Having worked with numerous people over the years, poor sleep habits has been one of the most common struggles among all my clients. Getting 7-8 hours of QUALITY sleep is imperative for your health. There is a seemingly endless list of health issues that can root from poor quality sleep.
Keep in mind, supplementation is exactly that, an assistance to the primary method of achievement. These supplements are not solutions to your problem. They to be used in conjunction with your primary plan to resolve your sleep issues, while your plan catches traction.
The most common reasons for sleep issues are:
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Generally poor diet, leading to a host of inconsistencies
- Hormone imbalances
- Alcohol consumption
- Poor evening ritual
- Caffeine intake
- Not sleeping in complete darkness
The underlying causes for your sleep issues NEED to be addressed if you truly want to cure yourself.
Below is a list of the 5 best natural sleep supplements I have compiled through anecdotal observations from myself, and others, as well as research.
Best Natural Sleep Supplements For Getting To Sleep
Rescue Remedy Night Spray
White Chestnut: To help ease the restless mind.
Star of Bethlehem: For trauma and shock.
Clematis: For the tendency to “pass out”, and unconsciousness, being ‘far away’ and not present mentally.
Cherry Plum: Fear of mind giving way, verge of breakdown, anger.
Impatiens: For irritability, tension and fidgety.
Rock Rose: For frozen terror and panic.
- Extremely convenient being a spray oppose to a pill. All you have to do is roll over, grab it off your nightstand, and spray on your tongue. Taking a pill would require you to sit up, grab some water, and gulp down a pill. This action alone can kick you out of your trance, into a fully awake state.
- The taste doesn’t personally bother me, most people do make comments regarding the poor taste.
Recommended Dosage: The dose recommended by Bach is 1-2 sprays prior to sleep. My personal recommendation, based on anecdotal evidence, is 2-5 sprays.
Magnesium is involved in over 300 chemical processes in the body. Most people are deficient in magnesium for 3 main reasons: our soils are depleted of nutrients, foods high in magnesium are not eaten enough, and foods are eaten that deplete magnesium.
The form of magnesium DOES MATTER. You must ingest a highly absorbable form of magnesium to reap the benefits. The best forms of oral magnesium are citrate, taurate, malate, glycinate, and carbonate. Magnesium chloride has arguably the highest bio-availability of all forms of magnesium. It is absorbed topically, used in gels and oils. Magnesium chloride is the reason Epsom salts work so well so ease muscle tension and promote relaxation.
I recommend Natural Calm by Natural Vitality. They use only the most bio-available forms of magnesium, in powders, convenient packets, and topical gels and oils.
Recommended Dosage: 600-800 mg 30-45 min prior to sleep
Possible Side Effects: laxative effect, upset stomach
Valerian has been commonly used in Europe and Asia to treat anxiety and insomnia for years. Studies have shown promising results in using Valerian for insomnia, and somewhat mixed results for anxiety. Being a herbal extract. the quality of the extract plays a vital role in its’ effectiveness.
My personal, anecdotal evidence regarding Valerian, from myself and others, has been that it helps more with promoting relaxation and sleep than it does with the quality of sleep. There are studies that have shown it improved quality of sleep, I would say the jury is still out.
Possible Side effects: Valerian usually causes no side effects. However, it will likely cause sedation. Some people feel a “hangover” after taking valerian. It may also cause a headache, upset stomach, uneasiness, irregular heartbeat, or other symptoms.
I recommend the brands NOW or Nature’s Way for your Valerian supplement. Both trustworthy brands.
Best Natural Sleep Supplements For Sleep Quality
Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), an amino acid, is the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in your central nervous system (CNS). That is, your body uses GABA to dampen nerve activity in your brain, which leads to feelings of calm and relaxation. Research has shown that insomniacs may have low levels of GABA.
Through my personal experience with GABA, and experiences of others, GABA appears to be more effective at providing a better quality of sleep and reducing the number of wake ups throughout the night. I, and others have also noticed a slight relaxation effect from it as well.
Dosage: 1-3 grams 20 min prior to sleep. I recommend powder form for cost-effectiveness.
Possible Side Effects: Slight breathlessness has been reported, which I have actually experienced myself. This lasts roughly 10-15 seconds and is completely harmless. This is most likely due to its’ initial effects on the nerves.
Phosphatidyl Serine (PS) is a lipid found in our body’s cell membranes. PS has been shown to be quite effective at reducing cortisol levels in the body. Elevated evening cortisol, typically due to stress or poor nutrition, will promote wakefulness, and keep you up to the wee hours of the night.
Similar to GABA, PS may provide you a better quality sleep, as well as help you get to sleep faster. Both have been shown in studies, and anecdotal evidence from myself, and others coincides with these findings.
It is best to opt for Phosphatidyl Serine that is not Soy-based, as it poses GMO issues.
Dosage: 300-400 mgs 4 hrs prior to sleep, and another 300-400 mgs 30-60 min prior to sleep. This is my personal recommendation, as more research is needed on dosages. Don’t take for more than 4 weeks straight.
Possible Side Effects: Upset stomach, gas
What about Melatonin?
Isn’t it one of the best natural sleep supplements?
Melatonin, secreted by the pineal gland, is the messenger that announces bedtime to our brains. Darkness stimulates its release into the bloodstream; light inhibits it.
Dosage Issue: It has been concluded that the appropriate dose for Melatonin ranges from 0.3 mg – 1 mg, to mimic our bodies’ natural production. Unfortunately, most melatonin supplements are sold 3-10 times the recommended dose, this is complete overkill. Being a hormone, this can come with grave consequences such as abdominal discomfort, mild anxiety, irritability, confusion, short-lasting feelings of depression, next-day grogginess, and hormone irregularities.
It’s a Hormone: Being a hormone, Melatonin may reduce the bodies’ natural production over time and exacerbate the very problem you are trying to use Melatonin to assist you with.
Melatonin is a sleep and body clock regulator – NOT a sleep initiator. Despite what experiences you say you might have had, or heard of, they were most likely placebo, or the results were due to other unidentified factors.
On top of all that, Melatonin has not even been proven effective for improving insomnia!
Have you tried any of these natural sleep supplements?
What were your experiences?
Are there any natural sleep supplements not on the list that you feel deserve attention?
Learn from all of your experiences, opportunities are everywhere.
Once we wake up to realize that we’re all master storytellers, we see the thoughts in our head, we see the pen in our hand, we see beyond the story.