Best Natural Sleep Aids

Sleep Promoting Natural Aids

Around 164 million Americans and 51% of the adults worldwide don’t get enough sleep.

Until a couple of weeks ago, the number was increased by one person.


I would never imagine that the “insomnia curse” might hit me.  

Who? Me? The world champion of sleep?


Yet, it happened.

Ok, sleepless nights are a great opportunity for blogging,  I admit it. More than half of my articles were written during those endless and sleepless nights while my cats were snoring shamelessly. I thought it was cool, less sleep more time to work, right?


When my mirror revealed that not only wasn’t I “ the fairest in the land”  but that the dark circles under my eyes were bigger than those of Fester Addams, I said to myself:

Enough is enough!

So, I started looking for the best natural sleeping aids I could find. My herbs books, the web and old aunties and neighbors were my sources.

One thing is certain about me: I am quite a determined person.

Yes, I did it! My search gave me results that I tested on myself before sharing them with you.

Well, are you ready for an article that will have the effects of a lullaby? Pajamas, and follow me!

Why is sleep important?

Good quality sleep is essential for our beauty, health and well being.

When we sleep our body conserves energy. It lowers our blood pressure and our heart rate. Breathing is less quick, and our body temperature is decreased. But while our body rests, our brain doesn’t. It remains active and carries out important functions.  

A good night’s sleep plays a crucial role in a series of significant processes.

Our body and brain collaborate to

  • Balance our metabolism by controlling body temperature and energy.
  • Enhance our immune system
  • Restore our memory and positively affect brain function by improving cognition, concentration, productivity, and performance.
  • Regulate appetite and weight.
  • Maintain  the health of our heart and our blood vessels
  • Repair tissues by releasing growth hormone.
  • Maintain the good health of our heart and our blood vessels

Ok, but what happens inside our body and brain when we can’t sleep well?

Prepare yourselves to be shocked!

Sleep deprivation

  • Minimizes athletic performance
  • Negatively affects certain aspects of brain function to a degree similar to alcohol intoxication
  • Maximizes the risk of strokes and heart disease.
  • Is linked to depression
  • Is associated with inflammatory bowel diseases
  • Has adverse effects on blood sugar
  • Increases the risk of type 2 diabetes
Effects Of Sleep Deprivation
Source: wikipedia

I was terrified to realize that not being able to sleep could put not only my looks but my health in serious trouble!

Wouldn’t you feel the same?

Bad habits affect sleep quality

Before I tell you what you should do to better your sleep, let’s see if you have any habits that might interfere with your sleep.

Caffeine. I can’t live without coffee. I can’t make it throughout the day if I don’t have a couple of cups of good strong coffee. My mistake was that I used to have coffee late in the evening. Caffeine remains in our system for six hours (at least) so think twice before each refill!

Alcohol. For 20% of adults in the US, a couple of drinks before bed is considered a sleeping aid. Well, it is the exact opposite of an aid. Alcohol doesn’t assist our sleep, it interferes with it.

According to a 2009 study, alcohol disrupts circadian rhythm in humans.

What is a circadian rhythm? It’s our body’s internal clock; an endogenously generated 24-hour cycle which determines our sleeping and feeding patterns.

Important biological activities like brain wave activity, cell regeneration, glucose and insulin levels regulation, urine and hormone production are linked to this cycle.

As you can see, it’s important that the circadian rhythm isn’t disrupted so instead of a drink before bed, how about a cup of herbal tea or some warm milk?

Nicotine. Nicotine is a stimulant. Avoid smoking 3 hours before bedtime or else you will experience difficulties to fall and stay asleep until nicotine wears off.

Heavy meals right before bed.  After each meal, stomach acids are working intensively to digest your food. If you lie down, these acids may creep into your throat down causing you that unpleasant feeling…

Be sure that your dinner isn’t spicy, or rich in fat or protein.

Choose foods rich in Tryptophan, calcium, magnesium, vitamin B6 and melatonin.

Avoid consuming large quantities of liquids before you hit the sheets if you don’t want to camp in your bathroom for the rest of the night!  

