Dwelling in a pill-popping society while viewing the commercials and medical adverts on television that feature the jaded phrase “ask your doctor about the [fill in the blank] pill, today,” only exasperates my existing state of tiresomeness towards the legal drug-pushers.
If it is possible, the pharmaceutical industry will have a pill for every possible discomfort, ailment and, in some cases, for simply living. Anyway, this message is not intended to be a rant, just merely supplying a few natural, drug-free sleep aids with the exclusions of doctoral advice. Living and working in a high-paced world, often leads to multiple inconveniences; one of them, is sleep deprivation.
Natural Sleep Aids (Doctors Excluded)
Melatonin – is a natural hormone that helps regulate our biological clock & sleep cycles, and also acts as a powerful antioxidant. This is excellent for night-shift workers – due to the balancing effect on the body’s supply of melatonin. Sleeping during the day and being up all night, disrupts the body’s production of this hormone. Melatonin is produced naturally from your pineal gland, but only when you are in the darkness. Since being in light ceases the production, you can see why this is a great option for night-shift workers. I’d use this supplement as needed, but not habitually. Smaller doses of this substance, when it comes to aiding in falling asleep, often works just as well – as opposed to taking the recommended dosage per product label. Higher dosages may cause vivid dreaming and lethargy upon awakening.
Coral Calcium – is an excellent supplement to take right before bed, due to the Magnesium and Calcium content which helps relax the muscles and promote sleep. You don’t have to purchase this particular formula, as some people like to buy their supplements separate. Bottom line, no matter what pill or food you get it from, Calcium combined with Magnesium helps the body relax – especially when took just before bedtime. I personally prefer Coral Calcium with the added Vitamin D, C, and Magnesium. Since this is not a drug or sleeping pill, don’t expect it to perform like one; it merely assists you by helping promote a good sleep. Besides, calcium & magnesium supplements are also good for the skeletal, circulatory, and nervous system.
Valerian Root– is an herbal type remedy for insomnia, nervousness, and anxiety; many herbalists consider Valerian to mimic a mild sedative. It has been known to be more effective when taken over a period of time; but, when sporadically used, some people recommend slightly higher doses (more than indicated on the bottle’s label) to raise the effectiveness. I would only recommend sporadic use, since I’m not promoting dependencies. Even though some folks do this, I don’t think it is very wise to take mega doses of this herb, in order to achieve a state of disorientation – there has got to be better forms of recreation out there, or at least a better use of time. Main point: when used within normal limits, this supplement can be a great alternative for treating occasional bouts of sleeplessness. Other than the pill or capsule form, it can be drank when prepared as a tea. Another thing you’ll notice about Valerian Root, is its smell. The scent is really strong (you won’t forget the distinctness) and supposedly, it has an alluring effect on cats – similar to their beloved catnip.
Chamomile – is an herbal, caffeine-free, tasty tea…that when steeped in hot water, beckons for aromatherapy. Drink as a hot tea and enjoy the soothing effects. Personally, I mix a small amount of chamomile with green & black teas while brewing for cold tea, just for the taste. It is considered to be a sleep aid, but it is weak in contrast to other sedating substances. This herbal delight can easily be found in grocery stores and online. Other benefits from drinking chamomile, is its antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Magnolia Bark Extract – is well known for its sedative and anti-anxiety effects [follow the link, to find out more…]
Conclusion: If you’re seeking natural alternatives and/or drug-free sleep aids without having to “ask your doctor about the [fill in the blank] pill,” check around first. I’ve listed a few, but there are many more. Plus, I also find that running air purifiers in your bedroom helps a great deal – due to the constant roaring (but soothing) noise and the better air quality.
Caution: Be leery and do your research, since some of the overly advertised herbal sleep aids are toxic (especially when mixed with other drugs or chemicals) – if took regularly.
Now, go get some ZZZs……