More than one-third of adults (35.2 percent) report sleeping less than 7 hours per night.
Are you part of this group? Are you looking for some natural tools that can help you enjoy better rest?
If so, keep reading to learn about 5 of the most effective sleep supplements, as well as other beneficial tools.
Supplement 1: Melatonin
Melatonin is a hormone. The brain produces it in response to darkness — this is why you start to feel sleepy when the sun goes down. Melatonin plays a key role in regulating the circadian rhythm (your body’s natural internal clock) and promoting restful sleep.
The brain produces melatonin naturally, but this production can also be interrupted by external factors. For example, if you’re exposed to bright lights at night (like the light from the TV), you may feel alert and have a hard time relaxing.
In these cases, you may want to consider taking supplemental melatonin. It helps you to feel tired and makes it easier for you to fall asleep.
Melatonin can also be helpful when you’re dealing with issues like jet lag after traveling.
Supplement 2: CBD
CBD is short for cannabidiol. Cannabidiol is a cannabinoid (a type of plant compound) found in the cannabis plant.
Many studies show that cannabidiol has a relaxing effect on the central nervous system. This is why lots of people use it for anxiety relief and improved sleep quality.
It’s important to note that cannabidiol is not psychoactive. This means it does not have mind-altering effects and won’t get you “high” the way other cannabis compounds like THC can.
CBD supplements come in a variety of forms, including liquid tinctures, gummies, and capsules. You can even buy chocolates and other food products that contain CBD if you want a sweet treat before bed that also improves your sleep.
Supplement 3: Magnesium
Magnesium is a mineral that contributes to hundreds of different bodily processes, from regulating blood sugar to controlling muscle and nerve function. Magnesium also promotes relaxation and reduces stress before bedtime.
Those with low levels of magnesium may be more prone to sleep issues than those who have appropriate levels. They may experience poor sleep and insomnia, as well as mental health conditions like anxiety and depression — both of which may contribute to insomnia.
Magnesium can help with restless leg syndrome (or RLS), which causes an uncontrollable urge to move, as well as muscle cramps, in the evening. These feelings can lead to sleep difficulties and cause people to wake up in the middle of the night.
Supplement 4: Lavender
Lavender is an aromatic plant with a sweet, floral smell. In ancient times, it was used as a holy herb. Today, many people rely on lavender as a natural sleep supplement to help them relax and wind down before bed.
One study showed that aromatherapy with lavender essential oil could help patients in the intensive care unit improve their sleep quality. Another study revealed that aromatherapy with lavender oil could lower blood pressure and heart rate — both of which are beneficial when it comes to managing anxiety and helping people feel more at ease when they go to sleep.
Supplement 5: Tryptophan
Tryptophan is an amino acid. The body uses it to produce niacin, which plays a key role in creating the neurotransmitter serotonin and the hormone melatonin. As we learned earlier in this guide, melatonin is a hormone that regulates sleep.
Research shows that those who get adequate amounts of tryptophan in their diets fall asleep faster and sleep longer. They also experience fewer symptoms of anxiety and depression, which contributes to better sleep quality.
Tryptophan is available in a variety of foods, including whole milk, tuna, turkey, chicken, and oatmeal. You can also take tryptophan in supplement form if you prefer.
Other Ways to Combat Sleep Issues
In addition to sleep supplements, there are other tools you can use to improve your sleep, including the following:
In addition to making modifications to your diet and including some supplements, you can also improve your sleep quality by incorporating meditation into your routine.
Meditation is a practice that can help you calm your nerves, regulate your heart rate, and feel more relaxed. It typically involves sitting or lying down quietly, taking slow, deep breaths, and focusing on sensations in the present moment.
For those who struggle to fall asleep because of anxiety or worries, meditation in the evening can make a big difference. If you’re not sure how to get started with meditation, you can find lots of free apps and videos online to use as guides.
If you have a hard time sitting or lying still, meditation might not be the right fit for you. Yoga, however, might be.
Yoga and gentle stretching help you to reduce your heart rate and feel more relaxed when nighttime rolls around. They also create a way for you to wind down without relying on a phone or TV screen.
Yoga and stretching are accessible to everyone, too. As is the case with meditation, there are plenty of free videos and resources that can teach you the basics and help you enjoy better sleep.
The temporomandibular joint (or TMJ for short) connects the jaw bone to the skull.
Temporomandibular disorders (TMD for short) can lead to bruxism (jaw clenching), pain, and even sleep apnea — all of which impact your sleep quality.
One way to combat these issues and improve your sleep is to wear a mouth guard (also known as a night guard or teeth guard) while you sleep.
A mouth guard prevents you from clenching your jaw while you sleep. They can also keep the airway open and prevent you from snoring, both of which are beneficial when it comes to helping you get a good night’s rest.
Get Better Sleep Tonight
If you’re tired of lying awake at night or waking up frequently, the right supplements and tools can help. Try some of the strategies listed above so you can finally enjoy a good night’s sleep.