Insomnia cure herbal natural supplements without medication
Home remedy, vitamin that can help you sleep better and deeper
How to avoid dangerous prescription sleeping pills that can cause serious side effects such as memory loss, cognitive decline and car accidents
February 1 2017
This article discusses natural and herbal insomnia cures with supplements and without medication. Home remedy treatment options will be provided, including natural herbs and supplements, and what types of foods to eat in the evening that will help you fall asleep. If you are addicted to prescription medications for sleep there is a good chance that you will need your prescription insomnia pills less often. We hope the practical information on this page will improve the quality of your life, provide a better night’s rest, and improve your mood, energy, and well-being.
Natural insomnia cure: herbal remedies and treatment or prescription drugs? Your choice
Many people are using complementary and alternative medicine to treat insomnia. People with anxiety, depression, congestive heart failure, hypertension and obesity are more likely to have problems with sleep.
Prescription insomnia treating drugs are often effective, but have many side effects including memory loss, decrease in sexual desire, and morning grogginess leading to car accidents. The advantage of herbs and supplements is that they are safer than sleep drugs. The disadvantage of the supplements is that they are not as consistently effective and are not as potent as the pharmaceutical anti insomnia medicines. But, a combination of herbs and nutrients, along with lifestyle changes, can provide excellent results in most people.
Effective supplements for sleep include:
5HTP which is a precursor to the brain chemical serotonin.
Graviola, is used as a cancer prevention herb but has sedative properties. Two capsules are taken about three hours before bed on an empty stomach.
Herbal natural sleeping pill for occasional sleepless nights
Many over the counter sleep aids contain one or more of the following vitamins, minerals, amino acids, nutraceuticals, herbs and extracts:
GABA (gamma amino butyric acid), Nagnesium mineral, Taurine iamino acid, Hops (humulus lupulus) flower, Valerian (valeriana officinalis) root, Kava (piper methysticum) root, Bupleurum (bupleurum chinense), Chamomile flower, Lemon balm flower (Melissa officinalis), Magnolia (magnolia officinalis) bark, Passion flower (passiflora incarnata), Peony (peony officinalis) root, Jujube extract (zyzyphus jujube) seed, 5-htp (griffonia simplicifolia) seed, Ashwagandha (withania somnifera) root, Lavender (lavendula augustifolia), Peppermint (mentha piperita) leaf, Reishi mushroom (ganoderma lucidum), Sage (saliva officinalis) root, and Melatonin (natural sleep hormone).
Dietary supplements and herbs as insomnia cure – natural home remedy
There are several herbs and natural substances that are a home remedy for insomnia. We find combinations are much more effective than single herbs.
Chamomile may help you relax, but we have not found it to be very effective for treating chronic insomnia. The effects from chamomile are quite mild.
Hops is the herb that beer is made from. Hops is a good herb to induce sleep but it is not as good in maintaining sleep throughout the night. Many people find hops to have a sedating nature. A dosage of 300 to 600 mg of hops is one option an hour or two before bed. A valerian and hops combination also work wells.
Passiflora incarnata has been used to cure insomnia since time immemorial. Passion Flower is useful for relaxation.
Valerian is perhaps the best known herb for insomnia treatment. Less than half of users like it, while the rest don’t feel that it does much for them as a sleep aid. A dose of 300 mg may be tried one to three hours before bed. Valerian works better when combined with other sleep inducing herbs.
Melatonin natural insomnia treatment at a dose of 0.5 to 2 mg an one to three hours before bed can help fight insomnia in some people. Limit use of melatonin to twice week. Sometimes using a lower dose such as 0.3 mg taken earlier in the evening, about 6 or 7 PM works better than a higher dose taken later.
Melatonin is the sleep hormone made by the pineal gland at night. Melatonin is perhaps the most consistently effective natural supplement for insomnia treatment, although at least a third or half of users may still not find it helpful. The dosage varies between a quarter of a milligram to 3 mg. Higher dosages can cause nightmares and morning grogginess. I suggest using a third or half of a mg at first, taken 1 to 3 hours before bed on an empty stomach. The sustained release form is a good option.
Vitamins, do they help or hurt?
High doses of B vitamins may act as stimulants, interfering with sleep. Take most of your supplements early in the day, before or with breakfast. If you have chronic insomnia, stop all of your vitamins and supplements for a while.
