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On the list of the worst things, up there with a period on holiday in a white bikini, is not being able to sleep. Tossing and turning in your bed, either from waking, or just not being able to switch off is to say the least, annoying.
We don’t want to go all Eminem and crack open the sleeping pills every night. That’s not sustainable. What we need is natural sleep supplements, with the only side effect being a bloody good night’s sleep.
Prescription sleeping pills can have some unwanted side effects such as:
- Feeling groggy in the morning
- Changes in appetite
- Constipation or Diarrhea
- Balance issues
- Dry mouth and throat
I’ve been someone who has suffered with sleep. In the past, my women’s problems have kept me up at night, and I’ve had my fair share.
However, I’ve not been one to want to go down the sleeping pill route, so I’ve tried to look for the perfect sleep aid that doesn’t have man made chemicals. I know how groggy I feel after a Night Nurse, let alone a prescription!
I’m going to share with you my 5 go to sleep supplements that have helped me nail my sleep, finally.
5 natural sleep aids to try
If you want to fall asleep, and stay asleep, you need to have your body and brain relax.
Easier said than done when you have tension in your jaw and about ten thousand thoughts in your head.
The secret here is magnesium.
Magnesium is said to help you feel calm and relaxed by activating the parasympathetic nervous system among other things which helps stress reduction. This supplement also regulates melatonin which is important for sleep and wake cycles, according to Healthline.
Magnesium supplements in proved to help in insomnia by many studies and is also very helpful in many neurological disorders.
You can find magnesium in pill form (they’re pretty big pills to swallow, but I’ve got used to these now!). It’s also in foods like leafy greens, fish, meat, wholegrain bread and brown rice.
Maybe try a dinner of brown rice, salmon and spinach.
This would give you a healthy dose of the sleepy mineral. You can get magnesium flakes to put in your bath too, a warm bath is also great for making me sleepy!
Melatonin is a hormone that tells your body when to go to sleep and when to wake up. There is some evidence to suggest that melatonin supps might help with falling asleep and staying asleep.
But it is a short-term solution to sleep disorders according to NHS.
This isn’t one you should take for a long period of time though. If you do, then you might find you’ve got a headache, feel sick or dizzy. Ideally you want to be taking around 1-3 milligrams around 2 hours before you hit the hay.
I’ve been taking CBD to help with getting a good night sleep for a while now. I swear by it. This one of the natural sleep supplements has been so helpful. I take Pretty Peaceful right before I go to sleep, which contains lavender.
I simply place a few drops under my tongue, or mix it with a chamomile tea, or hot chocolate if I feel indulgent. But sometimes I worry about the chocolate containing caffeine so I wouldn’t do this right before bed.
I decided to try this one because there was some interesting research which showed 80% of the subjects were able to sleep better compared to those who had the placebo.
You can get this sleep aid in pill form from local health food store, or you can buy the actual dried herb and make your own tea. It is suggested that you take it around 30 minutes to 2 hours before you go to bed.
This sleep aid is one I really enjoy and a home remedy that has been used for thousands of years. I usually add a drop of lavender oil to an evening bath, or dab it on my temples and soles of my feet. Not sure on the science behind the feet thing, but it feels like it works for me!
Lavender is such a relaxing smell and has powerful sleep properties. Also, there is something to be said for your body associating a smell with bedtime and relaxation and it is even proved by researches.
Our Remedy’s Pretty Peaceful contains lavender as well as geranium which I find helps my anxiety.
Worries keeping you up?
What to avoid when you want to sleep naturally
Just as there are things you can do and supplements to take for a good sleep, there are also things to avoid.
If you want to really shut off and fall asleep quickly you might want to consider your bedtime routine and what you do leading up to bedtime. Here are a few things we find it is best to avoid a few hours before bed:
- A heavy, fatty meal
- Intense exercise
- Caffeine (we usually have a final tea no later than 3 pm)
- Looking at your phone
- Checking work emails
- Watching a series that is a little intense before bed – maybe a book is a better option!
Final Thoughts on Natural Sleep Supplements
It was important to me to find natural sleep supplements. Ones that wouldn’t have lots of side effects when used long term.
Natural methods are always my first port of call, so I was very glad when they worked out well for me.