It’s 3 A.m., you’ve had four cups of chamomile tea. You’re wide awake, but desperate to fall asleep. What’s a naturalista to do when insomnia strikes?
According to functional medicine pro, Dr. Mark Hyman, a better night’s rest is a holistic endeavor: commit to a bedtime, keep your room dark, set the right temp and supplement thoughtfully (get his full list of tips here). Celebrity nutritionist, Kelly LeVeque, recommends cutting back on blue light to restore your circadian rhythm. Healer, herbalist and reiki pro, Melissa Rousseau, swears by magnesium and white noise in this practical guide, and – obviously – Heather Askinosie of Energy Muse, has this soothing pre-bedtime crystal ritual.
For our latest reader poll, we wanted to know what you do to catch those Z’s when you’re struggling to get to sleep. We hit up our Facebook community, and you wonderful wellness-minded ladies and gents certainly delivered.
Whether you struggle with insomnia nightly or just when you’ve had a particularly rough week, peek below for a trove of natural options to try, then hit up the comments section below to keep the convo going!
What’s Your Best Trick For Beating Insomnia?
I swear by magnesium supplements and diffused lavender oil. For those willing to make the investment, a comfortable mattress with an adjustable base. #gamechangers
— Nicole M.
Life country GABA relaxer, valerian root supplements, tryptophan and melatonin. Insight timer meditation app to help me fall asleep. Yoga nidra for sleep is great!
— Bonnie S.
Vetiver and sandalwood 100% pure essential oils.
— Melissa P.
20mg of melatonin every night prevents me from having any kind of insomnia. Pure Encapsulations makes 20mg pills so you only need one!
— Samantha F.
I eat potatoes every day. Seriously. I had insomnia for about 16 years. About 2 years ago I made some major changes in my diet — 100% vegan, no sugar, no grains, no soy — which helped, but my sleep cycles weren’t perfect. I started incorporating potatoes daily (any kind) and started sleeping like a baby. That said, I do think it’s the combo of everything that truly helps, but I know potatoes made all the difference.
— Brandee B.
— Angela M.
Weed. Works every time, any time!
— Matt C.
Balancing and eating much more of the following: potassium, mineral salts and glucose in the diet, i.e. more fruit especially, for glucose, celery or leafy greens for example, for mineral salts, bananas, potatoes, avocado or dates for example for potassium.
— Carolyn B.
Melatonin, magnesium and lavender every night…. plus avoid stress as much as possible or deal with it in a healthy way.
— Ralitza T.
— Clinton W.
When I wake up in the middle of the night I put on a podcast or an audible book – the more interesting the better. It may seem counter-intuitive but it overrides the part of my brain that is anxious about whether or not I will fall back asleep. I don’t worry about the sleep hygiene part of it. Just avoid picking up your phone for any reason other than this insomnia hack. Have your headphones or earbuds nearby if you share a bed. I have been an insomniac for years and years and this is the first consistent thing to help.
— Lisa L.
What about you? Leave your best natural sleep hack in the comments
below or hop over to Facebook and see all the responses!
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I sleep deeply if I read anything by Pema Chodron, before going to sleep. Her gentle Buddhist writings remind me that everything in life is exactly as it should be.
These are great and I swear by magnesium citrate. Bioavailable and relaxing.
That said, I hope that the recommendation to take 20 mg. of melatonin is a typo. 3-5 mg. is typical and even 1 mg can be effective. 20 mg is dangerous.
Ensuring I had a complex carbohydrate in my evening meal like rice or potato or buckwheat noodles (also that the meal wasn’t hours and hours before bedtime) and a magnesium citrate supplement an hour before I intend to conk out.
If I don’t eat a carb in my dinner or I ate an early dinner, half a banana and a tablespoon of nut butter (sometimes with a small glass of nut milk) works every single time. I know most folks demonize bananas, but they really make you sleepy as they are serotonin-boosting, and the nut butter helps stabilize your blood sugar.
I’ve recently discovered two things that help tremendously. 1) Simples is a new tonic apothecary in Santa Monica. Their Oatstraw helps me fall asleep. 2) Right before I’m ready to sleep I drink 8oz of super high alkaline water (11ph) and I sleep soundly all night long. The secret I think is also making sure you drink high alkaline water throughout the day (except for around and during meals) to maintain an alkaline composition.
I’m eith Clinton…SEX!