Recently, the CDC called the problem of worldwide sleep disorders a public health epidemic, and when we look at the havoc insufficient sleep can cause on our body it becomes clear that finding a solution for a restful night's sleep is an urgent and crucial task for all of us. Natural sleep aids offer a promising alternative to prescription sleep medications, with fewer side effects and a lower risk of dependency. In this blog post, we will explore the best natural sleep aids of 2023, and delve into the science behind their effectiveness to help you achieve a rejuvenating, restful slumber.
According to Matthew Walker, a renowned sleep scientist and author of the book "Why We Sleep," there are three crucial aspects of what happens when we have bad and insufficient sleep.
Firstly, insufficient sleep impairs our cognitive abilities and mental performance. When we don't get enough sleep, our attention span, memory, and decision-making skills are significantly compromised. This can have detrimental effects on our productivity, learning, and overall cognitive functioning.
Secondly, insufficient sleep has a profound impact on our physical health. Research has shown that inadequate sleep increases the risk of developing chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. When we consistently lack sleep, our body's hormonal balance is disrupted, leading to increased appetite, cravings for unhealthy foods, and difficulty in maintaining a healthy weight. Moreover, insufficient sleep weakens our immune system, making us more susceptible to infections and diseases.
Lastly, insufficient sleep affects our emotional well-being and mental health. Lack of sleep is strongly linked to mood disorders such as depression, anxiety, and irritability. It amplifies negative emotions, impairs emotional regulation, and diminishes our ability to cope with stress. Additionally, chronic sleep deprivation increases the risk of developing mental health disorders and exacerbates existing conditions, contributing to a vicious cycle of poor sleep and deteriorating mental health.
But natural remedies like melatonin, magnesium, and Valerian root have been found to potentially improve sleep, making them popular natural sleep aids. Passionflower, another natural sleep remedy, is generally safe for adults, indicating that natural solutions can be a viable option for those struggling with sleep issues.
When it comes to sleep aids, there are several options available, including natural and over-the-counter (OTC) options. It's important to consider factors such as safety, efficacy, and potential side effects before choosing a sleep aid.
Additionally, consulting with healthcare professionals can provide valuable guidance in selecting the most appropriate sleep aid for your needs.
Natural sleep aids generally have fewer undesirable side effects and a lower risk of habitual use or addiction compared to pharmaceutical drugs commonly prescribed for treating insomnia, such as barbiturates. Research suggests that some natural sleep aids, like passionflower tea, may improve sleep quality. However, the most prominent side effect of natural sleep aids is increased drowsiness the following day.
OTC sleep aids, on the other hand, are medications or dietary supplements available without a prescription. While they may offer a more accessible solution for those struggling with sleep, the data regarding the efficacy and safety of most natural sleep aids is limited. Nevertheless, studies suggest that natural sleep aids may be helpful for some individuals.
When considering natural sleep supplements vs. OTC sleep aids, it's crucial to weigh the potential benefits and side effects, and consult with a healthcare professional to determine the most appropriate option for your specific needs.
Before selecting a sleep aid, it's important to evaluate safety, efficacy, and potential side effects. Consulting with a doctor about any difficulty sleeping is also essential to rule out any other conditions. For example, prescription sleeping pills can cause side effects such as extended somnolence the following day, headache, muscle aches, constipation, dry mouth, difficulty focusing, dizziness, instability, and rebound of chronic insomnia may.
Melatonin, a popular natural sleep aid, may interfere with certain blood pressure and diabetes medications and cause next-day drowsiness. It's also important to be aware of the potential risks and side effects of long-term use of prescription sleeping pills and OTC sleep aids containing diphenhydramine or doxylamine. These can include side effects and the possibility of becoming reliant on medications.
Consulting healthcare professionals when considering sleep aids is crucial. Potential side effects of taking natural sleep aids alone can include daytime drowsiness, headache, dizziness, itching, and stomach upset.
We've carefully selected the best sleep supplements on the market based on their quality and their underlying mechanism.
We’re already huge fans of NooCube’s all-in-one nootropic stack, but in our opinion, NooCube’s new formula, the Sleep Upgrade, is also the best natural sleep aid on the market right now. It relies on scientifically provenand highly effective ingredients that can be taken long-term without the risk of developing dependency or adversely affecting natural melatonin levels. Users of NooCube Sleep Upgrade have reported improved sleep quality and an invigorated feeling when they wake up.
