Having trouble falling asleep? Is your sleep quality compromised? Is Insomnia a reality to you?
If the answer is a resounding YES to these question, than you are part of that 30% of population that complains about sleep deprivation.
This article is focused on ‘Home Remedies for Insomnia’. Read on…
1 :: Bananas Eating banana before sleeping can help you to achieve a sleep of better quality. It is loaded with potassium, magnesium, tryptophan and melatonin. Both potassium and magnesium serves as a muscle relaxant, which helps your body to fall asleep.
Tryptophan is an amino acid, which helps in production of serotonin (sleep inducing neurotransmitter) and Melatonin is a sleep hormone. A study published in the journal of pineal research, revealed that Melatonin levels rises significantly after two hours of eating banana, which helps to improve sleep quality.
2 :: Warm Milk Milk contains tryptophan and melatonin and was thought to have sedative effects, but according to the study published in American journal of clinical nutrition, amount of these chemicals are very little to have soporific effects.
However, there are many surveys, which claim that many people still swear by milk as a sleeping aid.
3 :: Fish Certain fishes like salmon, tuna and halibut are loaded with vitamin B6. B6 is a vitamin that helps to make melatonin (sleep promoting hormone)
4 :: Chickpeas Like fish, chickpeas are also rich in vitamin B6. Chickpeas can be eaten on its own or mixed with other ingredients to make a healthy hummus dip. A few spoonful of hummus is sufficient for providing better sleep.
5 :: Yogurt According to latest studies lack of calcium is linked with difficulty in falling asleep. A bowl of yogurt in the evening gives you a boost of calcium, which helps you to get better quality shut-eye.
6 :: Cherries A study published in European journal of nutrition, 2012 suggests that tart cherry juice provides a significant amount of exogenous melatonin, which is beneficial in improving both duration and quality of sleep.
7 :: Whole grains Studies have revealed that magnesium deficiency can affect circadian rhythm, melatonin metabolism and sleep disorders.
Magnesium increases N acetyltransferase activity in pineal gland, which is an enzyme required for melatonin production, decreases serum cortisol (stress hormone) and renin concentrations and improves subjective measures of insomnia including sleep efficiency, sleep onset latency and sleep time (Journal of Research in Medical Sciences 2012)
8 :: Almonds Like whole grains, almonds are a good source of magnesium, which provides good sleep and muscle relaxation.
9 :: Chamomile tea Chamomile tea has been the most popular product for sleep used for hundreds of years. A study published in Sleep Medicine 2009, reported that chamomile is the most popularly consumed natural product used for curing less severe insomnia. An active ingredient present in it is apigenin, which produces sedative effects by modulation of GABA receptors.
10 :: Green tea Green tea contains an amino acid Theanine, which helps to relive stress and induce sleep. You can sip a cup of this herbal tea 1-2 hours before sacking out.
11 :: Protein rich foods Evidence is there to suggest consuming high protein snack before going to sleep promotes sleep and prevent acid reflux. Generally heartburn flares up at night and can affect sleep. A bedtime snack like two slices of lean meat or cheese, a hardboiled eggs can help you get some quiet sleep.
12 :: Lavender There is good evidence suggesting lavender can ease anxiety and insomnia. A study conducted at Britain’s university of Southampton tracked sleep patterns of 10 adults for a week. After a week, volunteers sleeping in lavender diffused room reported 20% better sleep than volunteers sleeping in a room where sweet almond oil was released. The researchers reported that lavender can increase slow-wave sleep in which heartbeat slows down and muscles relax.
13 :: Nutmeg Nutmeg contains a phytochemical called trimyristin, which is responsible for relaxing muscles & nerves thereby helps inducing sleep. For getting the soporific effect of nutmeg you can mix 1/4th teaspoon of nutmeg powder in warm water, or milk.
14 :: Lettuce A natural chemical called lactur carium is present in lettuce, which sedates nervous system and induces sleep.
15 :: Complex Carbohydrates Some people swear by a small snack (Granola bar or whole wheat toast) 15-20 minutes before sleep as a sleep aid. It is so because carbohydrates are essential to transfer tryptophan across blood-brain barrier, where it can be converted into melatonin and induces sleep.
16 :: Lemon Balm tea Lemon Balm tea was considered a “herbal cure-all” which was used to cure asthma, snake bites and other diseases. It can provide feeling of relaxation and can help alleviate depression. You can make it by mixing fresh or dried lemon balm, dried chamomile flowers, warm water and honey.
17 :: Oatmeal Just one bowl of oatmeal is loaded with magnesium, calcium, potassium and silicon; all of these nutrients can induce sleep. But do not add too much of sugar as too much of it can sabotage sleep.
18 :: Nuts Consider mixed nuts not only for improving your heart health but also as a good sleep aid. As nuts can balance levels of serotonin in your blood, which is the neurotransmitter required to regulate sleep-wake cycle.
19 :: Green leafy vegetables Green leafy vegetables are rich in minerals like calcium, potassium and magnesium – important nutrients to promote sleep.
20 :: Herbs Herbs like basil and sage relaxes body and mind, relieves tension, anxiety and stress and helps to induce sleep. Valerian root is also known to cause sedation by inhibiting breakdown of gamma amino-butyric acid i.e. GABA (an inhibitory neurotransmitter).
21 :: Saffron Saffron has mild sedative properties when taken in small amounts. The exact mechanism of its soporific effect has not been exactly understood. Some says that it relaxes nerves and muscles and thus prepares your body for sleep. You can soak 3-4 strand of saffron in warm milk for 5 minutes. Add honey to it and drink 15 minutes before going to bed
22 :: Aniseed According to the research done at the Universidade de Sao Paulo, Brazil an active ingredient in aniseed is called anethole, which relaxes ‘smooth muscles’ of the body. As ‘smooth muscles’ are localized throughout the body it can induce systemic relaxation and thus promote a better night sleep.
23 :: Bottle gourd You can mix juice of bottle gourd with equal quantity of sesame oil, and use this concoction to massage your scalp before sleep. To get more benefits, you can incorporate this vegetable in your diet as well.
24 :: Catnip It belongs to mint family and has mild sedative effects. Take catnip in mug and pour boiling water into it. Cover it and leave for 10 minutes. Take it half an hour before going to bed.
25 :: Hops It is beneficial to cure mild insomnia. You can buy a kind of herbal pillows, which are made up of hops, or alternately you can consume it in the form of tea or tincture.
26 :: Kava Combine 3 tablespoons of kava with 3 cups of water, strain and drink it to promote sound sleep. Avoid using kava, if you have any kind of liver pathology.
27 :: St. John’s Wort Mix 1 ½ ounce of St. John wort, 1 ounce lemon balm and 1 ounce valerian. Mix I tablespoon of the mixture into 1 cup of boiling water and keep it for 10 minutes. Strain and drink to sleep calmly.
28 :: California poppy It contains a chemical called protopine, which is an excellent sleep aid. You can mix 2 grams of this herb with 1 cup of boiling water to produce generalized relaxation.