I had to change three of the above habits. I never have dinner but I am a coffee lover and I used to have it even late in the evening. I often used to relax on the couch listening to music, sipping red wine and smoking after a long and tiring day. I couldn’t imagine that what I thought decompressing was actually responsible for my poor quality sleep.

How many of them will you have to change?

Good habits that promote sleep

Yoga. You know that I am a great fan of yoga. I consider it a beneficial practice for body and mind for various reasons.

It promotes physical strength and increases flexibility. It betters breathing and diminishes stress

It relaxes body and mind and, at the same time, it intensifies mental focus.

What I didn’t know was that it has positive effects on sleep. (The fact that I could sleep like a bear after each yoga session was proof but I hadn’t made the connection!)

Research indicates that yoga has the ability to improve sleep.

Why don’t you try practicing a gentle yoga routine prior to bedtime?  

There are lots of videos on Youtube that can guide you. All you need is a Yoga mat, a towel, and comfortable and breathable clothing. Oh yes, and your laptop with your favorite yoga playlist!

Meditation. It’s a great way to empty and relax your mind and prepare yourself for a good night’s sleep.

There various forms of meditation.

The most popular is Mindfulness Meditation which involves concentrating in your body and nothing else.

With Concentration Meditation, you focus on a specific thing: the flame of a candle or the sound of your voice repeating your favorite mantra. Remember that the list of chores waiting for you isn’t a good mantra!

If you can’t do it on your own, Guided Medication is the right fit for you. There are a lot of videos on YouTube with this type of medication.

A useful tool for your medication sessions is the Insight Timer-Meditation App. It is free and available for Android and IOS.

I must admit that meditation is my Achilles’ heel. I can’t shut my darn mind down! If you manage to meditate, will you share your know-how with me? Please !!

Meditate To Sleep Better
Meditation relaxes your mind.

Sleep schedule. You should have a sleep schedule and stick to it even during weekends and holidays. It will help you adjust your circadian rhythm and thus fall and stay asleep for the whole night.

Avoid catnaps during the day. Of course, if you find that naps help you get through the day and don’t influence your night sleep patterns, feel free to enjoy your “siesta” whenever you can!

Optimize your bedroom. Your room’s temperature shouldn’t exceed 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit (16 to 19 degrees Celsius). Remember that you should free your room from light, noise and electronic devices. (having a TV set in the bedroom isn’t a good idea!)

Adopt a relaxing ritual before bedtime. Being able to loosen up especially when you are stressed is quite often a challenge. A nightly ritual can help you decompress, relax and fall asleep more easily.

Your bedtime routine should fit your needs and personality.

Some people like to take long walks before going to bed. Others like sitting on the porch listening to music or to the sounds of the night. There are even people that go to the gym at night. (it’s true, they do!)

What’s mine?

I take a hot shower every night and once a week I choose to soak in the bathtub. Water has a therapeutic effect on my mind and senses; its fluidity helps me disconnect from the “solidity” of everyday life. Water takes the stress away and relaxes my body. (My secret? Relaxing music and scented candles! Top of the tops!)

Note: I would love to have a bath every night but water is precious and it is getting scarce. I don’t want to waste this precious source of life. Do you?

Nature’s gifts for better sleep

OK, you have adopted all the above practices and good habits and got rid of the bad ones.

But you still can’t sleep well and feel you need some extra help.

No, sleeping pills ARE NOT A GOOD IDEA

Mother nature is here to give you a helping hand!

Let’s see some sleep-promoting natural supplements that can attract Morpheus in bed with you!

1. CBD oil

Research indicates CBD as an amazing sleeping aid.

It does not only betters the quality of sleep but it helps insomnia sufferers by treating the real sources of their problem like chronic pain, stress or anxiety.

In smaller doses, CBD is a stimulant and in high doses, it’s a calmant. I won’t tire you more with the amazing effects of CBD on our sleep patterns. You know them, don’t you?

Browse the articles on my blog to learn more about the amazing properties of CBD oil!

2. Melatonin

Naturally produced by your body, melatonin is a hormone that gives your brain the order to sleep. For this reason, its levels are high in the evening and low in the morning.

