Natural Sleep Aid Ideas You Can Use Tonight So You Sleep Better

By Reviewed by Health Published on September 24, 2019 Updated on November 7, 2019
Natural Sleep Aid Ideas You Can Use Tonight So You Sleep Better

Are you considering using a natural sleep aid to improve your sleep?

Getting a good night’s sleep is crucial to staying healthy. It plays a vital role in both brain and body function.

Not getting enough sleep may impose health risks, especially in the long run. It may lead to poor performance, heightened stress response, and even anxiety.[1]Medic, G., Wille, M., & Hemels, E. H. M. (2017, May 19). Short- and long-term health consequences of sleep disruption. doi: 10.2147/NSS.S134864

One study shows that sleep deprivation may induce fatigue and neurocognitive decline.[2]Klumpers, U. M. H., Veltman, D. J., Kloet,  R. W., Boellaard, R., Lammertsma, A. A., & Hoogendijk, W. J. G. (2015, January 21). Neurophysiological Effects of Sleep Deprivation in Healthy Adults, a Pilot Study. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0116906

This is especially alarming as it can affect anybody, including otherwise healthy adults.

Doctors recommend getting at least seven to nine hours of restful sleep every night.[3]Lichtenstein, G. R. (2015, December). The Importance of Sleep. Gastroenterol Hepatol (NY). 11(12), 790. retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4849507

But let’s be honest, a lot of people don’t seem to get these uninterrupted hours in.

Do you happen to be one of those who struggle to get a good night’s sleep? If you are looking for solutions to improve your sleep, then you may find comfort from a natural sleep aid.

Natural Sleep Aid Ideas You Can Use So You Can Sleep Better Tonight

From the food you eat, down to your daily activities, there are several lifestyle choices that can have an impact on your natural sleep rhythm.

If you’re having restless nights, then making a few changes to your day-to-day regime may be the answer.

A simple change to your diet, adding more physical activities to your daily routine, or adding in a supplement may all help in improving your sleep.

Try These Foods That Improve Sleep

If you haven’t noticed, your food intake affects your body in many ways, sleep included.

And if you happen to find trouble dozing off at night, then the problem may lie in your diet.

Here are four foods that may improve sleep.

Chamomile the Natural Sleep Tea

Chamomile is among the most popular teas out there. It is an herbal tea that is caffeine-free and may offer a wide array of health benefits.

It is also known to contain flavones. They are a group of antioxidants that may have the ability to reduce inflammation.[4]Srivastava, J. K., Shankar, E., & Gupta, S. (2010, November 1). Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with bright future. retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2995283/[5]Yao, L. H., Jiang, Y. M., Tomas-Barberan, F. A., Datta, N. Singanusong, R., & Chen, S. S. (2004). Flavonoids in food and their health benefits. retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15678717

Cognitive health-wise, drinking chamomile tea may help in reducing anxiety and depression.[6]Srivastava, J. K., Shankar, E., & Gupta, S. (2010, November 1). Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with bright future. doi: 10.3892/mmr.2010.377 It may also promote better sleep due to its apigenin content. Apigenin is an antioxidant that soothes certain receptors in the brain.[7]Leach, M. J., & Page, A. T. (2015, December 24). Herbal medicine for insomnia: A systematic review and meta-analysis. retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25644982/

Chamomile is a natural sleep tea. It may also ease the symptoms of depression caused by sleep problems.[8]Srivastava, J. K., Shankar, E., & Gupta, S. (2010, November 1). Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with bright future. doi: 10.3892/mmr.2010.377

In one study, 270mg of chamomile extract twice a day leads to less interrupted sleep. The same dosage also induces sleep faster by 15 minutes.[9]Zick, S. M., Wright, B. D., Sen, A., & Arnedt, J. T. (2011, September 22).  Preliminary examination of the efficacy and safety of randomized chamomile extract for chronic primary insomnia: A randomized placebo-controlled pilot study. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-11-78

Milk as a Natural Sleep Aid

milk-better-sleepDrinking a glass of milk before bedtime is a popular myth that we all heard as kids. Many believed that warm milk at night helped us fall asleep. And while it’s regarded as a myth, there’s a scientific explanation behind it.

