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There’s a wonder drug hiding in plain sight!
It slows aging by keeping your genes healthy; it cuts your risk of metabolic and cardiovascular diseases in a big way; it boosts memory and cognitive function, and helps you fight infections so much better. It even puts you in a fantastic mood every morning. And here’s the kicker… it’s free!
It’s called a “Good Night’s Sleep!”
Sadly, too many of us suffer from a lack of sleep nowadays, and the consequences aren’t pretty.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimates that 1/3 of adults in the U.S. gets less than 7 hours of sleep a night, and research associates this with many health risks. About 12–18 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, which keeps them up at night. Lives lost due to drowsy drivers may be as high as 5,000–6,000 each year, and productivity losses due to poor sleep weigh in at $5 billion annually.
What can we do when we can’t sleep? There’s no getting around the basics, so let’s go over those first.
If you’re still struggling, even with the basics in place, there are many natural supplements that can help.
Remember: as universal as sleep is, the reason yours is disturbed could be different from others—sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, improper blood sugar balance, and the list goes on and on. See what applies to your unique situation the most, and try it.
If you’re wondering why a multi-vitamin would help you sleep better, go back to the first point listed in the basics—nutritious food. We know that’s not happening, even when we take the best care to eat right, because the soil, the crops, and the livestock lack the vitamins and minerals we used to get from them a century ago.
This brain hormone is a crucial part of the gentle sleep-wake cycle, peaking at night and going down in the morning. When the sun goes down, were it not for artificial light, melatonin would peak naturally in our bodies, signaling to all our systems that it was time to wind down for the night. It decreases naturally with age, making light sleep and insomnia a feature of old age.
Most swear by this herb that has been used for centuries to fall asleep and stay asleep. It takes between 1–2 weeks to show its effects but is very gentle on the system. Those on antidepressant or psychotic drugs must consult their doctor before using valerian.
This duo works best together to get you your Zzz’s. Magnesium relaxes our muscles, especially the ones in our airways and our legs. This makes it fantastic for sleep issues like restless leg syndrome and sleep apnea. And calcium levels naturally peak in our bodies when we sleep; so one way to sleep better is to get them to stay high at night.
It’s a natural precursor to serotonin, the brain chemical that induces a feeling of being safe, satiated, and calm. Those on antidepressant or psychotic drugs must consult their doctor before using 5-HTP.
Sleep apnea can lead to very high levels of free radicals, the rogues that bounce around inside your body and damage cells. This, in turn, leads to oxidative stress and insomnia. Vitamin C can help reverse this process and give you that restful sleep that has been eluding you.
Literally able to “smoothen” brain waves in research studies, L-theanine is the substance found in tea and used over centuries to achieve deep, restful sleep. It is a great natural sleep remedy with the ability to balance the twin sleep-wake hormones melatonin and serotonin.
This amino acid calms over-excited neurons. Insomniacs show consistently lower levels of GABA in lab tests. Studies seem to suggest that GABA does as much for waking tasks like prioritizing planned actions and that it is unlikely to be overdosed since it is self-limiting.
Try these natural sleep remedies one at a time (except when recommendations are for synergistic pairs), and let us know what worked for you. Nature’s treasure chest is vast, and you will surely find something that is just right for you. Remember to check back with you doctor if you are on antidepressants or other strong medications that alter brain chemistry. Sleep tight, and good night!