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Sweet Dreams Are Made of These: Natural Sleep Alternatives

Thanks in advance for the glance! If you can spare a few minutes, you’ve likely scanned every top 10 list of things that promote healthy sleep patterns, along with countless lists of sleep killers. Perhaps you’ve even tried some of the pharmaceutical options, with the inherent risk of addiction and an exhaustive list of side effects that can eclipse their benefits.

The relentless pursuit of the perfect sleep is a holy grail indeed. Thankfully, there are plenty of time-honoured botanical, hormonal, and mineral alternatives to help you establish and maintain healthy sleep patterns. Let’s discuss them.

Passionflower is recognized for supporting production of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), the compound that suppresses brain activity to induce relaxation. Its history for use as a pain reliever and sedative dates back to the ancient Aztec civilization. Extracts standardized to contain therapeutic amounts of flavonoids from passionflower are popular for use as sleep enhancers.

Hops, the most common flavouring agent for beer, when taken in the form of a standardized extract, is excellent for supporting slumber. Skullcap, chamomile, and catnip are also recognized to gently calm the nervous system, individually or collectively, in the form of teas, tinctures, or supplements.

Panax notoginseng, also known as san qi, strengthens nerve cells within the cerebral cortex for better resistance to stressors. This preserves the calm state of mind necessary for the onset of restful sleep. Isolates of this form of ginseng are a mainstay of traditional Chinese medicine.

Many people experience a lifestyle related shortage of melatonin.

Melatonin is recognized for its restorative effects on healthy sleep cycles (circadian rhythm). Production of this sleep hormone requires darkness, and many people experience a lifestyle-⁠related shortage of melatonin; supplementation can be an early form of intervention that delivers results.

The neuroprotective effects of a highly bioavailable form of magnesium, such as magnesium bisglycinate, can also prove to exert a calming effect conducive to sleep onset.

When taken individually or in synergistic formulas, these are among the many side effect–free and natural solutions for those with chronic or acute insomnia, or the weary traveller struggling to adjust to a novel time zone.

Yours in health. Good night!