Scientific research indicates that

  • Melatonin helps people with sleep disorders by reducing the time they need to fall asleep and increasing the time they remain asleep
  • It is  highly recommended to shift workers because it has been found to improve the quality and the duration of day time sleep  
  • Melatonin supplements are a potent sleeping aid in situations such as jet lag, where the hormones production cycle gets disrupted.

A lethal weapon against insomnia is CBD oil and melatonin. We are all aware of the power of CBD oil to fight sleep deprivation. Imagine it coupled with melatonin!

CBD Softgels With Melatonin For Sleep
CBD Softgels with Melatonin for Sleep

Joy Organics, one of my trusted CBD oil brands, offers you the power of zero-THC CBD oil combined with melatonin. I bet, you can imagine the end result!

3. Magnesium

Magnesium is linked to lots of our body’s functions and is essential for brain and heart health.

Studies have found that its relaxing effects are linked to its ability to improve the production of melatonin and to increase GABA levels. Magnesium deficiency is linked to insomnia and poor sleep.

You may increase the levels of magnesium with the help of supplements. They will help you improve your sleep quality and quantity.

4. Passion flower

Passiflora incarnata” is a popular natural remedy for people suffering from insomnia.

Even though science hasn’t brought any solid proof on its potential to improve sleep quality, people who consume passion flower tea claim it does miracles!

Its consumption is safe for adults.

Note that the passion flower tea is reported to be more effective than the supplements.   

5. Valerian root

The root of Valerian is one of the most common herbal supplements that are used to improve sleep patterns in the US and Europe. It is frequently used to treat anxiety and depression.

There are inconsistent study results and lack of objective measurements regarding its efficiency but according to anecdotal reports it manages to improve sleep quality and increase sleep quantity. There isn’t any proof that it is safe for long-term use and by pregnant or lactating women, though.

Natural Sleep Essentials

6. Lavender

If there were a kingdom of herbs and essential oils, lavender would be the king. Its relaxing fragrance enhances sleep and soothes the mind.

According to studies, it is particularly effective for young people and women.

I wouldn’t recommend any lavender supplements because there are people claiming that they have experienced nausea and stomach ache after taking them.

I would recommend an aromatherapy ritual!

Relax and pamper your body and senses with a lavender bath bomb bath and a lavender containing wellness balm. Use a sleep-enhancing linen spray onto your sheets and pillow before you get to bed (use it to relax, even when on the go). Light a lavender candle and let the aromatherapeutic fragrance of this amazing plant do its magic! Lather can provide you with all the essentials to make this ritual a unique experience!

Tip: Place an essential-oil burner in your bedroom and exploit the mental, physical and spiritual benefits of lavender essential oil. Your room will smell divine!

7. Glycine

Glycine is an amino acid used by our body to create proteins. It is essential for our nervous system and it has the ability to improve sleep.

It can be found in protein-rich foods like meat, eggs, poultry, beans, and spinach. Bananas and kiwis are rich in the nutrient. Glycine intake before going to bed may help you sleep better.

According to a 2007 study on human subjects, 3 grams of glycine before bedtime improved the sleep quality of the participants and helped them fall asleep faster.

Glycine can be taken as a supplement. It can be found in water-soluble powder and pill forms. Science indicates that there are no serious side effects  when the glycine intake doesn’t exceed 31 grams a day  

8. Chamomile tea

Chamomile tea has been a sleeping aid for thousands of years. Generations of babies have been put to bed with a feeding bottle full of warm chamomile.

Its relaxing properties are known worldwide.

It has been found that its extract is as potent as a dose of benzodiazepine. According to the FDA, it is safe and has no side effects.

Chamomile Tea For Sleep
Enjoy the relaxing properties of chamomile tea

9. Hops

Hops are the flowers of the Humulus lupulus plant. They increase the production of gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) which is known to promote sleep.

Hops can increase the duration of sleep. According to studies, this herbal supplement is more effective when it is paired with valerian. Furthermore, hops contain a flavonoid that can lower cholesterol and reduce weight gain!

10. Magnolia bark


The magnolia tree, besides being an absolute beauty, is packed with medicinal properties.

Its bark has been used to treat sleep issues by traditional medicine for ages but unfortunately, science has not studied it enough.

