Falling asleep is hard.
Whether it’s falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up everyone goes through periods where they struggle.
Luckily I’ve got you covered with this complete guide to natural sleep aids. Because no one wants to have to start taking mystery chemicals to knock them out each night when there are so many effective natural cures that can help you sleep. Some are different types of natural supplement and food whereas others are natural tips which will help you sleep better.
I’ve started with all the best natural sleep aids for falling asleep and then carried on to helping you wake up refreshed and alert.
Best Natural Sleep Aids for Falling Asleep
1. Cinnamon and Banana Drink
This is a great tip that someone messaged to me on my Pinterest account.
Cut both ends off the end a ripe peeled banana and put it in a pot of boiling water. Then add a pinch of cinnamon and boil for 10 minutes. Strain it into a mug and drink hot an hour before bed.
A great natural homemade tea you can enjoy to try and battle your insomnia!
2. Valerian Root
Valerian root has been used for many many years as a natural remedy for sleeplessness. Even back in medieval time you would find valerian root growing in the herb gardens of doctors houses.
It is known to cause natural drowsiness which helps you drift off to sleep. You can get valerian root in a lot of different forms but my favourite is in herbal tea which brings me to my next point.
3. Herbal Tea
I talked about herbal tea exclusively in another article on tea to help you sleep if your interested.
Herbal teas are a great destresser because of the ingredients but also the act of making and enjoying it. Much of the pleasure comes from delicate flavours and subtle smells so you really have to pay attention while you’re drinking it which is a great mindfulness technique.
This means you get the relaxing sensation of enjoying the tea, plus the soothing from the hot drink and the doziness caused by valerian root. It’s perfect!
4. Tart Cherry Juice
Tart cherry juice is another wonder product which can help with so many different things but I’m going to focus on its benefits to sleep. Tart cherry juice contains melatonin which is the sleep hormone. It helps regulate your body clock and lets you know when it’s time to fall asleep so having more of this results in a better sleep. Check out this one on Amazon
5. Sleeping Tablets
Herbal Sleeping tablets are another great natural sleep aid. They are simple to take, no weird tastes if you don’t normally like herbal remedies and they are super effective!
I wrote an article about herbal sleeping tablets here for those who are interested.
The best ones available are the rescue night liquid melts. Rescue Remedy is a great brand offering natural treatments for all types of stress and anxiety. Their herbal sleeping capsules are melt on the tongue for easy swallowing and contain the ol’ faithful ingredient of valerian root.
6. Lavender oils
Lavender oil has long been loved to aid sleep. Many night time beauty products contain lavender and the simply delicious smell of it can’t help but relax you. Some scientific studies have also been completed which point towards lavender improving symptoms of insomnia.
But you should be aware that lavender also has the natural property of helping to induce birth so is definitely not recommended if you are pregnant!
You can get a little bottle of lavender essential oil on amazon for next to nothing as well! Click here to find it.
Magnesium is a wonder mineral that is so often overlooked. It is responsible for over 300 different reactions including the communication from your brain to your body telling it it’s time for sleep.And yet most people suffer from a deficiency.
To get your full RDA of Magnesium requires you to eat half a kilo of spinach which is the most magnesium-rich food. I know I couldn’t do that everyday so it’s no wonder people are deficient. Luckily there is an answer.
You can get a great magnesium supplement straight from Amazon and taking it about 2 hours before bed really improves the quality of your sleep as well as helping you fall asleep so it’s well worth it for those who really struggle with sleep. Check out this article for our recommendations.
Tryptophan is another great supplement for sleep. It is an amino acid used by the body to make serotonin which in turn can be made into melatonin which is the sleep hormone that tells your body it is time to go to sleep. It is the hormone that makes your body sleepy.
Dehydration is an absolute killer when it comes to sleep. You can’t get to sleep when you’re dehydrated and waking up in the morning is equally as difficult. That’s why a glass of water before bed helps settle you while a glass of water as soon as you wake up helps beat fatigue.
