Natural Remedies for Sleep
If you’re continuing to have sleepless nights where you’re tossing and turning, then you’re probably motivated to find a solution that will stop this from happening. You may have even gone to your doctor and asked them for sleeping medication so you can get a better night’s sleep. Either that or you may be trying to stay away from prescription drugs and stick with more natural remedies.
If you’re the type of person who wants natural remedies for sleep, then you are not alone because many people out there are choosing these remedies over pharmaceutical drugs. Besides, sleeping pills won’t cure the stress that you feel from having sleeping problems over a long period of time.
The content of this article will dive into the different natural remedies for sleep and the scientific evidence which ensures that they work. Maybe when you’re done reviewing them, you’ll find a remedy that improves your sleep after all.
Choosing the Right Remedy
There are so many different kinds of natural remedies for sleep that are sold in retail stores. They are not just marketed as flowers, roots, and herbs either. Great emphasis is put on the form that these remedies come in.
Herbal Sleep Aids
As the interest in natural sleeping remedies grows bigger, more over the counter remedies are being manufactured each year and sold in stores. The ingredient you’ll find in most of these remedies is Valerian. Scientific evidence shows that Valerian has sedative properties to it. Three popular herbal brands which have Valerian include Kalms, Sominex herbal, and Nytol herbal.
Melatonin is a sleep aid that is becoming more popular every day. Some companies categorize it as a natural sleep aid because Melatonin is the name of a hormone that is produced naturally in the body. Melatonin is used by the body to manage its internal clock so it knows when to go to sleep. The tablet version of Melatonin is synthetic, of course.
This is probably one of the oldest and most popular natural sleep aids. There are so many herbal teas available which are derived from various flowers and herbs. Some of these include St. John’s wort, lavender, Kava Kava, peppermint, chamomile, valerian, and lemon balm.
The Effectiveness of Natural Sleep Remedies
Although scientists have researched individual natural sleep remedies, there is still confusion over whether natural sleep remedies in general actually help people get to sleep. This doesn’t help the popularity of herbal sleep aids since most people accept that they are helpful at getting to sleep.
A large investigation into natural sleep remedies and all its recorded studies was done by researchers at Monash University in 2012. They researchers looked through all the scientific literature they could on natural sleep remedies that were made from herbs like St. John’s’ Wart, Kava-Kava, Chamomile, Hops, and Valerian. What they concluded was that there weren’t very many studies done into these herbs throughout the years. As for the few studies that did exist, they tended to be inconclusive and contradictory about the effectiveness of these herbs.
Here are some of the conclusions that researchers from the university gave about the subject:
- Sixteen studies showed that Valerian was effective at helping people get to sleep, whether it was taken with other herbs or taken alone. However, there were 29 other studies which concluded that Valerian is not effective at treating sleeplessness.
- Very few studies and research pieces have been found about Kava Kava and its ability to treat sleeplessness. There are also safety concerns about taking Kava Kava as well. More research must be done into this.
- Only a few studies have concluded that Chamomile and St John’s Wart can treat insomnia.
- One study concluded that lemon balm contained sedative properties for treating sleeplessness.
Natural Insomnia Treatments
Natural insomnia treatments are still popular even though there is a lack of scientific evidence to confirm their effectiveness. Why do you think that is?
In a health survey that was extensively conducted in 2002, it discovered that 1.6 million adults in the United States were taking some kind of alternative or complementary treatment in an attempt to cure their sleeplessness. The survey provided two reasons for why these adults attempted these treatments.
- They thought natural remedies were interesting to try out.
- They believed that combining a natural remedy with a conventional medication would be more helpful in curing their insomnia.
Most of the people in the survey said that natural sleep aids helped reduce their insomnia. Perhaps these people tried these remedies because of hope, word of mouth, and belief that they would work. In the end, it was probably a placebo effect.
Word of Mouth & the Placebo Effect
There are only opinions when it comes to these natural remedies. Chamomile tea is probably the best remedy for insomnia because it is effective and it’s also very easy to prepare. All you need to do is sit down and drink it.
Herbal teas, in general, will help you relax which, in turn, will help you get to sleep. Even if a placebo effect is present, it will be a positive effective if it fixes your sleep problem.
Although scientific evidence hasn’t concluded that natural sleep remedies will cure insomnia, some evidence does suggest that the placebo effect can be very helpful. After all, if you truly believe in the power of something and its ability to cure you of your problem, it can sometimes have a positive effect on fixing that problem. This belief alone is what creates relaxation in your body, which is the key to getting a good night’s sleep.
For example, let’s say there’s a new natural remedy being advertised in the drug store for curing insomnia. Although it doesn’t have any sedatives in it, the advertisement convinces you that the product will work. This creates the placebo effect which will end up causing it to work, even though the properties of the remedy don’t actually support treating insomnia.