By Sharon Lehman, RDN
If you’ve been steering clear of electronics as part of a nighttime routine to help you prepare for bed, but you’re still having trouble getting to sleep, it may be time to consider using a sleep supplement.
Herbs for Sleep
There are several natural herbal options that may help you unwind at the end of each day so you can fall asleep faster, sleep longer and feel more rested and energized. Three of the best calming herbs for sleep are:
The purple flowering lavender plant is known for its relaxing aromatherapy benefits. Dried lavender can be used to make tea or added as flavoring to recipes.
Lavender is also a popular essential oil that is found in Zebra’s CBD Roll-On. You can add a few drops of essential lavender oil to a carrier oil, like jojoba oil, and apply topically to pulse points, add to a diffuser to fragrance your bedroom, or make your own calming aromatherapy spray by diluting a few drops of lavender in a misting bottle filled with distilled water. The spray can be applied to your pillow and bedding before bed.
Although research on CBD is limited, many ... believe CBD can help relieve stress and improve mood, which is key to feeling relaxed and ready for sleep.
Several studies have found that supplementing with valerian root extract results in improved self-reported sleep among study participants. There are few side effects to taking valerian root and most people who take it don’t experience next-morning grogginess or mental fog.
Chamomile is another flowering plant that has a long history of medicinal uses. Chamomile flowers are typically dried and used as a tea for promoting rest. Chamomile tea has a sedative-like effect on many people, helping them overcome insomnia and fall asleep more quickly with few side effects
Other Sleep Supplements
Other popular over-the-counter sleep supplements include melatonin and CBD oil.
Melatonin is a natural sleep remedy that is actually a hormone produced by the brain in response to darkness. It helps control our sleep-wake cycle and signals to our bodies when it’s time to wind down and prepare for sleep. Many people’s sleep-wake cycles are thrown off by exposure to blue light from electronics, working night shifts and stress; supplementation may help in these cases.
Melatonin is widely available in pill form. It can leave some people feeling next-day grogginess; if you try it, start with the lowest dose possible.
CBD oil can be used for a variety of health-promoting purposes, one of which is enhancing sleep. CBD refers to cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive component of both cannabis and hemp plants. Although research on CBD is limited, many of its advocates believe it can help relieve stress and improve mood, which is key to feeling relaxed and ready for sleep.
Supplementing with herbal teas, melatonin or CBD oil may help promote better sleep. Most of these sleep aides have few to no side effects, but it’s always a good idea to check with your medical provider before starting a new supplement, especially if you take prescription medications.