Finding it difficult to fall asleep? Experts suggest to check your lifestyle first – too much TV or late-night work, too much alcohol or caffeine or too little exercise can be the culprit.
If changes in lifestyle are not enough, using some natural sleep supplements can help provide a quality, restoring sleep.
Trying to find an herbal supplement that actually works can be daunting. With that in mind, we listed the best natural sleep supplements that are highly recommended by experts, so you can doze off and have your beauty rest.
Best Natural Sleep Supplements
Here are what we believe to be the best natural sleep supplements:
5-Hydroxytryptophan is an amino acid made naturally by the body. It is the precursor of serotonin and important for melatonin formation.
It is produced from the amino acid tryptophan, and then converted into these beneficial neurotransmitters.
However, as we age, the natural levels of 5-HTP in the body tend to decline.
Supplementing with 5-HTP is the easiest way to increase the level of serotonin in the body as it readily passes the blood-brain-barrier to produce the “sleep-inducing and mood-lifting” brain chemical.
5-HTP supplement is produced from the seeds of the plant Griffonia simplicfolia, a native to West Africa.
Taking 5-HTP supplement simply means giving your body a short break at doing the conversions itself. It can be useful if you are having difficulty sleeping.
2. CBD Oil
Those suffering from sleep problems often report that it’s not sleep per se that is the problem, but it’s only a symptom of a much bigger issue.
One of the main reasons behind difficulty falling asleep is the inability to shut the mind off at night.
As soon as you lie down on your bed, thoughts from a day’s work or your pending assignments invade your mind.
Most often, an overactive mind, anxiety and stress can cause sleep problems.
Cannabidiol, known as CBD oil, is the non-psychoactive cannabinoid present in the Cannabis sativa plant. It has shown to have significant benefits when it comes to facilitating sleep.
CBD has been proven to have powerful anti-anxiety and stress-relieving effect in both human and animal studies. (1)
CBD oil can help reset your sleep pattern and break the damaging cycle when anxiety or stress are the cause of your sleeping difficulties.
If variety is what you’re after, then Natruva is a good place to start.
GABA, which stands for Gamma Aminobutyric Acid, is an amino acid and a major neuro-inhibitory transmitter in the central nervous system.
The body uses GABA to dampen brain activity, leading to feelings of relaxation and calm. (2)
Many sleeping pills and anti-anxiety medications such as alprazolam and diazepam (Valium) work by increasing the level of GABA in the brain.
Some herbal sedatives such as Valerian also work to increase GABA.
One reason why individuals struggle with insomnia could be low GABA levels.
Research revealed that people with primary insomnia were almost 30 percent lower in GABA levels compared to controls. GABA supplementation has shown favourable results based on studies. (3)
In one study, a combination of both 5-HTP and GABA has reduced time to fall asleep, improved sleep quality and increased sleep duration. (4)
There are different types of GABA supplement but the best one is the natural form produced via fermentation of Lactobacillus hilgardi, a bacteria used to make the Korean dish Kimchi.
Research showed that natural GABA has many sleep-improving effects. Those who took it fell asleep faster, with longer sleep time. (5)
L-Theanine is an amino acid present in green tea leaves. It was first discovered in tea in 1949 by Japanese scientists.
Though tea is the most common source for L-Theanine, it is also found in certain types of mushrooms.
L-Theanine promotes relaxation and sleep by boosting the levels of GABA and other relaxing brain chemicals.
It elevates GABA levels, including dopamine and serotonin – these brain chemicals are called neurotransmitters and they influence emotions, concentration, mood, alertness and sleep.
Increasing the levels of these neurotransmitters can help facilitate sleep.
At the same time, L-Theanine lowers the levels of stimulatory brain chemicals, reducing the level of brain chemicals linked to stress and anxiety.
This could be a way of L-Theanine to protect the brain from age and stress-related damage.
Alpha brain waves are linked to a state of wakeful relaxation – a state of mind that you experience during meditation, daydreaming or being creative.
It is believed that L-Theanine can trigger the release of Alpha waves, enhancing focus, relaxation and creativity.
The body naturally produces melatonin. While it does not make you sleep, as the level of melatonin rise in the evening, it puts you in a state of quiet wakefulness which promote sleep.
Most people produce adequate melatonin for them to sleep on their own.
But if you want to overcome jet lag, experiencing insomnia or are a night guy who needs to sleep earlier, you can use melatonin supplement.
When using melatonin supplement, less is more. Take 1 to 3 milligrams two hours prior to sleep.
To manage jet lag, take it two hour before bedtime at your destination, starting several days before your trip.
Hopefully these 5 natural sleep supplements will help you fix your sleeping issue. Also, don’t forget to ask your doctor for guidelines. Sleep well!