Amino acids that cause insomnia
Amino acid supplements such as phenylalanine and tyrosine are known to cause insomnia in high dosages. An amino acid called theanine can help treat insomnia.
High dosages of certain hormones such as DHEA and pregnenolone can cause insomnia. High dosages of testosterone by prescription can also cause insomnia. Some women report high dosages of progesterone causes insomnia. Progesterone can help a woman relax and reduce anxiety or sometimes this hormone can have a different effect and cause excessive stimulation and insomnia. Much depends on the dosage of progesterone being used, and the time of day the hormone is taken.
Herbs that cause insomnia – stop drinking all teas
Caffeine is also found in certain herbs such as guarana and kola nut. Diet pills that contain ephedrine type chemicals and Citrus-Aurantium can lead to insomnia. Others include ginseng, horny goat weed sex, muira puama, and other adaptogenic herbs, tongkat ali, and the anti-depressants St. John’s wort. Many supplements used for mental enhancement and clarity, such as cdp choline, trimethylglycine, galantamine, huperzine A, inositol powder, and others can cause insomnia in high dosages. Even very high dosages of fish oils could cause insomnia. Taking several softgels of fish oils a day daily for several days or weeks could lead to alertness and problems with sleep.
If you have chronic insomnia, a cure could be as easy as stopping all herbal teas, particularly green tea.
Prescription medications that cause insomnia – Pharmaceutical drugs include amphetamines, theophylline, pseudoephedrine, simvastatin, and caffeine. High doses of hormones such as DHEA, testosterone, progesterone, and pregnenolone can also cause insomnia.
Insomnia is listed as a possible side effect on the labeling of all statin drugs. The statin drug Zocor is a frequent cause of insomnia or sleep problems. Many studies and case reports indicate simvastatin, the statin drug known as Zocor used for cholesterol management, can cause insomnia.
Acvetylcholinesterase inhibitors such as Aricept ( donezepil ) can cause insomnia.
There are many prescription medications that cause sleep disorders. The following information may be helpful to you:
SSRIs can cause insomnia in high dosages. Prozac is a common medication that interferes with quality sleep in some users.
Effexor is a prescription medication used for depression. Effexor influences serotonin and norepinephrine levels. Increased norepinephrine levels can cause insomnia since they increase alertness.
Wellbutrin (bupropion hydrochloride) is an antidepressant. A good number of people prescribed Wellbutrin bupropion experience some degree of restlessness, agitation, anxiety, and insomnia, particularly on higher dosages.
Psychiatric disorders that cause insomnia include anxiety disorder, depression, stress, and mania. People who suffer from anxiety from stressful life situations are more likely to experience insomnia.
Insomnia and depression
Insomniacs are at increased risk of developing major depression. While problems with getting a restful night frequently accompanies depression, it may not be just a symptom of depression, but a separate condition. Depression is a well known risk factor for insomnia, and people with depression often report difficulty sleeping. Insomnia can, conversely, increase the risk for depression.
Here are some practical steps, perhaps some of these suggestions may offer you an insomnia cure, and help you avoid overly relying on pharmaceutical medications. If not an insomnia cure, at least they will provide help. Certain insomnia medications can have serious side effects such as car accidents the next day. This has occurred with Ambien.
It is best not to use anti insomnia drugs or supplements every night, but at most 3 nights a week. Tolerance and dependence may develop if used nightly. We don’t have any objections to the occasional use of a prescription sleep medicine.
Food insomnia relief – Eat carbohydrates before sleep
What we eat can influence alertness and drowsiness. Therefore, food can play a role in treating insomnia. Eat a light snack about 2 to 4 hours before sleep mostly of carbohydrates. Dietary carbohydrate intake has been shown to increase the plasma concentration of tryptophan, a precursor of serotonin which helps induce sleep. Carbohydrates (whole grain bread, pasta, potatoes, lentils, barley, fruits, or cereal) with small amount of protein foods containing the amino acid L-tryptophan (milk, tuna, or turkey) will do the trick. A fruit salad and vegetable soups are good options. Another idea is whole grain bread with tomatoes (or salsa) and melted cheese. Don’t eat too many spicy or fatty foods before bed. They may cause heartburn and insomnia.