Milk is a good source of tryptophan, an amino acid responsible for growth. This amino acid is present in protein foods in small amounts. It is also a precursor to serotonin and melatonin which are sleep-inducing compounds.[10]Friedman, M. (2018, September 26). Analysis, Nutrition, and Health Benefits of Tryptophan. doi: 10.1177/1178646918802282

That said, drinking milk at night may not only induce sleep but improve its quality as well.

Almonds May Improve Sleep

Almonds are among the healthiest food you can get your hands on. They are a great source of different nutrients.

In fact, snacking on almonds on a regular basis may lower the risk of chronic diseases. These healthy nuts are rich in monounsaturated fat, fiber, and high antioxidant content.[11]Friedman, M. (2018, September 26). Analysis, Nutrition, and Health Benefits of Tryptophan. doi: 10.1177/1178646918802282[12]Ros, E. (2010, July). Health Benefits of Nut Consumption. doi: 10.3390/nu2070652

Almonds may also help improve your sleep due to its melatonin content.[13]Meng, X., Li, Y., Li, S., Zhou, Y., Gan, R., Xu, D., & Li, H. (2017, April). Dietary Sources and Bioactivities of Melatonin. doi: 10.3390/nu9040367 Melatonin is a hormone responsible for regulating the body’s sleep-wake cycle. Moreover, almonds are a great source of magnesium which may improve sleep quality.[14]Abbasi, B., Kimiagar, M. Sadeghnilat, K., Shirazi, M. M., Hedayati, M., & Rashidkhani, B. (2012, Decemeber). The effect of magnesium supplementation on primary insomnia in elderly: A double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23853635[15]Boomsma, D. (2008, July-August). The magic of magnesium. retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23969766

An ounce of these nuts provides about 19% of the RDI (required daily intake) of magnesium. This mineral may have the ability to reduce inflammation and lower cortisol levels. Cortisol is a stress hormone that may interrupt sleep.

Kiwi Helps Sleep

As a natural sleep aid, kiwi may have the potential to improve sleep quality. Kiwi is a low-calorie fruit packed with vitamins C, and K, among others. It is also rich in folate and potassium and other trace minerals.[16]Richardson, D.P., Ansell, J., & Drummond, L.N. (2018, December). The nutritional and health attributes of kiwifruit: a review. retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29470689

One study shows that kiwi may be good for digestive health and may also reduce inflammation. It may also have the ability to lower cholesterol levels. These benefits are due to the fiber and carotenoid antioxidants found in kiwis.[17]Stonehouse, W., Gammon, C.S., Beck, K.L., Conlon, C.A., Von Hurst, P.R., & Kruger, R. (2013, June). Kiwifruit: our daily prescription for health. retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23746068[18]Collins, B.H., Horska, A., Hotten, P.M., Riddoch, C., & Collins, A.R. (2001). Kiwifruit protects against oxidative DNA damage in human cells and in vitro. retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11588897

In another study, 24 adults consumed kiwi fruits before bedtime. These adults fell asleep quicker compared to when the fruit wasn’t consumed.[19]Lin, H.H., Tsai, P.S., Fang, S.C., & Liu, J.F. (2011). Effect of kiwifruit consumption on sleep quality in adults with sleep problems. retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21669584

Serotonin is also present in kiwis, supporting its beneficial effects on sleep.[20]St-Onge, M.P., Mikic, A., Pietrolungo, C.E. (2016, September 7). Effects of Diet on Sleep Quality. doi: 10.3945/an.116.012336 Serotonin is a hormone that regulates the body’s sleep cycle.[21]St-Onge, M.P., Mikic, A., & Pietrolungo, C.E. (2016, September 7). Effects of Diet on Sleep Quality. doi: 10.4161/psb.6.6.15242

Staying Active With Exercise to Improve Sleep

physically-active-for-better-sleepIt’s a no-brainer that exercise is beneficial in so many ways. Yet, a lot of people ask: does physical activity improve sleep patterns?

