Insomnia sucks! No better way to put it. I have dealt with it most of my life and I have spent many sleepless nights reading and researching trying to find the best natural remedies for insomnia so I could get just one decent nights sleep. I have used prescription medication at times in the past and just feel comfortable using them anymore.
I’m not going to bore you with what exactly insomnia is, why it is dangerous to your health etc. That would take way too long and it has been covered extensively already.
I have a learned a lot, and I have tried a lot as well. Some work, some don’t, for me at least. So I’m gonna give you a detailed rundown of what I think are the most attractive and effective options to help you sleep.
I have read reviews from tons of websites and studies, taken most of these, and will do my best to educate you, and hopefully get you sleeping again.
10 Best Natural Remedies For Insomnia
This list isn’t really organized as best to last as there are advantages and disadvantages to most of these products based on who is taking them and some other factors as well. So without further ado.
Melatonin is probably the most popular remedy for insomnia on the market. It is completely natural and is basically just a supplement to the naturally produced melatonin that your body is already making.
Melatonin is produced by the brain in response to thes natural decrease of light when the sun goes down, and helps you go to sleep. Basically, your brain is trained to make you tired when the sun goes down.
Melatonin stays elevated throughout the night, as long as there is no light sensed by your body. Your eyes, even when closed, can detect light and your body will respond by dropping melatonin and start waking you up, thinking the day has begun.
This is why sleeping in total darkness is so important. It is even a good idea to limit turning on bright lights when using the restroom or getting a drink in the middle of the night.
It’s also why experts recommend against using electronics after 7 or 8 pm, because the light from the screen messes with your melatonin levels. They even make blue light blocking glasses that you can buy to negate this effect. They have been shown to work pretty well actually.
Modern advances have really conspired against the natural way your body uses melatonin to fall asleep. Between lights, televisions, computers, Ipads, and phones, the constant light bombardment really disrupts your bodies natural intended melatonin sleep cycle.
So taking Melatonin is basically artificially supplementing your system with what should already be there. There are many studies showing beneficial effects of Melatonin on sleep. I’ll link to some Here, Here, and Here, if you are interested.
Melatonin works for many people because they are either deficient, most likely due to environmental factors, or just artificially boosting it is enough to help you sleep.
While there have not been many officially regulated studies done, it seems to be safe and free of side effects for the most part. One of the most common, and one I also experienced when I first started taking it was a headache the next morning. My body eventually got used to it and although it does happen from time to time, it has become pretty rare.
Some people also get the hangover effect the next morning. Basically meaning they have a hard time waking up and feel a little more groggy than normal. I don’t find this a big deal, it is worth getting a good night sleep, just have a cup of coffee and you will shake it pretty quickly.
I recommend Melatonin pretty highly for people having insomnia problems. I see no reason not to give it a try. Relatively benign side effects and a good chance of working for most people.
I do not recommend taking it nightly long term though. Studies have shown a decrease in effectiveness for longer durations of use. I will usually take it for a week or two then take some time off once my sleeping has kind of normalized or at least improved. I feel like it has a better chance of working if I do it that way.
Melatonin is available in doses ranging from as low as 1mg all the way up to 10mg. I recommend 3mg as a good starting point, that seems to be the most beneficial for most people. You could buy 1mg tabs and start lower and work your way up if you are concerned with side effects as well, not a bad way to go for people that are sensitive to medications.
I’m really not sure how much benefit you would get from going above 5mg, it seems like a really high dose. I still don’t think there would be harm in it though, so it’s really up to you to give it a try.
I pretty much buy everything on Amazon, it is usually the cheapest, and I don’t like shopping. This link below is the one I use, I break them in half and take 5mg, for 2 weeks at most, then I take a break for at least 10 days or so, and start again if I need to. I really think melatonin is one of the best natural remedies for insomnia on the market today.
So, antihistamines don’t exactly fall under the natural remedies category. But I put these in here because I think they need to be addressed. Antihistamines, especially the kind that are used for insomnia have been around since the 1940’s! I consider them one of the safest remedies for insomnia and sleep problems that there is on the market today.
They can have some minor side effects, but they have been studied extensively by the FDA and used for almost 75 years, I consider them safer than a lot of the so called “natural” solutions being marketed today that have no scientific backing on effectiveness or safety.
There are a few exceptions which I will address but I truly believe antihistamines should be in your medicine cabinet at all times, for most people. If you disagree, no problem, just skip this section.
Ok, so there are a lot of options that fall under this category. The most common one is Benadryl, there is also Zzzquil, Unisom, Advil PM, Tylenol PM, and Sominex.
Basically antihistamines are really intended for allergies such as sneezing, runny nose, watery itchy eyes type stuff. But the main side effect is that they make people extremely drowsy. So companies decided to start repackaging them and marketing them as solutions to insomnia and difficulty sleeping. Most people don’t even realize that they are just plain old allergy meds with a much higher price. But they do work pretty well, with a few caveats of course.
