Natural Herbs and Nutrients that Aid Sleep 
Author Message
 Natural Herbs and Nutrients that Aid Sleep

Originally published December 12 2008

Natural Herbs and Nutrients that Aid Sleep
by Melanie Grimes, citizen journalist

(NaturalNews) What can you do to help improve your natural ability to
sleep? With over seventy five percent of Americans claiming to have
difficulty sleeping (according to the National Sleep Foundation)
sleeplessness has become an epidemic. Forty two million prescriptions
for sleeping pills were written last year, for one in five Americans.
There are natural herbs that have been used since ancient times as
sleep aids.

The most common herb to treat sleeplessness is valerian, whose Latin
name is Valeriana. It was even used in ancient Greece to calm
restlessness and nervousness. Valerian is a twig, and is easily found
in tea or raw form. A simple glass of valerian tea before bedtime can
help induce sleep.

Peppermint is another calming nerve herb that is frequently mixed with
valerian for flavor. It is a digestive herb, as well as calming to the
nervous system.

Another digestive herb is Chamomilla. It is also sleep inducing and
readily available in tea form.

Passionflower or Passiflora tea can aid with sleeplessness, but may be
more difficult to locate.

In addition to teas, herbal compresses can be placed over the face, or
under the pillow.

Lavender is frequently used in this manner. Simply place lavender
flowers into a small cotton bag and place under your pillow to induce
natural sleep, and dreams.

Lemon balm is another herb known to calm the nervous system and induce

Meditation or prayer and other quieting activities before bed can also
relax the body into sleep.

Nutritional supplements that may help increase sleep are calcium, (as
in warm milk) theanine, l-glutamine, and GABA. L-Glutamine is an amino
acid, and very plentiful in the body. It improves mood as well as
helping to increase GABA level. GABA is a neurotransmitter known to
help with general relaxation. Theanine is a natural ingredient found
in tea.

If you have trouble with frequent rising at night, or a small bladder,
do not drink tea too close to bedtime, but rather a few hours before.
You will have the same medicinal effects from the herbs, but avoid the
discomfort of a full bladder.

The famous warm milk at bedtime of grandmother`s day was popular for a
reason. The calcium is nature`s tranquilizer, and a glass of warm milk
speeds the calcium to your nerves and helps induce sleep. The warm
milk draws {*filter*} to your stomach, away from your brain, which also
helps you sleep.

Pleasant dreams.

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About the author
Melanie Grimes is a writer, screenwriter, journal editor, and adjunct
faculty member at Bastyr University.
A trained homeopath, she also raises alpacas and is an avid spinner,
having won nine ribbons for her handspun yarns in recent years.
She is the editor of the homeopathic journal, Simillimum, and runs an
eBay store selling alpaca fiber.
She has been a medical editor for 15 years, won awards as a
screenwriter, taught creative writing, founded the first Birkenstock
store in the USA (www.MJFEET.COM) and authored medical textbooks.

Sat, 04 Jun 2011 10:02:43 GMT
 [ 1 post ] 

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