This hormone tells your body when to sleep and wake. Some research suggests that melatonin supplements can ease sleep issues like jet lag and trouble falling or staying asleep. For the most part, melatonin is safe for healthy adults if taken for only a few weeks or months. Side effects include headache, dizziness, and nausea.
Try sniffing this purple flower before your bedtime. Its scent slows your heart rate and lowers your blood pressure and skin temperature. This can set the stage for slumber. A study found that people who snoozed in a lavender-infused room had more restful deep sleep than those who didn’t. Want to try it? Run an essential oil diffuser in your bedroom, or add a few drops to your pillowcase.
This perennial plant has been used as a sleep aid for hundreds of years. Studies suggest that valerian helps you get more sound ZZZs. But the evidence is mixed. It may raise the levels of GABA, which boosts relaxation. Valerian is thought to be safe in the short term, but it sometimes may give you headaches and stomachaches.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a compound in marijuana and hemp plants. It doesn’t get you high, but it can help you nod off. CBD oil may work by taking the edge off. One study found that people who took it felt less anxious and slept better within a month. CBD may make some people tired or want to throw up.
This tiny amino acid can have a big impact on your sleep. It may raise the amount of serotonin, a brain chemical that affects slumber. It also helps your blood flow and drops your body temperature, both of which encourage you to nod off. Glycine supplements are viewed as safe.
Many people enjoy it as a soothing herbal tea, and for good reason. This daisy-like plant has a calming effect thanks to an antioxidant called apigenin. It works on certain brain cell receptors that help you relax and fall asleep. Chamomile is safe, but it can interact with certain medicines.
It’s short for 5-hydroxytryptophan, a compound that your body makes from foods. Your body uses 5-HTP to make melatonin, an important hormone for sleep. Some studies suggest, but don’t prove, that 5-HTP supplements made from plant seeds may help you log more sleep.
It’s a type of climbing vine. Native Americans have long used passionflower for its calming properties. The plant contains GABA, the brain chemical that affects your mood and sleep. One study found that people reported getting a better night’s rest when they sipped a mug of passionflower tea beforehand. Experts say that passionflower seems safe to take in the short term.
Low levels of this mineral may make it harder for you to fall or stay asleep. Studies show that magnesium supplements may improve slumber in older people and those with restless legs syndrome. Get enough with foods like nuts and leafy greens. Women need 310-320 milligrams per day, while men need 400-420 milligrams. Ask your doctor if you should take a supplement: Too much magnesium can lead to cramps and nausea.
Tart Cherry Juice
Tart cherries are a natural source of melatonin, a key sleep hormone. Early research shows that drinking tart cherry juice raises the amount of melatonin in your body. It also helped people sleep more soundly and for longer. The more common Bing and other sweet cherries don’t have the same effect, so look for the tart variety. Sip a cup about an hour of two before bedtime.
Chinese medicine uses this to treat anxiety and depression. Experts are studying whether magnolia bark might work on sleep, too. It has a compound called honokiol, which may improve your slumber. Magnolia bark also may keep your body from releasing the stress hormone adrenaline. It appears safe for short-term use, but it sometimes can give you heartburn.
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