Insomnia.htm

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