How long to you lay in bed staring at the ceiling or counting sheep? If it takes more than 10-15 minutes to fall asleep, you may find that a supplement will help you drift off easier.
You’ve no doubt seen entire shelves of products available at the drugstores that are meant to induce sleep and aid you in a restful night. Which ones are safe and yet effective?
Melatonin is a hormone produced within your pineal gland (a light-sensitive organ inside our brain). The hormone production is stimulated by the dark and suppressed by light. Melatonin is the key to helping our body know when to sleep, and when it is time to wake up. When you have insufficient exposure to natural light, your body may not produce what you need. A supplement taken 60-90 minutes prior to bedtime can help you fall asleep easier.
People have used Chamomile Tea for centuries to induce sleep. Studies seem to back up its calming effect. The FDA considers chamomile tea to be safe with usually no side effects.
L-Tryptophan is an amino acid that is essential to the natural production of melatonin and serotonin within your body. It may be purchased as a supplement and is found naturally in eggs, seaweed, spinach & soy proteins.
L-Theanine helps your brain to relax, reducing your feelings of stress and anxiety. This helps you sleep. Stress and anxiety are two of the main issues associated with insomnia and other sleep disorders. L-Theanine has been found to increase your “Alpha” brain waves, which are small electrical impulses your brain emits when it is in a relaxed state. L-Theanine is derived from green tea leaves and also mushrooms.
Known for its calming effect and sedative properties, Valerian is often used to treat depression, insomnia and anxiety. Valerian comes from the root of an herb does not contain a habit-forming ingredient, like some prescription medications and generally will not leave you feeling groggy or hung-over the next day.
Lavender Oil, either used in a linen spray or rubbed onto the skin may also help you relax and fall asleep.
Melatonin is available in both 1mg sublingual tabs and 3mg capsules at the CFWLS Nutrition Store.