What Are The Best Natural Sleep Aids, and Should You Be Using One?
As per U.S. Department of Health & Human Services guidelines, healthy adults need at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. Despite this, an evaluated 35.2% of the American adult population reports sleeping less than seven hours. It may be fueled by various sleep disorders, lack of adequate time, and poor life decisions.
In fact, in-depth research by NCBI reveals that at least 10 to 30% of all adults have chronic insomnia. An increasing number of adults are turning towards various medications and sleep aids to catch their essential hours of sleep to combat any potential issues.
The number of people using natural sleep aids has increased over the past ten years. A study by the Consumer Reports Magazine found that more than 20% of adults trying these methods in a single year. By this, it’s clear that natural sleep aids are on their road to popularity.
Easily accessible on online stores and at over-the-counter medicine stores, natural sleep aids don’t go through extensive testing and reviewing. Due to this, a large majority of people wonder whether these are effective and worth trying. Here are the top five natural sleep aids that you need to try:
What are Sleeping Aids?
A formal definition of natural sleep aids is yet to be formulated. Lacking guidelines and consensus mean that there’s only one way of understanding natural sleep aids, i.e., breaking it into two parts:
- Natural- Keep in mind that no rules are governing the use of the word ‘natural.’ In some cases, it can refer to products obtained from a plant, whereas others use it to describe products fabricated synthetically but are found in plants or foods
- Sleep Aids- The second part of the general term refers to products intended to relieve symptoms of various sleeping issues starting from insomnia right down to anxiety. It also helps alleviate problems that can affect an individual’s internal clock.
Are Natural Sleep Aids Safe?
It is too early to universally decide on the safety of sleep aids as more research is required in the area. When taken in proper dosages, natural sleep remedies can have minimal side effects, making them safe for healthy adults.
However, pregnant and breastfeeding women should take caution when using natural sleep aids. Many ingredients have not been rigorously tested for safe usage among pregnant women and their effects on the unborn child.
Similarly, little research is done on the evaluation and efficacy of natural sleep aids for young children. Short-term use of melatonin can be beneficial for children with sleep issues; however, there are no conclusive reports on its long-term consumption.
The Top Natural Sleeping Aids
These are as follows:
Melatonin is an essential hormone that your body produces to let your brain know it’s time to sleep. Melatonin’s day-to-day cycle and production rate typically varies based on the time of the day,
Melatonin levels typically drop during morning times, making melatonin supplements an excellent way of maintaining a healthy sleep cycle.
On top of that, a wide variety of research reveals that melatonin can improve the quality of daytime sleeping and increase the period. It means that melatonin is an excellent alternative to those suffering from various sleeping disorders.
Available in countries across the globe, the lavender plant is known to produce tiny purple flowers used for various household purposes. One of such uses is that the soothing fragrance of lavender is known to assist people in sleeping better and longer.
In fact, smelling lavender oil for a couple of minutes before sleeping can enhance sleep quality. In fact, insightful research, including a small group of older people with dementia, shows that lavender aromatherapy helps relieve symptoms of sleep disturbance. As a result, the total sleep time went up, and fewer people woke up before 3 a.m.
Magnesium is a mineral used in millions and hundreds of processes in our body. Plus, this mineral is essential for the functioning of our brain and heart.
Moreover, magnesium relaxes your mind and your body to ensure a restful night’s sleep. Researchers believe that magnesium produces its relaxing effects due to its ability to regulate melatonin in the body.
According to in-depth research, insufficient levels of magnesium are typically linked to sleeping problems. Thus, increasing your magnesium intake can help boost the quality of your sleep.
Chamomile is a super gentle and effective herb that offers a calming and soothing effect. Chamomile lacks a typical dose; thus, you can use it as dried flowers for making tea, inhale or apply diluted chamomile to your skin, purchase pre-made tea bags from your local store, consumer it in the form of a capsule, or use it as a plant tincture
Chamomile is best for soothing and healing your skin and for relaxing your muscles. With this, you can relieve headaches and improve your digestion. It’s a good idea to avoid chamomile if you’re allergic to plants in the daisy family.
Plus, make sure you always dilute chamomile oil with a carrier oil and test it before using it. Make sure never to take it internally.
What are the Side Effects of Natural Sleeping Aids
A lack of research makes it difficult for experts to determine the amount of risk of using a natural sleep aid.
There are specific side effects to using natural sleep aids. Here we take a closer look at the potential side effects of using one:
- Like food allergies, people can experience reactions to the substances used in natural sleep aids to induce slumber.
- Some natural aids can lead to severe issues like gastrointestinal issues, headaches, and so on!
- Some natural sleep aids are well-known for inducing drowsiness and having a lasting effect on adults
- Natural sleep aids can impact the metabolism and other functioning of the body
The Bottom Line
Natural sleep aids do not come under government regulations for health and medical equipment, nor do they require FDA approval. Consequently, most people question its authenticity and benefits. However, this is because most natural sleep aids are entirely safe for adults and children.
Despite this, it is best to consult with your doctor before using a natural sleep aid. Once your doctor assesses your health history and understands your sleeping problems, they can advise you which natural sleep aid to avoid and which one to try.
The above-mentioned sleep aids are safe and effective, making them an excellent option for people struggling with sleeping problems. Simply select the one that perfectly matches your needs and preferences to improve the quality of your sleep and boost vitality.
He is an Engineer, designer and jogging enthusiast. His team of product testers and reviewers are as passionate as he is about sleep improvement and are on a collective mission to reveal to you only the best sleep solutions and products.