10. Sleep Balm
Sleep balms are made of essential oils and a great and easy to apply sleep aid. You simply rub some of the balm on pulse points around the head and face: Under your nose, on your temples, under the jawline, back of the neck and even your wrists. Then the oils get absorbed into your skin while you get to enjoy the gentle fragrance helping you relax and drift off into a pleasant sleep.
Badger Sleep Balm has always been my favourite. Find it on Amazon.
11. 4-7-8 breathing
I love the 4-7-8 breathing technique. It is a simple breathing technique you can perform right before bed to help you shut down your mind and fall into a silent slumber. I actually made up an infographic of it on a previous site which I’ll share here so you can learn how to do it too!
12. Read Before Bed
Reading before bed is one of the best ways to rest your eyes before you go to sleep. It also helps calm your mind and relax any thoughts that might be racing around your head. I always recommend a real book over an e-reader to completely avoid screens.
Journaling is the best solution for anyone who’s mind races right before going to sleep. Empty your mind onto the page no matter what it’s about and then it will be still and silent for you going to sleep. If it’s on your mind it must be important and if it’s important it’s worth committing to paper so get yourself a journal and give it a try.
Best Natural Sleep Aids to Help You Wake Up
Now we’re onto all the natural sleep aids that help you wake up in the morning and keep you full of energy all day long. It starts with a great sleep so you need to keep the momentum going!
14. Go to Bed in Good Time
This is the most obvious tip for not waking up tired. Go to bed at a decent hour! If you’re not going to bed early enough you won’t be getting enough sleep which subsequently means you’re bound to wake up tired in the morning . So be sure to get to bed at a good time and sleep through the night if you want to wake up refreshed.
The most important meal of the day and not one that should be skipped! Having your breakfast is the foundation of your day (after your great sleep of course) and not getting a proper one will leave you tired and sluggish all day. And a nutritious breakfast will give you the energy you need to wake up properly and kick groggy mornings to the curb!
16. Exercise After You Wake Up
This one isn’t for the faint-hearted but if you can bring yourself to go to a class or go for a run first thing in the morning it will increase your energy 10 fold and leave you starting the day with an endorphin rush. Not everyone can commit to it but if you’re up to the challenge you won’t regret it.
17. Lumie Bodyclock
One of my favourite tips to deal with groggy mornings, especially in the winter is to get a dawn simulating alarm clock like the Lumie. The Lumie Bodyclock is designed to simulate a sunrise in your bedroom so you get woken up the natural way instead of being shouted awake by your phone. I wrote a full review of the Lumie here for those who are interested!
18. Eat Fats Before Bed
Another tip to fight groggy mornings is to eat something fatty before bed. I’m not talking about a steak dinner or anything substantial but having some dairy or some peanut butter will vastly improve how you feel in the morning because you will have energy left over. If you normally have dinner around 7pm and then don’t eat again until 7am of course,your body is going to be tired! That’s 12 hours without it getting any more nourishment.
19. Set Your Alarm Once and Get Up Straight Away
I have a personal vendetta against the snooze button. Snoozing repeatedly in the morning just interrupts your sleep making any more time you get sleeping completely useless. It’s best to force yourself out of bed as soon as your alarm goes off. The best way to do that is to physically sit up and get out of bed before you turn it off. Setting your alarm on the other side of the room works just fine.
20. Follow Your Sleep Cycle
Another important tip is to follow your sleep cycle. Your sleep cycle is the natural rhythm of your sleep going from light sleep to deep sleep. It is about 90 minutes long and waking up at the end of a cycle is much more pleasant than waking up in the middle. So you want to make sure you’re waking up after 7.5 hours to ensure you don’t get a groggy confused feeling when your alarm goes off.
21. Wake Up Early On The Weekends
Another difficult one for most people but sleeping in late on the weekends only confuses your body when it comes to going back to work on Monday. I’m not saying get up at the crack of dawn but having your wake up time at least close to your normal schedule will do wonders for keeping your sleep in control.
If I think of any more natural sleep aids I’ll definitely be adding them to the list! If you have any others I missed then please share them in the comments below! If they’re good enough I’ll even include them!