If you drink too much liquid before sleep, you’ll suffer insomnia by waking up repeatedly in the night for trips to the bathroom.
Avoid caffeine and products that contain it
Caffeine may keep you perky in the morning, but it can lead to a fitful night, even if you drink coffee in the early afternoon. Some people are so sensitive that even a cup of coffee at lunch can lead to insomnia. Decaffeinated coffee still has some caffeine present which could cause insomnia. Caffeine is found in tea (including green tea), certain soft drinks, chocolate, cocoa, and of course coffee. Caffeine is also found in certain herbs such as guarana and kola nut.
Exercise helps you sleep better
If you’re trying to sleep better, the best time to exercise is in the afternoon. Physical activity enhances the deep, refreshing stage of sleep. You can have wonderful sleep after a full day of walking, hiking, or biking. Also, take a walk in the morning to expose yourself to morning light which will significantly help reduce your insomnia.
A slightly cool room is ideal for reducing insomnia
A cool room mimics your internal temperature drop during sleep, so turn off the heat and save on fuel bills. Take a cool or cold shower before bed if your body temperature is high. Good sleep is better achieved while the body temperature is cool. If you overheat at night, wear light nightclothes and sleep under a single sheet. If you are still hot in the middle of the night, take a cool shower. Use an air conditioner or fan to keep the room cool. Use a dehumidifier if you are bothered by moist air. Use a humidifier if you are bothered by dry air. Signs of dry air irritation include a sore throat, nosebleeds or a dry throat.
Sleep only at night
Limit daytime sleep to 20-minute power naps. Don’t take a nap after 2 PM. If you work nights, keep window coverings closed so that sunlight, which interferes with the body’s internal clock, doesn’t interrupt your sleep. If you have a day job and sleep at night, but still have trouble waking, leave the window covering open and let the sun’s light wake you up.
Use natural supplements for treating insomnia
5-HTP or 5-hydroxytryptophan is a nutrient that converts into serotonin. Serotonin is involved in relaxation. At night, serotonin is converted in the pineal gland to melatonin, the sleep hormone. 5-HTP is not consistent in its sleep effects, but sometimes a smaller amount than the usual 50 mg capsule can be effective when taken on an empty stomach about an hour or two before bed. The capsule can be easily opened and perhaps half or 2/3 used. Higher amounts can cause nightmares.
Tryptophan as insomnia cure
Tryptophan is available over the counter as a natural insomnia treatment. Tryptophan is an amino acid that converts into 5-HTP which then converts into serotonin, and then into melatonin. I have been asked which of the 3 supplements is best for sleep: 5-HTP, melatonin, or tryptophan. We think it is a matter of personal preference. It is difficult to predict which one you will find best suited for you until you try them. The dose of tryptophan is 500 mg one to 3 hours before bed on an empty stomach. At least half of users notice a good sleep inducing effect from tryptophan.
Insomnia tip – Use sleep relaxation techniques
Here’s an insomnia tip: Once you are in bed, take a deep breath and gradually let it out. Do this a few times. Then, lightly shake one of your feet, and go back to taking a couple of deep breaths. Lightly shake the other foot and then take a couple of deep breaths. Move up to your legs, hips, arms, neck, muscle around the mouth, eye muscles, etc., while going back to the breath after shaking each body part. Soon you’ll be in la la land.
Insomnia Medication – how to treat it safely with prescription medications
Most insomnia medications require a doctor’s prescription because they may be habit-forming or addictive, and overdose is possible. Many insomnia medications can lose their effectiveness once a person has become accustomed to them. Both over the counter and prescription Insomnia medications are available. I prefer to use prescription insomnia medications only on rare occasions. There are several categories of insomnia drugs : Benzodiazepines. These are the most common hypnotics: lorazepam (Ativan), alprazolam (Xanax), triazolam (Halcion), and temazepam (Restoril), among others. Non-benzodiazephines. These insomnia medications may pose less of a risk of dependence. They include zolpidem (Ambien), zopiclone, and zaleplon. Rebound insomnia could also occur after stopping insomnia medications. Ambien is a popular medicine to treat insomnia. Xanax is helpful in inducing sleep and providing a deeper sleep, but it should not be used more than once a week. Habituation can occur with the use of Xanax as an insomnia medicine.