Its powerful essential compounds have a positive impact on anxiety and inflammation and treat the symptoms of depression. Magnolia bark is a mild sedative. It boosts sleep duration and lowers adrenaline and cortisol which are known for their stimulating effects.

Magnolia bark supplements come in solid and liquid forms.

The above herbal supplements are just a part of the long list containing the sleep-improving gifts of nature.

Here are some more

  • Tryptophan,
  • L-theanine,
  • 5-HTP,
  • Jujube,
  • Ginkgo Biloba (my father takes it because Gingko Biloba improves brain function. Perhaps this is the reason why he sleeps like a baby!)
  • Kava-kava

The important thing is to experiment on yourselves to find the supplement that suits you.

Are you wondering where to find all these supplements?

Vita Springs and Evitamins are my favorite suppliers! They represent the most outstanding supplement brands in the word. Their supplements variety is unquestionably amazing!

eVitamins Vitamins and Supplements up to 70% off!

The takeaway

Ever since I changed my bad habits and adopted healthier ones, I have experienced a notable improvement in the quality and the quantity of my sleep.

It seems that the good, old days when I managed to sleep 9 hours in a row aren’t just a memory. (The champion is getting ready to come back, folks! )

I’ve noticed that a healthy way of living and some physical exercise have a positive impact on my sleep patterns. I found out that I had a magnesium deficiency so magnesium and CBD oil with melatonin are the supplements I chose to better my sleep.

We all know how important sleep is to overall health. The supplements I recommend have the power to improve the quality and duration of your sleep.

They are not a panacea, though.

Combine them with a healthy way of living, physical exercise, and good sleep habits and…

Sweet dreams!!

If you have any questions or want to share any personal experience or any tips and tricks that improve sleep, please, leave a comment below

If you want to know if I have published a new article, or get information about CBD news, product releases or promotions, don’t hesitate to sign up for my email list!

DISCLAIMER: The content of this article is for informational purposes only. It is not meant to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The information provided is not meant to alleviate or cure any disease or disorder. Always seek the advice of a qualified health provider for any medical condition.

Sweet Dreams


  1. Having good habits during the evening hours will lead to a good nights sleep. I have a TV in my room and it has not been used for months, I do try to meditate before going to bed. Having a peaceful mind will lead to a good nights sleep, you will not have things going through your head while trying to fall to sleep.
    Staying asleep will be a lot easier if you follow your steps on what to avoid before bedtime. Lavender, CBD oil and a clear mind will help you keep your schedule of sleep and let you wake up fresh ready for the day.
    Do you think that taking your daily dose of CBD oil closer to bed time or a little time before.

    1. it depends on the method of administration, John! If you vape it or take it sublingually its effects are delivered quickly so taking it closer to bedtime would be a nice choice. If it’s an edible product then you should take it some time prior to bedtime.

  2. I’ve discovered an article about magnesium benefits around three years ago and ever since then I try to take supplements whenever I feel the need to relax more and get a good night sleep. I felt a significant improvement in the quality of sleep. CBD oil sounds interesting as well. I might buy a supply just in case. Thanks for a lot of great tips.

    1. I suffer from magnesium deficiency and this resulted in numerous and tremendous cramps along with sleeplessness. CBD oil has helped me treat my anxiety and combining it with magnesium I managed to treat my poor quality and quantity sleep. I included all the possible and natural ways to improve sleep patterns because each one of us has different supplement needs.

  3. When it comes to health, my one remaining vice is sleep deprivation. I shoot for six hours and 40 minutes because that is usually the best I can do, but I know I need more because when that alarm goes off I do not feel rested. In fact, if an alarm has to wake you up, you haven’t slept enough! Weekends, it’s more like seven and a half hours, but then, part of that is just playing catch up.

    While the quality of my sleep is pretty high, and I spend less time being awake during the night than the average (at least according to Fitbit!), if I could just spend a little less time awake (running about 30 to 40 minutes a night now) that would be really helpful. (I mean, heaven forbid I actually go to sleep earlier!)

    Do you find CBD oil helps with that?


