Next to obesity, the biggest problem facing people in our modern society is insomnia. In many cases, the inability to fall asleep and stay asleep can severely impact our waking lives, leading to irritability, poor judgment, and slow reaction times. Often, people will resort to any fad, activity, or medication to help them get quality sleep, but it may be that the old standby remedies are the best.
The Risks Of Relying On Sleeping Pills
Essentially, there are two kinds of treatments for insomnia. We can either rely on a prescription drug or we can opt to try a natural remedy. Often, the first inclination is to go for that bottle of sleeping pills. While a pill might act a little faster, there are risks associated with taking drugs that may make them the less attractive option.
The following side effects are possible with most sleeping pill brands, though that’s not to say everyone will experience every symptom listed. Users should be aware of what can happen and weigh the consequences against the reward of sleep for themselves. Here are the most common side effects that may result from taking a prescription sleep aid:
- Burning and tingling of the limbs, including fingers and toes;
- Poor appetite;
- Dry mouth and throat;
- Mental slowing and memory problems;
- Stomach pain;
The Use Of Natural Remedies Is On The Rise
Meanwhile, millions of insomnia sufferers are opting for more natural ways of getting to sleep. While some may scoff at the idea of using natural herbs, those that use them swear by their effectiveness. Some of the most reliable natural supplements for sleep are listed below.
Melatonin supplements are the most commonly used natural supplements, particularly because it doesn’t involve adding any additional substance to the body chemistry. Our bodies already create melatonin, so taking the supplement only adds more to what we already have. Backlit displays, such as those on computer monitors and smartphone displays, decrease the amount of melatonin our bodies produce, so we may only need to add more to our body chemistry to induce sleep.
Herbal tea, such as Chamomile in particular, has been used as a sleep inducer for centuries. In addition to helping people get to sleep, chamomile tea has been proven effective in reducing feelings of anxiety and depression. Also, there are no harmful side effects associated with herbal teas, so there’s no risk in giving it a try.
The scent of natural lavender has also been proven to help induce sleep in insomnia patients. A 2016 study on college students found that they fell asleep faster and slept more deeply, when the subjects inhaled a lavender scented patch. Outside of patches and oils, herbal mixed including lavender are also smoked from hemp rolling papers to inhale the benefits. Other studies, focusing on middle-aged women and heart disease patients produced similar results.
While prescription pills do have the potential of getting us to sleep, a new preference for all things natural is driving more people to seek out organic alternatives. There are plenty of all natural sleeping aids out there and here are listed just a few. There’s no reason you can’t try an alternative natural treatment for your insomnia, but be sure to consult with your doctor first. Even an herbal treatment may interact with medication you may be taking, so be safe before taking any natural supplements for sleep.