According to the CDC, 1 in 3 Americans don’t sleep well. In the society we live in, restlessness is celebrated and therefore rest is stigmatized. However, good sleep is essential for your overall well-being. From depression to heart disease to weaker immunity, constant poor sleep can put you at a higher risk for serious health problems. That being said, many of us have a hard time falling asleep and staying asleep. Even if you’re exhausted all day, finally putting your head on the pillow and checking in isn’t always easy. When you need a little boost, what are some natural remedies that will help shut down your brain so you can take the next day by storm? Marie ruggles, MS, RD, CN, CDE, nutritionist and author of Optimize Your Immune System: Create Health and Resilience with a Kitchen Pharmacy shares some of its herbal supplements to get high quality sleep.
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A cheap but effective sleeping pill that Ruggles recommends is chamomile tea. Studies on chamomile have shown that chamomile works like benzodiazepine, a prescription drug that induces sleep and reduces anxiety. Chamomile contains chemicals called flavonoids, which are compounds found in plants. Flavonoids are what give herbal teas and vegetables their healthy properties. “I recommend steeping 2 bags of chamomile tea in 5 ounces of water and consuming them 30 minutes before bedtime.” said Ruggles.
When it comes to supplements, Ruggles contains a few calming compounds that you should look for in any sleeping pills you buy: melatonin, passionflower, lemon balm, chamomile, or L-theanine. “I suggest using a bedtime supplement that contains at least 3,” says Ruggles.
Ruggles is also an aromatherapist and recommends incorporating essential oils into your sleep routine if you have trouble falling asleep at night. “Make a mixture of equal parts lavender, cedarwood and vetiver. Apply a drop to the palm, rub with the opposite palm and inhale for fifteen seconds just before bed, ”she says. Studies have shown that linalool, the main component of lavender, may be linked to reduced anxiety and better sleep. In the same way, cedar wood and vetiver have sedative qualities that can reduce anxiety, which will help you relax better at night and make it easier to fall asleep.
Getting good quality sleep can be a daunting task. However, it is worth the investment to polish your routine. Creating a bedtime routine that you follow consistently is a good way to train your brain to know when it’s time to rest. Adding supplements like chamomile tea, essential oil blends, and natural sleeping pills can be a great resource for better rest. However, if you are having chronic sleep problems or want to change your sleep regimen, always see your doctor.