The answer here is yes, it can be a natural sleep aid. Staying active may benefit sleep patterns and quality. It may even be the most effective way to improve sleep.[22]Youngstedt, S.D. (2005, April). Effects of exercise on sleep. retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15892929

In fact, recent research showed that poor sleep may be due to a lack of physical activity.[23]Kline, C. E. (2014, November – December).  The bidirectional relationship between exercise and sleep: Implications for exercise adherence and sleep improvement. doi: 10.1177/1559827614544437

In one study, aerobic exercises improved all aspects of sleep. It also reduced symptoms on adults with chronic insomnia. The activity even improved their mood.[24]Reid, K.J., Baron, K.G., Lu, B., Naylor, E., Wolfe, L., & Zee, P.C. (2011, October). Aerobic exercise improves self-reported sleep and quality of life in older adults with insomnia. retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20813580

Another study showed that regular exercise helped older adults fall asleep faster. It also added 41 more minutes to their sleep at night.[25]King, A.C., Oman, R.F., Brassington, G.S., Bliwise, D.L., & Haskell, W.L. (1997, January 1). Moderate-intensity exercise and self-rated quality of sleep in older adults. A randomized controlled trial. retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8980207

While working out contributes to better sleep, doing it late may cause sleep delays. Exercise has stimulatory effects which can increase alertness and adrenaline.[26]Myllymaki, T., Kyrolainen, H., Savolainen, K., Hokka, L.,Jakonen, R., Juuti, T.,… Rusko, H. (2011, March). Effects of vigorous late-night exercise on sleep quality and cardiac autonomic activity. retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20673290[27]Yoshida, H., Ishikawa, T., Shiraishi, F., & Kobayashi, T. (1998, April). Effects of the timing of exercise on the night sleep. retrieved fromhttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9628115

So if you must, opt to work out during the day and avoid doing it within a couple of hours before bedtime.

Yoga

Yoga is a low-impact aerobic activity that comes with a wide array of health benefits. It may soothe stress, improve posture, and enhance mental focus.[28]Bussing, A., Michalsen, A., Khalsa. S. B. S., Telles, S., & Sherman, K. J. (2012, September 13). Effects of Yoga on Mental and Physical Health: A Short Summary of Reviews. doi: 10.1155/2012/165410

Yoga is also related to improving sleep quality and patterns. A study showed that doing yoga as a natural sleep aid improved sleep quality in adults with sleep disorders.[29]Halpern, J. Cohen, M., Kennedy, G., Reece, J., Cahan, C., & Baharav, A. (2014, May – June). Yoga for improving sleep quality and quality of life for older adults. retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24755569

Tai Chi

Tai Chi is a form of ancient Chinese martial art that’s been around for hundreds of years. It is a low-impact exercise that consists of slow, graceful movements. It is also a form of meditation.

Tai Chi is also praised for its effects on sleep, mood, and anxiety. In fact, a study showed that Tai Chi improved sleep quality in individuals with insomnia.[30]Raman, G., Zhang, Y., Minichiello, V. J., D’Ambrosio, C. M., Wang, C. (2017, August 24). Tai Chi Improves Sleep Quality in Healthy Adults and Patients with Chronic Conditions: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. doi: 10.4172/2167-0277.1000141

Another study noted improvements in sleep and anxiety while engaging in Tai Chi.[31]Caldwell, K.L., Bergman, S. M., Collier, S. R., Triplett, N. T., Quin, R., Bergguist, J., & Pieper, C. F. (2016). Effects of tai chi chuan on anxiety and sleep quality in young adults: lessons from a randomized controlled feasibility study. doi: 10.2147/NSS.S117392

Stretching

woman-stretching-as-a-Natural-Sleep-AidIt is common to stretch before and after a workout, with the aim to improve mobility. But the benefits of stretching the muscles go beyond functionality and mobility.

