Derived From: Natural News
Original Author: Michael Edwards
A chronic lack of sleep not only affects your work, your relationships, and your enjoyment of life, it also wreaks havoc with your hormonal system, your immune system, and your body’s ability to heal in every way (we regenerate while we sleep).
You don’t need to resort to pharmaceuticals with dangerous side effects and fatigue upon waking. Use these natural remedies to reset your sleep cycle and end insomnia.
Leave your electronic devices at home. Leave your phone in the car. Take some time to meditate, write, and do some yoga. Most importantly, sleep on the ground, not in a camper, your car, or in a cabin. Get grounded. Your goal is to de-stress, to take a break from distractions and EFTs, to avoid artificial light, and to use natural light and magnetic fields to re-set your circadian rhythms. By the third day almost anyone will be going to sleep shortly after nightfall, as nature intended.
If camping is impossible, prolonged exposure to early morning light and regular contact with the earth (try grounding for 15 minutes a day) will reset your biological clock. Spend two hours in the early morning sun for one or two days. Set your alarm if necessary, and go back to sleep outside (on the deck, or in the yard).
Eliminate stimulants from your diet. Coffee, tea, chocolate, soft drinks, energy drinks… If you won’t give these up, be sure to limit them to the early hours of the day. Thyroid and adrenal fatigue can lead to insomnia and poor quality sleep, so address those glands if needed. B vitamins are essential to the nervous system and deficiencies can result in disruption of sleep cycles. Take a high quality B complex vitamin each day. If you do not get daily exposure to sunlight or you live north of Atlanta, Georgia or Los Angeles, California, supplement with vitamin D.
To fix the biological clock long term, diet is key; B vitamins, thyroid health, and exercise are paramount. But the right combination of the following herbal remedies will knock almost anyone out at least for the first few nights they’re used, without the pharmaceutical side effects.
Our bodies require tryptophan, an amino acid, to make serotonin and melatonin. Tryptophan can help you fall asleep and improve your quality of sleep by lengthening the time you spend in deep sleep. In addition, studies have shown an increase in alertness upon waking.
Valerian root also aids in sleep onset as well as quality of sleep. The best results are found when combining valerian root with melatonin or hops. Take 400-500 mg at bedtime.
Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland. It does not help with the length of sleep or sleep quality, but it does help with sleep onset. Side effects may include nightmares and daytime drowsiness. Dosage ranges from 1-10 mg.
Hops extract is another sleep aid that improves sleep and aids in sleep onset. It works well with valerian extract and the combination may help increase alpha brain waves.
Black cohosh minimizes sleep disturbances and reduces irritability and mood swings
Passion flower clears anxiety and restores the body to a more peaceful state
Ashwagandha is known as an adaptogen that block stress messages in the body, promoting relaxation and peacefulness.
Chamomile flower and leaf soothes anxiety and has sedative properties
Skullcap promotes calmness and increases the body’s ability to adapt to stress. It also acts as a sedative for aches and pain
Once you get your biological clock reset, your new sleep habits require discipline, but you will reap the benefits of healthy, restful sleep. The trick to having a set sleep schedule (besides health) is all in the wakeup time. If 7 a.m. is when you want to wake up, then that’s when you wake up, no matter what, for the next 6 weeks.
Insomnia tends to be a precursor to, or a symptom of depression (see How Candida Leads to Depression) or thyroid problems (see Natural Remedies for Hypothyroidism). It takes time and patience, both of which are hard to come by when you’re chronically tired, but insomnia can be remedied. Check out Natural Remedies for Insomnia for more on insomnia.
And get off the caffeine!