Have you experienced “COVID-somnia”? That’s the term sleep neurologists have used to describe the increase in sleep disorders during 2020. If you’ve found it harder to sleep soundly this year, you’re not alone. Troubling headlines, mounting stress, upended routines, and more have disturbed many a sleep schedule. The good news is that healthy sleep habits and supplements for sleep can help.
Unlike sleeping pills, which can have very sketchy side effects, natural sleep aids won’t knock you out. But they might be just the thing to soothe your busy mind before bedtime. Here are seven of the best options.
Herbs and supplements for sleep
|melatonin||Melatonin is a hormone that helps the body regulate its sleep/wake cycle. It can be helpful for insomnia, delayed sleep phase disorder, and trouble sleeping caused by shift work.|
|magnesium||An essential mineral, magnesium can help address insomnia. It has also been shown to help diminish stress, which can interfere with sleep. It may also minimize the effects of restless leg syndrome.|
|valerian root||Valerian is commonly used for treating insomnia, reducing the time it takes to fall asleep and improving sleep quality.|
|lavender||Research has shown that lavender essential oil aromatherapy may help increase slow-wave sleep, the very deep sleep during which your muscles relax and your heartbeat slows right down.|
|passion flower||Passion flower may improve sleep quality and help people with insomnia.|
|theanine||An amino acid found in tea leaves, theanine works through anxiolysis (reduction of anxiety) to promote relaxation without sedation and helps you fall asleep more quickly/easily and sleep more soundly.|
|glycine||An amino acid and neurotransmitter, glycine is found in high-protein foods (meat/fish, dairy, legumes) or as supplements that may improve quality of sleep and help improve daytime performance after occasional sleep restrictions.|