A study shows that stretching improved sleep quality in postmenopausal, sedentary women.[32]Tworogger, S. S., Yasui, Y., Vitiello, M. V., Schwartz R. S., Ulrich, C. M., Aiello, E. J.,… McTiernan, A. (2003, November 1).  Effects of a yearlong moderate-intensity exercise and a stretching intervention on sleep quality in postmenopausal women. retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14655916

Natural Sleep Supplements

Do you still find trouble sleeping despite a healthy diet and lifestyle? Then you may want to consider taking natural supplements for sleep.

Sometimes, we don’t get enough vitamins and minerals from the food we eat alone. This is where supplements come in handy.

Below are some of the most effective supplements to improve sleep.

Melatonin as a Natural Sleep Aid

Melatonin is a hormone produced in the body. This hormone keeps the sleep and wake cycle in line. It also sends signals to the brain when it’s time to doze off.[33]Tordjman, S., Chokron, S., Delorme, R., Charrier, A., Bellissant, E., Nemat, J., & Fougerou, C. (2017, April). Melatonin: Pharmacology, Functions and Therapeutic Benefits. doi: 10.2174/1570159X14666161228122115

The production and release of melatonin are dependent on the time of the day. It is normal for melatonin levels to be low during the day and rise at night.[34]Costello, R. B., Lentino, C. V., Boyd, C. C., O’Connell, M. L., Crawford, C. C., Sprengel, M. L., & Deuster, P. A. (2014, November 7). The effectiveness of melatonin for promoting healthy sleep: a rapid evidence assessment of the literature. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-13-106

Melatonin is among the most popular sleeping aids due to its ability to soothe the brain when it’s time to sleep. It may also improve sleep quality and duration.[35]Costello, R. B., Lentino, C. V., Boyd, C. C., O’Connell, M. L., Crawford, C. C., Sprengel, M. L., & Deuster, P. A. (2014, November 7). The effectiveness of melatonin for promoting healthy sleep: a rapid evidence assessment of the literature. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-13-106

Research shows that melatonin may improve sleep quality in people with insomnia. This natural sleep hormone may also be effective in reducing the time needed to fall asleep. It may even add hours to the total sleep time.[36]Ferraciolli-Oda, E., Qawasami, A., & Bloch, M. H. (2013, May 17). Meta-analysis: melatonin for the treatment of primary sleep disorders. retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23691095

Moreover, melatonin may impose therapeutic functions in insomnia and other sleep disorders.[37]Shochat, T., Haimov, I., & Lavie, P. (1998, February). Melatonin—the key to the gate of sleep. retrieved from  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9556097

Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is a root otherwise known as Indian ginseng. It is a natural herb used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine.

There are many health benefits of ashwagandha. These benefits have been found to impact stress, anxiety, and cognition in positive ways.[38]Chandrasekhar, K., Kapoor, J., & Anishetty, S. (2012, July). A prospective, randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study of safety and efficacy of a high-concentration full-spectrum extract of ashwagandha root in reducing stress and anxiety in adults. retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23439798[39]Choudhary, D., Bhattacharyya, S., & Bose, S. (2017, November 2). Efficacy and Safety of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal) Root Extract in Improving Memory and Cognitive Functions. retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28471731

This root may also work as a natural sleep aid. Thanks to its trimethylene glycol content – it may have the ability to improve sleep quality.[40]Kaushik, M. K., Kaul, S. C., Wadhwa, R., Yanagisawa, M., & Urade, Y. (2017, February 16). Triethylene glycol, an active component of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) leaves, is responsible for sleep induction. retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28207892 Triethylene glycol is a compound that may induce sleep.

