Saturday, February 8, 2014

Part 4: Natural Remedies to Help You Sleep

by P. Gough 
The A to Zzzzz’s of Sleep Problems and Natural Solutions
In this 5 part series I will take you through the sleep process, show you how it affects you, and how you can improve your sleep.
Part 1: Understanding Sleep
Part 2: Reasons for Not Sleeping Well
Part 3: The Effects of Sleeplessness & Poor Sleep
Part 4: Natural Remedies to Help You Sleep
Part 5: Quick Tips for Getting Better Sleep
Part 4: Natural Remedies to Help You Sleep
There are several natural sleeping aids that are effective and non-habit forming.  A good night’s sleep is very important to your health, so don’t let a sleep disorder go untreated.  Take the time to try different natural remedies until you find the one that works for you.  Many times a combination of behavioral changes and natural sleeping aids are needed to establish a good sleep routine.
1. Magnesium and Calcium: Both of these minerals are natural sleep enhancers and taking them together makes them even more effective.
2. Lavender: As either an herbal remedy or an aromatherapy treatment, lavender is proven to help aid in restful sleep. You can find real lavender (not a fake lavender scent) sprays to spritz on your pillows or find a lavender-filled pillow.
3. Passion Flower (Passiflora incarnata): The herb, passion flower, is one of the best sleep aids found in nature and has a mild sedative effect that encourages sleep. It is thought to relieve muscle tension and other manifestations of restless and anxiety. Passion flower is found to be especially effective for sleeplessness due to nervousness and worrying. It is non-addictive and can be used in both children and the elderly without complication.
To brew an effective passion flower tea: pour a cup of boiling water onto a teaspoonful of the dried herb and let infuse for l5 minutes. Drink a cup half an hour before going to bed.
4. Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) is a traditional herbal medicine used widely as a mild sedative.
Lemon balm can be made into a pleasant tasting tea: Try making a tea with 2 teaspoons of dried lemon balm per cup of boiling water. Steep the tea for 10 minutes, strain, and drink right before going to bed.
5. Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla): Chamomile has been used for many years as a very effective sleep aid. Unlike some other herbs that help with sleeplessness, chamomile can be used to provide immediate help for insomnia and restlessness and doesn’t have to be used on a regular basis.
Chamomile can be made into a tasty and effective tea using the dried flowers and leaves. Boil 1 cup of water and add 1 tsp. of dried chamomile flowers, leaving to boil for 30-45 seconds. Remove from heat and steep for 1 minute. Strain flowers and add a splash of lemon and honey. This tea is most effective when sipped a half an hour to forty-five minutes before going to bed.
6. Skullcap (Scuttelaria laterifolia): Skullcap has a long history of effective traditional use and is a well respected nerve tonic. Skullcap helps quiet nervous tension, ease muscle tension and induce sleep without strong sedated effect. Skullcap has been used in the treatment insomnia and it has been used for many years to effectively help with sleep and relaxation.
7. Oats (Avena sativa): Avena sativa is a traditional herbal nerve tonic known to have a nutritive and restorative action on the nervous system. It also has mild sedative properties and is used by herbalists to address treat nervous tiredness, disturbances in sleep and weakness of the nerves, as well as common nervous exhaustion.
8. Cina: The homeopathic remedy Cina is also known to help with sleep problems such as difficulty falling asleep, or restless sleep with twitching, jerking limbs. It also helps to stimulate night time peace and harmony among fussy babies and toddlers (it’s safe since it is a homeopathic ingredient) and it helps to sustain natural and healthy sleep routines.
Sleep Tonic™ is a homeopathic remedy reduces sleeplessness associated with insomnia, and increases drowsiness for better sleep. 
This article is a Part 4 in our 5 article series on sleep. For more information on sleep and your health see the following posts:
Part 1: Understanding Sleep
Part 2: Reasons for Not Sleeping Well
Part 3: The Effects of Sleeplessness & Poor Sleep
Part 4: Natural Remedies to Help You Sleep
Part 5: Quick Tips for Getting Better Sleep