Natural sleep aids to help with insomnia

The best sleep aids are always the natural sleep aids and these aids should be tried first to help with insomnia.

Examples of natural sleep aids include reducing stress by visualization techniques, making lifestyle changes including no smoking, reducing caffeine, no daytime naps, and getting more sun light in your life.  Other best sleep aids are changing to a healthier diet as well as starting an exercise program.   If after making these changes you still have trouble with sleep, and a visit with your doctor confirms that there is no medical reasons for your insomnia, then there are other sleep aids that you can consider using.


Melatonin is a good sleep aid to help people fall asleep – especially those people who suffer from the insomnia caused by working shifts or who suffer from jet lag.  Melatonin is a hormone which is found naturally in the body when serotonin, another hormone, is exposed to less light at night..  It does have side effects and it is recommends to not being used by people with depression, schizophrenia, autoimmune diseases, or other illness. Pregnant and nursing women and children should not use melatonin.

There are herbs known to be good for people having sleeping problems.  One common herbal sleep aid is Valerian which has been use for years in Europe as being helpful with insomnia. It is sold in the United States as a dietary supplement.  There is no agreement on how this sleep aid works, but it have been shown that it does help with insomnia, as well as stress, and often as an aid in helping people who are trying to discontinue the use of benzodiazepines (a class of prescription medications for anxiety and panic attacks).  There are side effects that have been reported, so before taking this herbal aid, a person should discuss taking Valerian with a pharmacist, especially if they are taking any prescription medications.  The root is the part used in herbal sleep aids, and side effects of headaches and night terror, have been reported.  The oil of this root is reported to have the odor of cat urine, so the most popular way to take Valerian is as a pill, rather than a tea made from the liquid.

There are many other-the-counter (OTC) sleep aids that have helped others with their insomnia but as with any other medication, there are also side effects.  Children and others can be helped with insomnia, by taking a baby aspirin, but there are also people who are sensitive or allergic to aspirin, so care should be taken with them.

Other common OTC sleep aids such as Sominex, or Nytol can also be tried by adults but, again, a person should discuss with a doctor before taking any of these sleep aids especially if the person suffers from and is being treated for depression, or other mental health problems as well as persons being treated for Parkinson’s disease. Most of the OTC sleep aids contain antihistamines which are known to cause some lingering side effects such as dry mouth, and excessive drowsiness.

So, again the best sleep aids should always be the natural sleep aids and these natural aids should always be tried first to help with insomnia.

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