Eliminate stimulants from your diet. Coffee, tea, chocolate, soft drinks, energy drinks… If you won’t give these up, be sure to limit them to the early hours of the day. Thyroid and adrenal fatigue can lead to insomnia and poor quality sleep, so address those glands if needed. B vitamins are essential to the nervous system and deficiencies can result in disruption of sleep cycles. Take a high quality B complex vitamin each day. If you do not get daily exposure to sunlight or you live north of Atlanta, Georgia or Los Angeles, California, supplement with vitamin D.
Herbal Remedies and Supplements for Insomnia
To fix the biological clock long term, diet is key; B vitamins, thyroid health, and exercise are paramount. But the right combination of the following herbal remedies will knock almost anyone out at least for the first few nights they’re used, without the pharmaceutical side effects.
Our bodies require tryptophan, an amino acid, to make serotonin and melatonin. It can help you fall asleep and improve your quality of sleep by lengthening the time you spend in deep sleep. In addition, studies have shown an increase in alertness upon waking.
Valerian root also aids in sleep onset as well as quality of sleep. The best results are found when combining valerian root with melatonin or hops. Take 400-500 mg at bedtime.
Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland. It does not help with the length of sleep or sleep quality, but it does help with sleep onset. Side effects may include nightmares and daytime drowsiness. Dosage ranges from 1-10 mg.
Hops extract is another sleep aid that improves sleep and aids in sleep onset. It works well with valerian extract and the combination may help increase alpha brain waves.
Black cohosh minimizes sleep disturbances and reduces irritability and mood swings
Passion flower clears anxiety and restores the body to a more peaceful state
Ashwagandha is known as an adaptogen that block stress messages in the body, promoting relaxation and peacefulness.
Chamomile flower and leaf soothes anxiety and has sedative properties
Skullcap promotes calmness and increases the body’s ability to adapt to stress. It also acts as a sedative for aches and pain
My Own Protocol for Insomnia
Exercise. Anytime I need to get to sleep on time no matter what, I make sure I exercised that day. I set the right sleep environment. If thoughts are swirling in my mind, I write them down. A bedside journal can be a great sleep aid.
Before going to sleep, all the lights should be turned off or covered (those little blue, red, flashing lights on electronics inhibit proper sleep rhythms). Absolute darkness aids in melatonin production. It also helps to have a set bedtime. Make sure your bedtime allows for eight hours of sleep. Get up at the same time every morning no matter what. Even if you can’t go to sleep at the right time, going to bed at the right time and staying up eventually fixes one’s sleep schedule.
Get grounded, and take that time to do some peaceful meditation. This can be especially beneficial to our internal clock if done early morning and just before bedtime.
L-Tryptophan, Shillington’s Nerve Sedative Formula, and some B vitamins will knock me out within a half an hour every time. I like L-Tryptophan better than a melatonin supplement because it increases production of melatonin and serotonin.
Take 1,000 to 3,000 (some need 3k but many people only need 1) mgs of L-Tryptophan with two droppers full of Shillington’s Nerve Sedative.
2 – parts Valerian Root
2 – parts Lobelia Seed Pods
2 – parts Passion Flower
1 – part Hops Flowers
1 – part Black Cohosh
1 – part Blue Cohosh
1 – part Skullcap
1 – part Wild Yam
A “part” is a measurement by volume. Blend all ingredients together and make into a tincture using a 50 – 50 Blend of Alcohol and distilled water. For more, see How to Make a Tincture.
A Dropperful is considered to be about 1/2 way up the dropper from a two ounce bottle.
Be sure to shake well before each use.
Once you get your biological clock reset, your new sleep habits require discipline, but you will reap the benefits of healthy, restful sleep. The trick to having a set sleep schedule (besides health) is all in the wakeup time. If 7a.m. is when you want to wake up, then that’s when you wake up, no matter what for the next 6 weeks.
- Shillington’s Nerve Sedative Formula
- L-Tryptophan – Thorne Research
- Stress B-Complex – Thorne Research
- Basic B-Complex – Thorne Research
- SleepThru – Gaia Herbs
- Sleep & Relax – Gaia Herbs
- Shillington’s Cal-Calm Tea
- 5-HTP (hydroxytryptophan) – Thorne Research
- Skullcap Herb – Gaia Herbs
- Vitamin D
- More supplements for insomnia
- Insomnia – A Comprehensive Look with Natural Remedies
- Signs of Sleep Deprivation
- Why We Need Sleep
- The Glymphatic System – How Insomnia Leads to a Filthy Mind
- Pure Sleep – 11 Tips for Better Sleep
- Thyroid Disease Epidemic – How is Yours Doing?
- Natural Remedies for Adrenal Fatigue
- Mental Health, Physical Health & B Vitamins – Nature’s Valium
- Earthing – Touching Earth
- Earthing – Ground Your Body for Optimal Health
- What Is Melatonin? – Live Science
- The Best Natural Sleeping Aids – Dr. Whitaker
- Facts and Stats – National Sleep Foundation, DrowsyDriving.org
- Better Brain Chemistry with Tryptophan – Life Extension Magazine