According to recent polls, 40 million Americans may have chronic insomnia, with problems related to falling asleep and staying asleep or waking up too early in the mornings. In fact, more than 100 million Americans do not get a full 7 – 8 hours of sleep every night. Last year over 26 million prescriptions were written to help Americans sleep. Prescription drugs can have side effects, in most cases the dosages need to be upped to get a full night sleep the longer one is on them and most people become addicted to prescription sleep aids making it so they cant stop taking them unless they don’t want to sleep for a few days. There may be an answer to America’s sleeping problem at your local health food store.
If you are having trouble sleeping, there are a few steps you can take to help your body naturally get to sleep. First try to get to bed at the same time every night your body runs on an internal clock and if you don’t get to sleep every night at the same time you can through that clock out of whack so a regular bedtime routine is good practice even if you aren’t tired try to lay down maybe read a book or listen to some relaxing music. Lifestyle choices will affect your sleep as well such as smoking, illicit drug use and pharmaceuticals, alcohol and caffeine; try to limit your intake of such things for better sleep.
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Next in line is nutrition, a combination of herbs and vitamins can help naturally relax the body and mind to help one get better sleep all night long. Green tea is an herb that is loaded with the amino acid l-Theanine, studies have shown l-Theanine to can help calm the brain, given today’s high paced lifestyles most of us are still thinking about work or what needs to go on your grocery list while laying in bed, l-Theanine helps calm your thoughts for a better nights sleep.
Other beneficial vitamins and herbs are as follows:
* 5-HTP: helps promote healthy sleep, a precursor to serotonin vital for mood regulation and sleep.
* Ashwagandha: an Adaptogenic herb, helps combat stress, calming herb.
* B Complex: good to combat stress, helps maintain a healthy nervous system function.
* Calcium: helps relax muscles.
* Chamomile: anti-anxiety herb, good for ADD, insomnia and stress.
* Catnip: a calming herb, used to help you sleep without affecting you the next day.
* Hops: primarily used for treatment of anxiety and insomnia for thousands of years.
* Lemon Balm: Primarily used for ADD, insomnia, stress, and Irritable bowel syndrome.
* Magnesium: helps relax muscles and is a good brain relaxing mineral.
* Skullcap: used in the past primarily as a calmative and a digestive aid, and is known for its calming effects.
* Valerian: is a tranquilizer and calming herb useful for disorders such as restlessness, nervousness, insomnia, hysteria, and headaches.
The above listed herbs can be found in combination by several manufacturers such as Source naturals and Planetary Formulas to name two. Herbal supplements can create a natural relaxing and stress relieving environment for the body before bedtime.
Finally, there is melatonin which is a hormone naturally produced by the body. Melatonin is secreted from the pineal gland and is only released in darkness during sleep in healthy people. Although melatonin declines as we age and supplementation might be needed to help bring back normal sleep at night, it can also replace your body's natural production and should be used with care.
The statements in this article are not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease please consult your health care physician before discontinuing medication or introducing herbs into your diet. If you are currently on medication for sleep, herbs tend to enhance the effects of medications and side effects from those medications may increase.
Carla Klepin is a Health and Wellness Coach who partners with people who are looking to make positive, sustainable lifestyle changes to better their future and accomplish their goals of better health and active, balanced futures. Carla believes that we all have within us what it takes to succeed, it is a matter of finding what works for each of us, individually. Carla has helped transform people’s lives for the better by helping them to create more healthful and harmonized futures. Carla is an academically trained coach and is certified by ASU as a Healthy Lifestyles Coach, graduating summa cum laude, and holds an NBC-HWC credential granted by the National Board for Health and Wellness Coaching (NBHWC). Carla holds a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences with a minor in Organizational Leadership, both from ASU, and is currently pursuing a Master’s of Sciences in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Missouri Science and Technology.