When your sleep-wake cycle is off and all your go-to strategies (warm milk, counting sheep) are failing you, you might want to turn to the medicine cabinet for a little help. But if you’re looking for something less toxic than prescription pills, consider these natural alternatives to get you drifting off and staying asleep all night.
A natural best sleep aid can include a plant-based herb or supplement that’s designed to increase relaxation and improve your sleep quality. These options don’t typically have as many side effects as other types of over-the-counter and prescription medications, but they should still be used sparingly.
For instance, melatonin is commonly recommended for circadian rhythm disorders like jet lag or shift work sleep disturbances, and it’s also a good option if you have insomnia that doesn’t respond to cognitive behavioral therapy. Another example is Ambien, which reduces sleep latency and promotes deep slumber. However, long-term use can lead to withdrawal symptoms.
The Quest for Rest: Exploring the Best Sleep Aids for a Good Night’s Sleep
There are a number of sleep-promoting herbal remedies that are safe to take in capsule form. Some, like lavender, are soothing and anti-anxiety. Others, like hops and lemon balm, encourage a healthy sleep cycle by increasing GABA activity to reduce brain activity for better sleep. And then there are adaptogens, which are herbs that promote calmness and decrease stress levels. Adaptogens are available in supplements and sleepytime teas.
For those who don’t enjoy swallowing pills before bed, check out Beam Dream, a non-GMO hot chocolate mix that contains ingredients like magnesium citrate and melatonin. To use it, just add the powder to your preferred cup of warm liquid and whiz up with the included frother for a delicious pre-sleep treat.