Although sedative-hypnotic medications are the most common treatment for insomnia, they pose certain risks and dangers such as adverse effects and dependence. Furthermore, insomnia medications target symptoms and fail to address the underlying perpetuating mechanisms.
Cause of chronic insomnia
The causes of Insomnia are numerous:
Medical conditions — alcohol withdrawal, paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea, pain, sleep apnea, pruritus or chronic itching, restless legs syndrome, hyperthyroidism, lack of exercise, and pheochromocytoma.
Medications — amphetamines, theophylline, pseudoephedrine, simvastatin, and caffeine. High doses of hormones — such as DHEA, testosterone, progesterone, pregnenolone — can also cause insomnia.
Psychiatric disorders — anxiety disorder, depression, mania. Anxiety causes insomnia in many people. Depression is another insomnia cause. Sometimes medications used for depression, such as SSRIs or SNRIs cause insomnia.
Poor sleep hygiene is a common insomnia cause.
Adolescents and Insomnia sleep disorder
Adolescent girls appear to be at greater risk of insomnia after they begin menstruation, suggesting that hormonal changes play a role in some girls’ development of the sleep disorder.
Perimenopause, menopause, and insomnia sleep disorders
Difficulty falling asleep and restless sleep are common in women in perimenopause and menopause. Insomnia can be treated during this transition period by engaging in exercise during the day and the occasional use of natural supplements.
Q. I was advised to take a high does of natural progesterone (8% ) for a year and a half at the same time that I was in adrenal exhaustion. A saliva test revealed in June 2006 that the cortisol was 10 times too high, the progesterone and testosterone were both 6 times too high. It has caused dreadful insomnia. I have tried every natural herb that there is and everything only works for one night and then ceases to work. I am truly desperate and I never had insomnia in my life before this.
A. High dosages of hormones can cause insomnia. We know several people who found a cure for their insomnia by stopping the use of DHEA or pregnenolone.
Q. I have a chronic insomnia, I have trouble falling asleep. I try 2 capsules of 50 mg 5 htp before bed time, but looks like not really help. Should I increase the dosage or should I take 50 mg in the evening and 100 mg before bedtime ? How long its take the supplement to treat the insomnia?
A. 5-HTP is not the best supplement for insomnia. Good Night Rx works better but should only be used at most 3 nights a week at least 2 to 3 hours before bed on an empty stomach.
I have been taking the following nutrients to address mental “slowness” and loss of memory (especially short-term), and am wondering if you can tell me if any of these nutrients could be causing insomnia. I need sleep to help the mental condition I’m experiencing. I take these nutritional supplements off and on–and not all at the same time–but can’t seem to figure out which ones are causing the insomnia. Would my insomnia be cured if I stopped these supplements? They are Alpha GPC, Pregnenolone, ashwaganda, carnosine, Gingko, Bacopa, Phosphatidylserine (PS), and Acetyl-L-Carnitine
All of these supplements, except perhaps ashwagandha and to a lesser extent alpha GPC and phosphatidylserine, can cause insomnia.
I struggle with CFIDS and insomnia. I’ve tried almost every natural supplement, but nothing has worked. In fact, supplements like melatonin and valerian root make me feel odd without any therapeutic result for my insomnia. The only Rx I can take that works and doesn’t make me feel horrible is Ativan. However, I know I’m playing with fire, and taking it daily is of great concern. At the same time, I must have sleep to heal. Recently I obtained some samples of FTH L-tryptophan and it helps me get back to sleep when I get up and 3 a.m. (even when I take Ativan). I’ve read that 5-HTP along with trypophan, calcium, magnesium can help even more. I went to order L-tryptophan and was thinking about ordering 5-HTP (my doc approved) when I saw Good Night Rx. I do remember taking Kava and my reaction was like melatonin and valerian. I would greatly appreciate your advice on what I should do/take so I can get off Ativan. I also take 25mg of Trazadone. It simply keeps me from getting up every hour to eat. I hope I can eventually find an insomnia cure.
We understand how frustrating and exhausting it is to have chronic insomnia. Good Night Rx is a potent sleep formula but no one can guarantee results. This insomnia product needs to be taken on an empty stomach for full absorption, about 2 to 4 hours before bed. Maximum use is 3 times a week. Morning light exposure and exercise are crucial in terms of insomnia cure.
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