Part of having plenty of energy to make it through your day is getting enough sleep. But oftentimes, getting enough is a challenge… especially if you just can’t seem to fall asleep at a decent hour. The good news is you can try any of these safe, all-natural sleep aids to put the “zzz’s” back in your evening routine.
Melatonin. This is your body’s natural sleep “regulator.” It’s a hormone produced in your pineal gland. It has the task of regulating your body’s internal “clock.” As you age, your melatonin levels decline naturally. Also, external environmental factors can interfere with melatonin production. The bottom line is, with less melatonin floating around, the harder time you’ll have falling asleep. In one study published in the Journal of Neuroendocrinology researchers found that supplementing with melatonin helped insomniacs across the board. As far as how much you should take, one MIT study suggests that as little as 0.3 mg can do the trick.
Eat protein. Ever wonder why you feel so sleepy after a big roast dinner? Some folks call it “turkey coma.” Ironically, there’s some truth to this. Meats like turkey and chicken contain an amino acid called tryptophan. This amino acid helps you get sleepy because of it’s required for your body to make melatonin and the hormone serotonin, a “feel good” hormone. So if you can’t sleep, eat some protein. Lean meats are great choices.
Get into a routine. If your schedule allows it, get into the habit of going to sleep at the same time every night. Also, wake up at the same time every day. This will help your body establish a routine and help your internal sleep “clock.”
Drink tea. Teas, especially chamomile, can have a relaxing and calming effect. Drink a cup or two before going to bed.