white-alarm-clickOne study showed that 1250mg of ashwagandha as a natural sleep aid is safe to use for sleep induction. It also improved sleep quality in otherwise healthy individuals.[41]Raut, A. A., Rege, N. N., Tadvi, F. M., Solanki, P. V., Kene, K. R., Shirolkar S. G.,… Vaidya, A. B. (2012, July). Exploratory study to evaluate tolerability, safety, and activity of Ashwagandha (Whithania somnifera) in healthy volunteers. retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23125505

People suffering from sleep disorders, such as insomnia, may also rely on ashwagandha. In fact, a controlled trial tested the impact of this root on disrupted sleep. The trial showed that this extract may allow the body to settle down and prepare it for a good night’s sleep.[42]Deshpande, A., Irani, N., & Balakrishnan, R. (2018, June). Study protocol and rationale for a prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study to evaluate the effects of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) extract on nonrestorative sleep. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000011299

Magnesium for Sleep

Magnesium is an important mineral that is vital for both brain and heart function. It’s involved in several processes in the body, such as energy production. It also plays a role in regulating blood pressure.[43]Schwalfenberg, G. K., & Genuis, S. J. (2017, September 28). The Importance of Magnesium in Clinical Healthcare. do: 10.1155/2017/4179326[44]Durlach, J., Pages, N., Bac, P., & Guiet-Bara, A. (2002, March). Biorhythms and possible central regulation of magnesium status, phototherapy, darkness therapy and chronopathological forms of magnesium depletion. retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12030424

About ⅔ of the Western population do not hit the RDI for magnesium which links to a higher mortality rate.[45]Schwalfenberg, G. K., & Genuis, S. J. (2017, September 28). The Importance of Magnesium in Clinical Healthcare. do: 10.1155/2017/4179326

Magnesium has the ability to regulate melatonin production.[46]Durlach, J., Pages, N., Bac, P., & Guiet-Bara, A. (2002, March). Biorhythms and possible central regulation of magnesium status, phototherapy, darkness therapy and chronopathological forms of magnesium depletion. retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12030424 As a result, it may help the body feel more relaxed, allowing for a better night of sleep.[47]De Baaji, J. H., Hoenderop, J. G., & Bindels, R. J. (2015, January). Magnesium in man: implications for health and disease. retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25540137

This mineral may also raise the levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid or GABA. GABA is a chief neurotransmitter in the brain. This neurotransmitter possesses calming effects that contribute to sleep quality.[48]Poleszak, E. (2008, July – August). Benzodiazepine/GABA(A) receptors are involved in magnesium-induced anxiolytic-like behavior in mice. retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18799816

Several studies show the benefits of supplementing magnesium. Research shows a link between low levels of magnesium and sleep problems.[49]Boomsma, D. (2008, July – August). The magic of magneisum. retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23969766 In another study conducted on rodents, magnesium deficiency interrupted sleep patterns.[50]Depoortere, H., Francon, D., & Llopis, J. (1993). Effects of a magnesium-deficient diet on sleep organization in rats. retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8232845

In a controlled trial, 46 participants took 500mg of magnesium and placebo. The said trial ran for eight weeks.[51]Abbasi, B., Kimiagar, M., Sadeghniiat, K., Shirazi, M. M., Hedayati, M., & Rashidkhani, B.(2012, December). The effect of magnesium supplementation on primary insomnia in elderly: A double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3703169/ As a result, the group that took magnesium experienced better sleep quality. The magnesium group also had higher levels of melatonin and renin.[52]Abbasi, B., Kimiagar, M., Sadeghniiat, K., Shirazi, M. M., Hedayati, M., & Rashidkhani, B.(2012, December). The effect of magnesium supplementation on primary insomnia in elderly: A double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3703169/  These two are hormones that are beneficial for sleep.

