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Natural Supplements for Insomnia

By on Nov 12, 2013

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There are many natural supplements for insomnia availableInsomnia is a very common condition that can contribute to other health conditions and affect work and personal life. People usually turn to natural medicine for the treatment of insomnia after trying conventional medicine. The main problem with conventional medicine is the side effects, which can range from dry mouth, headaches and daytime drowsiness. These medicines are also very addictive and it can be very difficult to come off these drugs.  Long-term insomnia is associated with a number of heath concerns such as weight gain, depression and can speed up the ageing process. There are many natural supplements for insomnia that are easily available.

The natural approach to treating insomnia is therefore a better option, and there are many therapies and alternative medicines to choose from. If you are taking prescription medication, please consult your G.P or pharmacist as these medicines could be causing your sleep problems or they may interact with the alternative medicines. Insomnia can also be a symptom of an underlying illness, such as depression, heart disease, hyperthyroidism, anxiety, stress or diabetes. A lack of regular exercise and a diet high in sugar and salt can also contribute to sleep problems.

Natural Alternative Sleep Remedies

There are many natural sleep remedies that have been shown to be beneficial.  One therapy may be more beneficial than another for the individual person, so please do not give up if you find that the first therapy that you try doesn’t help you.  Please consult your pharmacist if you are taking any regular medication before taking these natural supplements, as there is a possibility that they may interact with your medications.

VALERIAN
This is a traditional herbal medicine that has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for anxiety and sleep problems. Research has shown that Valerian can increase levels of the neurotransmitter, GABA (gamma-amino butyric acid). This is associated with a decrease in CNS (central nervous system) activity, which results in better quality sleep.

This herb is not believed to be addictive or cause drowsiness in the morning (unlike many conventional sleeping pills). Valerian has also been shown to treat mild anxiety, which could be responsible for the insomnia. Valerian comes in the form of liquid, teas, capsules or tablets, and is usually taken one hour before retiring. You should not expect an immediate response as it may take up to two weeks to work. Valerian is frequently combined with other herbs such as Avena Sativa, Humulus Lupulus, Passiflora and Lemon Balm.

PASSIFLORA
This herb is traditionally used as a sedative and relaxant. Passiflora is non-addictive and will not cause drowsiness the following morning. This herbal medicine helps to relive both the emotional and physical symptoms of stress and anxiety by relaxing muscle tension.  Passiflora has been shown to provide a more restful and better quality sleep.  This herb is normally combined with Valeriana , Humulus Lupulus and Avena Sativa in various branded preparations. Passiflora also has a mild anti-depressant action. As insomnia is a cause of depression, this herb can be very helpful in treating both the insomnia and the associated low mood.

MAGNESIUM
Magnesium is a mineral that has many health benefits. Magnesium deficiency can cause many illnesses and can affect the nerves causing irritability and nervousness. This mineral is also essential for the health of our bones, as it helps with the absorption of Calcium. The consumption of large amounts of alcohol, coffee, tea and fats can all cause a deficiency of Magnesium. Research has shown that supplementing with Magnesium can help to relieve insomnia.

CHAMOMILE
This is a mildly sedative herb that is usually taken in the form of a tea. Chamomile tea is commonly used to calm the nervous system and to promote sleep.  The relaxing effects of Chamomile do not interfere with daily activities such as driving or work, so can be taken throughout the day.

Vitamin B Complex is a good supplement to take if you are suffering with insomnia as it will help to calm stress and soothe nerves.  5-HTP (5-Hydroxytrytophan) is a supplement that is widely available. It is an amino acid that is naturally found in the body. This supplement is believed to help with many health conditions such as anxiety, depression and insomnia, but it is advisable to consult a nutritionist before starting treatment.