The List of Natural Remedies for Insomnia

You know the feeling when it's 4:00 AM and you are still wide away rolling around in your bed.

Shortly, you are well aware that you'll need to get up to get ready to go to work. How on earth are you going to have the energy and alertness for work?

And if you have to make a presentation tomorrow, you'll know that you are in big trouble.

Sure, you can see your doctor to get prescription sleeping pills but that might not be the way you want to go at first.

Are there natural remedies for insomnia that might work? How effective are they? What dose should I use?

This article addresses all those concerns for you. Below you will find a detailed list of remedies that you can try.

Natural Remedies for Insomnia

Natural Remedies What Experts Say...

Melatonin

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Melatonin is shown effective for helping with insomnia.

Dose: Take 3 mg from 30 minutes to 1 hour before bedtime.

Valerian

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Studies show valerian can induce sleep and it seems to be helpful in treating insomnia. Combining valerian with hops gives better results.

Dose: Studies show that taking 400 to 900 mg of the valerian root 30 minutes to 2 hours before bedtime is helpful in inducing sleep.

5-Hydroxy tryptophan
(5-HTP)

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5-HTP can be converted into serotonin by our body. Study shows that it can increase Serotonin plays important roles in emotion and sleep.

Dose: Take 100 to 200 mg one hour before going to bed. Warning: Do not take this if you are currently on anti-depressant medications.

Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)

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GABA is a neurotransmitter found in the brain that causes relaxation and reduces over-stimulation of the brain.

Dose: Take 100 to 200 mg three or four times daily.

L-Theanine

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Green tea is known to contain the amino acid L-theanine. Experts believe that it can promote sleep.

One clinical study done in volunteers showed that taking 50 to 200 mg caused drowsiness in 40 minutes.

Dose: Take 50 to 200 mg 30 minutes to 1 hour prior to bedtime.

Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata)

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Passionflower relaxes the nervous system and is helpful in promoting restful sleep.

Dose: Take 500 mg 30 minutes to 1 hour prior to bedtime.

 

Natural Remedies What Experts Say...

Hops
(Humulus lupulus)

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Combining hops with valerian seems to improve sleep compared to placebo after 28 days of use.

Dose: Take 300 to 400 mg of the herb 30 minutes to 1 hour before bedtime. Results are better when combined with valerian.  

Lemon Balm

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One small study showed that taking lemon balm with valerian helped children under the age of 12 with sleep problems and restlessness.

Dose: The study used 80 mg of lemon balm extract with 160 mg of valerian root extract. once or twice daily.  

Magnesium & Calcium

Helpful

Calcium and magnesium may be helpful in relaxing the body.

Dose: Take in the evening with meals 500 mg of calcium and 250 mg of magnesium.

Vitamin B12

Helpful (if deficient)

Vitamin B12 is required for proper nervous function and low levels can cause abnormal brain function including mood problems.

Deficiency is common in the older population. However, if you are not deficient in this vitamin, taking more of it does not seem to improve sleep-related problems.

Dose: Take between 500 to 1,500 mcg (micrograms) daily.

Bottom Line

Looking for Natural Remedies for Insomnia?

As you can see from the above list, there are indeed many herbs you might want to consider trying.

I suggest that you try those at the top of the list first as they have more evidence of effectiveness.

To find out which one works, take no more than one remedy at a time. Give each one about a week for its effect to kick in.

However, I strongly suggest you give melatonin a try first. It is very inexpensive and more likely to work if you are low in melatonin. How do you know if you are low in melatonin? Take melatonin supplements. If it helps, then you are likely to suffer from lower than normal melatonin levels.

And after some time, if all else fails, you then might then consider using prescription medications.

Related to Natural Remedies for Insomnia


References for Natural Remedies for Insomnia

Revised: 03.24.2017

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