Ginkgo Biloba and Sleep

Ginkgo biloba is a tree abundant in the lands of China. For this reason, this herb is among the staples of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

As a natural herb for sleep, Ginkgo biloba may enhance sleep efficiency and quality.[53]Murray, B. J., Cowen, P. J., & Sharpley, A. L. (2001, July). The effect of Li 1370, extract of Ginkgo biloba, on REM sleep in humans. retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11518478

Ginkgo biloba may also have the ability to improve cognition.[54]Mix, J. A.,  & Crews, W. D. Jr. (2002, August). A double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial of Ginkgo biloba extract EGb 761 in a sample of cognitively intact older adults: neuropsychological findings. retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12404671 In a controlled trial, individuals took 250mg of the extract. These participants improved their mental function.[55]Cieza, A., Maier, P., & Poppel, E. (2003, September – October). Effects of Ginkgo biloba on mental functioning in healthy volunteers. retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14602503

Research also showed the benefits of the herb on people with severe depression, whereas Ginkgo biloba improved their sleep cycle.[56]Hemmeter, U., Annen, B., Bischof, R., Bruderlin, U., Hatzinger, M., Rose, U., & Holsboer-Trachsler, E. (2001, March). Polusomnohraphic effects of adjuvant ginkgo biloba therapy in patients with major depression medicated with trimipramine. retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11302564

Glycine

Glycine is a nonessential amino acid that plays a vital role in the nervous system. It acts as a precursor to several metabolites in the body.[57]Razak, M. A., Begum, P. S., Viswanath, B., & Rajagopal, S. (2017). Multifarious Beneficial Effect of Nonessential Amino Acid, Glycine: A Review. doi: 10.1155/2017/1716701

eggs-rich-in-glycine-as-a-natural-sleep-aid

This amino acid is present in protein-rich foods, such as meat, eggs, chicken, and fish.

The exact mechanism of glycine remains under research, but it may help improve sleep. Its role in sleep quality may be due to its ability to lower body temperature at night. It signals the brain that it’s time to sleep.[58]Kawai, N., Sakai, N., Okuro, M., Karakawa, S., Tsuneyoshi, Y., Kawasaki, N.,…Nishino, N. (2015, May). The Sleep-Promoting and Hypothermic Effects of Glycine are Meditated by NMDA Receptors in the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus. doi: 10.1038/npp.2014.326

Glycine is also a subject of several studies. In a double-blind controlled trial, 3g of this amino acid improved sleep quality. It also reduced fatigue the next morning.[59]Inagawa, K., Takenori, H., Tohru K., Wataru, Y., & Michio, T. (2006, February 9). Subjective effects of glycine ingestion before bedtime on sleep quality. doi: 10.1111/j.1479-8425.2006.00193.x

In another study, glycine induced NREM sleep in otherwise healthy adults.[60]Kawai, N., Sakai, N., Okuro, M., Karakawa, S., Tsuneyoshi, Y., Kawasaki, N.,…Nishino, N. (2015, May). The Sleep-Promoting and Hypothermic Effects of Glycine are Meditated by NMDA Receptors in the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus. doi: 10.1038/npp.2014.326

Tongkat Ali for Sleep

Tongkat Ali is an herb popular in Asian Traditional Medicine. Derived from the roots of an herb called Eurycoma longifolia, a plant native to Southeast Asia.

This herb is traditionally used for its benefits on hormone regulation, male virility, and vitality. It may also aid in erectile dysfunction, among others.[61]Inagawa, K., Takenori, H., Tohru K., Wataru, Y., & Michio, T. (2006, February 9). Subjective effects of glycine ingestion before bedtime on sleep quality. retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20434529  Tongkat ali also contains various antioxidants which are all beneficial to the health.

