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9 Natural Sleep Remedies – From Aromatherapy to Melatonin

These natural remedies for sleep will help you fall asleep and stay sleeping all night long. They’re from four sleep experts: a psychologist, a yogi, a sleep doctor, and a hotel manager (who knows a surprising amount about sleep remedies!).

Natural Sleep RemediesIndeed, when you can’t sleep it feels like the night is endless. The most popular remedy for falling asleep is Alteril All Natural Sleep-Aid. It’s on Amazon, so you don’t need to hunt it down when you should be sleeping!

If you want the new and improved version of this post, read Natural Sleep Remedies for Sleepless Nights. Easier and more fun to read. Without annoying quips such as, “There are twelve hours in the day, and above fifty in the night.” – Marie de Rabutin-Chantal.

Natural Sleep Remedies

1. Use your “worry time” when you can’t sleep. Many folks have trouble getting to sleep because their “thoughts race” or they begin worrying.  For this problem, I use a cognitive behavioral therapy technique called “worry time.” About a hour before you want to sleep, sit down with paper and a pen and “download” all of your current worries onto paper.  Try your best to “worry” for 20 minutes and jot down everything that comes to mind. When the 20 minutes are up, leave the list of worries where it is and proceed with your nightly routine for bed. This technique seems to help people temporarily let go of the concerns they chew on when trying to sleep. – This natural sleep remedy is from Dr Katherine Muller, Psy.D., Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

2. Experiment with sesame oil as a sleep aid. Can’t fall asleep fast? Try ayurvedic medicine.  Gently rub sesame oil into the bottoms of the feet just as you get into bed.  It will assist in the calming of your system, and sooth your journey to peaceful sleep. Plus, it reduces anxiety! The aroma of sesame oil produces a calming sensation that relaxes both the mind and both, and helps people fall asleep faster.  If you use sesame oil nightly for foot massages (the feet tend to be the coldest area of the body in bed, so warming them up will also help you fall asleep), your system will begin to associate the smell with sleep.

3. Consider a “sleep right” pillow. Certain specialty pillows for sleeping put your head and neck in a position similar to CPR, and encourages an optimal airway opening that can lead to a better night’s sleep. While regular pillows lift your head, this anti-snore pillow molds to your curves, keeping your head flat and airways open….which leads to a better sleep.

If your partner is stopping you from falling asleep, read How Do I Stop Snoring? Sleep Solutions for People Who Snore.

4. Learn about aromatherapy, which works for some sleep disorders.  Try a combination of lavender, chamomile, and jasmine oils, which have all been used since ancient times to as natural remedies. They can reduce anxiety, stress, tension, sleeplessness, and headaches.  These oils may be lightly dabbed on the pillowcase or over pressure points like the wrist and neck, and they might help you stay sleeping all night.

5. Try a natural sleep aid. Dried cherries are chock-full of melatonin – even more so than fresh cherries. Scientific studies have proven that eating dried cherries an hour before bedtime promotes a restful sleep. The last three natural sleep remedies are from Ericka Nelson, General Manager of 70 park avenue hotel.

natural ways to fall asleep6. Consider all-natural sleep aids that are safe for the whole family. Rescue Sleep, for instance, has no medicine, herb or food interactions and allows you to sleep naturally and wake refreshed. It contains a blend of six bach flower essences including white chestnut which helps to calm the racing mind. “I often recommend Rescue Sleep to my patients as a safe, natural, non-narcotic solution to combat their stress levels and help with sleeplessness,” says Dr Ronald Stram.

7. Try melatonin, which is an effective natural sleep remedy. It works really well for overcoming jet lag, for shift workers that are looking to regain a normal day night sleep cycle and for people over 60 years old who may have reduced melatonin levels. Melatonin is the body’s own natural sleep hormone, ingesting it as a supplement is similar to the natural hormone. The dose is typically 3-10m g per night for about one month.  If there are no results within a week, it probably will not be effective.

8. Some foods help you fall asleep faster. Turkey contains a natural sleep-inducing chemical called tryptophan — and so do bananas, dates, warm milk, chicken, eggs, tofu, and dairy products. Increasing tryptophan may help to normalize sleep patterns. Tryptophan is an amino acid and a natural sleep sedative. Avoid foods that contain the amino acids tyramine and tyrosine, because they stimulate the release of adrenaline (epinephrine) in the body. Foods containing tyramine include bacon, ham and sausage, aged cheeses, cocoa products, eggplant, and potatoes.

9. Warm socks make you sleepy. Soak feet in a very warm to hot Epsom salt foot bath for about 10-15 minutes (one cup of Epsom salt per 2 gallons of water). Prepare your bed with a towel by your feet, take ankle socks and soak in very cold water, wring them out so they are damp dry and place them on your feet, then place thermal socks over the ankle socks and go to bed. Your feet will dry after a few hours, and the blood flow will warm your feet.