    1. CBD oil definitely helps. Theresa’ personal experience shared with us with her comment is a proof of cannabidiol’s ability to improve not only the quality of sleep but its duration as well

  4. Another informative article Effie.
    I am insomniac and so occasionally, I would take Melatonin. Due to my profession and having to work graveyard shift for 6 years, my sleep habit suffered.
    It’s good to know that there are a lot of natural choices to help aid in our sleep and that there is CBD with Melatonin that is available also for those who needs it.

    Your article is always a good source of information. Thank you.


    1. Don’t you think it’s time to stop being insomniac, Nida? There are so many natural alternatives to sleeping pills that the only problem one might have is which one to choose. Start experimenting on yourself and find the right supplement that can help you sleep better

  5. Great advice for anyone lacking in sleep. Personally my hardest thing is to stick to a strict schedule, but I think if I start taking something like melatonin, this should help. Also, I like that other forms of activity such as the meditation and yoga are both helpful.

    I guess it’s a great thing too if you are lacking in sleep since it means you may have to kick some bad habits like drinking too much or smoking. So many different options to choose from, there’s no room to make any excuses.

    1. There is no excuse, indeed, Justin. Sleep is so important to our overall health and wellness and yet we neglect taking measurements even when we realize that our sleep patterns are disturbed. I wonder why we pretend from our bodies to carry on without proper sleep. It’s like we pretend from our cars to run without fuel. Insane, isn’t it?

  6. I’m a big fan of your recommendations, especially avoiding catnaps. I’m one who usually remains awake once I get up in the morning, but every now and again a catnap would’ve occurred and I’d be in for a sleepless night. Also, I fully endorse keeping a cooler bedroom, no warmer than 67 since I can tell you from experience it’s beyond impossible to get to sleep in a warmer environment.

    After struggling with insomnia on multiple occasions a month, a pre-sleep ritual is a perfect habit to get into. I love to write and even edit my writing in the evening, which will eventually put me to sleep. Walking to my room, however, I get a final surge of energy, so I’ll read a physical book before falling asleep again. At this point, my mind and body is ready for a night’s worth of sleep.

    1. My bedside table is covered with physical books. I managed to finish Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky when I was hit by the insomnia curse. It had always been my “sleeping pill”: I used to fall asleep as soon I arrived at page 19. LOL. This fact made me realize that there was something wrong with my sleep patterns and urged me to do something about them. The only positive result of those sleepless nights was this: I finally got to finish a masterpiece of literature!

  7. I have a horrible time getting to sleep and then staying asleep. So I take 10mg of Melatonin, but that doesn’t really help most nights. I think maybe time to try the CBD . Do you think it might work better for me? My dad says I should only be taking 5mg but the tablets are 10mg, so I figured I was good. I don’t think taking a half of a pill is going to help LOL

    1. Perhaps your father suggested you 5mg because this is the dose that fits his organism. But you are not your father and he is not you. You are two people with different and unique needs. I would advise you to give CBD oil a try-steal some from your son LOL. If you improve your sleep patterns perhaps all the rest of your health problems will decrease, Leahrae!

  8. Great post! I would never have thought to try Yoga in the evening to help with sleep.

    Right now I am in an occupational therapy rehab program and we do stretching twice a day. I get super tired after that, so I guess I would be a good candidate for evening yoga. Thank you so much for all your tips but especially that one. I am also going to try the Magnolia Bark as well. I have had some good luck with other natural products for sleep.

    1. Not all people know that Yoga has the ability to improve sleep patterns. This is the reason I included the video, besides encouraging my readers to create a yoga playlist. I wish you all the best with your therapy program, Irma.

  9. I have good experience with melatonin as a sleep aid but I didn’t CBD oil could help too! I’m curious about the dosage you recommend and at what time. Just before sleep? Thanks in advance for the reply!

