Insomnia. 60 million Americans suffer from it, And there’s a disturbing trend: many are turning to prescription medications to help them fall asleep. But prescription sleep aids, such as the widely prescribed Ambien, have some serious side effects—including an increased risk of cancer and even death, according to a February 2012 study published in the British Medical Journal. The good news is, natural sleep aids are safe, effective, and can help you truly rest easy. Some top formulas to try:
What’s In It: A proprietary blend of botanicals, including valerian, GABA, L-glycine, kava kava root, passionflower vine, California poppy, hops, and skullcap, historically recognized to address difficulty with sleep.
What It Does: Works to normalize the restlessness, physical tension, and worry associated with occasional sleeplessness.
How to Take: Take 2 capsules 1 hour before bed.
What’s In It: Melatonin, valerian, L-glutamine, and calcium.
What It Does: Melatonin helps regulate your“body clock” to promote normal sleep patterns; valerian helps you fall asleep faster, L-gluatmine helps ease stress, and calcium encourages REM sleep.
How to Take: Take 1 tablet before bed.
What’s In It: A proprietary blend of ashwagandha, L-theanine (as Suntheanine), magnolia, and phosphatidylserine.
What It Does: Helps reduce stress hormones to support the body’s relaxation response. Promotes deeper sleep, enhances daytime focus and attentiveness, and helps replenish natural stress defenses.
How to Take: For adults, one tablet before bed. Increase to two tablets during times of high stress.
What’s In It: A homeopathic formula including Aconitum napellus, Arsenicum album, Avena sativa, Belladonna, Camphora, Cinchona officinalis, Coffee cruda, Cypripedium pubescens, Hyoscyamus niger, Passiflora incarnata, Pulsatilla, Valeriana officinalis, and flower essences.
What It Does: For fast relief of restlessness, inability to fall asleep, sleeplessness, tossing and turning, light sleeping, overactive mind, tension/anxiety, disturbed sleep, unrefreshing sleep, nightly itching, and muscular spasms.
How to Take: Spray directly into the mouth before bed. An adult dose is three complete pump sprays.
What’s In It: A homeopathic blend of Helianthemum nummularium, Clematis vitalba, Impatiens glandulifera, Prunus cerasifera, Ornithogalum umbellatum, and Aesculus hippocastanum.
What It Does: Provides natural relief from occasional sleeplessness caused by stress and repetitive thoughts.
How to Take: Place 1 capsule on tongue and let dissolve prior to bed. Additional capsules may be taken as needed.