The last three sleep remedies are from Dr. Ronald Stram, M.D. Founder of The Center for Integrative Health and Healing.

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14 thoughts on “9 Natural Sleep Remedies – From Aromatherapy to Melatonin”

  1. Getting a good night’s sleep is the most important thing in life and for your health. These are good tips.

  2. Don’t watch tv or work on the computer before bedtime — and never in your bedroom! I’m a sound sleep and usually fall asleep quickly, but when I watch tv in bed or work on my blogs before bedtime I always have a hard time sleeping.

  3. When I can’t sleep, I focus on my breathing. I listen to myself inhaling and exhaling, and the next thing I know, it’s morning! Honestly, it’s the best natural sleep remedy I know. I just discovered it a few months ago, and would’ve put it as the first natural sleep tip if I knew then what I know now!

  4. With the hectic pace of life that is typical of the modern days, it can be really difficult to get the adequate amount of sleep. Sleeping has many benefits for our health, so I do think that we should do what we can to sleep more. These tips might be exactly what we need. A comfortable bed will help them work even better.

  5. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear Manju,

    I’m sorry to hear that you can’t sleep at night, and that your relationship boyfriend didn’t work out with your boyfriend. Your emotional health is definitely connected to your ability to get a good sleep at night….and your lack of sleep decreases your emotional health! It’s a downward spiral.

    I’m not sure what happened with your boyfriend, but I think it’s important to forgive yourself for whatever happened, and move on. This relationship doesn’t sound like it’s good for either one of you, so you need to figure out how to let go of your guilty feelings and find your authentic self again!

    Getting a good night’s sleep is key to feeling strong and happy. So, I suggest trying one of the natural sleep remedies I discussed above, and then figuring out how to let go of your past relationship. How you do that depends on your situation, personality, and lifestyle.

    I hope this helps a little — I’m sorry I don’t have all the answers!

    .-= Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen´s last blog post …Establish Good Financial Habits – 6 Ways to Make Money Saving Tips Stick =-.

  6. Actually i am in depression.i can’t sleep during night . Actually i loved a guy then i proposed then he said no. i changed my mind. After few years we became a good friends but i had a fear that if i continue his friendship i again fall in love . i said to him he had mistaken me. actually i promised god that i will be a good friend to him. anyway he broken my friendship. i feel guilty for what i have done .because of the fear i do know what to do my sleep started to spoil plz send me some reply.plz help me out

  7. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Thanks for your tip, Tyler. Yes, I can see how hiding LED lights could work to help you fall asleep faster. I’ve also heard that people put heavy black blankets over their windows to cut out all the light, and even some street noise.

    My husband is like you: out cold ten minutes after hitting the pillow! You’re lucky, lucky men 🙂

  8. Great article. I just posted some tips of my own on my blog that have worked really well. I’m lucky enough to be one of those people that is out cold ten minutes after hitting the pillow.

    Biggest thing that has helped me: use black electrical tape to hide any LED lights on your electronics. Has worked like a charm for me!


  9. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Has your son ever tried naturopathic or natural ways to fall asleep? I think acupuncture is supposed to be good for relaxation and even insomnia.

  10. Some people just never get a good night’s sleep! My 16 year old son hasn’t slept well since he was a baby — since he was in the womb, really. He’s a light sleeper and he always will be.

  11. If you fall asleep fast but wake up after a few hours — don’t watch your clock! Put a cloth over it, so you can’t see what time it is. If you see that it’s 2 or 3 am, then you’ll get frustrated and worried about not being able to sleep…which won’t help you fall back to sleep.

    And here’s another sleep tip from a bestselling author:

    “If you can’t sleep, then get up and do something instead of lying there worrying,” says Dale Carnegie. “It’s the worry that gets you, not the lack of sleep.”

    Even if it’s the middle of the night – don’t just lie there. Have a glass of warm milk, or read a book in your living room.

    I hope these tips help a little, Sue….I know how frustrating it is to wake up and not be able to get back to sleep.

    I also wrote an article for Suite101, called “If You Can’t Fall Asleep Fast: 78 Things to Do When You’re Struggling With Insomnia” — and I list all sorts of activities when you can’t sleep, from giving yourself a pedicure to listening to talk radio.

    And I’ve posted a bunch of great info on sleeping better and snoring less by Dr Steven Y Park. The link is just above, the article is called “Tips for Sleeping Better and Snoring Less.” There might something in there that’ll help you get back to sleep.

    Good luck, and happy sleeping!