As a natural sleep aid, the herb may benefit those who have trouble sleeping. Tongkat ali may do this by relieving stress and improving mood.[62]Bhat, R., & Karim, A. A. (2010, October). Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma longifolia Jack): a review on its ethnobotany and pharmacological importance. doi: 10.1111/j.1479-8425.2006.00193.x

One trial showed that tongkat ali supplementation may relieve chronic stress and improve sleep quality. The herb itself may also combat sleep deprivation.[63]Bhat, R., & Karim, A. A. (2010, October). Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma longifolia Jack): a review on its ethnobotany and pharmacological importance. doi: 10.1111/j.1479-8425.2006.00193.x

Maca as a Natural Sleep Aid

Maca is a plant native to the soils of South America. It is a natural herb used in Traditional Medicine.

Maca root is popular for its beneficial effects on sexual health.[64]Shin, B. Y., Lee, M. S., Yang, E. J., Lim, H. S., & Ernst, E. (2010, August 6). Maca (L. meyenii) for improving sexual function: a systematic review. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-10-44 It may also have the ability to improve mood and reduce anxiety.[65]Brooks, N. A., Wilcox, G., Walker, K. Z., Ashton, J. F., Cox, M. B., & Stojanovska, L. (2008, November – December). Beneficial effects of Lepidium meyenii (Maca) on psychological symptoms and measures of sexual dysfunction in postmenopausal women are not related to estrogen or androgen content. retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18784609

The mechanism of maca may also work as a hormone regulator. Research showed that this herb may ease perimenopausal symptoms. And as a result, maca may help with uneven sleep patterns.[66]Meissner, H. O., Reich-Bilinska, H., Mscisz, A., & Kedzia, B. (2006, June). Therapeutic Effects of Pre-Gelatinized Maca (Lepidium Peruvianum Chacon) used as a Non-Hormonal Alternative to HRT in Perimenopausal Women – Clinical Pilot Study. retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3614596/

Korean Red Ginseng For Better Sleep

Korean red ginseng is among the most sought-after herbs in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It also goes by the name Panax ginseng.

This herb consists of different active ingredients. Among these ingredients are steroidal saponins and ginsenosides. Combined, these may all work as anti-cancer and hormone stimulants. Koren red ginseng is also touted for its antioxidants.[67]Wee, J. W., Park, K. M., & Chung, A. S. (n.d.). Chapter 8 Biological Activities of Ginseng and Its Application to Human Health. retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92776/

Korean red ginseng may also have the ability to improve sleep quality as a natural sleep aid. One study showed that taking 1500mg of this herb may improve sleep patterns.[68]Han, H. J., Kim, H. Y., Choi, J. J., Ahn, S. Y., Oh, K. W., & Kim, S. Y. (2013, September 16). Effects of red ginseng extract on sleeping behaviors in human volunteers. retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23872254

Conclusion

Sleep, without a doubt, is vital to your health and well-being. Not getting enough sleep affects the body in more drastic ways than you may think.

woman-laying-in-bedSo, if you find yourself having trouble sleeping, then it’s time to take a closer look at your lifestyle. Check to see where the problem may be coming from. It could be the food you eat, the supplements you take (or lack thereof), your daily activities, and so on.

Generally, getting a good night’s sleep shouldn’t be hard, unless there’s a deeper underlying cause. To sum up, there are several natural sleep aid methods that you can try to improve your sleep.

May it be a simple change in your diet or an extra physical activity – go ahead and give it a try. You may even get a little help from natural supplements. Who knows, these methods might be the key in finally hitting the hay like a baby.

References   [ + ]

Fran Sanchez, BSc MSc

About Fran Sanchez, BSc MSc

Fran Sanchez, the founder of Herbolab, graduated from Uppsala University (Sweden) with a master in molecular biology and Karolinska University (Sweden) with a degree in medical sciences and business. He then moved to Singapore to run e-commerce operations in a pharmaceutical company, until eventually, he could fulfill his dream of creating a brand dedicated to help men reach their peak performance. Drawing on his experience as a lifelong multi-sport athlete and cutting edge medical and scientific research, Fran launched herbolab tongkat ali as flagship supplement in April of 2014. Fran now spend most of his time weight lifting and creating content dedicated to improve people’s lives.

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