Take for instance what I find to be the most annoying sleep product on the market, ZZZquil, which currently sells for $12 to $15 dollars for a box or bottle of 48, depending on where you go. There is one ingredient in it, diphenhydramine, which is the exact same ingredient that is in benadryl allergy tablets.
You can currently get SIX HUNDRED tablets of diphenhydramine (Benadryl) for about $7 or $8 at many places! Again, the box of ZZZquil has just 48 tablets in it. So for HALF the price, you get 12 times the amount of the exact same medication! Please do not ever buy Zzzquil! They are just overcharging people for no reason.
Not to the same extent pricewise, but Unisom and Sominex aren’t much better, they are just slightly different anithistamines. Stick with Benadryl, which can be bought very cheaply as diphenhydramine.
The other main products are Advil PM, Tylenol PM, and Excedrin PM. These also use antihistamines, but they also add in a pain reliever, which can help some people. If you are on your feet all day or just have general aches and pains that keep you from falling asleep, you might find these more beneficial than Benadryl alone. Just make sure you read the box and don’t have any diseases or conditions that would keep you from taking, cause there are a few.
Overall, antihistamines are not a bad choice for a lot of people, but as I said before, there are some drawbacks. They are generally not recommended in the elderly population, so I’d stay away if you are getting up there in age.
They also are not good long term solutions for insomnia. I could not recommend you take these for more than 3 or 4 days in a row, mostly because tolerance can build up extremely quickly and they will not work for you anymore.
I think they are best taken for 2 nights or so max to kind of get you back on track, just very short term only.
Some side effects include dry mouth and dizziness, and the most common one, the hangover effect. I have found the hangover effect to be much worse with these than melatonin, still worth a couple of rough mornings if it helps you get a decent night of sleep though in my opinion.
Just like melatonin, I also use antihistamines to help me sleep, just a lot more sporadically though. I do recommend it, especially if you are not elderly and are pretty healthy overall. Here is diphenhydramine on Amazon that would work great!
Somnapure PM is mainly melatonin and also the ingredient bromelain, which is an enzyme found in pineapple and in the pineapple stem and is a type of natural anti-inflammatory. I find this product to be a great alternative to Advil, Tylenol, or Excedrin PM, for people that have aches and pains that may be causing them to have trouble falling asleep.
Bromelain is definitly not as potent of a pain reliever as Advil or Tylenol, but it is considered safer. Advil can be very hard on the stomach, especially for people with reflux or ulcer problems and should not be taken long term. Tylenol cannot be taken by people with liver problems.
So this product seems to be a reasonable alternative for these types of patients. Keep in mind though that studies have shown very mixed results on whether it is actually effective or not. The reviews are very good on this product though, but that could be attributed mainly to the fact that it has 4mg of melatonin in it.
Either way, this seems like a product that you should definitely try if pain keeps you awake. 4mg of Melatonin is perfect, and then the bromelain might just do the trick for you.
I have personally not tried Zen Pm, even though I think it looks very promising and could probably help a lot of people. It contains Vitamin B6, Magnesium, 5-HTP (basically like tryptophan), Melatonin, and Bioperine Black Pepper Fruit extract.
I like the ingredients in this, melatonin for obvious reasons and tryptophan jump out first. Honestly, the Vitamin B6 and Bioperine, I don’t know that they will do too much, but they won’t harm you.
Then there is magnesium added as well. This is what makes this product stand out from the other things.
It is common for those that have trouble sleeping and insomnia issues to not have enough magnesium in there bodies. This will commonly cause frequent waking up during the night and generally restless sleep.
Magnesium helps to keep the correct levels of GABA. GABA is a neurotransmitter in your brain that basically calms you by reducing the activity of your nervous system. So by taking magnesium, especially if you are deficient through lack of it in your diet, it will increase the GABA activity in your brain, which has a calming effect throughout your whole body, brain and muscles.
The combination of active ingredients in this product really just makes sense and I would definitely give it a try. This product has really good reviews on Amazon and isn’t too expensive.
Valerian is an herb that grown mostly in Asia and Europe. The root of the herb, Valerian Root, is used my many people and is relatively popular for helping with sleep issues.
The research, or lack thereof, has not shown consistently beneficial effects of valerian on sleep, although I have talked to many people that swear by it and some people in studies it does show a benefit. So maybe it just depends on the person.
This product is a little different in the fact that you have to take it consistently for at least 2 weeks before most people see any improvement at all. In some studies it has taken people a full month before they start to get better sleep.
The studies that did show a positive impact on sleep were for dosages between 400 and 900 milligrams taken about two hours before bedtime. People fell asleep about twenty minutes faster and also slept better through the night.