Onnit New Mood is a natural sleep aid that combines 5-HTP, L-Theanine, and Magnesium Threonate to facilitate a more rapid onset of sleep and promote a longer duration of sleep. This sleep aid can be taken during the day to induce an anti-stress response and a feeling of tranquility, as well as to elevate serotonin levels without causing somnolence.
Elm and Rye Melatonin Gummies are a natural sleep aid that comprises melatonin, magnesium, and vitamin B6. These gummies have been shown to improve sleep quality and quantity, and contain the best and safest ingredients.
Troomy's Sleep Gummies have a unique forumla as it includes Reishi, one of the most powerful medicinal mushrooms that further helps to reduce stress and anxiety, improve sleep quality, and improve the immune system.
Persona Nutrition Sleep Formula is a natural sleep aid containing melatonin, magnesium, and L-theanine. This sleep formula is designed to help individuals fall asleep faster and achieve more restorative rest. It is formulated with natural ingredients that are clinically proven to help reduce the time it takes to fall asleep and improve the quality of sleep. The melatonin helps to regulate the body's natural sleep-wake and L-Theanine is a powerful amino acid that regulates the body's stress response.
For those seeking alternatives to sleep aids, there are other options to consider, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), relaxation techniques, and sleep hygiene tips. These alternative solutions can also be effective in addressing sleep issues without the need for medication or supplements.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that helps individuals recognize and change destructive thought processes and behaviors that are leading to their insomnia. CBT has been found to improve insomnia symptoms in up to 80% of individuals with this disorder and can be beneficial for anyone with sleep difficulties.
Relaxation techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation, deep breathing, and meditation can help reduce stress and anxiety, leading to improved sleep. These techniques can be easily incorporated into a daily routine and provide a natural, non-pharmaceutical approach to addressing sleep issues.
Maintaining good sleep hygiene is essential for achieving quality sleep. Some tips for practicing good sleep hygiene include obtaining blackout curtains, sleep masks, and cool down your bedroom for the night. By creating an optimal sleep environment and adhering to a regular sleep schedule, individuals can improve their sleep quality and overall well-being.
When using sleep aids of any kind, it's important to be aware of safety concerns and precautions, especially during pregnancy and breastfeeding, as interactions with medications and long-term use can lead to dependency.
Always consult with a healthcare professional before taking any sleep aid to ensure it is safe and appropriate for your needs.
Pregnant and breastfeeding individuals should exercise caution when considering the use of natural sleep aids, as the safety of many supplements during these life stages is unknown.
It's essential to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the most appropriate sleep aid for your specific needs during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
When using sleep aids, it's crucial to be aware of potential interactions with other medications, such as blood thinners, antidepressants, and antibiotics, which can cause dangerous interactions with both prescription sleep aids and over-the-counter sleep aids. Additionally, certain foods, such as grapefruit and grapefruit juice, must be avoided when taking some sleeping pills.
Consult with a healthcare professional to determine if your sleep aid could interact with other medications or underlying conditions.
Prolonged use of sleep aids may lead to addiction and dependence prescription sleep medication, as well as side effects such as dry mouth, urinary retention, blurred vision, confusion, constipation, drowsiness, difficulty concentrating, headaches, nausea, oversleeping, and nightmares.
To avoid these potential consequences, it's important to consult with a healthcare professional and follow their guidance on the appropriate use and duration of sleep aid treatment.
The most effective ingredient for sleep is melatonin, a natural hormone produced in the brain that has been clinically proven to improve overall sleep quality, reduce time needed to fall asleep, and increase total sleep time.
Natural sleep aids such as magnesium, GABA, Valerian root, and tart cherry can offer alternative solutions to melatonin if you struggle to fall asleep or stay in trouble falling asleep anyway. If the issue of trouble sleeping still persists, it is always a good idea to consult your doctor to see if underlying issues are causing your sleep problems.
For a more natural approach to better sleep, the best alternative to sleeping pills is establishing and maintaining a regular relaxing bedtime routine, such as reading or gentle yoga. Additionally, avoiding screens before bedtime and keeping lights low will naturally boost melatonin production. Consider adding certain natural sleep aids, such as Valerian root supplements or aromatherapy into your routine to further support healthy sleep habits.