    1. Behind Joy Organics CBD Softgels with Melatonin for Sleep, there is the nanoemulsion technology used to increase the product’s bioavailability, Phil. Since it is a product that promotes sleep it should be taken before bedtime. As far as dosage is concerned, I will repeat myself once more: each one of us is unique and should experiment to find his “sweet spot”. Severe insomnia sufferers will need a different dose from people who have mild sleep problems

  10. Hi Effie,
    I need to change my caffeine habit as well, I’m a hopeless tea addict. I love the feel of hot tea down my throat even late at night. I work well into the night too, after my kids have gone to bed, I stick myself to the laptop for a good 3 hours. That really doesn’t help with sleep. Because my mind is an active machine when I get to bed. It will take me some time to unwind enough to fall asleep.

    I have learnt so much from this article, yet again. I always thought alcohol relaxes us for a good night’s sleep, when in fact it’s the reverse!

    My favourite sleep aid is lavender. It works like a charm on me, once I get the scent of it, every aspect of my being transforms, mentally, physically and emotionally, into a state of peace and calm.

    Yoga is something I have wanted to try but never managed to set aside time for. I should really do it one of these days.

    1. I know what you mean, Joo. An overactive mind is so irritating at times. I wish there were a button to turn it off! Lavender is my favorite essential oil. It has numerous “magic” properties. Besides CBD oil, essential oils are another passion of mine. Along with herbs and everything related to nature (cats above all LOL). Why don’t you substitute your usual tea with chamomile tea? You will be able to enjoy your tea and the relaxing properties of the herb! Thank you for sharing your experiences with lavender with us!

  11. Yet again another really informative post Effie. I love your knowledge and passion and I learn something new every time I visit your site. I sometimes have a broken sleep pattern and never considered that CBD could help. Is there anything it can’t do !!!
    Thank you once again for the information

    1. All our body’s functions are interrelated. Could you imagine that extensive poor quality sleep may lead you to diabetes? CBD is not a panacea but its impact on our ECS is probably the reason it has some many benefits on our health: when the balance is restored health is restored. Simple, isn’t it?

  12. Thank you for this post, is was very informative. I tend to sleep early in week days, as I am very irritated the next day. I do find that when I do not sleep well consecutively for a week my quality as human being degrades rather immensely. Some people I know only sleeps 4-6 hours a night and seem to be some of the most functional human beings, if I sleep less than 8 hours, you will watch a horror in real life. Why do some people need more sleep than others?

    1. Same here, William! With less than 9 hours of sleep, I look, act and feel like a zombie. Until a couple of years ago my optimal sleep duration was 11 hours. Sleep duration varies depending on age and individual needs. My granny couldn’t sleep more than 5 hours a day. At the same age, now, my father sleeps all day: 10 hours at night and numerous naps. It’s amazing how different we are!

  13. I learn something new every time I read one of your posts! This time I learned several new things. For instance, I didn’t know that foods have an effect on melatonin or that there are different types of meditation. No wonder I have been confused! I definitely need to change my mantra and maybe add a little yoga to my routine. 🙂 I have lavender essential oil and a nice diffuser but I never remember to use it.

    Typically, I sleep well for about five hours and then my brain kicks in and I start thinking about my next blog post or something and cannot get my brain to shut down. That’s usually when I look at my clock and think, oh well. At least I know Effie is up, too. The bad thing is that I usually get up and then find that my brain is too tired to organize those thoughts into a blog post.

    CBD oil has made a significant difference in my sleep patterns. I typically only take it about an hour or two before bed and it works great! I think it calms my mind so that if I make a late-night trip to the bathroom, I can get back to sleep. My only problem is that I love coffee and dark chocolate so I often consume more caffeine than my body can handle and that interferes with my rest.

    I recently learned a cool trick, though. It works great as long as I remember to do it. When I take CBD oil during the day, it offsets the jitters I might get from coffee and not only do I feel better during the day but I sleep better at night. Another cool thing is melting my chocolate, adding CBD oil to it, and letting it firm up again makes chocolate even more magical! 🙂

    1. WOW!!! Your trick is something I will definitely try! I love dark chocolate -to tell you the truth I have never eaten or drunk any other kind of chocolate in my life. And combining it with CBD is an amazing idea! Pleasure coupled with health benefits! Who would say no to it!
      I am thankful to technology for eliminating borders and distance barriers and giving me the chance to communicate and form a virtual community with you and all the people I love that live overseas. Knowledge and ideas should be shared and I thank you and all my readers for sharing with me!

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