Taking sleeping pills is a common practice nowadays. People have access to all possible medications in just 5 minutes walk from home. We became tolerant about taking drugs and their side effects, so we don’t even hesitate about other alternatives of treatment. But what if there is a way out? Let’s figure out what the connection between natural sleep aids and sleep apnea, insomnia, why it’s dangerous to take some sleep aids during pregnancy and whether it’s possible to treat insomnia without pills.
Insomnia is not a routine, healthy sleep is
We used to take poor sleep for granted. Midnight wakeups, unstable sleep schedule, troubles with falling asleep – all the first signs of insomnia and sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder with loud snoring and interrupted breathing. Insomnia is a symptom and may be caused by unhealthy sleep, stress, anxiety. Both have a negative effect on your memory, mood, boosts the risk for depression, obesity, and high blood pressure. Insomnia and anxiety level are highly connected. It was proved people with restful sleep increase life quality and happiness levels.
If you wonder, can insomnia be cured or not the answer is yes. More good news: you don’t need to take sleeping pills to get rid of insomnia. There are alternative drug-free remedies that can give you a relaxation boost and have been well studied by scientists.
Six herbs to help you sleep
If you want to achieve restful sleep in a natural way, consider these herbs as alternatives for the best effects on your sleep quality.
- Chamomile tea
Best known herbal tea sleep aid is chamomile tea. Dating back to ancient Egypt, people used it to treat anxiety. Chamomile tea has flavonoids that interact with benzodiazepine receptors. These receptors take part in the muscle relaxation process, so they are also involved in the sleep-wake transition. This is why pregnant women are not allowed to take chamomile tea, although it doesn’t have caffeine, unlike green tea.
- Lavender tea
Numerous studies have proved the power of lavender tea. It has a strong therapeutic effect on heart diseases, daytime energy, insomnia, and anxiety. Among benefits that sleep aid lavender oil has are: reducing muscle spasms, promoting healthy digestion, eliminating inflammation, and aiding sleep. Lavender tea has not been properly studied for its effects on pregnancy, so the link between sleep aids and pregnancy is not clear.
- Valerian tea
Valerian is often called a magic sleep pill. In the report made by Therapeutic Research Center Natural Medicine it was mentioned that valerian can reduce the falling asleep time and improve sleep quality. The studies were based on valerian pills, not tea. Also, people who take valerian shouldn’t combine alcohol and sleep aids or other beverages that promote sleep and relaxation. In some people, valerian may cause headache, problems with stomach, heart disturbance, and even insomnia. And it’s not recommended for pregnant women to take valerian tea.
- Passion Flower tea
Passion flower is a climbing vine native to Central and South America, and partly southeastern US areas. People used to take passion flower by mouth to treat insomnia, anxiety and attention loss. This tea influences sleep quality and is considered to be a well-spread herbal remedy for insomnia in North America. Although, there was one study that revealed the placebo effect of passion flower tea you can try it for yourself.
The first aim of magnesium is brain function and heart health. Plus, it helps relax your body, clear your mind and make it easier to fall asleep. Doctors usually prescribe magnesium in cases of tension, insomnia, sleep troubles. Taking magnesium helps you optimize your sleep quality and extend sleeping time.
Melatonin is our natural hormone, produced to tell us that it’s time to sleep. Its level rises in the evening and falls in the morning. It’s like a light switch in your room. As melatonin is among natural sleep aids, it’s usually prescribed to people with insomnia, those who have a lot of flights or shift workers. Note, melatonin supplements can only be used safely for short periods. Long-term consumption may cause side effects, so talk with your doctor about the dose.
Extra steps to improve your sleep
Having healthy sleep is a complex process and demands a complex approach. Drinking herbal tea isn’t enough. For those who have noticed themselves snoring, troubles with falling asleep or waking up, insomnia and first signs of anxiety, here are four practices to prevent sleep disease.
- eating healthy food. Obesity is among one of the most common reasons for sleep apnoea, so better avoid overeating, high-fat foods. For better sleep diet put more water, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and light for your stomach food.
- warm milk before night. The link between sleep and a glass of milk isn’t proved but it has the same effect as lavender tea, for example. It helps to relax and prepare your body to sleep.
- meditation or yoga. Both of these activities have a relaxation effect and calm us down. Even if you don’t have time to meditate or do yoga, try to shut down all the devices for 30 to 60 min before bed and read a book, listen to nature sounds or take a walk. Yoga for a better sleep is helpful through its breathing practices, stress reducing and cooling your body.
- use technology. Often the problem of undiagnosed sleep diseases is ignorance that it exists. Using apps for better sleep can become your redemption. For example, by downloading Goodsomina Lab app you have the possibility to record your sleep, get a full analysis of the results and detect the first signs of the disease.