There is the possibility of drug interactions with Valerian, also possibly with alcohol. So it would be smart to check with your doctor first, especially if you are taking other medications.
Side effects are pretty similar to melatonin and antihistamines. Nothing major, and valerian is generally recognized as safe when taken short term, which is around a month or so. It is unknown if it is safe for long term use.
I personally have never tried this before, mostly because I didn’t feel the studies showed it worked well enough. I don’t think it is dangerous so that really wasn’t an issue for me, but as i said earlier, I have talked to many people that swear by it.
So there is a particular reason I put this one in here. This is a product with several different ingredients, herbals, amino acids, as well as a little melatonin. So it is very possible that something like this could work, I’ve never tried it.
But I have to be honest, my BS meter is going off on this one. It currently has 555 reviews on Amazon, which is a ton for a product in this category, and a full 74% of them give this product a 5 star rating! I don’t know of any sleeping pill, powder, tablet, natural or synthetic, or even magic fairy dust that 75 percent of people would say works incredibly and is worthy of five stars!
I read through a lot of the reviews and I keep seeing phrases like “sleep in a bottle”, “no grogginess”, “best sleep of my life”, “haven’t had a bad night of sleep yet”. I mean, the gushing reviews just go on and on. It just seems like they are going overboard a bit. I could be wrong, but I don’t buy it. Nothing fixes insomnia that good.
I also use two different website that are pretty good and I think you might find helpful, Fakespot and Reviewmeta. They analyze reviews of products on Amazon and try to decipher how likely it is that they are fake or not. They look at patterns, the reviewers, and a bunch of factors that are probably over my head.
Reviewmeta.com actually takes out the suspected fake reviews and adjusts the products score on Amazon. Genius SleepAid came out with an adjusted rating of 3.8 out of 5, which really isn’t terrible, especially when it comes to sleep aids. So it is possible that this product could help you, I wouldn’t rule it out, especially if you have already tried the other more well known products and not had much success.
If you try it, please comment below to let us know what you think! Thank You.
This is a product advertised on Amazon as safe, effective, and non habit forming sleep aid. I see potential with this one but I am also a little alarmed at how many 5 star reviews it has. FakeSpot has it as a failure rating, but the adjusted score on ReviewMeta is a 4.8, so impossible to make a judgement here just based on those two websites.
It is a combination of mulitple ingredients, including valerian, melatonin, GABA (which encourages realxation), tryptophan (the thing in turkey that makes you tired), lemon balm and hops extract (which possibly makes valerian work better), chamomile, passion flower, and L-theanine.
The ingredients are definitely ingredients that have shown to work for many people, but it’s just hard to say if all the extra things in there justify the price. They are basically just combining the top four or five natural sleep aids into one pill.
Again, difficult to say for sure, but if I had tried the first three products I mentioned without good results, I think this is definitely something that would be a good next option.
This product is really only different than most of the other products in the fact that it is the only one that I like that comes in liquid for. It contains GABA, melatonin, and tryptophan similar to some of the other products. I already went into plenty of detail on what each of those are for and my opinion.
This would be great for someone that has trouble swallowing pills, and there are a lot of you out there actually. Being in a liquid dosage form, it might get into your body a little bit quicker, but it is unlikely you will notice any difference in how fast it works versus the other dosage forms.
So if you can’t swallow pills, I would say this is a great product to try. It has three of the top natural sedatives in it and I see nothing wrong with it at all.
The last product I wanted to touch on is kava kava, an herbal supplement that has also been used widely for many years. It is made from the roots of the plant Piper methysticum. It grows in the Pacific islands and the native inhabitants have used it for hundreds of years, mostly in party like settings. It kind of acts on the brain in a way similar to alcohol, to relax you. You will not get that same euphoric effect though if that’s what you’re looking for.
The main reason I mention this last is because I’m just not a big fan of it, but you thought you might want the info anyway. At this point, there are no studies to show just how much you can take safely, so that is my main hesitation.
The FDA released and warning about supplements and liver toxicity and kava kava was cited as a possible reason for this. There is a lot of dispute around this, but at the end of the day, there has been up to a hundred clinically relevant cases concerning kava kava and liver failure. Although there has not been enough evidence to prove it is the cause, many European countries have banned the supplement completely.
If you are still interested in reading more about it or checking out the product, click below.
If you have made it this far, Congratulations! That was a very long post with a lot of in depth information. I really tried my best to give you a solid rundown of what I think are the the 10 best natural remedies for insomnia on the market today.
I hope you were able to learn something and take away at least something that will help guide you in choosing the best product for yourself or loved one.
I am not a doctor and I do suggest that you if you decide to start taking any medications that you should check with your doctor first, better safe than sorry as they say, there is just no reason to take unnecessary risks with your health.
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